When news of Prince Harry's engagement to Meghan Markle broke on November 27, 2017, the whole world was overjoyed. The beaming royal and his wife-to-be posed for photographs in the Sunken Gardens at Kensington Palace, before heading inside for an in-depth interview about how it all happened.
The official statement announcing Harry and Meghan's engagement said the Prince proposed "in London earlier this month," but according to a new book written about the royals, Finding Freedom, the couple had actually agreed to marry a few months before - they just kept it a secret until they could formally share the news.
The Daily Mail claims an excerpt of the book, which it's not believed has been officially authorised by Meghan or Harry but is said to include interviews from their close friends and other reliable sources, reveals the couple "became secretly engaged in August 2017."
Meghan and Harry's proposal story, as they shared it with the world, was that the couple had been cooking a roast chicken when Harry got down on one knee. In their engagement interview, Meghan described it as "just an amazing surprise. It was so sweet and natural and very romantic."
While the timings have now been thrown into question, it's likely that the story itself is true. Or at least, we hope it is, because it was a super-cute one. "As a matter of fact I could barely let you finish proposing. I was like ‘can I say yes now?’" Meghan said of the moment.
Just two-and-a-half weeks after announcing their engagement, the now-Duke and Duchess of Sussex confirmed they had set a date for their wedding; 19 May, 2018. That's quick wedding planning by anyone's standards (although the royal family is known to be speedy with this kind of thing) so it is plausible that the couple had longer than we first thought to put their plans into place.
The Finding Freedom book - written by royal correspondents Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand and released next month - also shares new, previously unheard details of Meghan and Harry's first date. And it sounds like their connection was almost instant. According to an extract of the book published by The Times, after being set up by an anonymous mutual friend, the pair agreed to meet at Dean Street Townhouse – a venue known for being favoured by the elite.
Despite nervousness from both, it didn’t take long for them to start chatting easily. On two individual velvet club chairs, the pair were 'in their own little world', a source said." It's thought that the couple both ordered a couple of drinks – a beer for Harry, a martini for Meghan – before speaking about their work and realising they had an instant connection.
"Nibbles may have been out on the low table in front of their oversize chairs, but neither touched the food. They were also too engrossed in their conversation, and too involved with each other, to notice the rather rude wallpaper featuring photos of women’s private parts that adorned the walls," the book read. Crikey.
Well, whenever it was they actually got engaged, it sounds like Harry and Meghan knew right from the beginning that they were meant to be.
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