Prince Harry and Meghan Markle celebrated their royal engagement with an official photocall on Monday afternoon. The happy couple proudly showed off the L.A.-born actress’s engagement ring as they posed for their first photographs as an engaged couple.
The pair have been dating since July 2016 and were first revealed as a couple in October 2016.
“His Royal Highness and Ms. Markle became engaged in London earlier this month,” Clarence House said in a statement. “Prince Harry has informed Her Majesty The Queen and other close members of his family. Prince Harry has also sought and received the blessing of Ms. Markle’s parents.
“The couple will live in Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace.”
According to Clarence House, the wedding will take place in Spring 2018. It will be the biggest royal wedding since his brother Prince William walked down the aisle with Kate Middleton in 2011. It is the first time a direct heir to the throne has been set to wed an American since King Edward VIII abdicated to marry Wallis Simpson in 1937. (Harry is fifth in line, behind his father, Prince Charles, William and Kate’s children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte.)
In a statement, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip said they were “delighted for the couple and wish them every happiness.”
Markle’s parents — Thomas Markle and Doria Ragland — said they were “incredibly happy” about the engagement.
“Our daughter has always been a kind and loving person,” they said in a statement. “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.”
Prince William and Kate Middleton also sent their well-wishes in a statement: “We are very excited for Harry and Meghan. It has been wonderful getting to know Meghan and to see how happy she and Harry are together.”