Prince Harry is to marry his American actor girlfriend Meghan Markle in spring next year, Clarence House has announced.
“His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales is delighted to announce the engagement of Prince Harry to Ms Meghan Markle,” it said in a statement on Monday.
The ceremony is likely to be conducted by Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury, who said he was delighted by the news and had been impressed by Harry’s “immense love for his family”.
Harry’s brother and sister-in-law, Prince William and Kate, said: “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.”
Clarence House said the couple got engaged in London this month. They were expected to show off the engagement ring at a photo call later on Monday.
A date and venue for the wedding will have been decided already, with March being the most likely month, leaving enough time to ensure Kate is not about to give birth to her third child.
The couple would live in Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace.
News of the wedding will prompt a media frenzy that is likely to further test Harry’s relationship with the press. The prince, 33, spoke out about the way Markle, who is divorced, was portrayed when news of the relationship became public just over a year ago.
He condemned some of the newspaper reports and comment pieces as racist – Markle, 36, is mixed race – and sexist. His spokesman criticised the “racial undertones of comment pieces” and referred to “the nightly legal battles to keep defamatory stories out of papers”.