By now, most people have probably heard the exciting news about the new royal engagement between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Even across the pond, people have always idolized the royal family and dreamed of wearing a crown themselves. For most of us, this dream will sadly not come true, but it has for Meghan Markle. Most students know of Prince Harry, brother of Prince William and fifth in line to the throne. But who is Meghan Markle? And what else do we know about the upcoming royal wedding?
Harry and Meghan’s engagement was formally announced by Kensington Palace at the end of November. The engagement took place earlier that month after having dated since 2016. They will get married in May at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, reported CNN. Harry and Meghan’s wedding will be televised for eager audiences around the world to watch, but ABC News royal contributor Victoria Murphy says it will also be “more of a low-key wedding.”
35-year-old actress, Southern California native, and Prince Harry’s soon-to-be wife, Meghan Markle, will break the typical royal mold by being the first biracial woman in the royal family. Her marriage will mark only the second time an American or a divorcee marries a royal. In their first joint interview as an engaged couple with BBC, Meghan and Harry described Harry’s romantic and unexpected proposal.
Markle described the evening as “just a cozy night, it was, what were we doing, just roasting chicken, trying to roast a chicken… It was an amazing surprise. It was so sweet and natural. Very romantic. He got on one knee.”
Markle’s engagement ring is both very pretty and very meaningful. The band is yellow gold with the main diamond from Botswana, the country in Southern Africa where the couple first vacationed, and two smaller diamonds from Princess Diana.
Markle said about Harry’s ring design, “I think everything about Harry’s thoughtfulness and the inclusion of that, obviously not being able to meet his mom, it’s so important to me to know that she’s part of this with us.”
The couple was introduced and set up on a blind date by a mutual friend in July of 2016 and have been together ever since. You may have seen pictures of Markle and the prince together at the Invictus games in Canada this September for their first public appearance. You may have also seen Markle on Suits, an exciting, 7-season-long legal drama in which she plays one of the main characters, Rachel Zane.
As well as being an accomplished actress, Markle has a passion for philanthropy and advocacy. She is a global ambassador for World Vision, which involved trips to India to speak out against menstruation stigmas and help provide sanitary products to communities. She also traveled to Rwanda in 2016 with World Vision to aid in their clean water campaign, Harper’s Bazar said.
Her advocacy for women began when she was just eleven. After seeing a sexist add for dish soap, Meghan wrote letters to the dish soap company as well as Hillary Clinton, Linda Ellerbee, and Gloria Allred.
Markle said to Harper’s Bazar, “The soap manufacturer Procter & Gamble changed the commercial for their ivory clear dish-washing liquid. They changed it from ‘Women all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans’ to ‘People all over America.’ It was at that moment that I realized the magnitude of my actions. At the age of 11, I had created my small level of impact by standing up for equality.”
Since both Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have celebrity status, their names often carry a certain reputation around them or appear next to false tabloid headlines. Fortunately, both Harry and Meghan did not know much about each other and were able to form their own opinions.
“I never watched Suits, I never heard of Meghan before. I was beautifully surprised when I walked into that room and saw her and there she was sitting there. I was like, ‘OK I really have to up my game here,’” Harry said to Cosmopolitan.
Markle is living out the fantasy of so many little girls who grew up on Disney movies. While being a real-life princess comes with many perks, one of them is spending the rest of her life with the lovely Prince Harry, adapting to the lifestyle of the British royalty can prove to be a challenging adjustment.
Harry said, “We still had to sit down on the sofa and have some pretty frank conversations with her to say, ‘What you’re letting yourself in for, it’s a big deal. It’s not easy for anybody.’ I know that at the end of the day, she chooses me, and I choose her. And therefore, whatever we have to tackle together, or individually, it’ll always be us together as a team.