The countdown is on for the nuptials of the year — there are just five days to go until Meghan Markle ties the knot with Prince Harry in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle on Saturday (19 May 2018).

And while she may have a few more pressing issues on the top of her to-do list (finalising the table plan? Meeting and greeting her family as they arrive in the UK?),  if we could have just five minutes with Meghan, this is what we’d want to tell her…

1. Don’t try and bluff your way with The Queen when it comes to horses. If broodmares and damsires are being bandied around and you’re wondering if Her Majesty has switched to speaking Gaelic without telling you, politely change the subject. Sharpish.

2. Contrary to reports in the national papers, your husband-to-be’s cousin Zara Tindall is an eventer not a showjumper. Don’t mention the Rio Olympics (she missed out on a place on the team), but fire away with London 2012. (It was a team silver medal for the record…)

3. Royal Ascot is not the time to prove your credentials as the sassier Duchess. Punters in the Royal Enclosure are threatened with the issuing of a cheap Pashmina to cover their knees and over-exposed shoulders… And if faced with an awkward silence with your husband’s grandmother in the paddock, “tell me about Estimate…” should get the ball rolling.

4. Last week’s Royal Windsor Horse Show (9-13 May) may have passed you by — but swotting up on the Highlands (ponies that is) could give you an easy conversation starter…

5. Once you are part of the ‘Firm’, you will be required to interact with equines of all shapes and sizes while the cameras roll. Stay near the head end and keep your thumb in if you decide to feed them something. But you already know about that… (See picture above).

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6. A quick run down of the polo rulebook will mean weekends from May to September make a whole lot more sense. Champagne can only help you so much. But the good news? Chukkas only last seven minutes.

7. However desperate you are for conversation over Christmas, resist the temptation to coo too heavily over Dartmoor ponies when you’re in the company of Princess Anne…

8. We’re afraid your children will learn to ride. Even if it means being dragged around Sandringham on a Shetland in tears, it’s likely they will be riding well before they can walk.

9. Feeling out of your depth? It’s widely reported that Kate Middleton is allergic to horses, so you’re already galloping ahead in this department…

Don’t miss this week’s issue of Horse & Hound magazine (17 May 2018) where we take a closer look at the horses who will be escorting Harry and Meghan on their wedding day

For all the latest equestrian news and reports don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday