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Prince Harry to Wed American Actress Meghan Markle in the Spring

prince harry and meghan markle engaged

Kensington Palace announced this morning that Prince Harry will wed American actress and activist Meghan Markle in a ceremony next year.

The palace said in a statement that Prince Charles "is delighted to announce the engagement of Prince Harry to Ms. Meghan Markle."

"The wedding will take place in Spring 2018. Further details about the wedding day will be announced in due course," the statement continued. "His Royal Highness and Ms. Markle became engaged in London earlier this month. 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."

The couple will live in Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace, the statement added.

Prince Harry, 33, served 10 years in the British Army, including a stint in Afghanistan, and is fifth in line to the British throne. He founded the Invictus Games in 2014 for wounded veterans. He was previously romantically linked to Zimbabwean Chelsy Davy and British actress Cressida Bonas, granddaughter of Edward Curzon, 6th Earl Howe.

Markle, 36, was born in Los Angeles to an African-American mother, psychotherapist Doria Radlan, and white father, lighting director Thomas Markle. Her roles include the USA Network series Suits and the movie Horrible Bosses. She was married to producer Trevor Engelson from 2011 to 2013.

Markle was named the UN Women's Advocate for Political Participation and Leadership in 2015. "While most become star struck by A-list actors, you'll only see me in awe of leaders effecting change. Politician and diplomat Madeleine Albright, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon," she wrote for Elle UK a year ago. "These are my heroes. These are my celebrities."

"With fame comes opportunity, but it also includes responsibility – to advocate and share, to focus less on glass slippers and more on pushing through glass ceilings," she added. "And, if I'm lucky enough, to inspire."

That month, Prince Harry publicly acknowledged their relationship. A statement from Kensington Palace decried the "wave of abuse and harassment" directed at Markle.

"Some of this has been very public - the smear on the front page of a national newspaper; the racial undertones of comment pieces; and the outright sexism and racism of social media trolls and web article comments. Some of it has been hidden from the public - the nightly legal battles to keep defamatory stories out of papers; her mother having to struggle past photographers in order to get to her front door; the attempts of reporters and photographers to gain illegal entry to her home and the calls to police that followed; the substantial bribes offered by papers to her ex-boyfriend; the bombardment of nearly every friend, co-worker, and loved one in her life," the statement said.

"Prince Harry is worried about Ms. Markle’s safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her. It is not right that a few months into a relationship with him that Ms. Markle should be subjected to such a storm. He knows commentators will say this is ‘the price she has to pay’ and that ‘this is all part of the game’. He strongly disagrees. This is not a game - it is her life and his."