Prince Harry, Meghan Markle And The Timeline Of A Royal Courtship: From An Under-Wraps Relationship To An Engagement That Thrilled Britain- On This Day Six Years Ago

Prince Harry, Meghan Markle And The Timeline Of A Royal Courtship: From An Under-Wraps Relationship To An Engagement That Thrilled Britain- On This Day Six Years Ago

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are marking a sweet milestone: the sixth anniversary of their engagement announcement.

On Nov. 27, 2017, Clarence House announced that Prince Harry, now 39, was engaged to marry the American actress, now 42. Harry and Meghan had been dating since July 2016 and were first revealed as a couple in October 2016.

Prince Harry and Meghan stepped out for a photo call in the Sunken Garden of Kensington Palace, and the announcement added that the wedding would take place in spring 2018. The couple went on to tie the knot on May 19, 2018, at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, and they later welcomed son Prince Archie, 4, and daughter Princess Lilibet, 2. 

The couple shared new details about how Prince Harry popped the question in the docuseries Harry & Meghan, released on Netflix in December 2022, and the Duke of Sussex shed even more light on what went into the proposal in his memoir Spare, published in January.

Prince Harry recapped in his memoir that he was required to receive his grandmother Queen Elizabeth’s permission before proposing to Meghan in 2017 because of his place in the line of succession. Aides suggested that a suitable time for the conversation to happen would be a family shooting trip to Sandringham in late October, and Harry got some time alone with the monarch at the end of the day.

Harry wrote in Spare that he broached the subject after following the Queen to the middle of a field, where she looked for the last of the dead birds with her hunting dogs.

“I saw her waiting for me to speak, and not waiting patiently. Her face radiated: ‘Out with it,’ ” Harry wrote in Spare. “I coughed. ‘Granny, you know I love Meg very much, and I’ve decided that I would like to ask her to marry me, and I’ve been told that er, that I have to ask your permission before I can propose.’ “

“You have to?” Prince Harry quoted his grandmother saying.

“‘Um. Well, yes, that’s what your staff told me, and my staff as well. That I have to ask your permission,’ ” Harry recalled, adding he couldn’t tell what his grandmother was thinking at the moment. “At last, she replied, ‘Well, then, I suppose I have to say yes.’ “

Confused by her cryptic reply, Harry said that his mind ran with worry before he accepted the blessing.

“At long last I realized: She’s saying yes, you Muppet! She’s granting permission. Who cares how she words it, just know when to take yes for an answer,” he wrote.

Prince Harry said that his elder brother, Prince William, gave the green light for him to use diamonds from a bracelet that belonged to their late mother, Princess Diana, for Meghan’s engagement ring. The final three-stone diamond design features an ethically sourced stone from Botswana, where Harry and Meghan spent time early in their romance, flanked by the two smaller gems from Diana’s bracelet. 

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While Prince Harry and Meghan previously revealed in the BBC interview timed to their Nov. 27, 2017 engagement announcement that the proposal happened during a quiet night at home when Meghan was roasting a chicken, Harry shared even more in Spare.

Recalling that he popped a bottle of champagne — to Meghan’s surprise — Harry said that he took Guy outside to the walled garden of Nottingham Cottage, where he set up a blanket on the grass. 

Doubling back in to ask Meghan to come out with her glass of champagne, Harry wrote that he “set electric candles around the blanket” for a romantic reason. “I wanted it to look like Botswana, where I’d first thought of proposing,” he wrote in Spare.

Prince Harry pulled the ring from his pants pocket and popped the question.

“’Spend your life with me? Make me the happiest guy on the planet?’ ” Harry recapped about how he asked, and Meghan said yes. 

Harry added that he proposed on Nov. 4, and he and Meghan kept it mum for about two weeks. 

In Harry & Meghan on Netflix, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex spoke about the private proposal and when the engagement news went public. 

“Of course, I got down on one knee, of course I did,” Harry said. The screen flashed to a photo of the special moment, showing Harry down on one knee on a blanket — ring box in hand! — surrounded by candles, white roses, and Guy.

“He’s down on one knee, and I was like ‘Yes!’ We were so joyful and excited,” Meghan added. “I was like, ‘Ah, we’re doing this!’ “

A sweet selfie Prince Harry and Meghan took on their engagement night was shown next, followed by a shot of them kissing in the countryside with Guy tagging along.

The conversation continued at the start of the next episode. Footage rolled of Prince Harry and Meghan’s interview with Mishal Husain of the BBC, who chatted with the couple about the exciting milestone immediately after they announced their engagement in the Sunken Garden of Kensington Palace on Nov. 27, 2017.

The camera cut to Meghan and Harry’s sit down with Netflix, where a producer offscreen asked, “In your engagement interview —”

“Orchestrated reality show, yep,” Meghan said with a smile. “It was, you know, rehearsed,” she continued, as footage flashed again of the media call.

“So, we did the thing out with the press and then we went right inside, took the coat off, sat down and did the interview. So, it was all in that same moment,” she added.

“You mean just like prepping you before, or how does that work?” the interviewer asked, as Meghan explained she was instructed to “show the ring.” 

“But yes, my point is, we weren’t allowed to tell our story, because they didn’t want —,” she continued, as Harry interjected with a laugh, “We were never allowed to tell our story.”

“That’s true,” Meghan laughed, as Harry added, “That’s the consistency.” “That is consistent. Until now,” Meghan said.

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