Prince Harry is officially engaged to Meghan Markle, but who is the woman that has captured the heart of the royal?
Harry and Meghan confirmed their engagement in a statement released from Kensington Palace on Monday.
“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," reads the announcement. "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 two will live together in the Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace.
The world first learned of Harry and Markle's courtship in November 2016. "He is very into Meghan, it's a bit of a whirlwind romance," royal expert Katie Nicholl told ET at the time. "They've been dating very secretly for the past three months."
Now that Markle is on the road to being a royal herself, here's everything you need to know about Prince Harry's fiancee:
1. When Harry Met Meghan
In an interview with Vanity Fair this year, Markle revealed that she met Harry in London through friends in July 2016.
“At the end of the day I think it’s really simple,” she told the magazine. “We’re two people who are really happy and in love. 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. Nothing about me changed. I’m still the same person that I am, and I’ve never defined myself by my relationship.”
2. Meghan Jettsets to London
The actress' passport got stamped a whole lot more after she got with Harry!
While none of her Instagram images actually have the royal featured, there there certainly have been a number of photos from her travels to England.
3. She’s Down to Earth
Meghan will most certainly be a people's princess! “When she’s not working, she’s totally a ‘jeans and tee’ kind of girl,” a source told ET. ”She’s way more into having a low-key night in than going out to party. She’s very smart, hardworking, and incredibly sweet.”
4. How She Describes Herself
“I'm 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 told Elle UK.
Not long after getting together with Harry, Markle did take down her lifestyle website, but kept her Instagram active.
5. She’s a UN Women Advocate
Like Harry, Markle wants to make a difference in the world. “I spoke about this in a speech I gave for International Women’s Day with UN Women just two years ago. It is a testament to the fighting spirit I had as a young girl, and the responsibility I now feel as a grown woman; and even more so as an actress," she wrote on The Tig last year. "The moment Suits became successful and I realized people (especially young women) were listening to what I had to say."
6. Meghan Has Been Married Before
The American actress married Trevor Engelson, a film producer, in 2011 before divorcing two years later.
7. She Has No Interest in a Cinderella Story
"With fame comes opportunity, but in my opinion, it also includes responsibility – to advocate and share, to focus less on glass slippers and more on pushing through glass ceilings, and if I’m lucky enough – then to inspire,” Markle once wrote on one of her blog posts on The Tig.
8. Meghan's Education
Markle was a communications major and graduated from Northwestern University in 2003. She didn’t forget her alma mater after making it as a TV star, and returned to the Chicago campus in 2014 for a panel discussion. “It’s my alma mater, so I’m really happy to be back here,” she said at the time.
9. Where You Might Have Seen Her
While Markle is best known for her TV role on Suits, she has also made appearances on General Hospital, 90210, The League, and Castle. She also had parts in Horrible Bosses and Remember Me.
10. Meghan Is Biracial
“My dad is Caucasian, and my mom is African American. I'm half black and half white,” Markle told Elle UK.of her ethnicity. “Being biracial paints a blurred line that is equal parts staggering and illuminating. At the end of season two, the producers [of Suits] went a step further and cast the role of Rachel's father as a dark-skinned African-American man, played by the brilliant Wendell Pierce.”
11. She Grew Up In Los Angeles
Markle was raised on the West Coast but was living in Toronto with her dogs -- who she adopted while filming Suits -- when she first started dating Harry.
“It was the late '70s when my parents met. My dad was a lighting director for a soap opera, and my mom was a temp at the studio,' she shares with Elle UK. "They moved into a house in The Valley in LA, to a neighborhood that was leafy and affordable."
Markle's parents, Thomas Markle and Doria Ragland, also issued a statement following their daughter's engagement news. "We are incredibly happy for Meghan and Harry. Our daughter has always been a kind and loving person," read the statement. "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."
12. HerSuits Co-Stars Have Hollywood relationships
Patrick J. Adams is married to Pretty Little Liars star Troian Bellisario while Gabriel Macht is also married to actress Jacinda Barrett.
Now that she's engaged, it's thought that Markle will leave the show. “I am told by my sources that Meghan is likely to be moving to London as soon as November,” Nicholl told ET in October. “She's not signing up for another series of Suits. She's planning to leave Canada and make London her new, permanent home."
13. She Has a Clothing Collection
Kate Middleton won't be the only royal with a sense of style!
“For me, in putting the whole collection together, it’s a reflection of where I’ve come from,” she said of the collection for the Canadian retailer Reitmans. “I’ve always shopped on the sale rack and I’ve always been the girl flipping through the hangers trying to find the best deal. And now, being able to say, wow, this has my name on it and is at a price point that I think is really approachable and I’m proud to say a lot of people can afford."
Now that we know a little more about Markle, let the royal wedding planning begin!
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