Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have had to weather an “upsetting” and difficult week leading up to their Saturday wedding.
But “everybody is very much behind them,” wedding guest and friend Dominic Reid tells PEOPLE.
Reid, who is chief executive of the Invictus Games Foundation, spoke out Thursday after several days of dramatic headlines surrounding the extended Markle family — including that Meghan’s father, Thomas Markle, will be skipping the event due to health issues after he confirmed that he had taken part in staged paparazzi photos of himself leading up to the wedding.
“It is a difficult position for anybody to be in,” Reid says. “Anybody who has got married knows it is an anxious and highly emotional time and you want the family to be with you.
“Clearly it has been upsetting for them,” he continued. “It is not what you want to happen in the run-up. You want things to go smoothly. But things don’t always go smoothly in families – everybody is very much behind them. I hope very much that it is a happy day and that the difficulties of the past few days can pass now.”
Reid is pageant master — the organizer of ceremonial events in the United Kingdom, including marking Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee — and is featured in the National Geographic Channel’s Operation Royal Wedding which will premiere on May 23 at 9 p.m ET. With exclusive access to key elements of the big day, the program promises a behind-the-scenes look at the event and the people who helped make it happen.
Reid says that since the prince, 33, met Meghan, 36, he has been “very happy. He has been for a little while.”
“I was sitting with them when they first appeared in public together [at the Invictus Games in Toronto]. They are a young couple who are extremely happy and relaxed in each other’s company. He has benefited hugely from it – both of them are very happy.”
The Invictus Games was the first time Reid had met Meghan. “I don’t know her well but have met her a few times. She is charming and very pleasant to be with and has a very easy with people. She engages with people in the same way Prince Harry does. I think they will make a great partnership — you can see that from the public engagements she already has. And it’s been obvious from that initial interview how natural they are together. It is a very balanced, very happy, very equal partnership.”
Reid has gotten to know Harry ever since he served as the first event director for the Invictus Games in January 2014. The next one will next be held in October in Sydney – and will mark one of Meghan’s first official foreign visits alongside Harry.
The Invictus Games “is a personal passion” of Harry’s, Reid adds. “He is the driving force behind it. It is not something he puts on, he is fronting it and is the instigator of it. He comes to every board meeting, contributes and is behind it all the way.”