Meghan Markle is ready to rule Britannia – here’s our definitive guide to the royal engagement
Why Meghan’s ready to rule Britannia – and our hearts
We knew it was coming, but even so, the announcement that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were engaged left us jubilant and embarrassingly emotional. Then came the photo call and TV interview – and they didn’t disappoint, either. Where do we begin? Was it the intimate hand-holding as they gazed at one another that melted us most? How about the story behind the ring (Hazza designed it, combining a Botswanasourced diamond with jewels from Princess Diana’s private collection)? Or the fact that, when the prince went down on bended knee, they were “roasting a chicken”. No, most of all, it was the simple fact that Britain had a new princess. A really good one, too.
Not only is Meghan a star in her own right on our tellies, she’s a top humanitarian, too. And she has a refreshing back story, hailing not from the British upper class but from California – born to a yoga-teacher mother and lighting director father. She’s been married before and is a world away from her future sister-in-law Kate Middleton.
But as the 36-year-old actress prepares to change her entire life forever, the inevitable question of what comes next follows. So, we’ve spoken to people in the know and broken it down for you. You’re royally welcome…
Where Will they be living?
Where to settle is a big question for any newly betrothed, but these two have it sussed. They’ll be living in Nottingham Cottage, the home Harry has lived in for four years and where the actress moved into last month. It’s a lovely two-bed abode in the Kensington Palace grounds, just a stone’s throw from William and Kate.
It also has a roof garden, which is nice. “It’s cosy, warm and the perfect size,” says heat’s royal insider. “Harry is really close to William, and that’s why he wanted to stay in the grounds of the palace. He adores being an uncle and tries to spend a lot of time with his niece and nephew. He and Meghan love the idea that their future children will have cousins nearby.”
For the moment, they’ll make do with their furry babies – Meghan’s dog Guy has moved over (although her other pooch, Bogart, is too old, so is staying in Canada where she lived before), while Harry confirmed that the Queen’s famous corgis have already taken to the newest member of the firm.
Our insider adds, “Meghan is such an animal lover. She’s been enjoying walking Guy around the grounds, and wants to spend more time with the Queen’s corgis, too. She and Harry are a much more normal couple than most people realise. Meghan is an amazing cook, so she’ll usually make dinner for them both and then they’ll curl up on the sofa in front of the TV.”
WHAT ABOUT THE WEDDING?
“The wedding will be extremely elaborate, and planning started the second they got engaged,” we’re told. “It will take place at St George’s Chapel in Windsor next May, which is the perfect venue choice, as it means a lot to Harry. It’s where Prince George was christened, and it’s also where his dad Prince Charles had his wedding to Camilla Parker- Bowles blessed. They didn’t want to have it at Westminster Abbey, as it could be compared to Kate and Wills’ big day.”
Officials also confirmed that, “The royal family will pay for the wedding,” and the Queen will attend, along with the rest of Harry’s family. But, we’re informed, “Meghan’s guest list will be small, with only her parents and very closest friends invited. The ceremony is going to be traditional and religious, and Harry will wear his military uniform.”
But that doesn’t mean it won’t be any fun. “Meghan wants the wedding to feel like her,” our source continues. “Her custommade wedding dress will be unique, but nothing too sexy. She wants to look like herself, too, so she won’t go overboard with the hair and make-up.
“They haven’t picked a honeymoon spot yet. They’re talking about going back to Botswana, because it’s a special place for them, where they had their first holiday, but Harry would also like to take Meghan somewhere she hasn’t been before.” Only the best for his “boo”
(or “babe” or “honey” – the pet names, we’re told, the couple have for each other).
WHO ARE HER PALACE PALS?
Meghan might be a future princess, but she’s also the new girl in town. Luckily for her, there are a couple of super-cool royals and celebs who are ready and willing to be her new BFF.
“Meghan’s still adjusting to her new life,” says an insider. “Kate has really taken Meghan under her wing, and it means so much. Meghan also met Pippa when she was a guest at her wedding in May. They have a lot in common and Harry thinks they will be good friends. She got to meet Princess Eugenie briefly, too, and they had a nice chat. Harry also thinks Meghan will like Princess Beatrice, who is pretty down to earth.”
And, of course, Meghan has illustrious connections of her own. Her close friends and potential bridesmaids include Serena Williams, Millie Mackintosh, fashion designer Misha Nonoo and actress Priyanka Chopra.
HER NEW STARRING ROLE
Meghan’s been praised for her humanitarian work, both in her role as a World Vision global ambassador and as a UN women’s advocate. But her philanthropic efforts went hand in hand with her job as an actress. Well, that’s about to change. During their TV interview, she confirmed she was leaving the acting world to focus on her royal life, but she insisted that she didn’t see it “as giving anything up. I just see it as a change.” And, we’re told that, while Meghan has confirmed she will no longer be working with the UN or World Vision, as she plans to begin with a “fresh slate”, she and Harry have big plans moving forward in their bid to better the world. In fact, the pair have already undertaken their first public engagement as a couple – visiting a World Aids Day charity fair. “Meghan has a giant heart and her mother always taught her to give back,” the insider tells us. “She has always used her position to make a difference, and now she’s going to have an even bigger platform. As well as continuing her own charity campaigns, she’s going to work with Harry on his. She’s promised him she will be there for him through thick and thin. They have a pact to always support and love each other and make each other better people.”
Who didn’t visualise their beautiful offspring when Harry and Meghan spoke about kids? Harry revealed, “Hopefully, we will start a family in the near future.” Hear that? Near future. Sounds like baby bells to us.
Our insider says the couple are resolutely on the same page when it comes to children. “They definitely want to have a family and will most likely start trying for a baby straight after the wedding,” our source tells us. “Meghan will be 37 next year and she’d like to have two kids before she turns 40. Harry has been aching for a child ever since he became an uncle, and he knows Meghan will be a great mum. Meghan’s mother was always her rock growing up.
“She wants to be just like her and be a best friend to her children. They’ll try to give them as normal an upbringing as possible.”
The look of love
Top bants, yah?
Nottingham Cottage. Nice
She’s got her handshake sorted. Take note, Trump
Kate and Pippa: Meg’s future BFFS
Being a top humanitarian