Prince Harry to marry girlfriend Meghan Markle

Prince Harry is to marry his American actress girlfriend Meghan Markle, Clarence House has announced.

The pair became engaged in London earlier this month and will tie the knot in Spring.

In a statement a spokesperson said: “The couple have been dating since the summer of 2016 after being introduced by mutual friend Markus Anderson at the exclusive members club Soho House in Central London.”

It was in November last year, following press speculation that they were a couple, that Kensington Palace confirmed they were dating, as they sent out a letter accusing the press and social media of harassing Meghan and her family with racist and sexist comments.

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Video: Who is Meghan Markle?

Harry and Meghan have only been seen officially out together once, as they watched the wheelchair tennis at the Invictus Games in Toronto where Meghan lived and worked.

They walked to their seats holding hands, sparking speculation that an engagement was imminent.

Clarence House said further details about the couple’s wedding will be announced in due course, adding: “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.”

Sharing a joke at the Invictus Games 2017 in Toronto

Image: The couple appeared in public at the Invictus Games 2017 in Toronto

Meghan Markle, 36, is an American actress who made her name playing para-legal Rachel Zane in the legal drama Suits.

She was born in 1981 in Los Angeles and lived with her mother Doria who was a make-up artist and her father Thomas, who was a Hollywood lighting director.

Meghan was previously married to film producer Trevor Engelson, but they divorced in 2013.

At the Toronto International Film Festival in 2012

Image: Markle the Toronto International Film Festival in 2012

In her own blog and on Instagram she describes herself as an activist and is a self-proclaimed feminist. She has been an advocate on women’s political participation for the United Nations, and also worked as a charity ambassador for the charity World vision.

With an African American mother and white father, she has also spoken out on the issue of racial equality.

Prince Harry, 33, who is fifth in line to the throne, hasn’t spoken publicly about his relationship with Meghan and has worked hard to protect her from the press speculation.

Over the past few years he has transformed his image from party prince to poster boy for the royal family, developing his charity work with a focus on mental health, HIV and the Invictus Games, and acquired his fair share of female fans.

The couple stayed for about half an hour before leaving together hand in hand

Image: The couple arrived at the Invictus games hand in hand

During his tour of New Zealand in 2015 Harry told Sky News about his desire to settle down. He said: “Of course I’d love to have kids right now, but there’s a process that one has to go through and… tours like this are great fun.

“Hopefully I’m doing all right by myself. It would be great to have someone else next to me to share the pressure. But, you know, time will come and whatever happens, happens.”

The couple will live in Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace.

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