Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are engaged

By Ainhoa Barcelona

Sorry ladies, Prince Harry is off the market! The 32-year-old Prince has announced his engagement to actress Meghan Markle, who is best known for starring in legal drama Suits. The couple started secretly dating last summer and one year into their relationship, it seems Harry and Meghan, 36, are ready to take the leap.

A statement was released from Kensington Palace that read: "His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales is delighted to announce the engagement of Prince Harry to Ms. Meghan Markle. The wedding will take place in Spring 2018. Further details about the wedding day will be announced in due course. His Royal Highness and Ms. Markle became engaged in London earlier this month. Prince Harry has informed Her Majesty the Queen and other close members of his 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."

Royal watchers had been speculating for months when Harry would pop the question. After maintaining a transatlantic relationship, the couple reunited earlier this month when Meghan moved to London after production wrapped on the seventh season of her hit television series. As soon as her plane landed at Heathrow, a royal engagement was deemed imminent.

GALLERY: Everything you need to know about Meghan

There have been other signs along the way – some subtle and others not so subtle – that pointed to Meghan preparing for a royal life. In April, the actress closed her lifestyle blog The Tig, which focused on food, travel, beauty and fashion. A week later, Meghan also ended her role as ambassador to Canadian clothing company Reitmans. Personal blogs and endorsement deals are not deemed appropriate for royals, as they focus their time on carrying out official duties on behalf of Her Majesty. Meghan has also kept a lower profile on social media, and has noticeably been posting less and less on her Instagram account, which boasts 1.6m followers, since she became a royal girlfriend.

The couple have also been taking gradual steps to go public. In January, they attended the wedding of Harry's best friend Tom Inskip in Jamaica, where Meghan was introduced to many members of Harry's inner circle. In May, they were also pictured kissing at the Audi Polo Cup Challenge at Coworth Park in Ascot. It was the first time that Harry had taken his girlfriend to such a public event and he didn't seem to care who was watching as he embraced his other half.

It was clear from the very start that Harry was serious about Meghan. Just a couple of months into their relationship, the Prince released a heartfelt and lengthy statement via Kensington Palace, asking for privacy for himself and Meghan. He said he was "worried" and "deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect" the actress from harassment, "sexism and racism". The very public statement was a rare move for the Prince, who is clearly head over heels in love with his girlfriend.

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