While Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are enjoying their romantic getaway in Africa, engagement rumours are heating up back home. The couple, who have been dating for a year, have been the subject of countless reports, with many speculating when Harry will pop the question. Darren McGrady, who was Princess Diana's head chef and watched the "boys" grow up at Kensington Palace, predicts a December announcement.
"I really do think they would have been engaged by now," Darren told HELLO! Online. "But with Princess Diana's 20th anniversary this month in August, they can't trump that. And then November is the Queen and Prince Philip's platinum wedding anniversary so they can't trump that either, whereas December they can announce the engagement and they'd be free to marry next year; I think that's what's going to happen. Meghan can join the royals at Sandringham at Christmas because she'll be engaged and part of the fold."
Harry and Meghan have only been pictured kissing in public once
The author, who is releasing his second cookbook The Royal Chef at Home, also noted the similarities between the Suits actress and Princess Diana. "I think Meghan is fantastic," he said. "Everything that I've seen of her, I think she's amazing and I think Harry's picked someone like his mum. I think Kate's beautiful, a hard worker, she looks stunning and she's doing exactly what she needs to be doing, but I think Meghan is naturally like Diana. She's amazing with children, she has that compassion, I think she's stunning, she's going to be a clothes horse. I think Harry sees his mum in her and I love what he's doing with Invictus Games. I can't speak highly enough of Harry."
The couple have been dating for a year
Darren worked as Princess Diana's head chef for four years until her death in 1997. Prior to that, he was employed as a chef at Buckingham Palace, cooking meals for the Queen for 11 years. He moved to Kensington Palace to work for Diana after the Princess' separation from Prince Charles. Recalling some of his favourite memories, the chef said: "I just remember her holding Prince Harry as a baby while she was eating cereal. She brought him down to show everyone at Windsor. As they got older, she'd bring them down to the kitchen and when William was going riding on Smokey, his little Shetland Pony, he'd come in for a glass of orange juice before or after the ride."
Darren said his favourite memory was dancing with the Princess
"Then of course I have memories of dancing with her at Balmoral Castle," said Darren. "It was incredible. I danced with her many, many times – the Scottish dancing when the Queen had the Ghillies Ball every year at Balmoral. She would ask me to dance and I think part of that was because I'm so tall. She found it easier dancing with someone who was tall so I think that's one of the reasons why she picked me. It was always fun dancing with the Princess."
Darren's second cookbook The Royal Chef at Home: Easy Seasonal Entertaining is out on 1 November 2017.