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Drama Detectives: Are Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Engaged?

Here are the facts.

Is Meghan Markle officially a princess-to-be? Gossip headlines say YES (!!!) — but let’s be real, they’ve lied to us before.

Sometimes, you just have to conduct your own investigation, a kind of Markle Meta-Analysis, to separate the truth from the hype. Here’s everything you need to know about the “un-official” royal couple’s romantic getaway, and why insiders believe that Prince Harry has already popped the question.

The Timing

On August 4th, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry touched down in Botswana and began their hotly anticipated three-week holiday. August is an important month for the duo: it’s Markle’s birthday month, and the month that Harry’s mother, Princess Diana, died in a fatal car accident. Which, granted aren’t exactly comparable events, but, stay with us.

While it may seem morbid to pop the question near the anniversary of a tragic event, the opposite may be true: a friend of the pair (and really, I hope we all aspire to be the kind of friend that leaks our friend’s personal info to the press) told US Weekly that Harry wanted to propose near the date of his mom’s death “so he can associate August with something joyful.”

Which…I guess is romantic. Usually, you just propose to someone when you’re ready. In his 2010 engagement interview, Prince William revealed that he popped the question when things “just felt right” with Kate Middleton. The feeling was right in October—which has no royal significance aside from being the birthday month of Prince Edward (William’s first cousin, twice removed). This isn’t to say, of course, that Harry is a spontaneous lover like his elder bro. Wouldn’t it be romantic if Harry has been plotting the timing of this romantic getaway since the day the duo met?

The Location

Africa is a ~*special*~ place for the British royals. It’s where Queen Elizabeth was when she found out she was monarch, where Princess Diana performed her philanthropic passions, and where Harry and William escaped to after the death of their mother. The last time a young, handsome royal couple jetted off to the continent, Kate Middleton came home with a ring.

Botswana, in particular, is a “second home” for Harry: “This is where I feel more like myself than anywhere else in the world,” the Prince told Town and Country Magazine. “I have this intense sense of complete relaxation and normality here.”

But it’s not just Harry who has a soft spot for Africa. Markle, whose mother is African-American, visited Rwanda last year as World Vision’s Global Ambassador to promote clean water initiatives and women’s education.

Before accepting this evidence as fact, one might argue: Africa is cool, but what about Toronto? Shouldn’t Harry propose in Canada’s capital city? It’s Meghan’s adopted home, where Harry’s hosting September’s Invictus games, and where the couple has spent most of their time together.

To these doubters, I say: would you rather be proposed to on an African safari, or atop the CN Tower?

The Ring

A royal insider told US Weekly that Harry had been working with a jeweller in the months leading up to his getaway with Markle. Like his brother William, who proposed to Kate with his late mother’s 18-carat sapphire engagement, Harry is using a piece of Princes Diana to launch his marriage. The insider said that Harry “had diamonds taken from a brooch he inherited from Diana.”

Is it just us, or does every one of these proposal clues point back to Princess Diana? But you know what…we’re game for it. Sure it’s a simple narrative, but it’s the narrative Will and Harry grew up with. The media makes everything about the people’s princess—can you really blame her grieving sons for doing the same? “Obviously, she’s not going be around to share in all the fun and excitement,” Will told ITV of his relationship with Kate. “[Proposing with Diana’s wedding ring] is a way of keeping her close to it all.”

The Announcement

It may be a while before the rumours are confirmed. According to US Weekly’s source, “Harry said he would want to enjoy the news between the two of them before word starts spreading out.”

Darren McGrady, former head chef to Princess Diana, confirmed this gossip (with more gossip.) “I really do think they would have been engaged by now,” Darren told HELLO! Online. “But with Princess Diana’s 20th anniversary this month in August, they can’t trump that. And then November is the Queen and Prince Philip’s platinum wedding anniversary so they can’t trump that either, whereas December they can announce the engagement and they’d be free to marry next year; I think that’s what’s going to happen. Meghan can join the royals at Sandringham at Christmas because she’ll be engaged and part of the fold.”


Verdict: I hear royal wedding bells. Is it idealistic to buy into in this well-choreographed proposal story? Yes—obviously. But in our on-looking peasant eyes, these two are Prince Charming and Cinderella, and they deserve nothing less than a fairytale engagement. In short: if Harry proposes to Meghan in his pyjamas, we’re going to be pissed.

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