Engagement fever mounts at the Palace

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Prince Harry’s aides have been told to start planning for a Royal Wedding, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

Senior members of the Royal Family are understood to have been asked to look at their diaries to shortlist a series of suitable weekends next year – the clearest sign yet that an engagement announcement is imminent.

The news comes days after Harry and his girlfriend Meghan Markle held a private meeting with the Queen, seen by insiders as a sign that Her Majesty has given the union her blessing.

It is unlikely there would be any official announcement until after the celebrations for the Queen’s 70th wedding anniversary on November 20.

It may be significant, too, that the Palace chose to release news of the Duchess of Cambridge’s April due date comparatively early. A wedding is believed to be out of the question until Prince William and Kate’s third child is born.

One important consideration both for courtiers and the Church of England is Meghan’s status as a divorcee. Under Church rules, she would be unable to have a religious wedding and, although it could take place in church, a ceremony would be a blessing instead, with a civil marriage taking place separately.

This could lead to the choice of a comparatively low-profile venue, such as the Royal Military Chapel at Wellington Barracks at St James’s Park.

Meghan is currently in Toronto filming scenes for her legal drama Suits, and work will not finish on the series until the middle of November.

Harry plants a kiss on Meghan's cheek as the watch the Invictus Games closing ceremony

Harry plants a kiss on Meghan’s cheek as the watch the Invictus Games closing ceremony

Sources in her circle believe she will then move into Kensington Palace, where Harry occupies the two-bedroom Nottingham Cottage. Meghan is believed to have told studio bosses that she will not return for another series of Suits next year, reportedly telling friends she was ‘happy to make this career sacrifice’ in order to concentrate on her charity work and her new life as a senior Royal.

Meghan, who made her first official public appearance alongside Harry at the Invictus Games in Toronto, is also planning to travel to India for the charity World Vision, of which she is a patron.

Palace aides have already been advising Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, a 60-year-old yoga instructor and therapist who lives in Los Angeles – a sign of how seriously the relationship is being taken in Royal circles.


Read more at DailyMail.co.uk