Prince Harry ‘thrilledafter announcing he is to marry Meghan Markle

    Couple appear in public for first time since announcing their engagement and give 20-minute television interview

    Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are to marry in the spring after announcing their engagement and admitting they were totally unprepared for the media storm that surrounded the first months of their relationship.

    The prince said he was thrilled to be marrying the US actor after an 18-month romance, and the couple presented themselves to the world with a photocall and 20-minute television interview at Kensington Palace.

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    Who is Meghan Markle? video profile

    On Tuesday, Palace aides are expected to announce the venue for the wedding and details of the first royal engagements that Markle will undertake with the prince as she is quickly assimilated into the royal household.

    In the TV interview, conducted by Mishal Husain, they revealed how the prince proposed to his future bride at his Nottingham Cottage home in the grounds of Kensington Palace on what was a standard typical night in for us while they were roasting a chicken for dinner.

    Markle said it was just an amazing surprise, it was so sweet and natural and very romantic. He got on one kneeI could barely let you finish proposing. I said, can I say yes now?

    Markle, whose mother is African American and father is white, also described as disheartening and discriminatory some of the media coverage she received as Prince Harrys girlfriend because it centred on her racial background.

    Markle admitted that even though she had starred in TV drama Suits, the media coverage had been a learning curve and said, I did not have any understanding of what it would be like.

    Harry
    Harry declined to give details about the engagement, but joked: Of course it was romantic. Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images

    That coverage forced the prince to take the rare step last year of publicly attacking the British press for introducing racial overtones into the reporting of their relationship.

    Among the headlines that were believed to have angered the palace was one on Mailonline.com that read: Harrys girl is (almost) straight outta Compton, referring to the city in Los Angeles that has become known for gang violence.

    The announcement of their engagement was made by Clarence House on behalf of Prince Charles earlier on Monday. Later, the Prince of Wales, speaking for himself and the Duchess of Cornwall, m'a dit: Were both thrilled. We hope theyll be very happy indeed.

    Profile

    Who is Meghan Markle?

    Who is Meghan Markle?

    Meghan Markle is an American actor, best known for her role in the hit series Suits. She has described herself as an actress, a writer, the editor-in-chief of my lifestyle brand the Tig, a pretty good cook, and a firm believer in handwritten notes. She has also campaigned for humanitarian causes.

    The 36-year-old grew up in Los Angeles. She studied at a girls Roman Catholic college there before attending Northwestern University. Recently she has lived in Toronto. She is the daughter of a clinical therapist and a TV lighting designer. Markle has written about her mixed heritage, describing herself as a strong, confident mixed-race woman. She was married once before, to film producer Trevor Engelson, but the pair were divorced in 2013.

    Since news of her relationship with Prince Harry broke in 2016, she has closed her blog and given an interview in which she described the couple as really happy and in love. She said: Nothing about me changed. Ive never defined myself by my relationship. She will become a duchess or princess when the couple wed.

    Photograph: Picture Perfect/REX/Shutterstock/Rex Features

    Prince Harry said he designed her engagement ring himself using a stone sourced from Botswana, where the couple went camping in the first weeks of their relationship, and two smaller gems from Princess Dianas jewellery collection to make sure that shes with us on this crazy journey together.

    Markles parents, Thomas Markle and Doria Ragland, m'a dit: 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.

    Thomas Markle is an Emmy award-winning former television lighting director who worked on shows including Married With Children and General Hospital. He married Ragland, a yoga instructor, dans 1979 and they divorced in 1988.

    Prince
    Prince Harry and Meghan Markle wave after posing for the media. Photograph: Alastair Grant/AP

    The Queen, Prince Philip, prime minister Theresa May, and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn were among others who offered their congratulations.

    Downing Street moved quickly to dampen speculation that there would be a bank holiday to celebrate the wedding. The prime ministers spokesman said: There are no plans for a bank holiday. There isnt precedent in this area. There was no bank holiday for Prince Andrews wedding in 1986 or Prince Edwards in 1999.

    However, the wedding of Princess Anne, the Queens second-eldest child, and Mark Phillips in 1973 was marked by a bank holiday.

    Tourists
    Tourists film Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at Kensington Palace on Monday. Photograph: Nick Ansell/PA

    The wedding ceremony is likely to be conducted by Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury, who said he was delighted by the news and had been impressed by the princes immense love for his family.

    A royal source said it would be a happy church wedding, although the date is yet to be fixed. The Duchess of Cambridge is due to give birth to her third child in April.

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    Locals in the View Park-Windsor Hills suburb of Los Angeles where Ragland lives were also upbeat. Mike Young, 56, out walking his pitbull Tipper, m'a dit: I think theyre a respectable family, il a dit, referring to the Windsors. Id be excited to meet Prince Harry.

    The couple said they were set up by a friend on a blind date and about a month after two dates in London in summer 2016 they went camping in Botswana.

    Timeline

    Prince Harry’s relationship with Meghan Markle

    The pair meet in London through friends and begin a relationship.

    News breaks that the prince and Markle are dating.

    Kensington Palace confirms in an unprecedented statement that they are dating. The prince attacks the media over its abuse and harassment of his girlfriend.

    Markle is spotted in London amid unconfirmed reports she is enjoying her first stay at Kensington Palace since the relationship was made public.

    Markle reportedly meets the Duchess of Cambridge and Princess Charlotte for the first time in London.

    The engagement looks set when Markle graces the cover of US magazine Vanity Fair and speaks openly about Harry for the first time, revealing: Were two people who are really happy and in love.

    Markle makes her first appearance at an official engagement attended by the prince when she attends the Invictus Games opening ceremony in Toronto, Canada although the pair sit about 18 seats apart.

    It emerges that the prince has taken Markle to meet his grandmother, the Queen, whose permission they need to marry. They met over afternoon tea at Buckingham Palace.

    The princes aides are reported to have been told to start planning for a royal wedding, with senior members of the royal family asked to look at their diaries to shortlist a series of suitable weekends in 2018.

    Markle is spotted in London, prompting speculation she is preparing for an engagement announcement.

    Clarence House announces the engagement, and the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh say they are delighted for the couple and wish them every happiness.

    I managed to persuade her to come and join me in Botswana, the prince said. And we camped out with each other under the stars. She came and joined me for five days out there, which was absolutely fantastic.

    It was hugely refreshing to be able to get to know someone who isnt necessarily within your circle, doesnt know much about me, I dont know much about her. So to be able to start almost afresh, right from the beginning, getting to know each other, step by step and then taking that huge leap of only two dates and then going effectively on holiday together in the middle of nowhere and you know sharing a tent together and all that kind of stuff. It was fantastic.

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    The official announcement. Photograph: AP

    He added that he thought Markle and Diana would be as thick as thieves, without question, I think she would be over the moon, jumping up and down, you know so excited for me. It is days like today when I really miss having her around and miss being able to share the happy news.

    Republic, the anti-monarchy campaign for an elected head of state, issued a one word statement: Congratulations.

    Lire la suite: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/nov/27/prince-harry-to-marry-meghan-markle