Sorry, ladies, Prince Harry is no longer in the market.
The former British bachelor is going to marry Meghan Markle, a Hollywood actress best known for her role in the popular TV rights drama Suits.
Prince Harry suggested to his wife that she should be at a roast chicken dinner sometime in 2017. However, the couple revealed the news on 27 November 2017, with the wedding to take place on 19 May 2018 in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle in England.
As the impending wedding is the hottest topic on everyone’s lips, here is everything you need to know about Prince Harry’s relationship with Meghan Markle, their meeting, and the Royal Family’s receptivity to his future bride.
How Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Met
Prince Harry first met Markle on a blind date in London in July 2016, when they were introduced by a mutual friend, Markus Anderson. However, various reports say it was Harry’s girlfriend, Violet von Westenholz, who introduced them, while others speculate it was fashion designer Mischa Nonoo.
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The couple revealed that they immediately got along well 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 said in one of his interviews that he had managed to persuade her to come to Botswana to join him where they were camping “under the stars”.
He added: “We were really alone, which was crucial for me to make sure we had a chance to get to know each other.
After a few months of quiet dating, news finally broke that Prince Harry was dating an American actress.
Reaction and First Public Appearance
The 35-year-old prince, who is the fifth in the British succession to the throne, had 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 in social media, with sexist, racist, and defamatory stories being published about her. Meghan is divorced and was allegedly in a relationship with someone else when she and Harry started dating.
This prompted the Prince to defend her by publishing a strongly worded statement first confirming their relationship and then appealing to the public to stop the “wave of abuse and harassment” that had been directed against her, including an unspecified “libel on the front page of a national newspaper.
The couple took some time out of the public eye, only to resurface before Christmas in December 2016. Harry and Markle were photographed shopping for a Christmas tree in London. A few days later, they were seen again walking to an appointment to see the hit play The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
Since then, the two couples have been spotted in each other’s arms, attending family events and meeting different family members.
The Royal Family’s Receptiveness To Meghan Markle
As Prince Harry is an heir to the throne, he is designated by law to receive royal permission to marry under the Crown Succession Act 2013.
Previously, members of the royal family were not allowed to marry divorced persons or commoners, i.e. persons who are not of noble blood. However, this changed with the new law, which only requires the consent of the Queen. If the Queen does not give her consent to the marriage, this will not happen. But luckily for Miss Markle, the queen has given her blessing.
Kensington Palace announced in an official statement announcing the engagement that Harry had “informed Her Majesty, the Queen, and other close family members” before announcing the news to the public. It added that the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh had expressed their joy and given the couple their blessing.
The statement also confirmed that the Prince sought and received the blessing from Meghan’s parents before asking them.
Prince Harry’s father, Prince Charles, and his wife Camilla Parker-Bowles, the Duchess of Cornwall, expressed their joy at the exciting news. In a joint statement, they said they were both delighted.
Harry proposed to Meghan with an engagement ring that he had designed himself. The center stone of the ring was sourced from Botswana, where they went camping together early in their relationship. The ring also contains two diamonds on either side of the center stone which, Harry revealed, came from his mother, Princess Diana’s jewelry collection.
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What Is Next For The Couple?
Meghan Markle has not publicly identified herself with any particular church or religion. Her father is a member of the Episcopal Church of the United States, while her mother allegedly belongs to the Protestant faith. However, she was educated at a Catholic school for girls and was previously married to a Jew.
In order for her to marry Prince Harry, Markle must be baptized before the wedding and confirmed in the Church of England. She has also started the process of becoming a British citizen, retired completely from acting, and deleted all her social media accounts. It is unclear whether she would retain her US citizenship. Kensington Palace has stated that the decision has not yet been made.
If Meghan marries Harry, she will take the title of duchess, just like William’s wife Kate. If Harry ever becomes king, she will take the title of the wife of the queen.