The U.K. papers today are exploding with pictures of Prince Harry and his New Yorker bride-to-be, Meghan Markle.
Markle, a humanitarian campaigner and lifestyle blogger who succeeded in show business before falling for Harry, will become the next senior member of the British royal family as the wife of one of the monarchy’s currently most popular figures.
The couple posed for photographers on the grounds of Kensington Palace hours after their engagement was announced by Harry’s father, Prince Charles.
Harry, wearing a blue suit and tie, said he was “over the moon.” Asked when he knew Markle was “the one,” he said: “Very first time we met.”
The “sparkling three-stone masterpiece” engagement ring was designed by the prince himself, reports the Evening Standard.
The Prince’s revelation, “I Knew She Was The One,” is the banner headline in the Daily Mail.
In the couple’s first joint interview, Harry says he and Markle hope to some day start a family together.
Markle also said that “as naive as it sounds” she had no idea how intense interest would be in her relationship with the prince. She said the couple faced “a lot of mistruths” and that she had decided not to read any of the press reports about them.
Markle said a focus on her mixed-race heritage was “disheartening.” She is the daughter of a black mother and a white father.
Harry said it’s “not easy for anybody” to join the royal family, but he and his fiancee plan to tackle the future as a team.
Harry, a ‘bad-boy-made-good’ by his devotion to wounded veterans and his embrace of a variety of charitable causes, has been talking about wanting a family for years now, and the rumours of his engagement to Markle have been going around for months.
Their marriage will represent a first-ever blending of Hollywood glamour with royal family. Which has recently seemed more open and less strict in its ways. Now bringing a mixed-race American divorcee tv star into a highly visible royal role.
Harry’s brother, Prince William, and his pregnant wife Kate both welcomed Markle to the royal family.
“We are very excited for Harry and Meghan,” they said in a statement. “It has been wonderful getting to know Meghan and to see how happy she and Harry are together.”
The Prince of Wales is delighted to announce the engagement of Prince Harry to Ms. Meghan Markle. pic.twitter.com/zdaHR4mcY6
— Clarence House (@ClarenceHouse) November 27, 2017
Monday’s announcement said the couple became engaged in London earlier this month and that Harry has informed his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, whose consent is required for him to marry — you thought asking your father-in-law for your girl’s hand in marriage was tough.
The couple plan to live in Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace. Markle, who has lived in Toronto since 2011 while filming U.S. legal drama “Suits,” is reported to have initiated the sometimes time-consuming process of moving her dogs from Canada to Britain. She reportedly recently left the television show, a development that helped fuel the talk of the engagement
Congratulations from the queen and her husband, Prince Philip, and from Prime Minister Theresa May were publicly posted as well, along with Markle’s parents.
Ms. Markle’s parents, Mr. Thomas Markle and Doria Ragland have wished the couple ‘a lifetime of happiness.’ pic.twitter.com/H4kpTgpkYE
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) November 27, 2017
Thomas Markle and Doria Ragland said their daughter “has always been a kind and loving person. To see her with prince Harry, who shares the same qualities, is a source of great joy for us as parents.”
Harry, once known for his dicey antics, including being photographed playing strip billiards in Las Vegas, has largely charmed the British public with his winning smile, his military career and his devotion to charities aimed at helping disabled veterans and other causes.
The 33-year-old prince won the hearts of many with his recent work campaigning for more openness about mental health issues. Speaking openly about his personal struggle to cope with the loss of his mother when he was only 12, he encouraged others to talk about their own problems rather than keeping them bottled up inside.
Markle’s recent Vanity Fair interview in the September issue broke new ground. It is unusual for a royal love interest to speak so publicly, and candidly, before becoming engaged.
It won’t be the first time that a British royal has married an American, or a divorced person. In 1936, Edward VIII famously abdicated after he was forced to choose between the monarchy and his relationship with twice-divorced American socialite Wallis Simpson.