Meghan Markle hails 'amazing' Wales during royal visit with Prince Harry
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry drove Wales wild during a visit to the nation's capital - and were left amazed by the welcome from their hosts.
Hundreds braved the cold to catch a glimpse of Harry and his bride-to-be who arrived at Cardiff Castle an hour late after train delays, but were quickly forgiven by the crowds.
The American actress revealed she was making her first trip to Wales and described the experience to one well-wisher as "amazing".
As they shook outstretched hands during a walkabout in the castle grounds, the prince repeatedly apologised saying "sorry we're late" while the US actress echoed his words, saying: "I'm so sorry."
Harry and his fiancee, who wore a coat by Stella McCartney and trousers by Welsh brand Hiut Denim, responded to the enthusiasm of the crowds by posing for pictures, collecting gifts - and Ms Markle even accepted an offer to stage her hen-do in the nightclubs of Cardiff.
The couple embraced all things Welsh, warmly accepting a carved wooden Welsh love spoon - a gift from the people of Wales and presented by their namesakes Megan Taylor, nine, and six-year-old Harry Smith - and tried a Welsh cake which left Ms Markle saying "Wow, it's great".
When Harry first arrived at the castle he clasped his hands together in front of him as if praying, in a sign of forgiveness, as he was greeted by Morfudd Meredith, the Lord-Lieutenant of South Glamorgan, and said "sorry" for being late.
Linda Thompson, 66, from the town of Dinas Powys, just outside Cardiff said after chatting to the prince: "I said to Harry good choice of bride and he said 'would you prefer a Welsh lady?' and I said 'no she's beautiful'."
Self confessed royal fanatic Cynthia Osborne, from Bridgend, presented Kate with a posy of daffodils, the national flower of Wales.
The retired nurse, aged in her 60s, said: "Meghan said 'it's lovely to be in Wales' I asked to see her engagement ring and she held it out and said 'I'm such a lucky lady'. I told her to come back to Wales."
Linda Nubert, 67, a retired civil servant, said: "I said, 'Hello Meghan, welcome to Cardiff, Wales.' She said, 'It's my first time in Wales.' She said she thought it was amazing, and was really excited to be here."
Ms Markle received her hen-do invitation from royal superfans Anne and Judy Daley, who were holding a balloon printed with the words Happy Engagement.
Anne Daley, who had brought her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel - named Camilla - to meet the couple, said: "I asked her if she would like to come on a hen night around the nightspots of Cardiff, and she said she'd love to."
Harry and his fiancee travelled to Cardiff by train from London but were delayed because of a track fault between the west London suburb of Southall and Slough, Network Rail said.
Inside the sumptuous setting of Cardiff Castle - a Victorian creation of medieval splendour - the couple toured a Welsh culture festival and concluded with a Taste of Wales experience where they enjoyed slices of Welsh cheese and of course, Welsh cakes.Before Enlli Pugh, of Eryri Young Farmers Club, sang a Welsh love song to the couple, Harry told his fiancee: "You are only going to hear the best singing in Wales.
"At the Principality Stadium we have the best singing. People are in tune, which you can't say for most football stadiums."
Later, hundreds of well-wishers lined the street outside the Star Hub, in the Tremorfa area of Cardiff, and cheered and screamed as they welcomed Harry and his fiancee to the community and leisure centre.
The Prince and Ms Markle were visiting the Star Hub to see how sport is being used to engage young people and aid social development.
During their visit Ms Markle praised a group of youngsters after they performed a routine in a dance studio telling them: "Wow guys, well done. Such good dancers. It was amazing, guys that was so cool.
"We are so pleased to be here. We love the fact you guys do this every day. Oh my God, you guys are so sweet."