After days of speculation, Clarence House officially announced on Monday that Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle are engaged. Clarence House is the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall’s official residence.
Prince Charles said he and the Duchess of Cornwall were excited by the news: “We’re thrilled. We’re both thrilled. We hope they’ll be very happy indeed.”
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge said in a statement: “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.”
Harry popped the question earlier this month in London. The wedding will take place in spring 2018, and more information about the ceremony will be revealed “in due course.”
Harry, 33, is the fifth in the line to the throne, and he and Markle, 36, have been dating since summer 2016 after meeting through mutual friends. They will live at Nottingham Cottage in Kensington Palace, London.
Following the announcement, the couple posed for photographs at the Sunken Garden outside of the palace. The prince told a reporter that he knew Markle was the one “the very first time we met.”
Check out some interesting facts about the prince’s future wife:
She will no longer play Rachel Zane on the legal drama “Suits.” Markle left the show, which is filmed in Toronto, after she completed filming season seven this fall. She has played the character since 2011. Her co-star and on-screen fiancé Patrick J. Adams is also leaving the series.
She will not become Princess Meghan. After she gets married, Markle will become Her Royal Highness, Princess Henry of Wales. She will not become Princess Meghan because she does not have royal blood (just like Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, is not called Princess Catherine).
She is of African-American, Dutch and Irish descent. Markle’s mother, Doria Radlan is African-American, and her father, Thomas W. Markle, is Dutch-Irish. Markle wrote in a column for Elle magazine earlier this year: “While my mixed heritage may have created a grey area surrounding my self-identification, keeping me with a foot on both sides of the fence, I have come to embrace that. To say who I am, to share where I’m from, to voice my pride in being a strong, confident mixed-race woman.”
She used to have a side job as a calligrapher. Markle made her Hollywood debut in 2002 in a single episode of “General Hospital.” While trying to secure more acting gigs, she made money on the side by being a freelance calligrapher. In 2005, she made the wedding invitations for singer Robin Thicke and actress Paula Patton.
This will be her second marriage. Markle started dating producer Trevor Engelson in 2004, and they tied the knot in 2011 after seven years together. They split in 2013.
She is close friends with high-profile Canadians. One of Markle’s besties is Jessica Mulroney, the former Prime Minister’s daughter-in-law. She is also acquainted with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.