Suits actress Meghan Markle and Britain’s Prince Harry have made it official. The pair has been dating since July 2016 and today announced their engagement. A statement from Clarence House, the office of Harry’s father Prince Charles, said, “His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales is delighted to announce the engagement of Prince Harry to Ms Meghan Markle.” The nuptials, which are sure to be the center of a media frenzy, are to take place in the spring of next year with further details to be revealed.
Already today, Kensington Palace said that the couple will appear for a photo call this afternoon and take part in a broadcast interview to be aired this evening. The royal wedding of Harry’s brother Prince William to Kate Middleton in 2011 was watched by 23M Americans across 11 networks while nearly 27M watched in the UK.
Markle, who has appeared on USA’s Suits since the beginning, has been reported to be eyeing an exit from the series and that’s helped fuel speculation that a royal wedding was afoot. The contracts of all Suits original cast members are up after Season 7, so Markle will have fulfilled her current obligations.
The relationship between Markle and the prince, who is 5th in line to the throne, has been the focus of intense media scrutiny. But in an unprecedented move, Harry last year attacked the British press for introducing “racial overtones” into the coverage of their relationship, and condemned “the outright sexism and racism of social media trolls and web article comments.” At the time, The Guardianreported Kensington Palace sources said Harry feared for Markle’s safety and that of her family after they were “subjected to a wave of abuse” during investigations into the relationship.
For their part, Markle’s parents today also congratulated the couple, as did other members of the royal family:
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge said of the engagement:
'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.'
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) November 27, 2017