Revealed: How Harry proposed to Meghan Markle
PRINCE Harry has revealed how he proposed to American actress Meghan Markle, in their first sit-down interview.
Speaking to the BBC, Harry said he decided to pop the question on a "cozy night" at his London residence, Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace.
"It happened a few weeks ago, earlier this month, here at our cottage; just a standard typical night for us … trying to roast a chicken," he said.
Ms Markle said the proposal was "an amazing surprise".
"It was so sweet and natural and very romantic. He got on one knee," she said.
Asked whether it was an "instant yes", Prince Harry said "of course".
"She didn't even let me finish. She said, 'Can I say yes? Can I say yes?' and then there were hugs and I had the ring in my finger and I was like, 'Can I - can I give you the ring?' She goes, 'Oh yes the ring'," he said.
The royal couple also revealed in the interview that they knew next to nothing about each other before they were set up on a "blind date" by a mutual friend about 18 months ago.
Prince Harry said he had never heard Ms Markle's name and had never seen her the TV drama she stars in Suits.
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"I was beautifully surprised when I walked into that room and saw her. There she was sitting there and I was like, 'OK, well I'm going to have to up my game'," he said.
Ms Markle said didn't learn about Prince Harry through the media, she learnt about him "through him".
"Because in the States you don't grow up with the same understanding of the royal family and so, while I now understand very clearly there's a global interest there, I didn't know much about him and so the only thing that I had asked her when she said she wanted to set us up was one question: Was he nice?" Ms Markle said.
They met up for a drink in London in early July 2016 and then met again the next night.
About a month later, Prince Harry invited her to join him away from the public eye in the southern African nation of Botswana.
"We camped out with each other under the stars. She came and joined me for five days out there, which was absolutely fantastic," he said.
"Then, we were really by ourselves, which was crucial to me to make sure that we had a chance to get to know each other."
Ms Markle has been introduced to the Queen and the rest of the royal family, however Prince Harry is yet to meet the father of his bride-to-be, Thomas Markle.
Harry remarked cheekily that the Queen's beloved corgis had taken an instant liking to his fiancee.
"I've spent the last 33 years being barked at; this one walks in, absolutely nothing," he said.
TOUCHING TRIBUTE TO DI HIDDEN IN RING
The diamond stunner now taking pride of place on Meghan Markle's hand is not just any engagement ring. The piece of jewellery manages not only to pay tribute to an African nation close to Prince Harry's heart, it includes a nod to his late mother, Princess Diana.
Royal officials have revealed that Prince Harry designed the engagement ring himself, and that it includes two diamonds that belonged to Princess Diana, who died when Harry was 12.
The two stones are mounted on a yellow gold band around a larger central diamond that hails from Botswana.
Harry has visited the southern African nation many times since he was a child, and he has spent time there with his bride-to-be.
The ring was made by the official jewellers to Queen Elizabeth, Cleave and Company.
Ms Markle told the BBC the ring was "beautiful" and said the inclusion of Princess Diana's diamonds showed Harry's "thoughtfulness".
"Obviously not being able to meet his mom, it's so important to me to know that she's a part of this with us," she said.
"And I think in being able to meet his aunts and … different people who were so important to his mom, I'm able to, in some way, know a part of her through them and of course through him.
"And it's incredibly special. And you know to be able to have this, which sort of links where you come from and Botswana, which is important to us … it's perfect."
Harry said Ms Markle and his mother would have been "thick as thieves".
"I think she would be over the moon, jumping up and down, you know so excited for me," he said.
"It's days like today when I really miss having her around and miss being able to share the happy news but … I'm sure she's with us."
Prince William paid a similar tribute to his mum in 2010 when he proposed to his now wife, Kate, with a diamond-encrusted 18-carat sapphire ring that also once belonged to Princess Di.
During their engagement interview, Prince William explained the sentimental value of the ring.
"It is a family ring; it's my mother's engagement ring, so I thought it was quite nice because obviously she's not going to be around to share in the fun and excitement of it all so this is my one way of keeping her close to it all," he said.
Ms Markle, an American actress, showed off her impressive bling when she and Prince Harry made their first public appearance since their engagement at Kensington Palace in London on Monday.