Prince Harry, fifth heir to the throne of thrones, just got engaged to a mixed race Meghan “Sparkle”. Know this – the Palace is about to be lit!!!
Well, it’s official: the wait is over. We can all take a deep breath. Yes, you’re reading the headline correctly: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are engaged.
The pair made the news official on Monday, November 27, in an announcement from Kensington Palace on Twitter. A separate announcement from the Twitter feed of Clarence House, the residence of Prince Charles, confirmed a wedding date in spring of next year, and that Harry had sought and received the blessing of Markle’s parents.
Markle, 36, recently wrapped her seventh, and apparently final, season on USA’s legal series Suits, which shot in Toronto. Moving trucks were reportedly spotted at her Toronto apartment last week, and Markle was photographed in London getting a facial and grocery shopping on Tuesday, which sparked speculation that an engagement announcement might be imminent. Markle is, per reports, now living with Harry, 33, in a cottage at Kensington Palace, and the statement makes clear they will be living together in Nottingham Cottage at the palace.
Harry and Meghan began dating in the spring of 2016, though word of their relationship was not made public until the fall of that same year. Shortly thereafter, Harry – in an unprecedented move for a royal family member – issued a statement asking for the media to give Markle privacy, following the “wave of abuse and harassment” she was receiving in the press.
Though the pair were photographed several times thereafter, they were not seen out at an official engagement together until the Invictus Games in Toronto in September, where they were pictured holding hands, and during one event sitting together in the audience. It was at that point – in such a public venue, and one meaningful to Harry (he created the Invictus Games) – that it seemed clear an engagement was likely in the near future.
In a Vanity Fair cover story in October, Markle said, “I can tell you that at the end of the day I think it’s really simple. We’re two people who are really happy and in love.” Later, she indicated there would be a time down the road when they would share more about their relationship: “We’re a couple. We’re in love. I’m sure there will be a time when we will have to come forward and present ourselves and have stories to tell, but I hope what people will understand is that this is our time.”
The spring 2018 date makes it unclear whether the wedding will fall before or after the April 2018 due date of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s forthcoming third child, who will jump ahead of Prince Harry in the line of succession (making Harry sixth in line). In October, Vanity Fair’s Katie Nicholl reported that June and July had been earmarked for the wedding, and that Harry wanted to be married in St. George’s chapel in Windsor, in a more private ceremony than William and Kate’s.
Markle’s parents – Thomas Markle and Doria Ragland – issued a statement congratulating the couple: “We are incredibly happy for Meghan and Harry. Our daughter has always been a kind and loving person. To see her union with Harry, who shares the same qualities, is a source of great joy for us as parents. We wish them a lifetime of happiness and are very excited for their future together.”
Kate and William also shared their enthusiasm over the news in their own statement: “We are very excited for Harry and Meghan. It has been wonderful getting to know Meghan and to see how happy she and Harry are together.” Buckingham Palace said in a statement that the Queen and Prince Philip are “delighted for the couple and wish them every happiness.”
It is believed that the Queen met Markle last month over tea at Buckingham Palace. Per royal-family stipulations, the Queen had to approve the Markle-Harry engagement, as she does for any member up through the fifth in line to the throne.
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