'We thought it would never happen': Harry
Britain's Prince Harry practices with Walking with the Wounded on the island of Spitsbergen, between the Norwegian mainland and the North Pole March 30, 2011. Prince Harry has revealed his family thought his elder brother William would never take the plunge and marry Kate Middleton. REUTERS/David Cheskin/Pool
LONDON - Britain’s Prince Harry revealed on Thursday his family thought his elder brother William would never take the plunge and marry Kate Middleton.
He also said they would be thinking of their mother, the late Princess Diana, on the big day, April 29.
“We all thought that it was never going to happen for him. But it has happened, and I think everyone’s going to be very proud of him,” he told reporters.
“I think he’s done the right thing. He’s waited, and he’s done it when he feels right, and it’s a huge step.”
William first met his future bride in 2001 while they were students at St Andrew’s university in Scotland. Speculation about whether he would pop the question went on so long she eventually became known by the tabloid press as “waity Katy,” before William finally proposed during a holiday in Kenya last November.
Harry, who is third in line to the throne, said he was looking forward to welcoming Kate into the royal family.
“She’s a fantastic girl. She really is,” he said.
He joked: “I’m really looking forward to getting her under my wing — or she’ll be taking me under her wing probably.”
Harry spoke about the wedding as he prepared for a challenging trek in the Arctic with a group of wounded servicemen who are hoping to reach the North Pole.
Turning his attention to Diana he ventured: “Myself, my brother and my father, there will be all sorts of people and the rest of the family that will be no doubt be thinking about it.”
He added: “And I hope she would be very, very proud that the big day has come upon him.”
Harry, who is best man, admitted that, with only a month to go, he has still to write the speech he is due to give with two of William’s close friends.
“The speech will be like any normal best man’s speech. Between the three of us we will make sure people know the good times and the bad times that he’s had since he was a nipper,” he said.
Harry said his speech will take “the mickey out of him,” but will inevitably have to be toned down for the occasion.
“I will tell a few stories, but I think my grandmother (Queen Elizabeth) will be there, so I’ll have to be selective.”
In a separate interview he gave to BBC television from the Arctic he quipped: “We are going to make sure we dig him in the ribs a few times and embarrass him — make him lose some hair.”