Sorry ladies, Prince Harry is off the market.
The soon to be former Britain’s most eligible bachelor is set to marry Meghan Markle, a Hollywood actress best known for her role in the popular television legal drama Suits.
Prince Harry proposed to his wife to be over a dinner of roast chicken sometime in 2017. The couple, however, revealed the news on 27 November 2017, with the wedding due to take place on 19 May 2018 at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle in England.
With the impending nuptials being the hottest topic on the lips of everybody, here is all you need to know about Prince Harry’s relationship with Meghan Markle, how they met, and the royal family’s receptiveness to his future bride.
How Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Met
Prince Harry met Markle for the first time on a blind date in London in July 2016, when they were introduced by a mutual friend, Markus Anderson. Different reports, however, say it is Harry’s friend Violet von Westenholz who introduced them, while others speculate it is fashion designer Mischa Nonoo.
The couple revealed that they hit it off immediately and decided to make plans to see each other after that date. Their second date was a trip to Africa about three or four weeks later. Prince Harry, in one of his interviews, said he managed to persuade her to join him in Botswana where they camped “under the stars”.
He added: “We were really by ourselves, which was crucial to me to make sure that we had a chance to get to know each other.”
After a few months of quiet dating, news finally broke out that Prince Harry was dating an American actress.
Reaction and First Public Appearance
The 35-year-old prince, who is the fifth in the line of succession to the British throne, made his first public appearance with Meghan in September 2016, at the opening ceremony of the international Invictus Games in Toronto, Canada.
Following the event, Meghan became a victim of abuse on social media with sexist, racist, and defamatory stories being published about her. Meghan is a divorcee and was supposedly in a relationship with someone else when she and Harry began seeing each other.
This prompted the prince to come to her defence by releasing a heavily worded statement, first confirming their relationship, and then pleading with the public to stop the “wave of abuse and harassment” that had been directed at her, including an unspecified “smear on the front page of a national newspaper”.
The couple took some time off the public eye, only to reappear again before Christmas in December 2016. Harry and Markle were pictured shopping for a Christmas tree in London. A few days later, they were spotted again going on a date to see the hit play; The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
Since then, the couple have been spotted by each other’s arm, attending family events and getting to meet different family members.
The Royal Family’s Receptiveness To Meghan Markle
With Prince Harry being an heir to the throne, he is determined by law to obtain royal permission to marry under the Succession to the Crown Act 2013.
Previously, royal family members were not allowed to marry divorcees or commoners, i.e. anyone not of noble blood. That, however, changed with the new law which will only require the Queen’s approval. If the Queen does not approve of the marriage, it will not happen. But luckily for Miss Markle, the Queen has given her blessings.
Kensington Palace, in an official statement announcing the engagement, revealed that Harry had “informed Her Majesty, The Queen and other close members of his family” before revealing the news to the public. It added that The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh expressed their delight and had given the couple their blessings.
The statement also confirmed that the Prince sought and received the blessing of Meghan’s parents before asking her.
Prince Harry’s father, Prince Charles, and his wife Camilla Parker-Bowles, the Duchess of Cornwall, expressed their happiness at the exciting news. They said, in a joint statement, that they were both thrilled.
Read Also: Princess Diana’s Death; Fast Facts
Harry proposed to Meghan with an engagement ring which he designed himself. The center stone of the ring was gotten from Botswana, where they went camping together early in their relationship. The ring also includes two diamonds on either side of the centerpiece, which Harry revealed were from his mother, Princess Diana’s jewelry collection.
What Is Next For The Couple?
Meghan Markle has not publicly identified herself with a particular church or religion. Her father is a member of the Episcopal Church of the United States while her mother is reportedly a member of the Protestant faith. She was, however, educated at an all girls catholic school and was previously married to a Jew.
For her to wed Prince Harry, Markle will have to be baptized and confirmed into the Church of England before the wedding. She has also begun the process of becoming a British citizen and has fully retired from acting and deleted all her social media accounts. It is unclear whether she would retain her US citizenship. Kensington Palace has said that the decision had not yet been made.
When Meghan marries Harry, she will take the title of Duchess, just like William’s wife, Kate. If Harry ever gets to become King, she will take the title of Queen consort.