At last it’s confirmed: after months of will they, won’t they/are they, aren’t they, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are engaged. The announcement came from Clarence House on Monday morning and the royal family are delighted (as are we)
Meghan is 36 and has been married once before to film producer Trevor Engleson, while 33-year-old Harry, who is fifth in line to the throne and has always been heralded the fun (sometime a bit naughty) one of the two princes, has been romantically linked to Chelsy Davy and Cressida Bonas. Meghan told Vanity Fair last month: ‘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.
The daughter of a yoga teacher and lighting director, Meghan is an actress and UN advocate for gender equality. Until earlier this year she ran a lifestyle blog, The Tig, ‘for the discerning palate’; the closing page reads: ‘Keep laughing and taking risks, and keep being the “change you wish to see in the world”. Above all, don't ever forget your worth – as I've told you time and time again: you, my sweet friend, you are enough.’
The couple were introduced by a mutual friend for a blind date. ‘I was beautifully surprised when I walked into that room and saw her. I thought I’m really going to have to up my game, sit down and make sure I have good chat,’ says Harry. Luckily for both, the conversation flowed and their meeting led to a second date the very next day. A few weeks later, Meghan flew to Botswana during her next filming break to spend five days with Harry in a tent, camping under the stars – a sure-fire way of getting to know each other – and a whirlwind, long-distance romance ensued. It’s the stuff fairytale love stories are made of.
As they have had to keep the relationship on the DL for some time, Harry and Meghan have spent lots of time at Harry’s cottage in the grounds of Kensington Palace, making dinner and having cosy nights in on the sofa (sounds dreamy!). His advice to all those dating? ‘Maybe slow down on dates and spend more time at home.’ Thanks for that, Hazza – will do!
The ring is beautiful, as one would expect; designed by Harry, it’s a classic yellow-gold style with diamonds, some of which came from Princess Diana’s collection. Prince Harry explained: ‘The ring is obviously yellow gold because that’s her [Meghan’s] favourite, the main stone I sourced from Botswana and the little diamonds either side are from my mother’s jewellery collection, to make sure that she’s with us on this crazy journey together.’ How does he think Princess Diana would have reacted to the engagement? ‘I think she would be over the moon, jumping up and down – so excited for me, but then, as I said, she would have probably been best friends with Meghan. It is days like today when I really miss having her around and miss being able to share the happy news. But, you know, with the ring and with everything else that’s going on, I’m sure she’s with us.’
The gorgeous couple will continue to live in their ‘cosy’ cottage, a self-contained, 1,300-square-foot, two-bedroom home located in the grounds of London’s Kensington Palace, alongside their neighbours William, Kate, George and Charlotte. They will be mostly concentrating on putting their relationship first, keeping hold of as many of those home-cooked dinner and sofa evenings as possible, and looking forward to tying the knot next spring. Our best wishes go out to them. Hurrah for a royal wedding!