Barack and Michelle Obama are among the latest public figures to send their congratulations to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle upon the happy news of their engagement.
In response to the announcement, revealed by Prince Charles via his office at Clarence House yesterday morning, the former Commander-in-Chief tweeted his and his wife’s best wishes for the couple.
‘Michelle and I are delighted to congratulate Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on their engagement. We wish you a lifetime of joy and happiness together,’ he wrote.
Harry and the Obamas first met during Barack’s presidency, but their close friendship has continued since the family have left the White House. Just this year, they have been photographed together at a number of high profile events. In May, the former President dropped in to visit Harry at Kensington Palace on a trip to the UK; he also made an appearance (along with former VP Joe Biden and his wife, Jill) courtside at a basketball fixture during the Invictus Games in Toronto (shortly before Harry and Meghan made their public debut).
Last month, Harry returned the favour and headed to Chicago, the Obamas’ home city, where he joined Michelle to surprise students at a school on the city’s South Side. Later, he spoke at the inaugural Obama Foundation Summit, where, among other topics, he touched upon his mother Diana’s charitable legacy, and how it had impacted upon his own philanthropic work.
All of this, of course, is leading us to ask one question: will Barack and Michelle be invited along for Harry and Meghan’s Spring 2018 nuptials? There’s a strong likelihood, given the closeness and longevity of the friendship.
But what about the Trumps? It’s very unlikely that, despite being the current First Couple, the Trumps will attend: security costs for the President and his wife will be prohibitive (indeed, that’s why the Obamas didn’t come along to see William and Kate tie the knot in 2011). Plus, by the time of his wedding, Harry will be sixth in line to the throne, which means the imperative for him to invite each and every head of state along for the ride is far less great. It’s probably for the best: Meghan has gone on record in an interview describing the current POTUS as ‘misogynistic.' We can only look forward to Trump's inevitable tweets claiming he was actually invited, but turned it down...
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle met in London in July 2016.
They were introduced by mutual friend Markus Anderson, who is the director of Soho House.
In October 2016, the Express became the first newspaper to publish news that Prince Harry had a new girlfriend.
On November 8th 2016, Kensington Palace released an unprecedented statement which referring to Markle as Harry's girlfriend for the first time.
In the statement, Prince Harry condemned the 'wave of abuse and harrassment' faced by Markle, saying that he was '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,' the statement continued.
The couple were papped together for the first time in December 2016, shopping for a Christmas tree in London at the Pines and Needles store.
Later that week, they were seen on London's West End, catching a performance of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
In February, Prince Harry wore a his 'n' hers bracelet on the cover of Town & Country magazine, just weeks after Markle was pictured wearing the same one on Instagram.
In March 2017, Meghan joined Prince Harry in the Caribbean for the wedding of his friend's Tom 'Skippy' Inskip and Lara Hughes-Young.
It was the first time that Markle accompanied Harry to a wedding, marking another milestone occasion for the couple.
The first public event attended by the couple was the polo at Coworth Park in May 2017.
Later in May, Markle attended the party portion of Pippa Middleton's wedding to James Middelton.
Prince Harry was seen driving her to the event after the church ceremony.
The couple made their first official public appearance in September, when Markle attended the opening of Prince Harry's Invictus Games.
Meghan wore a maroon midi dress with a pleated chiffon skirt by one of her favourite Canadian brands Aritzia.
She teamed it with a matching burgundy biker jacket by Mackage.
Although Prince Harry was sat next to First Lady Melania Trump at the event, rather than his girlfriend, she was only seated a few rows behind him.
The couple were photographed together the following day at the wheelchair tennis.
Much was made of Markle's choice of outfit: ripped jeans and a white blouse called 'The Husband'.
The couple 'broke with royal protocol' by holding hands and appearing affectionate while at the Invictus Games.
Prince Harry reportedly spent time with Meghan's mother Doria while at the Games too.
The couple indulged in some PDA at the closing ceremony.
Prince Harry was photographed kissing Meghan.
In an interview with Vanity Fair, Meghan referred to Harry as her boyfriend numerous times, saying: 'We're a couple. We're in love. 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 understand is that this is our time.'
In late September 2017, it was reported that Meghan had met the Queen, prompting speculation that the relationship was getting serious.
In early November 2017, it was reported that Meghan Markle was leaving Suits after seven series.
In mid-November 2017, bookies suspending betting on an impending royal engagement, as speculation grew that an announcement was about to be made.
On November 27th 2017, Prince Charles announced the engagement of his younger son Prince Harry and Meghan Markle after 15 months of dating.
The couple later appeared at a photocall, with Markle wearing a white dress coat by Canadian brand Line The Label. The website has subsequently crashed.
The engagement ring, by Cleave and Company, was reportedly designed by Prince Harry himself, using two stones that belonged to Princess Diana.
When asked by waiting photographers if the proposal was romantic, Harry joked 'of course!'