SEVERE WX : Tornado Watch - Severe Thunderstorm Warning View Alerts

Prince Harry and actress Meghan Markle to wed next year

Palace officials announced Monday that Prince Harry is engaged to Meghan Markle, confirming months of rumors that the couple was close to tying the knot.

Posted: Nov 27, 2017 7:50 AM

LONDON (AP) - Actress, humanitarian campaigner, lifestyle blogger - and, next spring, a royal.

Palace officials announced Monday that Prince Harry is engaged to Meghan Markle, confirming months of rumors that the couple was close to tying the knot.

Harry's brother, Prince William, and his pregnant wife Kate welcomed Markle to the royal family.

"We are very excited for Harry and Meghan," they said in a statement. "It has been wonderful getting to know Meghan and to see how happy she and Harry are together."

The announcement means another grand royal wedding is in the offing - the first since William and and Kate married in 2011.

In some ways, Markle - a mixed-race American raised in California, an outspoken full-time actress, and a divorcee - makes a surprising addition to Britain's monarchy.

But the institution has moved on with the times, and the romance between Markle and Harry - who has repeatedly stressed his wish to lead as "normal" a life as he could - has a decidedly unstuffy, modern feel to it.

Markle, best known for her role as an ambitious paralegal in the hit U.S. legal drama "Suits," surprised many when she shared her feelings for Harry in a September cover story for Vanity Fair. Asked about the media frenzy surrounding their courtship, the 36-year-old said: "At the end of the day I think it's really simple ... we're two people who are really happy and in love."

Describing Harry as her "boyfriend," Markle said that while she expected that she and Harry would have to "come forward" about their relationship at some point, the two were just a couple enjoying time spent with each other.

"Personally, I love a great love story," she said.

Harry - once known for his "bad boy" antics, including being photographed playing strip billiards in Las Vegas - has largely won over the British public with his winning smile, his military career and his devotion to charities aimed at helping disabled veterans and other causes.

The 33-year-old prince recently won praise with his work campaigning for more openness about mental health issues. Speaking candidly about his personal struggle to cope with the loss of his mother, Princess Diana, when he was only 12, he encouraged others to talk about their own problems rather than keeping them bottled up inside.

Markle's Vanity Fair interview broke new ground. It is unusual for a royal love interest to speak so publicly - and candidly - before becoming engaged. Harry's past reported girlfriends all shied away from the media limelight, and his sister-in-law, formerly known as Kate Middleton, stayed silent until she and Prince William gave a formal televised interview at Buckingham Palace after their engagement became public.

But then, unlike some other "commoners" romantically linked to Britain's royals, Markle is no stranger to media exposure and the world of show business.

The actress's most successful role is the feisty Rachel Zane in the TV legal show "Suits," now in its seventh season. Her career has included small parts on TV series including "Fringe," ''CSI: Miami," ''Knight Rider" and "Castle," as well as movies such as "Horrible Bosses." Outside of acting, Markle founded a lifestyle blog called TheTig.com (which closed down in April without explanation), and has lent her celebrity status to humanitarian causes.

She has campaigned with the United Nations on gender equality, written in Time magazine about girls' education and the stigma surrounding menstruation, and has traveled to Rwanda as global ambassador for the charity World Vision Canada. She has described how her mother took her to the slums of Jamaica to witness poverty first-hand, saying experiences like that shaped her social consciousness and charity work.

To some degree that mirrors the experience of Harry, who was also inspired by his mother's humanitarian work and embraced the types of charities Diana favored in the final years of her life before her 1997 death in a Paris car crash.

Harry and Markle held hands for their first official appearance together in September in Toronto at the Invictus Games, a sporting event for wounded service personnel that Harry spearheaded.

Both were dressed casually in jeans, smiling and chatting as they arrived for a tennis match. Several days later, Harry was photographed kissing Markle on the cheek as he joined the actress and her mother in a luxury box to watch the event's closing ceremony.

Markle said she met Harry through friends in London in July 2016, and that they had been dating quietly for several months before the romance hit the headlines.

The media attention then became so intense that Harry took the unusual step of officially confirming the romance in order to warn the media off. In a strongly worded statement issued through the palace, the prince pleaded for reporters to stop intruding on his girlfriend's privacy. He condemned "outright sexism and racism" in some online comments, and said some articles with "racial undertones" had crossed the line.

Some tabloids had alluded to Markle's mixed-race heritage, pointing out she has an African-American mother and a white father.

Markle herself has spoken out about coming to terms with being biracial - both growing up, and in her Hollywood career.

In a March interview with Allure magazine, she said studying race at college was "the first time I could put a name to feeling too light in the black community and too mixed in the white community.

"For castings, I was labeled 'ethnically ambiguous'," she said.

Markle was born Aug. 4, 1981, to a clinical therapist mother and television lighting director father. She grew up in Los Angeles, and now lives in Toronto.

She studied at a girls' Roman Catholic high school before attending Northwestern University in Illinois, where she studied theater and international relations.

Markle married film producer Trevor Engelson in 2011, but the pair divorced two years later.

It wouldn't be first time that a British royal has married an American - or a divorcee. In 1936, Edward VIII famously abdicated after he was forced to choose between the monarchy and his relationship with twice-divorced American socialite Wallis Simpson.

In her Vanity Fair interview, Markle made clear the world's attention on her romance did not faze her.

"I'm still the same person that I am, and I've never defined myself by my relationship," she said. "The people who are close to me anchor me in knowing who I am. The rest is noise."

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Terre Haute
Clear
85° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 89°
Robinson
Clear
82° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 85°
Indianapolis
Broken Clouds
85° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 86°
Rockville
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 81°
Casey
Scattered Clouds
83° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 87°
Brazil
Clear
85° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 89°
Marshall
Clear
85° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 89°
Storms Possible
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Confirmed Cases: 156638

Reported Deaths: 7419
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook961864741
Lake10464429
DuPage9810491
Kane8151285
Will7382326
Winnebago3202106
St. Clair2386145
McHenry2309103
Kankakee144366
Madison128571
Rock Island123230
Unassigned1174201
Kendall106821
Champaign105717
Peoria71030
DeKalb65722
Boone64021
Sangamon55333
Jackson35919
McLean33415
Randolph3277
Ogle3194
Stephenson2876
LaSalle28017
Macon25422
Clinton25216
Whiteside22015
Union21419
Adams2041
Coles20217
Grundy1965
Tazewell1918
Iroquois1765
Knox1750
Monroe17013
Williamson1644
Warren1500
Cass14010
Morgan1344
Henry1221
Jefferson11717
Lee1092
McDonough10815
Vermilion902
Montgomery892
Pulaski850
Marion790
Macoupin723
Douglas610
Perry611
Jo Daviess551
Livingston552
Woodford532
Christian524
Franklin500
Jasper477
Jersey451
Bureau432
Ford421
Clark410
Effingham341
Menard320
Cumberland300
Mercer290
Johnson280
Mason280
Fayette263
Alexander250
Moultrie250
Washington250
Logan240
Edgar230
Wabash230
Bond222
Carroll212
Hancock211
Piatt210
Shelby211
Wayne211
Crawford200
De Witt180
Fulton170
Saline170
Massac160
Schuyler140
Lawrence130
Marshall130
Greene110
Brown100
White100
Richland90
Clay80
Henderson80
Pike80
Gallatin70
Hamilton70
Stark60
Edwards50
Out of IL30
Calhoun20
Hardin10
Pope10
Putnam10
Scott10

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Confirmed Cases: 52685

Reported Deaths: 2775
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion12192697
Lake5764251
Elkhart372061
Allen2988135
St. Joseph223570
Hamilton1779101
Cass16519
Hendricks1482100
Johnson1366118
Porter86738
Vanderburgh8586
Tippecanoe79510
Clark72844
Madison68564
LaPorte63928
Howard61758
Bartholomew60945
Kosciusko5874
Marshall57412
Noble52628
Boone49744
LaGrange49110
Delaware48452
Jackson4813
Hancock47236
Shelby46225
Floyd42544
Monroe37528
Dubois3447
Morgan34431
Grant33426
Henry30618
Montgomery29720
Clinton2913
White28110
Warrick27929
Dearborn27723
Vigo2638
Decatur25732
Lawrence25325
Harrison22022
Greene20032
Miami1972
Jennings18012
Putnam1758
DeKalb1714
Scott1669
Wayne1656
Perry16010
Daviess15117
Jasper1422
Orange14023
Steuben1403
Ripley1357
Gibson1332
Franklin1288
Wabash1203
Carroll1142
Starke1103
Fayette1087
Whitley1086
Newton10110
Huntington932
Jefferson932
Wells841
Randolph814
Fulton791
Knox730
Jay720
Posey680
Washington681
Pulaski661
Clay655
Rush633
Spencer621
Owen541
Sullivan541
Benton510
Adams491
Brown461
Blackford412
Fountain382
Tipton361
Crawford350
Switzerland320
Parke280
Martin260
Ohio230
Vermillion200
Warren161
Pike150
Union150
Unassigned0193