The world’s most eligible bachelor is officially off the market! Prince Harry has announced his engagement to American actress Meghan Markle, who is best known for her role on the legal drama Suits on November 27. Kensington Palace released the statement regarding the Prince and the 36-year-old TV star’s engagement. It read: “His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales is delighted to announce the engagement of Prince Harry to Ms. Meghan Markle. The wedding will take place in Spring 2018. Further details about the wedding day will be announced in due course."
The statement continued: "His Royal Highness and Ms. Markle became engaged in London earlier this month. Prince Harry has informed Her Majesty the Queen and other close members of his family. Prince Harry has also sought and received the blessing of Ms. Markle’s parents. The couple will live in Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace."
VIEW GALLERY Harry and Meghan, who began dating in 2016, are officially engaged Photo: Karwai Tang/WireImage
In fact, the California-natives parents Thomas Markle and Doria Ragland released their own statement that read: "We are incredibly happy for Meghan and Harry. Our daughter has always been a kind and loving person. To see her union with Harry, who shares the same qualities, is a source of great joy for us as parents." Prince William and Kate also sent well-wishes to the couple, and their statement read: "We are very excited for Harry and Meghan. It has been wonderful getting to know Meghan and to see how happy she and Harry are together."
Royal watchers had been speculating for months when Harry would pop the question to his girlfriend of over one year, especially after it was reported that the British royal took his girlfriend to have tea with his grandmother Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace. It was reported earlier this week that Meghan moved out of her Toronto home to relocate to the United Kingdom. The star reunited with Harry in mid-November in London after her Suits stand-in, Nicky Bursic, appeared to confirm the news that she was leaving the drama series by posting a goodbye message on Instagram.
VIEW GALLERY The couple made their first official joint appearance in September 2016 Photo: Karwai Tang/WireImage
Meghan, who began dating Harry in the summer of 2016, broke her silence on her high-profile romance speaking openly to Vanity Fair’s October issue about her relationship with Harry. "We're two people who are really happy and in love,” she said. “I'm sure there will be a time when we will have to come forward and present ourselves and have stories to tell, but I hope what people will understand is that this is our time.”
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Princess Diana’s youngest son and the actress have gone the extra mile to make their transatlantic relationship work, jetting between Harry's hometown of London and Meghan's base of Toronto to see each other as often as they can. They've enjoyed secret holidays, attended high-society weddings, including Pippa Middleton's lavish reception, and have largely managed to fly under the radar.
But there have been signs – some subtle and others not so subtle – that pointed to Meghan preparing for a royal life. In April, the actress shut down her lifestyle blog The Tig, which focused on food, travel, beauty and fashion. A week later, Meghan also ended her role as ambassador to Canadian clothing company Reitmans. Personal blogs and endorsement deals are not deemed appropriate for royals, as they focus their time on carrying out official duties on behalf of Her Majesty. Meghan has also kept a lower profile on social media and has noticeably been posting less and less on her Instagram account, which boasts 1.6 million followers since she became a royal girlfriend.
VIEW GALLERY The couple shared their first public kiss on May 7 during a charity polo match Photo: 2017 REX Shutterstock /The Grosby Group
Harry and the Hollywood star have also been taking gradual steps to go public. In January, they attended the wedding of Harry's best friend Tom Inskip in Jamaica, where Meghan was introduced to many members of Harry's inner circle. In May, they were also pictured kissing at the Audi Polo Cup Challenge at Coworth Park in Ascot. It was the first time that Harry had taken his girlfriend to a public event and he didn't seem to care who was watching as he embraced his other half. The pair made their first official appearance together in September during the Toronto Invictus Games, breaking royal protocol holding hands.
It was clear from the very start that Harry was serious about Meghan. Just a couple of months into their relationship, the Prince released a heartfelt and lengthy statement via Kensington Palace, asking for privacy for himself and Meghan. He said he was "worried" and "deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect" the actress from harassment, "sexism and racism.” The very public statement was a rare move for the Prince, who is clearly head over heels in love with his girlfriend. Meghan was previously married to producer Trevor Engelson. The couple tied the knot in 2011 and split two years later.