Update (1.30 pm 15th December 2017): The couple will be getting married on Saturday 19th May, Kensington Palace confirmed this afternoon. It follows earlier confirmation of the wedding location of St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle. Clear your diaries and start planning your parties, folks.
Update (4.15 pm 27th November 2017): Sadly, it looks like the British public won't be getting a day off because of the wedding. The government said there are "no plans" for a bank holiday on the day, the Press Association reported.
Original story: Ring the bells, sound the alarm, and cue up the wedding march. Buckingham Palace has finally announced what we’ve long suspected: Prince Harry, he of the royal house of Windsor, and Meghan Markle, she of Suits and humanitarian work, are betrothed. It sounds like something out of a fairytale, wherein an accomplished woman decides to make a princeling her husband (if that fairytale doesn’t exist, it’s because fairytales are actually quite sexist and need to get with the times).
The Prince of Wales tweeted the news in a statement this morning, saying he was "delighted" to announce that the couple "became engaged in London earlier this month." The wedding will take place in Spring next year and "further details about the wedding day will be announced in due course," the statement continued.
"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 statement continued. "The couple will live in Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace."
Kensington Palace also tweeted the news, adding that the couple will have a photo call at Kensington Palace later this afternoon and a broadcast interview with the pair will also air this evening UK time.
Markle's parents, Thomas Markle and Doria Ragland, have also publicly given the couple their blessing, wishing the couple "a lifetime of happiness." Kensington Palace tweeted a statement from Markle and Ragland, in which they said they were "incredibly happy" for the couple. "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."
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge said 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."
It remains unclear where or when Harry proposed (or hey, Meghan could have done the proposing…it’s a brave new world out there). The two reportedly met in Toronto while Harry was there promoting the Invictus Games in 2016. Conflicting reports claim they were introduced via “the well-connected wife of one of his school friends.”
No matter the actual circumstances, their relationship was officially confirmed in November of 2016 after tabloids descended on Markle, her friends, and family members, circling them like vultures desperate for any piece of information about the Suits star. Prince Harry released a statement, which the Kensington Palace Twitter account shared. In it, he expressed concern for “his girlfriend, Meghan Markle,” and her safety in light of what he called “a wave of abuse and harassment” from the media. He criticised the “racial undertones of comment pieces” along with the “outright sexism and racism of social media trolls and web article comments.” His brother, William, also released a statement expressing the same concerns. The palace rarely shares information about the princes’ private lives, so it was clear this relationship was completely genuine.
Harry and Meghan’s courtship developed at a fast clip, with the couple reaching relationship milestones including buying a Christmas tree together, going to the theater, and attending various weddings, including Pippa Middleton’s. Everyone get ready for another royal wedding as we herald soon-to-be-appointed Her Royal Highness Princess Henry of Wales, who told Vanity Fair in the October 2017 issue that "We’re two people who are really happy and in love."
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