Prince Harry and Meghan Markle sat down for their first joint interview — and boy, was it worth the wait. The newly engaged couple spoke with BBC, sharing details about the romantic proposal, and they even opened up about their private relationship.
Here are 11 of the best moments:
The prince proposed during a cozy night in while they were cooking: He popped the question a few weeks ago at their cottage in Kensington Palace when it was just the two of them. “It was a cozy night,” Markle explained. “We were roasting chicken. It was just an amazing surprise. It was so sweet and natural and very romantic. He got down on one knee.”
Markle was surprised: While an engagement seemed imminent to the entire world, Prince Harry still managed to “catch her by surprise.” He added, “It was a really nice moment.” It was an instant “yes” from the Suits actress, who could “barely” let him finish asking her to marry him. “I said, ‘Can I say yes now?'” she recalled.
They met on a blind date in 2016: While not much has been shared about the beginning of their relationship, the couple revealed a bit more about how they first connected. A mutual female friend — who they preferred not to name but has been rumored to be Misha Nonoo (the fashion designer who was formerly married to Harry’s childhood friend Alexander Gilkes) — set them up on a date last year. Two more dates in London followed in July 2016, and then three or four weeks later, Prince Harry “persuaded” Markle to join him in Botswana, where they camped out under the stars.
Markle only had one question before they were set up: “I didn’t know much about him, so the only thing that I had asked her when she wanted to set us up … ‘Is he nice?’ If he wasn’t kind it didn’t seem like it would make sense,” Markle recalled.
As for Prince Harry, he admitted he “never even heard about her” or watched Suits until their friend suggested they meet. The fact that neither knew much about each other helped them form a bond. “For both of us, it was really an authentic and organic way to get to know each other,” Markle explained.
They never went longer than two weeks without seeing each other: After Botswana, the two enjoyed about five or six months of privacy before the public caught wind of their romance. Markle noted that their long-distance “two-week” rule helped make things work, as they were both committed to investing time and effort to see each other.
Markle has “tuned out” scrutiny over her ethnicity: After their romance was revealed, Prince Harry was forced to issue a rare statement condemning the “abuse and harassment” his girlfriend was receiving for being biracial. The public interest, in general, was a bit of a shock to both of them.
“I tried to warn you as much as possible,” Prince Harry said to Markle, commenting generally on the public’s interest. “But I think both of us were totally surprised by the reaction … we were totally unprepared for what happened after that.”
“We were hit so hard at the beginning with a lot of mistruths that I made the choice not to read anything, positive or negative,” Markle noted, before she was specifically asked about the scrutiny about her ethnicity. “Of course, it’s disheartening, you know; it’s a shame that that is the climate in this world, to focus that much on that. At the end of the day, I’m really just proud of who I am and where I come from. We have never put any focus on that. We have just focused on who we are as a couple.”
“All the stars were aligned … this beautiful woman literally tripped and fell into my life and I fell into her life,” Prince Harry added. “We’re a fantastic team; we know we are.”
Prince Harry says Princess Diana and Markle would have been “best friends”: When asked what his late mother would think of his fiancée, the prince replied, “Oh, they’d be thick as thieves, without question. I think she would be over the moon, jumping up and down — you know, so excited for me, but then, as I said, would have probably been best friends — best friends with Meghan. So no, it’s, you know, it is days like — days like today when 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. …”
“She’s with us,” Markle added.
The families are thrilled: Markle has met both sides of Prince Harry’s family, including Princess Diana’s, which she said was “very important” to her. Charles Spencer, Diana’s brother, clearly approves; he tweeted his congratulations today.
The best of news. Nothing better than seeing a thoroughly lovely man truly happy. https://t.co/bzBkepTdzt
— Charles Spencer (@cspencer1508) November 27, 2017
Prince Harry said the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been “amazing” during the process, as have his grandparents.
As for Markle’s side of the family, Prince Harry couldn’t stop grinning when talking about meeting Markle’s mom, also calling her “amazing.” He hasn’t met her father yet, but has talked to him on the phone a few times.
“It’s all been worth every effort,” Markle said.
She’s a huge hit with the queen’s corgis: Markle revealed she has met Queen Elizabeth a couple of times, praising her by saying, “It’s incredible … to be able to meet her through his lens, not just with his honor and respect for her as monarch, but the love that he has for her as his grandmother. All of those layers have been so important to me … she’s an incredible woman.”
“The corgis took to her straight away … wagging tails,” Prince Harry laughed. Markle exclaimed, “They were laying on my feet during tea!”
Markle loves her engagement ring and Prince Harry’s “thoughtfulness” behind it: The actress’s sparkler has Princess Diana all over it … literally. “The ring is obviously yellow gold because that’s her favorite, and the main stone itself I sourced from Botswana,” Prince Harry explained. “And the little diamonds on either side are from my mother’s jewelry collection to make sure that she’s with us on this — on this crazy journey together.”
Meghan added, “It’s beautiful, and he designed it — it’s incredible … it’s perfect.”
They both want children: “Of course,” Prince Harry said, adding, “One step at a time.”
That first step would be getting married; the couple is set to wed next spring.
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