After over one year of dating, Prince Harry is engaged to be married to his American-born actress girlfriend, Meghan Markle. The two were seen hand-in-hand following the announcement of their engagement, which took place in early November, outside at The Sunken Gardens at Kensington Palace in London.
Details of the royal wedding haven’t been finalized yet, but tentative details have started to be released by officials, and the formal ceremony will take place in just a few months.
Here’s what you need to know about their relationship and future wedding:
1. Prince Harry & Markle Reportedly Met Through a Longtime Friend of His
Media reports say that Markle and Harry met through the wife of one of his friends. The woman, Misha Nonoo, is a fashion designer, and The Daily Mail reported in 2016 that they introduced the now-engaged couple during Summer 2016.
The couple reportedly started dating in July 2016 following a visit she took to London. In the months that followed, reports surfaced saying that Meghan met Prince Harry’s father, Prince Charles on another visit to London. The meeting is considered a serious step toward marriage in the Royal Family. Sources told The Daily Mail that after a few months of their relationship, Prince Harry was “happier than he has been for many years.”
The pair made their first official public outing together in September at the Invictus Games in Toronto.
2. The Couple Announced They Were Engaged on November 27
After over one year of dating, Prince Harry and Markle announced they were engaged and planned to be married later next year. A news release issued November 27 said: “His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales, is delighted to announce the engagement of Prince Harry to Ms. Meghan Markle.”
The couple were said to have formally gotten engaged earlier in November and didn’t publicly announce it for a few weeks until Prince Harry informed The Queen and other close members of his family.
As they announced their engagement, Prince Harry was asked when he realized she was the one.
“The very first time we met,” he replied.
3. The Royal Wedding Will Take Place in May 2018
With the engagement being announced, a royal wedding will now be planned to honor the couple. Details of the wedding are still being organized and would be released “in due course,” officials announced November 27. The wedding will take place sometime in May 2018 at Windsor Castle.
Officials said that Harry designed her engagement ring, which includes a diamond from Botswana, a country which holds a special place in Prince Harry’s heart. He’s visited the country numerous times since he was a child. Two of the stones in the ring are from his mother, Princess Diana’s, “personal collection,” NBC News reported.
4. Prince Harry’s Brother, Prince William, Got Married in 2011
There have been many royal weddings over the years in the United Kingdom, but hasn’t been an official one since July 30, 2011. Zara Phillips, the daughter of The Princess Royal, got married to Mike Tindall at the Kirk of Canongate in Edinburgh, Scotland, then.
Prior to that, it was Prince Harry’s eldest brother, Prince William of Wales, who tied the knot. He got married to Catherine Middleton then at Westminster Abbey. William and Harry’s parents, Prince Charles and Diana Spencer, got married in 1991 at St. Paul’s Cathedral.
5. Markle Is Divorced While Prince Harry Has Been Romantically Linked to Several Women
Markle has been married once before, to Trevor Engelson, but their marriage ended in divorce. They were married for about two years, from 2011-2013. Prince Harry, on the other hand, had been romantically linked to several women over the years.
First, there was Chelsy Davy, the daughter of a South Africa-based businessman. Prince Harry was 21-years old at the time, and they were publicly seen at various events, including when he received his Operational Service Medal for when he served in Afghanistan, and also when he graduated and received his flying wings from his father. After five years of seeing each other, though, it was reported in 2009 that they ended their relationship.
In 2012, Prince Harry was linked to Cressida Bonas. Two years later, though, it was reported they split “amicably.”
Throughout the years, Prince Harry has struggled with the death of his mother, who was killed in a car accident August 31, 1997 in France.
During an April 2017 interview with The Telegraph, Prince Harry revealed that he suffered many years of “total chaos” while he was in his late 20s, still coming to grips with his mother’s tragic death. He admitted to the publication that ended up seeking counseling at the recommendation of his brother, adding that he “shut down all his emotions” for nearly two decades. He said that he felt as if he was “on the verge of punching someone” during royal engagements.
“I can safely say that losing my mum at the age of 12, and therefore shutting down all of my emotions for the last 20 years, has had a quite serious effect on not only my personal life but my work as well,” he said during the interview.
Prince Harry said he took up boxing to take his mind off of things and said he was in “a good place.”