Prince Harry is to marry his American actress girlfriend Meghan Markle in spring 2018, Clarence House has announced.
“His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales is delighted to announce the engagement of Prince Harry to Ms Meghan Markle,” it said in a statement.
The ceremony is likely to be conducted by Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury. Welby said he was delighted by the news and had been impressed by Harry’s “immense love for his family”.
Harry’s brother and sister-in-law, Prince William and Kate, 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.”
The couple, who have been dating since the summer of 2016, secretly got engaged early November, Clarence House said.
The engaged couple will appear for photographs outside Kensington Palace on 27 November, and will take part in a broadcast interview that same day.
The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh said they were “delighted for the couple and wish them every happiness”, a Buckingham Palace spokesman said.
Markle’s parents, Thomas Markle and Doria Ragland, said in a statement: “We are incredibly happy for Meghan and Harry”.
Prime Minister Theresa May offered her “very warmest congratulations” and wished the couple “great happiness for the future”.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: “I wish them well, I hope they have a great life together”.
He joked: “Having met Harry a couple of times I’m sure they’re going to have a great deal of fun together”.
A date and venue for the wedding will have been decided already, with March being the most likely month. This leaves enough time to ensure Kate is not about to give birth to her third child.
The couple would live in Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace.
The news likely to test Harry’s relationship with the press
News of the wedding will prompt a media frenzy that is likely to further test Harry’s relationship with the press. The prince, 33, spoke out about the way Markle, who is divorced, was portrayed when news of the relationship became public just over a year ago.
He condemned some of the newspaper reports and comment pieces as racist and sexist. Markle, 36, is mixed race. His spokesman criticised the “racial undertones of comment pieces” and referred to “the nightly legal battles to keep defamatory stories out of papers”.
Markle and Harry were reportedly introduced by the consultant Markus Anderson in 2016.
Their relationship became public after about six months.
Photo Credit: THE ROYAL FAMIY News