It’s official — The Prince of Wales, Prince Harry has announced the engagement with Ms. Meghan Markle, with a wedding planned for 2018
The royal and Suits star “became engaged in London earlier this month,” Kensington Palace said via a statement on Twitter this morning. “The wedding will take place in spring 2018. Further details about the wedding day will be announced in due course.”
Ms Markle’s parents, Mr Thomas Markle and Doria Ragland, wished the couple “a lifetime of happiness” via a separate statement on the Kensington Palace social account. A short statement from the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh followed saying the royal family are “delighted for the couple and wish them every happiness.” The Prince of Wales, speaking for himself and The Duchess of Cornwall, also added: “We’re thrilled. We’re both thrilled. We hope they’ll be very happy indeed.”
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge said of the engagement: “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.” The newly-engaged couple will live in Nottingham Cottage, a small royal residence in the grounds of Kensington Palace, which was the Duke and Duchess’s first marital home.
The couple posed for pictures at an official photocall at the Sunken Gardens in the grounds of Kensington Palace at 2pm. The prince spoke briefly to say he was “thrilled” and that it was a “romantic” proposal. Markle, in a white Line wrap coat P.A.R.O.S.H. dress and nude, lace-up, Aquazzura heels, held up her engagement ring, which was designed by the prince and made by Cleave and Company, Court Jewellers and Medallists to the Queen. At its centre sits a diamond from Botswana, a country that holds special significance for the royal, who has visited many times since he was a child and spent time with Markle there over the last year and a half. The gold ring features two outside stones which are diamonds from the personal collection of Diana, Princess of Wales.
The duo met through friends in the summer of 2016 and began quietly dating for months without raising public awareness of their romance. In November of that year, Kensington Palace issued the first official confirmation that the pair were dating, with Prince Harry’s communications secretary Jason Knauf outlining the difficulties Markle had experienced since news of their relationship had broken. Knauf asked the media to relent in the “abuse and harassment” of Markle and said that “a line has been crossed”, before adding, “Prince Harry is worried about Ms Markle’s safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her.”
Markle, who had been previously closely guarded about their relationship, chose to open up about life with the royal in an interview with Vanity Fair in September 2017.
“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. This is for us,” she explained. “It’s part of what makes it so special, that it’s just ours. But we’re happy. Personally, I love a great love story.”
Of the increased media attention she received as their romance gripped the nation, she said: “It has its challenges, and it comes in waves – some days it can feel more challenging than others. And right out of the gate it was surprising the way things changed. But I still have this support system all around me, and, of course, my boyfriend’s support.”
“I can tell you that at the end of the day I think it’s really simple,” she continued. “We’re two people who are really happy and in love. We were very quietly dating for about six months before it became news, and I was working during that whole time, and the only thing that changed was people’s perception. Nothing about me changed. I’m still the same person that I am, and I’ve never defined myself by my relationship.”
The couple made their first public outing at the Invictus Games, which are organised by the prince, in October 2017. Holding hands amongst the crowds, they joined the families of Australian and New Zealand wheelchair tennis players to watch the semi-final from the sidelines.
When asked how he proposed to Markle at the photocall, his fiancé told press, “Save that”. Harry added, “That will come later”. The pair will give a television interview which will be broadcast this evening.