Prince Harry is engaged to Suits actress Meghan Markle
- Credit: PA
Clarence House has announced Prince Harry is to marry his American actress girlfriend Meghan Markle.
The much-anticipated news was confirmed by Prince Harry’s father, the Prince of Wales, in a brief statement issued this morning by Clarence House.
It read: “His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales is delighted to announce the engagement of Prince Harry to Ms Meghan Markle.
“The wedding will take place in spring 2018. Further details about the wedding day will be announced in due course.
“His Royal Highness and Ms Markle became engaged in London earlier this month.
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“Prince Harry has informed Her Majesty the Queen and other close members of his family.
“Prince Harry has also sought and received the blessing of Ms Markle’s parents.
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“The couple will live in Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace.”
Prince Harry, 33, was based at Wattisham Airfield, near Needham Market where he completed his Apache helicopter pilot training. He was based at the air field from April 2011 until January 2014.
Congratulatory messages have been sent from people across Suffolk.
Lord Lieutenant, Clare, Countess of Euston, said: “What wonderful news! I am sure that I will be speaking for everyone in Suffolk in sending the warmest congratulations to the happy couple and to wish them the very best for their future life together. Prince Harry has spent a great deal of time in Suffolk and I know we all look forward to the day when he brings his wife to the County”.
Terry Baxter, CEO of Inspire Suffolk, said: “The visit by Prince Harry in 2014 was such a special day for our Charity, both the young people we work with and our dedicated staff. On behalf of everyone at Inspire Suffolk I’d like to send both Prince Harry and Meghan Markle our warmest wishes on the news of their engagement and that we look forward to their own special day in 2018.”
Helen Fairweather, chief executive of Headway Suffolk, added: “We were delighted when Prince Harry came to visit us and the clients have made a card to send him.
“We wish him all the best in his future life and his fiancee.”
Prince Harry, who is fifth in line to the throne, has been dating 36-year-old Meghan, who found fame in the US legal drama Suits, since summer 2016.
Their 16-month whirlwind romance blossomed after meeting through mutual friends in London and the pair have been almost inseparable since.
The engagement comes in the year that marks the 20th anniversary of his mother, Princess Diana’s death.
The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh “are delighted for the couple and wish them every happiness”, a Buckingham Palace spokesman said.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Kate, whose third baby is due in spring 2018, 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.”
Meghan Markle’s parents Thomas Markle and Doria Ragland have said they are “incredibly happy” with the couple’s engagement, adding: “We wish them a lifetime of happiness.”
Kensington Palace said Prince Harry and his wife-to-be will appear for a photo call at the palace this afternoon.
The couple will also record in a broadcast interview to be aired tonight.