After months of speculation, palace officials announced Monday that Prince Harry is engaged to American actress Meghan Markle.
A statement bearing Prince Harry’s official name and title, Prince Henry of Wales, said the two became engaged in London earlier in November and had informed the Queen.
Markle, 36, was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, and graduated from Northwestern University, according to The Telegraph.
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Her father, Thomas Markle, is an Emmy Award-winning lighting director, most well known for his work on “General Hospital.” Her mother Doria Radlan works in mental health services in Los Angeles, according to her Facebook profile. She is divorced from Thomas Markle, according to The Sun.
She is perhaps best known for playing Rachel Zane, an ambitious legal associate on the TV show “Suits.” Her acting career before then included parts in shows like “Fringe,” “Knight Rider,” and “Castle” and in the films “Horrible Bosses” and “Get Him to the Greek.”
In addition to acting, Markle co-founded and edited a lifestyle website called The Tig, which closed down in April of 2017. “Keep finding those Tig moments of discovery, keep laughing and taking risks, and keep being ‘the change you wish to see in the world,’” she wrote on the site’s farewell message.
Markle has also performed humanitarian work as a global ambassador for World Vision Canada, and has traveled to Rwanda in support of clean water initiatives. She has also done work for One Young World, a U.K. based charity that brings world leaders together as “counselors” to address global issues.
Markle was an advocate with the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women, according to US Magazine.
The couple has been dating for a little over a year and has been the subject of some unsavory media coverage. Prince Harry asked for some privacy on Twitter a year ago, saying that “a line has been crossed” and that Markle had been “subject to a wave of abuse and harassment.” The statement mentioned that the criticism had “racial undertones” as well (Markle described herself as mixed-race in a 2015 editorial for ELLE).
The Prince of Wales said the wedding is scheduled to happen in spring of 2018. It will be the first royal wedding since Prince William and Kate Middleton married in 2011.
This will be the second marriage for Markle, who was divorced from producer Trevor Engelson in 2013 after two years of marriage. Harry’s father, Prince Charles of Wales, was divorced from Princess Diana in 1996. Charles later married Camilla Parker Bowles, who had also been divorced.
Kensington Palace released a statement Monday saying that Prince Harry had asked Markle’s parents for permission to wed their daughter. “We are incredibly happy for Meghan and Harry,” they wrote. “Our daughter has always been a kind and loving person. To see her union with Harry, who shares the same qualities, is a source of great joy to us as parents.”