Mulroney takes pride in his kids' 'joyful' wedding performances
Meredith MacLeod, CTVNews.ca
Published Tuesday, May 22, 2018 10:39AM EDT
Ben Mulroney says he and his wife Jessica resorted to months and months of “bribery and mild threatening” in the hopes of good behaviour from their three children who played a big role in Saturday’s wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
But in the days leading up to the ceremony watched by millions around the world “we changed our tune to a more Oprah-themed empowerment: ‘You can do this. And they did,’” Mulroney said on CTV’s Your Morning as he returned to his co-hosting duties Tuesday.
“There had been so much talk about getting it right with the rehearsals and these kids are so young. There was a lot of worry that this wouldn’t get done right, but as you can see, they’re having so much fun with it. And that, to me, was the thing that gave me the most pride was that we didn’t put so much pressure on them that this wasn’t joyful for them.”
The Mulroneys’ daughter Ivy, 4, was a bridesmaid for the ceremony, alongside Princess Charlotte, daughter of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
Twins Brian and John Mulroney, 7, were page boys accompanying Markle in the car to St. George’s Chapel and carrying her long veil up the chapel steps and down the aisle.
Cameras from around the world captured the boys pressed up to the car windows, waving to the crowds with huge smiles. Brian even managed to photobomb images of Markle at the chapel door, with his huge gap-toothed look of excitement. (Both boys are missing their front teeth.)
“I asked him and he said he’d never heard a trumpet before. And I think when he walked in, I think he saw all the people there and the flowers, none of that was there during the rehearsal.”
Mulroney later posted on Instagram a shot of the moment: “Ok, Brian. You’re getting a TV in your room for the summer.”
While millions of TV watchers were seeing their kids in action live, Mulroney said he and his wife didn’t see any of it until they watched videos when they got home because they didn’t have their phones with them in England.
The couple had prime seats in the Quire of the church, seated alongside the Royal Family. Jessica, a stylist, is a close friend of the bride – the new Duchess of Sussex – after the two met in Toronto where Markle filmed the TV series “Suits.”
“I didn’t know this was going to happen,” Mulroney said of his seats. He expected to watch the vows from TV monitors.
“I walked in and they showed me where I was seated and I thought to myself: ‘Well, that can’t be right.’”
Mulroney said he concentrated on not fidgeting, knowing his brothers would “just pile on. So I didn’t move as much I possibly could.”
Mulroney says the event may have come with a lot of pomp and circumstance but “at the heart of it, when you’re in it, you realize that it really is just a wedding between two people who wanted to have family and friends as close as possible…”
He said he found himself “craving the reality of my day to day. It really was like a fantasy.”
While his Your Morning co-hosts peppered him with questions about the behind-the-scenes parties, Mulroney said he wouldn’t reveal much because they were private. No cameras were allowed in and the 200 invited guests could not bring in their phones.
“I can confirm it was a good party,” he said. “It was done so tastefully and so elegantly.”
It is known some guests partied well into the wee hours at Frogmore House.
Mulroney did say he danced with tennis star Serena Williams, who is a “much better dancer than me.”
He said music played included Motown tunes, the “food was simple and delicious; modern twists on classic food” and fireworks set off were “outrageous.”