Royal wedding sure to strengthen bonds with US

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The nuptials of Prince Harry and his American fiancee Meghan Markle will undoubtedly be seen as strengthening the bond between Britain and the US.

The Windsors have long been held in affection by the American public - and none more so than Diana, Princess of Wales who enchanted her royal fans across the pond in the 1980s.

More than 30 years ago, a young Diana, in a striking off-the-shoulder midnight blue velvet dress and sapphire and diamond choker, took to the floor with Saturday Night Fever star John Travolta at a glitzy White House dinner in 1985.

Now the Princess's youngest son Harry is marrying an American, and the love story of a prince falling for an actress is set to spark royal fever Stateside.

INVICTUS GAMES 2017
Barack Obama and Prince Harry watch wheelchair basketball at the Invictus Games in Toronto in 2017 (Danny Lawson/PA Images)

Harry is already a popular figure, having staged his Invictus Games for wounded servicemen and women in Orlando, Florida.
He also struck up a friendship with former US president Barack Obama and ex-First Lady Michelle Obama through his charity work.

The Queen too developed a close connection with the Obamas, with Mr Obama describing her as "truly one of my favourite people".

It was in America, however, that embarrassing photographs of a naked Harry "letting off steam" were taken during a holiday in 2012.

The two pictures, which went viral online, included one of the prince and a woman - both naked - as they played strip billiards in a Las Vegas hotel suite before Harry's deployment to Afghanistan.

Tours by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have gone down well in the US, and their wedding attracted huge interest from the American media.

Royals and Obamas
The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh with President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama in Buckingham Palace in 2011 (Chris Jackson/PA Images)

Sarah, Duchess of York - the ex-wife of the Duke of York, has gushed over how the country gave her a second chance following a spate of controversies, adding: "They have given me my life back, the American people."

The UK's so called special relationship with the US has been called into question since the arrival of President Donald Trump at the White House.

After his shock election triumph, the billionaire rang a slew of other leaders before Prime Minister Theresa May - a move which served as a wake-up call for Downing Street.

Mrs May later offered Mr Trump an early invite for a state visit, but the decision proved controversial - with polls suggesting up to two million people would take to the streets in protests should the trip go ahead. No date has yet been confirmed.

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in California
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were welcomed warmly on a trip to LA (Arthur Edwards/PA Images)

Should Mr Trump travel to the UK for a state visit, it would be expected that newly royal Meghan Markle - as a fellow American - would meet him and join guests at the state banquet.

But the actress has previously been critical, branding him "misogynistic".

Markle, who backed Hillary Clinton for president, suggested in a television interview in 2016 that she would leave America and stay in Canada if Mr Trump won, saying: "We film Suits in Toronto and I might just stay in Canada. I mean come on, if that's reality we are talking about, come on, that is a game changer in terms of how we move in the world here."

She told Larry Wilmore's Nightly Show in the US: "Yes of course Trump is divisive.

"Think about just female voters alone. I think it was in 2012, the Republican Party lost the female vote by 12 points. That's a huge number and with as misogynistic as Trump is and so vocal about it, that's a huge chunk of it."