After months of speculation, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are engaged, according to an official statement from Prince Charles.
According to the statement, the couple got engaged in London earlier this month and will marry in the spring of 2018, with more details set to be released in due course. They appeared at a photo call at Kensington Palace in the afternoon and took part in a broadcast interview later in the evening.
Now, the couple's wedding venue has been confirmed as St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle, implying that the pair will opt out of the pomp of a televised ceremony in favour of a more low-key affair. The month of the wedding has been announced as May.'
'The marriage of His Royal Highness Prince Henry of Wales and Ms. Meghan Markle will take place at St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle in May 2018,' a statement from Kensington Palace read.
'Her Majesty The Queen has granted permission for the wedding to take place at the chapel,' the statement added. 'The Royal Family will pay for the wedding. Further details about the wedding will be announced in due course.'
The palace has also confirmed that Meghan will be baptised and confirmed in the Church of England ahead of the ceremony.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge said that they were 'very excited' for the couple, and that 'it has been wonderful getting to know Meghan and to see how happy she and Harry are together.' A spokesperson from Buckingham Palace said that the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh were 'delighted for the couple and wish them every happiness'.
The couple have been dating since meeting in Toronto in the summer of 2016, where Markle filmed TV series Suits.The actress recently quit the series after six seasons, prompting widespread rumours that she was set to become the newest member of the royal family.
Harry has been fiercely protective of his wife-to-be, releasing an unprecedented statement defending her privacy after intrusion from the press when they first started dating last year.
In the statement he said: 'Prince Harry is worried about Ms. Markle’s safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her. It is not right that a few months into a relationship with him that Ms. Markle should be subjected to such a storm. 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.'
Meghan Markle wears a strapless magenta gown
Since then, the two have been spotted on numerous occasions visiting each other in London and Toronto, and went public with their relationship in September at Harry's Invictus Games. Earlier the same month, Markle spoke about their romance to Vanity Fair, saying that they were 'two people who are really happy and in love'. She went on to say that: 'I'm sure there will be a time when we will have to come forward and present ourselves and have stories to tell, but I hope what people will understand is that this is our time.'
Prior to dating Markle, Harry has been linked to British actress Cressida Bonas and South African law student Chelsea Davy. Markle has been married once before to TV producer Trevor Engleson, who is reportedly making a series based on similar circumstances.
But the important question is: will we get a bank holiday for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's nuptials? It seems unlikely, sadly, as Harry as more likely to avoid a public celebration as sixth in line to throne after his new niece or nephew. Sigh.
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