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Photo credits: Kensington Palace via Twitter

Royalists around the world let out a collective squeal of joy when Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s engagement was announced. Set to become the first American princess in the British Royal Family, the former Suits star gushed about being welcomed with open arms by the family, something that would have been unimaginable even a generation ago.

After all, King Edward VIII abdicated the throne and triggered a constitutional crisis in 1936 to marry Wallis Simpson, a divorced socialite from Baltimore.

“I am just really proud of who I am and where I come from.

— Meghan Markle

But the royals of 2018 are a very different set indeed, marrying for love instead of “duty,” something that has captured hearts around the world.

Markle, a former U.N. Ambassador for women, will be the first actress to join the senior royal family, as well as the first person of mixed ethnicity to marry a high-ranking royal – although some historians speculate that Queen Charlotte, wife of King George III, also had an African lineage through her ties to the Portuguese royal family.

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While many in the global audience have been following their wedding planning with excitement, some coverage of the couple’s relationship and Meghan Markle’s background has been fraught with sexist and racist undertones, which even led to an unprecedented move by the royal family.

Back in November 2016, Prince harry issued an official statement that unequivocally condemned the hateful and deeply invasive narrative around his relationship with Markle.

Prince Harry’s commitment towards his then-girlfriend spoke volumes about the strength of their relationship. Markle in turn, decided to not to follow the media coverage.

At the end of the day I am just really proud of who I am and where I come from, and we have never put any focus on that, we’ve just focused on who we are as a couple, and so when you take all those extra layers away, and all of that noise, I think it makes it easy to just enjoy being together and tune all the rest of it out.

– Meghan Markle

How Meghan Markle and Prince Harry fell in love

The couple shunned public attention from the very start, letting their relationship bud through an endless stream of quiet nights spent in.

In fact, Prince Harry popped the question in early November 2016 during “a cozy night in (…) trying to roast a chicken.” The couple had met only about a year and a half ago, being set up on a blind date by a mutual friend.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGRL0O15xP4&w=640&h=360]

Although both had been in the public eye, the duchess-to-be knew very little of her date and was only curious to know whether he was kind, while the Prince of Wales knew nothing of his future girlfriend.

Bonding over their commitment to help others through charity work and advocacy, the two quickly set up a second date, which was followed by a private trip to Botswana, with nights spent “camping out underneath the stars.”

While it was an effort to keep their relationship private, both the future princess and the current Prince of Wales agree that being forced to spend time at home, rather than on public dates, especially at the start, gave them the opportunity to get to know each other without outside interference. In fact, the Prince highly recommends it, advising couples to “slow down the dates, and maybe spend more time at home.”

With a deep understanding of each other, an unwavering commitment to put their relationship before anything else, and enthusiastic support from both families – as well as the royal corgis –, this modern-day fairytale love story is sure to inspire millions well after next May’s wedding.


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