Royals

Meet the Kiwis involved in Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding

From event planning to the ceremony music to the all important wedding cake, these talented Kiwis are helping to bring Meghan and Harry's dream wedding to life.

The countdown is on. In what has rightfully been dubbed the wedding of the year, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are set to tie the knot at Windsor Castle in a little over a week's time.

One can only imagine the behind the scenes work that goes into bringing such an event to life; the security costs alone are set to top £24 million (that's over NZD $46 million).

The spotlight has been firmly on details like which tiara Meghan will choose, the cost of her dress, which song they'll share their first dance to and who has been left off the guest list. But there's much more involved in pulling off a day as big as this and it turns out New Zealand can boast some rather important roles.

From pre-planning, to the ceremony, to the reception, here are the talented Kiwis quietly working behind the scenes to leave their mark on Harry and Meghan's big day. Not that you'd catch them boasting about it - they're Kiwis after all.

The Projects Manager

Dunedinite Clara Madden is an important member of Meghan and Harry's staff. As projects manager, she is in charge of the royal couple's diary, making sure everything runs smoothly in the lead-up to the May 19th nuptials.

31-year-old Clara has worked with the royal family for years, having originally been on Prince William and Kate Middleton's payroll. Wills and Kate were such fans of hers that they went out of their way to meet Clara's parents during their 2014 tour of New Zealand, with William describing her as "the star of the office."

Clara moved to Harry's service in 2015 and has been a trusted aide ever since, originally starting out as an assistant before being appointed to the role of projects manager for the bride and groom-to-be.

The role requires her to work closely with the couple to ensure their public appearances run like clockwork. Meghan's gradual introduction to royal duties was carefully managed to ensure she was well prepared for royal life, and the UK press credited the success of her first public engagement largely down to Clara's exceptional planning.

All of the meticulous planning has been leading up to the biggest day of all, of course. Clara is a recent bride herself, having married Prince William and Kate Middleton's former media adviser Nick Loughran in December last year, so she's well placed to offer Meghan advice in the lead-up to the "I do's."

Clara married Nick Loughran, former aide to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, in December 2017.

The Cake Maker

It's one of the most important parts of the wedding feast. Forget the canapes, the entrees and the mains - the wedding cake is the biggest culinary statement of the reception. And Meghan and Harry's unconventional organic lemon and elderflower cakecake will be made by 29-year-old Kiwi Izaak Adams.

Adams, who originally hails from Timaru, is head baker for Violet bakery in London's Hackney. Owned by Californian Claire Ptak, the bakery prides itself on the use of seasonal and organic ingredients in their cakes.

Izaak has been working with the company for two years, as well as doing freelance work where he specialises in bespoke flower topped cakes for events, weddings, and special occasions.

Izaac at work in the Violet Bakery kitchen.

Owner Ptak says the bakery focuses on "food provenance, sustainability, seasonality and most importantly flavour" in their approach to cake making. Meghan became a fan of hers when she interviewed her for her now defunct lifestyle blog The Tig.

Two of Izaak's wedding cake creations.

The Wedding Singer

The involvement of the Madden family doesn't end with projects manager Claire. Her brother Nick is set to sing at the wedding ceremony at Windsor Castle. And before you begin conjuring up images of Adam Sandler crooning 80's classics, Nick's involvement is altogether more classical.

Nick is a member of the St George's Chapel choir who, along with gospel choir The Kingdom Choir, will be performing at the wedding ceremony.

The St George's Chapel choir was founded in 1348 and is made up of 23 boy singers and 12 adult male singers, known as Lay Clerks, who live on the grounds of Windsor Castle. Six of the Lay Clerks, including Nick, also make up The Queen's Six a capella group.

The choir will be performing songs specially chosen by Meghan and Harry.

Nick Madden, 2nd from right, poses with other members of The Queen's Six choir who also make up part of the St George's Chapel choir.

James Vivian, Director of Music at St George's Chapel, said "The Choristers, Lay Clerks, Organists and I are very much looking forward to this exciting day and are pleased to be performing at the service music chosen by the couple."

Nick has followed in his father's musical footsteps. Donald Madden has been a member and conductor of various choirs since the 1960's. He is currently the Head of Music at Columba College in Dunedin and was last year awarded a Queen's Service medal for services to music.

With only 10 days left to go until Harry and Meghan tie the knot we can't wait to see how the big day turns out.