On 27 November 2017, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle finally put an end to months of speculation and confirmed their engagement.
It has been a year since Meghan Markle and Prince Harry announced their engagement.
The news was confirmed on Kensington Palace’s official Twitter account, which stated that the pair became engaged “earlier this month”.
“Prince Harry has informed the Queen and other close members of the Royal Family.”
An official statement also confirmed that Prince Harrt has also sought and received the blessing of Markle’s parents – and a letter from her mother and father has been widely shared on social media.
“We are incredibly happy for Meghan and Harry,” it read. “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.
“We wish them a lifetime of happiness and are very excited for their future together.”
It later transpired that Harry and Meghan had included a special tribute to his late mother, Princess Diana, in their engagement announcement.
Speaking to the BBC’s Mishal Husain, the prince said the central diamond was from Botswana, a place important to the couple as it’s where they first got to know each other, and the two smaller diamonds were from his late mother’s personal collection.
The ring was made by Cleave and Company, Court Jewellers and Medallists to Her Majesty The Queen.
Harry said: “The ring is yellow gold because that’s her favourite, and the main stone itself I sourced from Botswana and the little diamonds either side are from my mother’s jewellery collection to make sure that she’s with us on this, on this crazy journey together.”
Meghan added: “It’s incredible […] I think everything about Harry’s thoughtfulness and the inclusion of that and, obviously not being able to meet his mom, it’s so important to me to, to know that she’s a part of this with us.”
She went on to explain that she thought it was “special” to feel connected in some way to Diana: “I think in being able to meet […] different people who were so important to his mom, I’m able to, in some way, know a part of her through them and of course through him. It’s incredibly special.
“And you know to be able to have this [the ring] which sort of links where you come from and Botswana which is important to us. It’s perfect.”
Additionally, the pair’s photocall confirming the news of their engagement took place in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace, reportedly one of Princess Diana’s favourite parts of the grounds. The Sunken Garden now houses the White Garden, created earlier this year to mark the 20th anniversary of her death.
In the BBC interview, Harry went on to say that he was sure his mother would have approved of Meghan.
“They would be thick as thieves, without question,” he told Husain. “I think she would be over the moon, jumping up and down, you know, so excited for me. But then, as I said, she would have probably been best friends, best friends with Meghan.
“It is days like today I really miss having her around and miss being able to share the happy news. But, you know, with the ring and with everything else that’s going on, I’m sure she’s with us yeah, jumping up and down somewhere else.”
Of course, Meghan and Harry later went on to tie the knot at a star-studded wedding ceremony on 19 May 2018. And, since then, Meghan has declared her intentions to keep fighting the good feminist fight: indeed, her official biography on the Royal Family website explicitly stresses that she will never stop fighting for “social justice and women’s empowerment”.
We do not doubt it, either: since her star-studded wedding to Prince Harry, we have seen Meghan speak out in support of Ireland’s abortion referendum her seal of approval, don black as part of the Time’s Up movement, and work alongside the women who were affected by the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy. And her first royal tour, during which she visited Australia, Fiji, Tonga, and New Zealand, had a pretty huge focus on women’s rights, too.
All in all, a lot has changed since we learned Meghan would be joining the royal family. We can’t wait to see what his trailblazing duchess gets up to next.
Image: Rex Features