Millions will tune in this weekend to watch Prince Harry and Megan Markle's royal wedding, but before these two, the most-watched wedding of all time was the nuptials of Prince Charles and Diana.
WBIR 10News anchor Abby Ham got the chance to sit down with the best-selling author of the controversial "Shadows of a Princess" to discuss his work with the People's Princess and hear his insight into the wedding of her son Prince Harry.
Diana, Princess of Wales, was a humanitarian and a source of so much public interest. And pictured with her on so many occasions was someone you might not recognize: Patrick Jephson.
He was her number one, her personal secretary, her chief of staff.
"So she said, 'Don't go back to the Navy, Patrick, leave the Navy and come and work for me full time,'" says Jephson. "She said, 'And we're going to go conquer the world."
And that they did, but it was during a difficult time in Princess Diana's personal life. Her marriage to Prince Charles was falling apart.
"She discovered new reserves of strength in herself and she found great consolation in her work," says Jephson. "And in turning her unhappiness into a way to relate to other people's unhappiness."
She was a great humanitarian focusing her work on AIDS, mental illness, leprosy.
"She felt a sense of personal affinity with people who were excluded, marginalized, stigmatized," says Jephson. "So her great humanitarian causes were all very daring really."
But above all, she was a mother to two active boys.
"William and Harry were the center of her universe. Wherever we were in the world had to be able to get a phone call back to them because she wanted to phone them at bedtime," says Jephson.
She taught them how to thrive in their very important roles in the royal family.
"She was very, very conscientious and intuitive teaching them the ropes, how to be royal, how to be human, how to be approachable and also to meet people's expectations," says Jephson.
For Harry, though, the expectations aren't quite as high.
"Harry of course is not going to be king. Now that William and Catherine have been blessed with three lovely children, Harry actually goes down the pecking order. He's now number 6 in line to the throne," says Jephson.
Jephson and Princess Diana parted ways the year before she died.
"We couldn't agree really on the next stage of her life so we did not part on good terms," says Jephson. "As time goes on I realize what a huge gap she's left on the world stage and especially in her son's lives and in the whole royal institution. Her charisma, her work ethic, and her extraordinary ability to read the public mood. These were priceless gifts that the royal family lost."
He also shed light on what Prince Harry's bride has waiting for her in Windsor.
Megan Markle is a stunning woman, known to the world as a successful actress and a soon-to-princess. By all accounts, Prince Harry seems taken with this American woman.
"I think seeing young people in love and getting married is a wonderful sight and especially this marriage," says Patrick Jephson.
Jephson served Princess Diana as her equerry or private secretary for 8 years.
He knows the inner workings of royal life well. He also witnessed the personal side of Princess Diana, her role as mother to two young boys.
William who is second in line to the throne and Harry who will never be king.
"This gives him a great freedom and always has ever since he was a little boy. His mother explained to him that William had this destiny, this enormous responsibility," says Jephson. "Harry with his own distinctive brand of royalty he maintains wonderfully his mother's sense of spontaneity, fun and approachability."
And Megan Markle seems to share his sense of humor.
"They are people who have lived a lot already, who have achieved a lot and who have hopefully learned a lot," says Jephson. "There has never been a royal wife like Megan Markle."
She is different, but in a good way.
"The fact that Megan is American, has been divorced, has been a successful humanitarian and a successful actress and businesswoman in her own right, they're all qualifications that are enormously valuable to the royal family. She is a terrific asset," says Jephson.
And she can learn a lot about her role from the reign of Princess Diana.
"To do a Princess' job properly as Diana showed you do have to learn a lot, you have to know your stuff. There's no shortcuts," says Jephson. "Yes, it's a big challenge, a lot of responsibility, a lot of restrictions, but a lot of new freedoms, too.
And this wedding will take place in the most gorgeous setting.
"It's going to be at Windsor Castle which is like a fairy tale idea of a royal castle, it's a beautiful place," says Jephson.