Prince Harry—one of the world’s most eligible bachelors in the world—is officially off the market. He announced his engagement on Monday, according to NBC News.
The younger British prince is engaged to American actress Meghan Markle. Royal officials announced the engagement, sharing that the wedding will take place in the spring.
The venue was not immediately revealed. A statement said more details would be announced "in due course."
Prince Harry’s brother, Prince William, is already married. He married Kate Middleton in April 2011 at Westminster Abbey. In 1981, his parents, Prince Charles and Diana Spencer, married at St. Paul’s Cathedral in 1981.
Royal officials revealed that Harry designed the engagement ring. The center diamond is from Botswana because that is a country that "holds special significance" for the prince. He visited the country many times since he was a child. The other two outside stones are from his late mother's personal collection.
The couple posed for photos outside of Kensington Palace. During the photo op, Harry said he felt "over the moon." He declined to discuss how he proposed.
"When did I know she was the one?" Harry said in response to a reporter's question. "The very first time we met."
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, said they are "delighted for the couple and wish them every happiness."
Markle, 36, is three years older than Harry. Friends introduced the couple in July 2016. Their relationship remained a secret for several months.
Engagement rumors have been running rampant since the couple made their first appearance together in September at the Invictus Games. Harry was seen holding Markle’s hand, and at the closing ceremony, cameras caught the prince giving Markle a kiss on the cheek.
Some have questioned how the royal family would embrace Markel. The actress is divorced, biracial, and attended a Roman Catholic school, which is a first for the royal family.
“I think, from the queen's perspective ... she's never expressed anything other than delight for Prince Harry being with somebody that he loves,” said Camilla Tominey, royal editor of the Sunday Express newspaper.
Markle isn’t the first divorced woman to join the royal family. Harry’s father, Prince Charles’, second wife, Camilla, was previously married. She was accepted reluctantly at the time. In 1936, the queen’s uncle, Edward VIII abdicated the throne to marry an American divorcee, Wallis Simpson.
While she isn’t the first divorced woman to join the royal family, Markle is perhaps the most enthusiastically welcomed. It stands in contrast to the reluctant acceptance of Prince Charles’ second wife, Camilla, who was also previously married. In 1936, the queen’s uncle, Edward VIII, abdicated the throne amid a public outcry rather than end his plans to marry an American divorcee, Wallis Simpson.
"I think the British public won't just accept Meghan, I think they will embrace Meghan," wrote Katie Nicholl, royal correspondent for The Mail on Sunday and a contributor to Vanity Fair. "She is a real breath of fresh air. She's an actress but she's also a humanitarian. And I think she's going to bring something very special to the royal family."
Markle's parents, Thomas Markle and Doria Ragland, also issued a statement. They said they were "incredibly happy for Meghan and Harry."
They continued, "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 for us as parents."
Likewise, Prince William and his wife, Kate, said they were "very excited."
Congratulations to the couple! It’s a true royal love story.
In other news, there was a huge scare one block away from a royal outing.