Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will marry next spring.
The Queen gave her grandson permission to marry the American actress while Harry, 33, also sought permission from his 36-year old fiancee’s parents.
A Kensington Palace spokesman confirmed: “The Prince of Wales has announced the engagement of Prince Harry and Ms Meghan Markle.
“Prince Harry and Ms Markle became engaged in London earlier this month. Prince Harry has informed The Queen and other close members of The Royal Family.
“Prince Harry has also sought and received the blessing of Ms Markle’s parents. The couple will live in Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace.
“The wedding will take place in spring 2018. Further details will be announced in due course.”
Meghan, who divorced from her first husband Trevor Engelson in 2013, is expected to be become the Duchess of Sussex after her marriage.
The couple will pose for photographs this afternoon and will give a broadcast interview to be aired this evening.
Harry and Meghan began their relationship in 2016 when the prince visited Toronto, meeting at the exclusive Soho Houser members club. They kept it secret for six months before Harry released an unprecedented press statement asking for their privacy to be respected.
However, it wasn’t until September that they were photographed together for the first time at the Invictus Games.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge said of the engagement: “We are very excited for Harry and Meghan. It has been wonderful getting to know Meghan and to see how happy she and Harry are together.”
Prince Charles, whose second marriage was a civil ceremony at Windsor Guildhall followed by a blessing at St George’s Chapel, released the following statement.
The Prince of Wales is delighted to announce the engagement of Prince Harry to Ms. Meghan Markle. pic.twitter.com/zdaHR4mcY6
— Clarence House (@ClarenceHouse) November 27, 2017
The news was also welcomed by Meghan’s parents, Thomas Markle and Doria Ragland, who said: “We are incredibly happy for Meghan and Harry. Our has always been a kind and loving person. To see her union with Harry, who shares the same qualities, is a source of great joy for us as parents.”
Speaking about her relationship earlier this year, the future Duchess said: “I’m still the same person that I am, and I’ve never defined myself by my relationship.
“We were very quietly dating for about six months before it became news, and I was working during that whole time. And the only thing that changed was people’s perception. Nothing about me changed.
“We’re in love. I’m sure there will be a time when we will have to come forward and present ourselves and have stories to tell, but I hope what people will understand is that this is our time.
“This is for us. It’s part of what makes it so special, that it’s just ours. But we’re happy. Personally, I love a great love story.”
The Archbishop of Canterbury has confirmed he has meet the couple, with Westminster Abbey, St Paul’s Cathedral or the chapel at Windsor Castle are all potential venues for the wedding, despite the American being a divorcee.
He said: “I am absolutely delighted to hear the news that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are now engaged.
“I have met Prince Harry on a number of occasions and have always been struck by his commitment and passion for his charities, and his immense love for his family.
“Marriage is a special and joyous commitment, one that Jesus celebrated together with friends at the wedding in Cana. I am so happy that Prince Harry and Ms Markle have chosen to make their vows before God.”
Prime minister Theresa May, who will happy to be out the headlines for a few days, also welcomed the news. She said: “This is a time of huge celebration for two people in love and, on behalf of myself, the Government and the country, I wish them great happiness for the future.”