Royal Wedding Countdown: Meghan Markle Returns to Los Angeles as Her Father Brushes Up on British History!

By

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry will be tying the knot at St. George's Chapel this spring, and each and every week, ET will be breaking down all the latest updates as they gear up for their May 19 nuptials.

BIGGEST NEWS OF THE WEEK

The invitations have been sent out. The cake has been chosen. And this week, we're happy to report that Meghan and Harry have decided on a florist! Kensington Palace announced that floral designer Philippa Craddock will create the displays for their church service at St. George's Chapel and for the ceremony at St George's Hall.

The floral displays at the chapel will be created using locally sourced foliage, much of which will be taken from the gardens and parkland of The Crown Estate and Windsor Great Park.

"I am excited and honored to have been chosen by Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle to design and create their wedding flowers," Craddock said in a statement. "Working with them has been an absolute pleasure. The process has been highly collaborative, free-flowing, creative and fun. The final designs will represent them as a couple, which I always aim to achieve in my work, with local sourcing, seasonality and sustainability being at the forefront."

ET also spoke with Shutterstock royal photographer Tim Rooke this week, who told us that Meghan and Harry's nuptials will have a more "intimate" vibe than Kate Middleton and Prince William's wedding at Westminster Abbey in 2011. At the same time, he doesn't think their special day will differ entirely from how William and Kate's went down.

"St. George's Chapel is a much more intimate and private venue than Westminster Abbey, so it seems we'll be a lot closer to them than we were for William and Kate's," he explained. "[But] it's still a royal wedding. The royals are so steeped in tradition and ceremony, so it will still run a certain way." 

Tim also told us that he believes Harry feels relieved to have someone by his side as he attends his royal duties. "When I photograph him, he's always great with the crowd, great with kids. I suppose it takes a bit of pressure off him to have someone else there with him," Tim said, adding that he thinks it's "great" that Harry seems to be so happy whenever Meghan's around. "He's always very cheery ... I mean, she's gorgeous, isn't she? And I'd be happier if I was getting married, as well!"

WEDDING COUNTDOWN

So, how many days until the royal wedding? Meghan and Harry will officially be saying "I do" in:

Paul Drinkwater/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

OUT AND ABOUT

Although Meghan and Harry were noticeably absent from the royal family's Easter Sunday service over the weekend, we did get one form of a Markle sighting! Meghan's dad, Thomas Markle, was recently spotted out and about at a Starbucks in Rosarito Beach, Baja California, in Mexico, catching up on his British history ahead of his daughter's wedding. We previously reported that he's expected to walk Meghan down the aisle on her big day.

Thomas, who has yet to meet his daughter's famous fiancé, was photographed at a table inside the establishment, reading a book titled Images of Britain: A Pictorial Journey Through History.

Thomas Markle
Coleman-Rayner

Does it get any cuter than that?

Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, Meghan and her mother, Doria Ragland, were spending some quality time together. The bride-to-be traveled from London to her native city over Easter weekend to fill her mom in on all her wedding plans. "[Meghan] was in L.A. to visit her mother, share wedding plans and show her mom designs of her dress," a source told ET, adding that Meghan is still working closely with her close pal/stylist, Jessica Mulroney, on the wedding details. "[Doria's] coming to [London soon to] help Meghan with wedding planning. It will also be an opportunity to meet some of Harry’s relatives for the first time."

Unlike Thomas, Doria has met Harry. Meghan brought her to the Invictus Games in Toronto, Canada, last September, to cheer on Prince Harry. This year's Invictus Games will be held in Sydney in October, but it looks like Meghan made it back to England just in time to catch the U.K. Team Trials with Prince Harry in Bath on Friday:

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Getty Images

ROYAL RUMOR ROUNDUP 

This week's Meghan rumor mill involved a new unauthorized biography titled Meghan: A Hollywood Princess by Andrew Morton. The book gives an idea of how the Suits' star's upbringing in California may have looked like, and also how familiar she was with the royal family prior to meeting her future fiancé.

According to the book, a 16-year-old Meghan watched Princess Diana's funeral in 1997 with her friends, and it quickly became a topic of discussion at her high school, Immaculate Heart, in Los Angeles. Morton claims that she became fascinated with the royal family and went back and watched Diana's wedding to Harry's father, Prince Charles, in 1981.

"She saw [Diana] as a role model. Inspired by the princess, she and Suzy collected clothes and toys for less privileged children," Morton says Meghan's childhood friend, Suzy Ardakani, told him. "In fact, such was Meghan’s interest that Suzy’s mother, Sonia, even gave her a copy of my biography, Diana: Her True Story, which remained on her bookshelves for the next few years."

Though, in Meghan and Harry's first interview following their engagement, she confessed that because she's from the U.S., "You don't grow up with the same understanding of the royal family. While I now understand very clearly there's a global interest, I didn’t know much about him." 

Hmm, interesting.

RATHER REGAL LOOKS 

Kate Middleton Easter Service
Tolga Akmen - WPA Pool/Getty Images

While Meghan opted for a casual getup in Bath, England, on Friday -- black bootcut jeans from Mother Denim, paired with an olive green trench coat from Babaton by Aritzia and an Invictus Game-branded polo shirt -- her future sister-in-law pulled out all the stops a few days earlier for Easter service at St. George's Chapel on Sunday. Kate Middleton, 36, glowed in a stylish yet demure black Catherine Walker coat with a matching Lock & Co hat, pearl accessories and nude heels. Her brown locks were in soft curls and she maintained a natural beauty look with brown eyeshadow, pink blush and a nude lip.

SERVIN' UP SUITS

As we discussed last week, the second half of Suits' seventh season (aka Meghan's final episodes) finally returned to USA Network. Although Meghan's character, Rachel Zane, didn't get too much screen time this week, you'll definitely want to tune in next Wednesday, April 11 at 9 p.m. ET. We got a sneak peek look at the episode, which provides a giant clue to how Meghan and Patrick J. Adams, who plays her onscreen fiancé, Mike Ross, may exit the series.

We also uncovered some artsy photographs Patrick once took of Meghan on their Toronto-based set. Back in 2015, the behind-the-scenes pics, which also feature their co-stars, were on display in New York City as part of "Behind The Lens: An Intimate Look at the World of Suits," a gallery exhibition hosted by the USA Network. Below, a stunning pic of Meghan and Sarah Rafferty (Donna Paulsen):

Patrick J. Adams

If you haven't been watching the show from the beginning but still want to see Meghan as an actress, ET's got you covered! We recapped everything you could possibly need to know about Meghan's character HERE -- so you can easily get all caught up and still catch the bride-to-be's final acting job before she officially becomes a royal.

SPARKLE LIKE MARKLE

Blake Lively Meghan Markle
The Image Direct / Getty

A Hollywood celeb took a style cue from Meghan and "sparkled like Markle" this week. Blake Lively stepped out on Easter Sunday in the same beige Brando Smythe coat that the future royal donned on her second official engagement back in January.

Shortly after Meghan rocked the $995 coat it sold out online, but it appears the 30-year-old Shallows star was able to snag one up. The two outfitted the piece very differently, with Lively pairing the coat with a floral skirt, beige sweater and gray boots, while Meghan bundled up in black trousers, sweater and scarf.

LOL OF THE WEEK

As people's fascination with the "Hollywood Princess" continues, new clips of her previous acting gigs are resurfacing, including a 2009 chips commercial she starred in. The ad shows the future royal walking the aisles of a supermarket and picking up a bag of the popular chip brand, Tostitos. Watch below to see the silly clip:

NEXT IN LINE

Aside from Easter Sunday, Kate and Prince William laid low this week, but we did get a casual peek at the Duchess of Cambridge grocery shopping.

On Monday, Kate, who is expecting her third child with husband Prince William in the coming weeks, was spotted casually grocery shopping in a Waitrose supermarket in the small town of Swaffham, England. Kate was accompanied by her metropolitan police protection officer, who stood aside and watched as she pushed her own cart and loaded reusable shopping bags into her SUV.

Kate Middleton Grocery Shopping
The Image Direct

Next week, Prince Harry will make a special appearance in London where he will become Patron of Walk Of America, the latest expedition from the armed forces charity Walking With The Wounded. 

For now, that's a wrap on this week's royals update. Let us know on Twitter (@desireemurphy_ and @lizcalvario) what other regal news you'd like us to cover in the future, and be sure to join us next week for another roundup! In the meantime, keep up with all of ET's coverage of the royal wedding as we count down to May 19.

RELATED CONTENT:

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's Royal Wedding: The Complete Guide

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Whirlwind Romance: A Complete Timeline

Meghan Markle Helps Take the 'Pressure Off' Prince Harry's Public Duties, Royal Photographer Says (Exclusive)

Related Gallery