Congratulations to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who announced their engagement today. The press has been camped out at Kensington Palace since last week, and Theresa May reportedly cleared her diary for the news on Thursday, but the couple left the world waiting over the weekend to break the happy news. Now it’s officially happening, thoughts have turned to the next big royal wedding – here’s everything we know so far:
About Meghan Markle...
She’s a 36-year-old American actress, model and humanitarian. Meghan is best-known for her role as Rachel Zane in the popular legal drama, Suits – the show has spanned seven seasons so far (although the seventh season will be Meghan’s last). She’s of Dutch, Irish and African-American descent – her mother is a psychotherapist and yoga teacher and her dad is an award-winning lighting director who worked on the show Married… with Children. She grew up in Hollywood, where she was privately educated, before reading theatre studies at Northwestern University and completing a bachelor’s degree in theatre and international studies.
How did her and Prince Harry meet?
Harry and Meghan’s 16-month whirlwind romance begun in July 2016 when they were introduced through mutual friends in London.
When did they start dating?
While the couple started dating shortly after meeting in 2016, their relationship has been kept firmly under wraps. They’ve been photographed together since December 2016, but the 33-year-old Prince waited until September 2017 to make his official public debut with Meghan at the Invictus Games in Toronto, and their relationship was only confirmed by Kensington Palace this November after months of speculation.
So, when’s the wedding?
According to the official engagement announcement from Clarence House, the wedding will take place in Spring 2018 and further details about the wedding day will be “announced in due course”.
What will Meghan’s title be?
She won’t be known as ‘Princess Meghan’ – even though she technically will be a princess, ‘HRH Princess Henry of Wales’ to be exact. However, it has become tradition for the Queen to grants her sons the title of Duke once they marry – as she also did for Prince William so it is being speculated she will do the same for Harry. If this happens, it's predicted Harry will be named Duke of Sussex, making Meghan the Duchess of Sussex.
Where will she and Harry live?
The couple will live together in Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace. It has been reported Meghan is already in the process of moving her belongings and dogs to London from Toronto.
Has she met the Queen?
It was reported Meghan first met the Queen in September at Balmoral, shortly after she and Harry returned from a safari holiday in Botswana and Zambia. Last month, the couple went for tea with the Queen at Buckingham Palace, which it is thought might have been Harry seeking her blessing for their engagement. Today a Buckingham Palace spokesman said The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh are “delighted for the couple and wish them every happiness” .
And Will & Kate....
Following the engagement news today, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge released a statement saying they were “very excited for Harry and Meghan”, adding: “It has been wonderful getting to know Meghan and to see how happy she and Harry are together.”
Anything else to know?
Meghan has been married before – she dated actor and producer Trevor Engelson between 2003 and 2013, marrying him in 2011 and divorcing in August 2013.
We also better start preparing for the ‘Meghan Markle Effect’ – she designed her first ever fashion line for affordable Canadian retailer Reitmans earlier this year, which was an instant sell-out. The Aritzia dress she wore to the 2017 Invictus Games flew off the shelves too, as soon as she was pictured wearing it.