LONDON – Prince Harry met his fiancée Meghan Markle on a blind date and a year later, proposed to her over a roast chicken dinner at their cottage.
“It happened a few weeks ago, here at our cottage. It was a standard typical night for us, trying to roast a chicken,” said the young royal during a live interview that was streamed by the BBC and Sky News on Monday evening. During the interview, the young royal shared details of the much-anticipated proposal — including the fact that Markle didn’t even let him finish before saying “Yes”.
The couple spoke about how they got to know each other during a trip to Botswana, Africa, and intimate nights cooking at home and watching television.
“For those watching from home, you might want to cut back on the dates and spend more time at home,” said Prince Harry.
The couple also spoke about making time to meet each other’s family members; Markle has met Prince Charles, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, as well as the Queen and Prince Philip over several teas and family gatherings.
She said the family has been “extremely welcoming” and the Queen’s corgis took to her straight away.
Prince Harry added that Princess Diana would be “jumping up and down with joy” if she were here to witness the engagement and would have made best friends with his future wife.
Asked whether her family had concerns over the scale of her decision, the American actress said while they were worried about the media frenzy, they soon realized “it was worth every effort” as “they had never seen her happier.”
Clarence House confirmed early Monday that Prince Harry is to marry Markle, putting an end to months of speculation. Markle, who was married and later divorced, is an actress best known for playing Rachel Zane in the legal drama series “Suits.”
The statement said the couple became engaged earlier this month and the wedding will take place in the spring of next year. They will live in Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace. Clarence House said more details will be announced in due course.
The couple, who have been dating since July 2016, made their first public appearance this September at the Invictus Games in Canada. They have mostly avoided the spotlight, although the press and public attention around them has been intense.
Prince Harry and Markle made their first public appearance as a newly engaged couple during a photo call at Kensington Palace earlier today at the palace’s Sunken Garden, a memorial to Harry’s late mother, Princess Diana. She wore a white belted coat from The Line over a black P.A.R.O.S.H. dress with nude heels by Aquazzura and yellow gold and opal earrings from Birks.
The three-stone engagement ring was designed by Prince Harry himself. The center stone is a diamond from Botswana, which is an important country to the royal prince. The two outside stones are diamonds from Princess Diana’s personal collection. The gold ring was made by Cleave and Company, Court Jewellers and Medallists to Queen Elizabeth II.
The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh said they are “delighted for the couple and wish them every happiness.”
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge said they are very excited for Prince Harry and Markle. “It has been wonderful getting to know Meghan and to see how happy she and Harry are together.”
Meghan 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.”
Last November, Kensington Palace issued a warning in response to media reports about Markle’s personal life, and the racy sex scenes she’s filmed as a character in “Suits.” The stories also quoted family members who called her a social climber.
“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,” the statement read.
“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. He has asked for this statement to be issued in the hopes that those in the press who have been driving this story can pause and reflect before any further damage is done.
“He knows that it is unusual to issue a statement like this, but hopes that fair-minded people will understand why he has felt it necessary to speak publicly.” Once the statement came out, it was crystal clear that Harry had met his future wife.