Now that Meghan Markle has made the permanent move to the UK to be with her royal boyfriend, it’s surely only a matter of time before Clarence House announces her engagement to Prince Harry. As fans wait with baited breath, we take a look back at how Prince William and Kate’s engagement was revealed by Prince Charles’ household. Is this what we can expect from Harry and Meghan too?
William and Kate got secretly engaged during a holiday to Kenya in October 2010. They waited a month before announcing their news in a press conference at St James’ Palace. Clarence House’s official Twitter account was also set up ahead of the announcement. A statement was released on the morning of 16 November 2010, which read: “The Prince of Wales is delighted to announce the engagement of Prince William to Miss Catherine Middleton. The wedding will take place in the Spring or Summer of 2011, in London. Further details about the wedding day will be announced in due course." It also noted: "Prince William and Miss Middleton became engaged in October during a private holiday in Kenya. Prince William has informed The Queen and other close members of his family. Prince William has also sought the permission of Miss Middleton’s father."
Meghan and Prince Harry at the Invictus Games in Toronto
We can expect a similar process for Harry and Meghan’s engagement. A statement will most likely be released from Clarence House, while Kensington Palace – Prince Harry’s household – will also celebrate the news. In keeping with the modern royals’ practice, the statement will perhaps be shared on Twitter. Royal watchers have speculated that Harry popped the question during the couple’s romantic three-week holiday to Africa in August, where they celebrated Meghan’s 36th birthday. If that's the case then the couple have been enjoying their news in private for some months.
When William shared his happy news, he presented his bride-to-be to the press during an official photocall at St James’s Palace. It was the first time the couple had ever given an interview, and it was the first time we heard Kate speak. Because Harry is unlikely to become King, he is less obliged to invite press to a big briefing. Harry, who is notoriously private about his relationship, may choose to give just one interview to the BBC. He may also choose not to have a grand wedding at Westminster Abbey like his brother, but may opt for a low-key celebration at St Paul’s, where his mother Princess Diana wed.
Fans are waiting for a royal engagement
Generally, royal weddings take place just months after an engagement. Prince William and Kate married five months after their announcement, the same amount of time as Prince Charles and his first wife Princess Diana. Meanwhile, the Queen and Prince Philip tied the knot in November 1947, just four months after getting engaged. If Harry and Meghan’s engagement is announced before the year's end, a spring or early summer wedding seems to be appropriate.
The Prince will have had to seek permission from his grandmother the Queen. According to the Perth Agreement of 2011, the first six people in the line of succession need approval from the monarch. Harry is currently fifth-in-line to the throne. This approval will most likely be announced just days before the wedding; when Prince William and Kate married in April 2011, the Queen gave her consent the week before. Under the Great Seal of the Realm, Her Majesty signed an elaborate notice of approval which proclaimed, in transcribed calligraphy, consent to the union of ''Our Most Dearly Beloved Grandson Prince William Arthur Philip Louis of Wales, K.G. and Our Trusty and Well-beloved Catherine Elizabeth Middleton''.