Following months of speculation, on November 27, Clarence House confirmed Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's engagement.
The couple, who started dating in 2016, met in Toronto, Canada while Harry was promoting the Invictus Games. The details of how they were introduced are unclear, but according to sources close to both Harry and Meghan, they "fitted in right away." The pair kept their relationship under wraps for a while before making it known to the public.
"We were very quietly dating for about six months before it became news, and I was working during that whole time, and the only thing that changed was people’s perception," the actress told Vanity Fair.
Unfortunately, not everyone was supportive of their relationship, and six months into it, the Palace and Prince Harry were forced to release a statement to address the hostile and racist comments.
"Some of [the drama] has been hidden from the public—the nightly legal battles to keep defamatory stories out of papers; her mother having to struggle past photographers in order to get to her front door; the attempts of reporters and photographers to gain illegal entry to her home and the calls to police that followed; the substantial bribes offered by papers to her ex-boyfriend; the bombardment of nearly every friend, co-worker, and loved one in her life," read the statement.
"It is not right, that a few months into a relationship with him that Ms. Markle should be subjected to such a storm," it continued. "He knows commentators will say this is 'the price she has to pay' and that 'this is all part of the game.' He strongly disagrees. This is not a game—it is her life and his."
Thankfully, Harry and Meghan weathered through the storm, and were spotted together at a friend's wedding in Jamaica a few months later. They were also photographed while on vacation in the South African country of Botswana this past August, but it wasn't until September that the couple made their first official public appearance as a couple. The lovebirds showed up hand in hand to one of the events at the 2017 Invictus Games in Toronto.
Now, a little over two months since they made their official debut as a couple, Harry and Meghan are planning a wedding and it will happen sooner than expected, according to the official statement.
"His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales is delighted to announce the engagement of Prince Harry to Ms Meghan Markle," read the statement issued by Clarence House.
Prince Harry and Meghan got engaged in London earlier this month, but only their family members knew.
"Prince Harry has informed The Queen and other close members of The Royal Family," the statement continued. "Prince Harry has also sought and received the blessing of Ms. Markle's parents."
The wedding is set to take place in spring 2018, and the couple will make Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace their home.
Kensington Palace also released a statement on behalf of Meghan's parents, Thomas Markle and Doria Ragland. It reads:
"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. We wish them a lifetime of happiness and are very excited for their future together."
Shortly after, statements from The Queen and Prince Philip, as well as The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Kate, were also shared.
"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," said William and Kate.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge said of the engagement:— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) November 27, 2017
'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.'
The Queen and Prince Philip said they are "delighted for the couple and wish them every happiness."
The newly engaged couple are scheduled to appear for a photo call later this afternoon, and they will also take part in a broadcast interview in the evening. Stay tuned for updates!
Congratulations to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle!