Prince Harry and Meghan Markle engaged: Couple to marry in spring

Prince Harry is to marry American actress Meghan Markle, it has been announced, with the Royal family flocking to congratulate the couple.

Clarence House confirmed the much-anticipated news that the Prince, 33, and his 36-year-old girlfriend are engaged in a statement on Monday morning.

The royal wedding will take place in the spring of next year. Prince Harry and Ms. Markle will appear at a photocall at Kensington Palace on Monday afternoon to celebrate their engagement and record a television broadcast due to be screened on Monday evening.

The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh said they were “delighted” for their grandson and his bride-to-be, and “wish them every happiness”.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge said: “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.”

Ms. Markle’s parents wished their daughter and Harry “a lifetime of happiness”, adding: “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.”

Visiting Poundbury in Dorset on Monday, the Prince of Wales said he was “thrilled” and  “very happy indeed” for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Fifth in line to the throne Harry has been dating the 36-year-old star – who found fame in the US legal drama Suits – since the summer of 2016.

Their 16-month whirlwind romance blossomed when they met through mutual friends in London, and the pair has been almost inseparable in recent months.

The much-anticipated news was confirmed by the Prince of Wales in a brief statement issued by Clarence House.

It read: “His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales is delighted to announce the engagement of Prince Harry to Ms. Meghan Markle.”

It revealed that the pair 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 statement said.

The couple will live together in Harry’s current home, Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace.

Ms. Markle will become an HRH and a senior royal after marrying Harry and joining the Windsors.

She is expected to become a duchess – just like Kate Middleton did when she became the Duchess of Cambridge after saying her vows in 2011.

But unlike Kate, Ms. Markle is not a future queen. With the arrival of the Cambridge’ children, Harry is too far down the line of succession to have a realistic prospect of being monarch.

Ms. Markle will most probably become HRH the Duchess of Sussex if Harry is made the Duke of Sussex by the Queen on the morning of his wedding.

The pair were secretly engaged earlier this month and rumors a wedding was imminent stepped up a gear when Harry took Ms. Markle to meet his grandmother the Queen for tea at Buckingham Palace.

The Queen has given her blessing to the union, with Prince Harry at fifth-in-line to the throne obliged to ask her permission under the Succession to the Crown Act 2013.

Ms. Markle has been wed once before, marrying film producer Trevor Engelson in Jamaica in 2011, but splitting after just two years.

Meghan Markle’s parents tell of ‘great joy’

In a statement issued by Kensington Palace, Ms. Markle’s parents Thomas Markle and Doria Ragland said: “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 about their future together.”

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