Royal matchmaker Lara Asprey introduces newborn son and gives predictions for Harry and Meghan’s future

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Lara Asprey has carved out a very successful career as a love guru to the rich and famous. The 37-year-old is best known for her TV show The Ultimate Matchmaker and advice book The Very British Rules Of Dating.

She also famously tried to find Prince Harry a partner before he met Meghan Markle.

Lara has been busy writing a novel which is a contemporary look at the way we perceive ourselves, to be published later this year, and is also working on a script for a film adaptation of the book.

As well as that, she recently welcomed another baby, so we’re excited to be invited into the home she shares with husband Juan, newborn son Oliver and daughter Elise, three, for our shoot. And it appears her mini-me Elise is already following in Lara’s glamorous footsteps. “Elise is such a girlie girl, so she’s loved being styled for this shoot,” Lara tells us. “A month after giving birth, the last thing you feel is glamorous, so I loved it too!”

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While she was expecting, Lara was looking forward to relocating the family to Chile for investment banker Juan’s job – but the pandemic put plans on hold and they are currently renting in London.

“It was really stressful, at that point all I wanted to do was nest,” she says.

Here, the Windsor-born dating expert opens up on what makes her marriage so strong, going through a traumatic labour and if she thinks the royals will continue to hear the pitter-patter of tiny feet…

Congratulations on adorable Oliver, Lara. How is he doing?

He’s gorgeous. It’s funny because Elise was a really difficult child. She was always crying, hard to settle and wouldn’t sleep. But this one has been a dreamboat.

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Who does he take after most?

At the moment, he looks exactly like his sister did. It’s a bit spooky!

How did you decide on his name?

Juan is Spanish and we wanted a name which didn’t change in Spain, as lots do! I wanted something which is just the same wherever we go. We both felt like Oliver wasn’t a name that changed. It was nice and smart. And a good option, as we’re moving to Chile once the borders open.

Do you speak Spanish as a family?

We speak English and Spanish to Elise. With Oliver, we’re going to make sure he speaks fluent Spanish, as he’ll grow up abroad.

So, you’re moving to Chile…

Yes! We’ve been relocated to Chile because of Juan’s job. We were in the process of moving back in October and even gave up our house here. Then, we realised the borders had shut. So we found this wonderful short-term let. We’re just waiting for the green light to move.

How did you feel when you realised you couldn’t move?

I was heavily pregnant and moving to the other side of the world with a newborn, so it was disconcerting. I wanted to be settled and nesting. In the later stages of the pregnancy, the only thing you really want is to have all your things around and be really comfortable.

How did you find pregnancy?

I had gestational diabetes with both my pregnancies. They found it late with Elise but with Oliver they put me on a plan from the start. It meant no sugar or carbs and taking bloods four times a day. I had to be strict, which is the opposite of what you normally do when pregnant – eat cake and chocolate!

How was the labour?

It was quite the ordeal. I wasn’t expecting it
to be as hard as the first. Everyone says the second is quicker but it took twice as long! Because of the diabetes, I was induced. But it took a few days to work, then the baby was facing the wrong way and they couldn’t turn him. It was complicated getting him out. It was quite traumatic! I try not to think about it.

Was the pandemic an added stress?

It was! He was born on 10 January, which was the time when the death rates were soaring and there were lots of cases at the hospital. With my first pregnancy, they kept me in for a few days after but because of the pandemic it was a quick 24-hour visit – which I was grateful for, because I wanted to be out of there!

Was Juan allowed to be with you?

Not when I was induced. But when you go into labour, that’s when partners are allowed.

Has he been a big support in pregnancies?

Yeah, he’s amazing. He’s really supportive. He’s had a lot on his plate with work, a pregnant wife and trying to get his family abroad. But we’ve become a team and tackle it together.

Did you know you were having a boy?

I did! I always want to know what I’m having. I like knowing because I like to plan.

Are you glad you now have a boy and girl?

It’s lovely having one of each – we couldn’t ask for more!

Would you like a bigger family?

I’ve always said two is a perfect number and we both agree.

What’s life like as a mum-of-two?

A bit hectic. The first month when Oliver was born, we took Elise out of nursery. We didn’t want to risk the newborn [due to Covid-19]. But after a month she was so bored! We sent her back, which has been the best decision as she’s so happy. It’s difficult enough having a newborn with a three-year-old, let alone in the pandemic, when you’re sleep-deprived!

How is Juan taking to having a son?

He’s been surprised about how much he
loved having a girl because she’s very much a daddy’s girl. But he’s delighted to have a boy!

What’s the secret to your happy marriage?

It’s about teamwork and we’ve always worked as a team. As long as you communicate and you’re open, that’s all that matters. And we love each other so much. There’s always arguments when there’s a newborn, you’re tired and irritable. But we come together in the end.

What’s been the biggest challenge in marriage?

There was a time in lockdown where Juan was travelling non-stop. It was difficult. You carry a lot on your shoulders without a husband around. It can be stressful and lonely. But this lockdown has brought us back together again.

Do you have very traditional roles?

Not really. I was always very entrepreneurial, having started my own business, and he’s always been very supportive. We take turns rather than anything. We didn’t marry each other with traditional expectations.

You’re very well connected in royal circles. What did you think of the news that Prince Harry and Meghan are expecting?

It’s wonderful, I’m very excited for them! Especially after their unfortunate miscarriage.

What do you think the future holds for them? Do you think they’ll stay in the US?

I don’t. I think Harry will realise that although he’s left the royal family, he’ll always feel a responsibility to his country to be present and supportive. Relationships have been strained but distance will make the heart grow fonder. Sometimes, it takes having a family to realise how important family is. I think he will reach out and support his own family.

What kind of parents do you think they are?

I think they’re hands-on, especially Meghan. She’s probably read a lot on motherhood and is clued up on how to be an earthy and connected mum. I think she’s all about how to support a child’s upbringing mentally, physically and spiritually. Harry is affectionate, emotional and connected. Having children will bring all that out of him.

Do you think Prince William and Kate could announce another pregnancy soon?

I have a feeling Kate will be pregnant again soon. She’s still young! They are a lovely family. They seem really sweet and happy. It’s very likely we’ll get a fabulous foursome from them.

You run your own business, The Love Company. How have you found working from home?

It’s been a difficult year. Matchmaking has been all about Zoom calls. It’s been a big transition but it’s been good in a way because it’s allowed me to focus on different parts of the business.

What tips would you give your clients to get the best outcome from a virtual date?

Have a drink, don’t let it be like another work call and ask lots of questions!

Do you ever decline prospective clients?

I’ve had so many weird requests! Men tend to be more about physical appearance and age. They have an idea of what they think they deserve because they are wealthy. With women, it’s more about the connection and they tend to have a list. But I do decline people. I’m fussy. If they want someone 20 or 30 years younger, I’m not really into that. Some people come with baggage, they need a psychologist or therapist. If I feel someone is depressed or not stable emotionally, I’ll refer them to someone more qualified to deal with that, rather than sending them on dates which will only exacerbate their feelings.

Would you consider offering advice on a show like Celebs Go Dating?

They did approach me several times but it wasn’t quite the right fit for me in terms of what I’m about and what they’re about.

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