Prince Harry Meghan Markle Invictus Games gazing into each others eyes 2017

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attend a wheelchair tennis semi-final match at the Invictus Games in Toronto on Sept. 25, 2017. (Picture by James Whatling)

With their engagement today, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are firmly planted at the centre of a social media vortex that shows no signs of slowing. Every tidbit of information, gossip and trivia are analyzed and mulled over for clues as to their future. The engagement announcement says they will live in Nottingham Cottage, but will they buy a weekend place? What about Meghan’s career? Ignore that many of those same tidbits are fake or misleading (According to a September US Weekly, she’s just met Queen Elizabeth II, when in fact, that tea didn’t take place until the next month. Oh well.)

What you need to know about Meghan Markle and Prince Harry

Meghan Markle is 36 years old. She was born on Aug. 4, 1981 in Los Angeles, Calif. She shared the same birthday as Prince Harry’s great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.

Prince Harry is 33 years old. He was born on Sept. 15, 1984 in London, England to Prince Charles and the late Diana, Princess of Wales.

Her parents divorced when she was a child. Her father, Thomas Markle, was a lighting director in Hollywood while her mother, Doria Ragland, works in social work. (As a mature student, Ragland got her master’s in social work from University of Southern California. And while some people call her Doria Radlan, her own Facebook page uses Ragland.)

 

Meghan is the first member of her family to obtain a university degree, getting a double major in theatre and international relations from Northwestern University in Illinois. She told Vanity Fair that she spent part of her last year in college at the U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Prince Harry didn’t go to university, instead entering the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst to begin a 10-year career as a military office.

Meghan Markle met Prince Harry at Soho House in London while on a media tour for her TV series, Suits, in July 2016.

Meghan Markle is divorced. She married producer Trevor Engelson in September 2011, after dating for seven years, but the couple divorced two years later, citing “irreconcilable differences.” A contributing factor was said to be her new role in the Toronto-based Suits, which get the couple apart.

Prince Harry served twice in Afghanistan as a military officer. His first tour was cut short when his presence was made public and he had to be removed from a forward post. In 2012, he returned to serve a tour as an Apache helicopter pilot.

As the second son of the heir to the throne, Prince Harry keeps slipping down the line of succession as his big brother, William, and sister-in-law, Kate, expand their family. He is now fifth in line to the throne, behind Prince Charles, William and children George and Charlotte.

Meghan Markle has handled the crush of media attention well, treading the well-worn path of other royal brides by revealing as little as possible—she even shut down her lifestyle blog Tig and stopped posting on social media—which can be difficult given she has to promote Suits. “It has its challenges, and it comes in waves—some days it can feel more challenging than others,” she told Vanity Fair in an innocuous October cover article. “And right out of the gate it was surprising the way things changed. But I still have this support system all around me, and, of course, my boyfriend’s support.”

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are both philanthropicPrince Harry founded the Invictus Games, and is very active in raising the awareness of mental health issues, especially in youth, as well as fighting for wildlife conservation.

Meghan Markle is an advocate for UN Women (her speech at a 2015 conference is here) and a global ambassador for the World Vision charity. In February 2016, she travelled to Rwanda to see their efforts firsthand.

After keeping their deepening relationship private for more than a year, the couple went public at the Invictus Games in September. First Meghan appeared at the opening ceremony near, but not next to, Prince Harry.


Then, two days later, they appeared together for the first time while enjoying a wheelchair tennis semi-final match at City Hall (with the media camped out on the other side of the tennis court, watching their every move).

In November 2017, Meghan Markle ended her seven-year stint on Suits, packed up her rented house in Toronto, and moved to London to be with Prince Harry. They live in his royal residence, the tiny two-bedroom Nottingham cottage tucked into the Kensington Palace complex. Conveniently, it is around the corner from William and Kate’s grander apartment.

Meghan Markle Prince Harry announcemenet

What’s next? A wedding in 2018, then a future as full-time royals. For Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, this is truly the best time of their lives.