During their first joint interview with the BBC, Harry revealed that he got down on one knee and popped the question during a cozy evening at his Kensington Palace cottage, presenting Markle with a ring of his own design. The wedding band includes diamonds from Princess Diana’s collection, and Harry said that his late mother would have been “best friends” with Markle had the two been able to meet.
But what about the rest of Harry’s family? Here’s what the royals really think about Harry’s true love
The royal pair had reportedly been dying to meet Markle as soon as they found out about her, and they all hit it off in a series of private meetings. Harry told the BBC (via Hello!) that that living on the same grounds as his brother and sister-in-law meant Markle could meet them in a relaxed and private environment. “So you know, being our neighbours, we managed to get that in quite a few times,” Harry said. Markle–who already appears to be finishing Harry’s sentences for him–added that Kate had been “wonderful” to them.
It wasn’t only William and Kate who were dying to meet Harry’s new partner, his dad was apparently keen to make her acquaintance, too. The Prince of Wales reportedly gave Markle his blessing after hosting her at his home. “[We had] a handful of teas and meetings and all sorts of gatherings over at his place,” Harry said. “The family together have been absolutely, you know, a solid support.”
Charles (who is next in line to the throne) and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, recently made their opinion on Harry’s engagement public: “We’re thrilled,” they said in a joint statement released via their official Twitter. “We’re both thrilled. We hope they’ll be very happy indeed.”
The royal family has a complicated history with divorce, and divorced American women, in particular. When the British public found out that Markle had been married before, comparisons were immediately drawn to notorious socialite Wallis Simpson, whose affair with Prince Edward, the Duke of Windsor, in the 1930s was a huge scandal. The Church of England would not allow Edward to marry the two-time divorcee after becoming king, and so he gave up the throne for her, causing outrage in London.
Unlike her uncle, Queen Elizabeth towed the Church of England line hard in the early years of her reign. She is widely believed to have stepped in and stopped her sister, Princess Margaret, from marrying divorced comptroller Peter Townsend in the early ’50s.
Fortunately, the Queen is willing to break those unofficial rules for Markle. A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said the Queen and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, “were delighted for the couple and wished them every happiness.”
Traditionally, the family of the bride foots the bill for the wedding (even Kate Middleton’s parents contributed to their daughter’s big day,) but the Queen has reportedly decided to put in on her tab in order to welcome Markle into the family with a bang. The royal family confirmed that it will absorb the cost of the church service (Markle will be baptized and confirmed into the Church of England beforehand) as well as the music, the flower arrangements, and the reception.