It's official - Clarence House announces Prince Harry and Meghan Markle engagement
Clarence House has officially announced the engagement of Britain's Prince Harry and girlfriend Meghan Markle.
The actor officially said 'yes' to her royal beau after months of speculation that the couple were to marry.
The announcement comes after reports that Suits actor Markle met Britain's Queen Elizabeth for tea as engagement rumours swirled.
The couple have been dating for a year and a half with some reports even claiming that they were secretly engaged for weeks running up to their official announcement.
They will marry in spring 2018.
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.
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 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."
Visiting Poundbury in Dorset the Prince of Wales said he was "thrilled" and "very happy indeed" for the couple.Meghan Markle's engagement ring to feature Princess Diana's diamonds
Meghan recently filmed her last scenes for legal drama Suits, receiving an emotional send off from colleagues who wished her "all the happiness in the world".
She has also started to move her life over to the UK, with the relocation of her dogs Bogart and Guy to England being a clear hint that she will soon be setting up shop with her husband-to-be Harry.
She will move into the Prince's two bedroom Nottingham Cottage.
Rumours are that the couple have in fact been engaged for a number of months, but no formal announcement has been made due to several important royal dates already filling the calendar.
In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, Meghan was guarded about her relationship, dodging any formal questions of whether the couple had indeed taken the next step.Watch: On the anniversary of their engagement, a look back on Prince William and Kate Middleton's first ever joint interview
“I’m sure there will be a time when we will have to come forward and present ourselves and have stories to tell, but I hope what people will understand is that this is our time,” she said.
Older brother Prince William gave now wife Kate Middleton his mother's iconic 18 carat blue Sapphire when he proposed in 2010, ushering in a new trend in engagement rings for gemstones in place of diamonds.
Harry, 33, has designed a ring for his Suits actor girlfriend using diamonds from a brooch that once belonged to his mother, Princess Diana, according to US Weekly.
However it is thought Harry wanted to create something unique for Meghan, and while it was believed he would use one of his mother's emeralds as the main stone in the ring, jewellers have advised against it as due to it being a softer stone than a diamond or sapphire, it is more prone to chipping.
“Diana’s jewellery collection was left in trust for the boys and Meghan apparently loves emeralds. For Harry, like Wills before him, using his mother’s gems means the two loves of his life will forever be linked,” a source told The Daily Star.