Emmy GriffithsPrince Harry and Meghan Markle are engaged, but did you see the royal announcement coming? Here are all of the signs that the engagement was imminent
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle might have just announced their engagement, but there were plenty of hints that a royal wedding was imminent long before Kensington Palace announced the exciting news.
The pair, who began dating in early 2016, have kept up their long-distance relationship while arranging to see one another as much as possible, but it soon became clear that the pair were taking their relationship a step further after Meghan joined Prince Harry at Pippa Middleton's wedding reception. Here are the other signs that the pair were getting serious…
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Meghan moved out of her Toronto home
Meghan moved out of her apartment in Toronto after filming Suits, and according to sources she sent her two dogs – Guy and Bogart – to stay with her mum until she was settled in London with Harry. A source told Us Weekly: "Meghan has been really concerned with getting her dogs over to London. The UK is extremely strict with animals and laws are very harsh. It's been something she's been worrying about since a London move was decided."
Bookies suspended bets
Speculative, yes, but all bets were off on the engagement after Meghan moved to London to be with Prince Harry. A spokesperson for Ladbrokes told the MailOnline: "Royal watchers would love a Christmas engagement announcement, and as far as we are concerned it’s coming imminently. Meghan has met her Prince Charming and it looks like this fairytale is going to end happy ever after."
Meghan ended several commitments
In a move that some believed to be in preparation for royal life, Meghan stepped away from several of her commitments, including her lifestyle blog, The Tig andher ambassador role to the Canadian clothing company Reitmans. She also took a step from social media, and has been posting less on her Instagram account.
The pair have made their first official appearance
Meghan joined Prince Harry for the Invictus Games in Canada, which marked their first official public event together, which was a clear sign that their relationship was a serious one. Harry also held hands with his partner, which broke royal protocol as royals are encouraged not to show affection in public, which is why Prince William and Kate never hold hands during events.
Meghan talks relationship with the Prince
Meghan has been vocal about her love for her royal beau, and even hinted that they may have to "present themselves" as a couple in the future. She told Vanity Fair: "We're a couple. 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!"
They liked it each other for years before meeting
If this isn't love at first sight, we don't know what is! According to royal writer Katie Nicholl, Harry had a crush on Meghan before even meeting her. Speaking on the Channel 4 documentary When Harry Met Meghan: A Royal Romace, she said: "He had a crush on [Meghan's character] Rachel Zane two years before he met Meghan and the reason I know is because I was having drinks with one of his friends. She told me she'd been on a night out with Prince Harry. He was single at the time, so she said 'Harry, who's your ideal girl?' And he said 'Meghan Markle from Suits'."
Meghan also chose Harry during a quick-fire question round with HELLO! before the pair started dating, when she was asked who she liked more, Prince William or Prince Harry.
Meghan wrapped up filming Suits
Meghan is best known for her role at Rachel Zane on Suits, but it was recently reported that the star would not be returning for the new season, and instead opted not to renew her contract along with her co-star, Patrick J. Adams. This reports seemed to be confirmed when Meghan's stand-in, Nicky Bursic, posted a snap with the star to say goodbye. At the time, she wrote: "It's been an absolute pleasure and honour being your 'STAND-IN' for the last two seasons @meghanmarkle. Though I've been on @suits_usa for six years, the latter two has been my most memorable. Wishing you all the happiness in the world Bella."
Prince Harry's statement after their relationship went public
Prince Harry made an unusually personal statement requesting the media to respect Meghan's privacy, which read: "The past week has seen a line crossed… [Meghan] has been subject to a wave of abuse and harassment. Some of this has been very public - the smear on the front page of a national newspaper; the racial undertones of comment pieces; and the outright sexism and racism of social media trolls and web article comments… Prince Harry is worried about Ms. Markle's safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her."
Prince Harry has introduced Meghan to the Queen
According to reports, Prince Harry introduced Meghan to his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, back in October. The actress is said to have enjoyed an afternoon tea with the monarch. According to Metro, Meghan has also met Harry's father Prince Charles, who reportedly described her as "a very nice girl and very pleasant".