Prince Harry and Meghan Markle: A tale of love at first sight

Manila Bulletin - - Front Page -

LON­DON (AFP) – It was love at first sight for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who both quickly sensed their brief en­counter on a blind date could blos­som into some­thing much, much big­ger.

They were set up by a mu­tual friend when US ac­tress Markle was pass­ing through Lon­don in July, 2016, with the cou­ple later re­veal­ing they knew lit­tle about each other. The speed of their re­la­tion­ship sur­prised them both.

"The fact that I fell in love with Meghan so in­cred­i­bly quickly was a con­fir­ma­tion to me that all the stars were aligned. Ev­ery­thing was just per­fect," said Harry.

Less than two years later, they will tie the knot at Wind­sor Cas­tle on Satur­day, seal­ing a re­la­tion­ship that rapidly grew out­side of the me­dia spot­light – and sur­vived when

it went pub­lic in ex­plo­sive fash­ion.

When the cou­ple first met for a drink, both were taken aback.

She was 34 and a di­vorcee of three years; he 31 and with a few foundered re­la­tion­ships and his 10-year army ca­reer re­cently be­hind him.

Harry had never heard of Markle or watched "Suits", the US tele­vi­sion le­gal drama se­ries she had starred in since 2011.

"I was beau­ti­fully sur­prised when I walked into that room and saw her," he re­called, and thought to him­self: "I'm go­ing to re­ally have to up my game here!"

Bond­ing in Botswana

Bond­ing over their pas­sion for the good causes they rep­re­sented, they im­me­di­ately set up a sec­ond date – for the fol­low­ing day.

A few weeks later, he per­suaded her to join him camp­ing out for five days in Botswana, which Harry called a “huge leap” to take so soon – but one that paid off.

"We were re­ally by our­selves, which was cru­cial to me to make sure that we had a chance to get to know each other," he said.

As Markle con­tin­ued film­ing "Suits" in Toronto, the pair never went longer than two weeks apart.

Their ro­mance was un­der cover for the first five or six months, and largely con­ducted through nights in be­hind closed doors.

"We were able to re­ally have so much time just to con­nect," said Markle.

The prince said the royal fam­ily had been very sup­port­ive of the re­la­tion­ship, in­clud­ing his grand­par­ents Queen El­iz­a­beth II and Prince Philip, his fa­ther Prince Charles, as well as his brother Prince Wil­liam and his wife Kate.

Harry said they had frank con­ver­sa­tions about what her fu­ture could en­tail and found it a "huge re­lief" to have fi­nally found some­one com­fort­able with the pres­sure and life­long job that he comes at­tached with.

Royal au­thor An­drew Mor­ton, who penned a bi­og­ra­phy of Markle, said the speed with which she fell for Harry was sur­pris­ing as the TV star was a life­long cau­tious char­ac­ter.

"He was more of the sup­pli­cant than Meghan. He had more to gain and Meghan has more to lose by her agree­ing to be his bride," Mor­ton told AFP, in an un­usual role re­ver­sal for the prince.

‘This is not a game’

Harry pub­licly con­firmed they were dat­ing in Novem­ber 2016 with a highly un­usual state­ment blast­ing racist "abuse and ha­rass­ment" di­rected towards her.

"It is not right that a few months into a re­la­tion­ship with him that MsMarkle should be sub­jected to such a storm," his com­mu­ni­ca­tions sec­re­tary Ja­son Knauf said.

"This is not a game – it is her life and his."

The an­gry state­ment, go­ing way beyond the lengths Harry went to for pre­vi­ous girl­friends, con­firmed how se­ri­ously he was treat­ing this re­la­tion­ship.

Even­tu­ally, Harry pro­posed in Novem- ber, 2017.

The cou­ple were hav­ing a cosy night in at Not­ting­ham Cot­tage, the two-bed­room home they now share in the grounds of Lon­don's Kens­ing­ton Palace, roast­ing a chicken.

"It was just an amaz­ing sur­prise. It was so sweet and nat­u­ral and very ro­man­tic. He got on one knee," the ac­tress said.

Markle said yes be­fore Harry had fin­ished propos­ing or even pro­duced the ring.

They an­nounced their en­gage­ment on Novem­ber 27 last year and she was swiftly in­te­grated into the royal fold, mak­ing her first of­fi­cial pub­lic ap­pear­ance with Harry on De­cem­ber 1 and spend­ing Christ­mas with the fam­ily.

The pair will throw them­selves into causes they wish to cham­pion, while Harry has sug­gested that their joint fo­cus will be on the Com­mon­wealth, par­tic­u­larly youth.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines

© PressReader. All rights reserved.