Before he met Meghan, Prince Harry’s diet was typical of a young bachelor. He’s been seen in a branch of Byron Burger just down the road from Kensington Palace (where a single burger without chips is a hefty 700 calories), and he’s also been spotted in a local pizzeria Bunga Bunga and at high-end jerk chicken restaurant Rum Kitchen in Notting Hill.
He’s also partial to fast food: old Army colleagues say he ‘lived off Kentucky Fried Chicken’ and he’s been seen carrying boxes from McDonald’s. He also liked to drink beer.
Indeed, once Harry was so uninterested in healthy food he barely shopped for himself — William who lives close to his home in the grounds of Kensington Palace, complained that he would raid his fridge.
What a change, then, his new wedding diet is — on the ‘clean eating’ regime inspired by Meghan Markle he has lost more than half a stone and is cutting a svelte figure.
Harry, pictured left in 2016 and right last week, has a new slimline look for the royal wedding
As Meghan herself once said (rather tellingly): ‘Surround yourself with people who live a healthy lifestyle — it rubs off.’
Meghan — who tries to eat only vegan food during the week and drinks alcohol in moderation — is weaning Harry off meat as well as processed foods and introducing healthy, organic alternatives — with his blessing. He has cut down on his drinking, too, as well as giving up smoking.
For breakfast, a source says that Meghan enjoys muesli and a sliced banana, topped with agave syrup, or an egg white omelette with fresh herbs, and lunches are light: fresh seafood and crunchy salads. An afternoon snack is often an apple with sea salt and nut butter.
The couple prefer early dinners — pasta with courgette and Parmesan is a staple.
Other favourite recipes of Meghan’s include poached pears in spiced orange juice, kale salad with a honey dressing, and eggs baked inside an avocado.
The fridge is usually stocked with hummus, carrots, almond milk, and Meghan is a fan of supplements — she’s previously said she takes magnesium, B-12, and a multivitamin daily.
The couple have also bought a top-of-the-range juicer (she’s a fan of the Vitamix brand, which costs £500) and she has him on fruit and veg smoothies — a favourite of Meghan’s is a blend of apple, kale, spinach, lemon and ginger — and she also adores coconut water.
Harry is taking the regime so seriously he is even said to be working with nutritionist and ex-model Gabriela Peacock, who recommends a regime low in sugar, high in protein, and free of dairy.
Peacock has also formulated a line of nutritional supplements targeting everything from immunity to sleep.
The expert, who is a big fan of antioxidant-packed berries, has been known to fine-tune the diets of many English public figures (even rumoured to include Princess Eugenie).
Prince Harry is pictured eating a burger next to his brother William at a rugby match in 2005
Instead of fast food, favourite night-out restaurants for the royal couple now include high-end Italian Bocca di Lupo and the Dean Street Townhouse — which has an entire vegetarian menu. Harry’s also started shopping for himself, and has been stocking up on healthy options at a posh Kensington supermarket.
According to insiders: ‘Most of the time, Harry whizzes round the supermarket unnoticed, but sometimes when he goes, which is normally during the day while its quieter, you see people’s jaws drop as he saunters past with his baseball cap pulled firmly down.
‘His security is always very low-key. He is also incredibly chivalrous, particularly with the older customers, and always asks them to go first.’
However, sources say that he is allowed the odd day off from this diet of healthy food: apparently the couple love to relax on their sofa after a hard day with a bowl of twice-cooked chips.
FROM ARMY GYM TO THE YOGA MAT
As A former soldier, Harry is undoubtedly used to working hard in the gym.
But even if you have served your country in Afghanistan, Meghan’s self-discipline is hard to match.
A fitness fanatic, she is said to love running circuits around Kensington Palace Green, where she is protected from sightseers by a newly-planted screen of hedgerow.
Harry, meanwhile, has been spotted making regular 7am work-out visits to get in shape for his morning suit.
His trendy Chelsea gym — which costs £575-a-month — offers fat-burning smoothies, bespoke diet plans and five different types of yoga, along with heavy-duty weight-lifting and boxing — and Meghan’s been known to go with him. However, it is Meghan’s lifelong love of yoga — thanks to her yoga teacher mum Doria — which Harry finds hard to match, as she is exceptionally supple.
He is said to join her every morning on the mat for a vigorous routine — much to the amusement of his friends.
SUDDENLY, HE’S A SNAPPY DRESSER
For most of his adult pre-Meghan life, Prince Harry had a functional wardrobe that was more of a Sloane uniform — typical of a man who had been to an all-boys boarding school followed by the masculine environment of the Army — than a style statement.
Off duty he was most often seen in loose-fitting khakis or denim jeans and plaid shirts or sports tops from outdoor brands such as Columbia.
For official engagements, he relied on traditional overcoats, oversized rectangular jackets and chinos that would have been more suited to a man twice his age, sometimes interspersed with a Savile Row suit.
For most of his adult pre-Meghan life, Prince Harry had a functional wardrobe, most often seen in loose-fitting khakis or denim jeans and plaid shirts or sports tops (here in 2014)
Now under Meghan’s guidance, Harry goes for sharper suits which give him a more flattering silhouette and make the most of his 6ft 1in gym-honed physique
In fact, his interest in clothes was so minimal he was once revealed to be wearing a pair of ‘three for £5’ Dunlop sports socks under his suit at a reception at St James’s Palace in 2015.
Now under Meghan’s guidance, he goes for sharper suits which give him a more flattering silhouette and make the most of his 6ft 1in gym-honed physique.
The pair also like to colour co-ordinate their outfits — and rely on a neutral palette of navy, black, beige and olive.
For a visit to Birmingham, Meghan was in a navy coat with a white trim from J.Crew, while Harry’s own navy coat, white shirt and beige pullover provided the perfect complement.
And at the Stephen Lawrence Memorial last week Prince Harry wore an almost black suit with a crisp white shirt which teamed beautifully with Meghan’s Hugo Boss black dress with white fleck.
Meghan’s monochrome wardrobe and stylish coats have wowed the British public since she became engaged, and she has even introduced her Prince to one of her favourite Canadian designers, trendy Club Monaco.
Meghan was introduced to the label by her stylist friend Jessica Mulroney while working on the TV drama Suits in Toronto. Harry wore one of the Canadian’s coats — a grey wool three-quarter-length number on a visit to Scotland in February with his fiancée.
THE BEARD’S GONE METROSEXUAL
When Harry returned to the UK hirsute in 2013 after a charity trek to the South Pole, the Queen was said to feel it was a look not suitable for royal duties. Under Meghan’s direction, Harry’s beard seems gradually to have become less rugged and earthy, and more metrosexual. In the weeks before his wedding, the Prince has adopted Hollywood-style grooming to match his fiancee’s rigorous attention to her appearance.
Under Meghan’s direction, Harry’s beard seems gradually to have become less rugged and earthy, and more metrosexual, to match his fiancee’s rigorous attention to her appearance
His hair, which he once let grow longer and curlier, has also recently become more tamed.
He’s using a pomade to create a soft texture, which helps keep his hair looking good all day.
CURLING UP WITH A BOX SET OF DVDs
As HE turned 30, the party prince was still twerking in clubs and smoking from shisha pipes in a candid shot which showed a more fun-loving side to the Windsors.
Now, he is found spending cosy nights in with Meghan in their quaint two-bedroom home in the grounds of Kensington Palace, after she moved in last November. The pair occasionally go out to private dinners at the homes of friends, many of whom have already started families. Friends says Meghan has certainly had a steadying influence — but one Harry is happy to accept now he is approaching his mid-30s and wants to start a family.
Most evenings, however, the couple are happy to curl up with a home-cooked meal and a box set.
HE’S TALKING IN ‘THERAPY-SPEAK’
in 2017 Harry first disclosed that he sought counselling after suffering two years of ‘total chaos’ in his late 20s to come to terms with his mother’s death.
The Prince had turned to counsellors and even took up boxing to deal with his feelings. In true therapy-speak, he added he was now in ‘a good place’.
But although their relationship was not quite official, it was hard not to spot the influence of Meghan in this openness.
After all, Meghan had embraced the self-help culture of California, in part thanks to her social worker and ‘yoga therapist’ mother, Doria Ragland. Until her relationship with Harry got more serious, Meghan ran a glossy lifestyle blog, The Tig, and frequently posted ‘inspirational’ messages on her social media accounts — often advocating openess and self-love.
And friends say Harry’s future bride has had a profound influence on his willingness to help others. One says: ‘He has got a lot more serious. He is more caught up in his work, a little fun-loving, but like Meghan, believes he can make a change to the world.’
QUENTIN LETTS: Why can’t women resist trying to change us? Meghan shouldn’t mess with the winning formula that is a rugged Prince Harry
Some say ‘it’ll never last’, and I agree. Prince Harry’s diet, that is. His marriage to lovely Meghan will last a lifetime —provided she does not keep trying to change him.
Before a wedding, it is not unusual for the man to lose weight. All that nagging from the family and in-laws. The women peck-peck-peck at the blushing bridegroom-to-be about all sorts of arrangements. The stress can put him off his nosebag.
There are four strands to the psychology. First, Harry will want to look lean for his wedding snapshots, aware they will define him for years.
Second, HRH adores his fiancee and wants to make her happy. If that means glugging back foul vegetable-and-vitamin juice concoctions over the breakfast table — ‘down the drainpipe with it, Capt Wales, for Queen and country!’ — so be it, even if they make his eyes bulge like autumn onions and give him frightful wind.
Third — I speak from personal experience — our hero possibly did not much enjoy the subtle tutting when the tailor took his measurements for the morning-coat. ‘Tsk-tsk, been at the biscuit barrel, sir?’
For Harry, reared on nursery food and Army canteen grub, nutritional self-denial may not come easily. But it is trumped by the fourth psychological element: male project completion.
Set us blokes a goal and we think of little else. A wedding becomes our Target. If ex- cavalry officer Harry is approaching it with the single-mindedness of a soldier preparing for Helmand Province, that is only in character.
But, dear Meghan, please don’t take it badly if, soon after the wedding, your new husband falters in his devotion to LA-style ‘clean eating’. A British prince, head over hooves in love and peeled away from his Mahiki muckers for a few months, may temporarily forego his old rations.
To win the actress of his dreams, he may briefly abjure a Full English washed down with HP Sauce and a half-pint of sugared ‘brew’, as he calls tea. (Confusingly, when his more disreputable friends say ‘more tea, vicar?’ they mean ‘do you want another pint of beer?’ Harry may have forsaken real ale during his engagement, but no betting person would have confidence in him remaining abstemious on the honeymoon.)
Anyway, why change him? The reason Harry is so popular is that he has an appetite for life — and that must be true for Meghan, too. You fell for him the way he was, Meghan? Don’t change a winning formula.
Harry has a delicious enthusiasm for life in all its gravy. We don’t want him slender and shrewd. A skinny Harry would be like a deflated lilo. He is a figure of beef-Wellington gusto, not raw celery and boiled coley.
The U.S. TV star in Meghan may still preach the virtues of avocado-with-everything veganism, but British life may yet change her. And once Harry knows that ring is secure on his true love’s finger, the pressure will abate.
When his old pals wave a toad-in-the-hole under his face, his nose will twitch like the bulldog in Tom And Jerry, and he will yowl and howl until he is allowed to have some proper trough.