It’s official: Hollywood actress Meghan Markle will marry Prince Harry in the spring.
The royal palace made the highly-anticipated announcement Monday morning, confirming that the couple became engaged in London earlier this month, and will live together at Nottingham Cottage, Harry’s home at Kensington Palace.
Before tabloids broke the news in October 2016 that the American-born actress appeared to be Prince Harry’s new girlfriend, Markle had already established a career as an actress and humanitarian.
- She starred in the USA legal drama “Suits.”
- She served as a vocal humanitarian for the U.N. Women’s Advocate for gender equality and a global ambassador for World Vision
- She founded a lifestyle blog called The Tig in 2014, which attracted a robust following with posts about political and social issues, food, and travel.
Last year, Markle wrote an essay for Elle magazine about the challenge of balancing the glitz and glamour of Hollywood with her commitment to humanitarian work.
Markle’s relationship with Prince Harry drew plenty of vicious criticism nonetheless, as she didn’t quite fit the typical archetype of a would-be princess:
- Markle is American, born and raised in Los Angeles.
- She is older than Harry.
- She is biracial, with an African-American mother and white father.
- And she’s been divorced (fans of “The Crown” will recall that, where prospective royal spouses are concerned, a previous divorce has historically been frowned upon).
The onslaught of racist and sexist attacks on Markle was intense enough to prompt a rare response from Kensington Palace, which came to her defense in a prepared statement in November 2016:
“Prince Harry is worried about Ms. Markle’s safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her. It is not right that a few months into a relationship with him that Ms. Markle should be subjected to such a storm,” the statement said. “He knows commentators will say this is ‘the price she has to pay’ and that ‘this is all part of the game.’ He strongly disagrees. This is not a game — it is her life and his.”
Monday’s announcement has swiftly consumed social media, and one common question is: “What will Markle’s title be?”
The British press reported that the actress will likely soon be officially known as the “Duchess of Sussex” (per royal tradition, the Queen is anticipated to bestow the title of “Duke of Sussex” upon Harry on the couple’s wedding day).