The British Crown announced the engagement of Prince Harry to his girlfriend, American actress Meghan Markle, this morning, confirming longtime rumors the pair was headed to the altar. In a statement, Prince Charles said he was “thrilled to announce” the engagement, for which Harry had “received the blessing of Ms. Markle’s parents.” Queen Elizabeth has been informed. The two were reportedly secretly engaged in London several weeks ago.
The two just made their first official appearance. Markle’s ring has three stones, one from Botswana where the couple recently traveled together, and two from Harry’s mother Diana’s collection.
— GotaFashion (@gota_fashion) November 27, 2017
The Prince of Wales is delighted to announce the engagement of Prince Harry to Ms. Meghan Markle. pic.twitter.com/zdaHR4mcY6
— The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall (@ClarenceHouse) November 27, 2017
1. Britain Has Royalty
Let’s get this out of the way. Some Americans are under the mistaken impression that we fought a war so we don’t have to care about these British bluebloods and their odd traditions. Sure, we have that option. But the better spoils of the Revolutionary War are that we get the freedom to care about these British bluebloods and their odd traditions, but we don’t have to subsidize or bow to them.
This is good, clean fun that free, secure Americans can indulge in without shame. Especially now that the younger generation of royals seems both genuinely likable and to genuinely like each other, all the more fun.
2. She’s Best Known For Her Role In ‘Suits’
Markle plays Rachel Zane in the legal drama “Suits.” Zane is a sharp paralegal aiming to become a high-powered lawyer when the show begins, before copious romance and secrets ensue, as they often do in high-powered law offices that employ only the stunningly beautiful.
Her racy sex scenes on the show have earned attention and commentary in British press, and she has acknowledged them in public since she started dating Harry, saying it “seem[s] weird now” that this new kind of spotlight is on her. Markle has kept a very low profile while dating Harry, shutting down much of her formerly active social media this year and successfully keeping out of sights of paparazzi. The couple will do an official photoshoot and TV interview today.
3. She Hangs With Canadian ‘Royalty,’ Which Is How She Met Harry
The Los Angeles native has lived in Toronto since “Suits” started filming in 2011. She settled into the social scene there, spending time with Ben and Jessica Mulroney, one of the country’s most prominent couples. Ben is a TV host and son of a former prime minister, and Jessica is an adviser and friend to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s wife, Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau. One of Markle’s best friends is Markus Anderson, the global membership director for the elite social club Soho House. Anderson reportedly introduced her to Harry, who is a member of the Soho House in London.
The couple made their public debut at the Invictus Games in Toronto in September, and were photographed holding hands and caught kissing in a VIP booth. Markle’s mother also flew in for the event, fueling rumors of the seriousness of the relationship.
4. She’s Older Than Him, Divorced, and American
Harry’s pick, though he is far down the line of succession, is not without controversy. Markle is an American actress, whose parents are a psychotherapist and respected lighting director in L.A. She was married in 2011 to actor and producer Trevor Engelson, but the two divorced in 2013. Markle, 36, is three years Harry’s senior. Some snobs will tell you this is terrible. I say live your life, Harry.
To be fair, the last time a divorced American got too close to the line of succession, it didn’t go so well for the Crown. But I’m rooting for them.
5. But Kensington Palace Stuck Up For Her Publicly in 2016
When some reporting in the British press referenced Markle’s racial heritage— her father is white and her mother African-American— Harry released a rare official statement condemning her “abuse and harassment” at the hands of paparazzi and “outright sexist and racist” coverage of her. Kensington Palace’s official Twitter account distributed the statement.
“It is not right that a few months into a relationship with him, Ms. Markle should be subjected to such a storm,” the statement from his communications director read. “He knows commentators will say ‘this is the price she has to pay,’ and that ‘this is all part of the game.’ He strongly disagrees. This is not a game. It is her life and his.
Kensington Palace has issued a statement this morning about the harassment currently being experienced by Meghan Markle and her family. pic.twitter.com/EuFZ4fmUIj
— The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (@KensingtonRoyal) November 8, 2016
6. The Queen May Not Be Able To Attend the Wedding But Allowed The Engagement
The Queen had to okay the engagement, under British law. She has apparently done so despite the fact that Markle’s divorced status means the royal matriarch may not be able to attend the wedding of her youngest grandson. However, Markle reportedly met the queen in September, though Kensington Palace did not confirm, and the couple plans to live in Nottingham Cottage, on the grounds of Kensington Palace, once married. The two-bedroom cottage was once Kate and William’s home.
7. The Wedding Is Set for Spring 2018
Duchess Kate and Prince William are expecting their third child around April of 2018, so the royals will be juggling plenty next year.