Similarities (and differences) between Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton's engagement announcements

Elise Solé
There’s a new royal couple in town: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced their engagement. (Photo: Getty Images)

As an American citizen, a divorcee, and a Hollywood actress, Meghan Markle isn’t your obvious royal. But her engagement to Prince Harry was nearly identical to that of Kate Middleton and Prince William — complete with African holidays, Diana’s diamonds, Fall proposals, and live press conferences.

On Monday, Markle, 36, and Harry, 33, broke the news with a tweet from Clarence House, the home of Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.


“His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales is delighted to announce the engagement of Prince Harry to Ms. Meghan Markle,” read the statement. “The wedding will take place in Spring 2018. Further details about the wedding day will be announced in due course.”

“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.”

Prince William and Kate Middleton tweeted their support: ‘We are very excited for Harry and Meghan. It has been wonderful getting to know Meghan and to see how happy she and Harry are together.”


Harry and Markle, who have been dating since November 2016, then posed for photographers in the palace’s Sunken Garden, recently remodeled into an all-white utopia to honor the late Diana, Princess of Wales.

During the live press conference, which lasted a few minutes, Markle, who wore a white, belted coat from Canadian brand Line the Label and nude pumps, told a reporter who asked how she was feeling, “So very happy. Thank you,” and Harry said, “Thrilled, over the moon. Very glad it’s not raining as well.

When asked how he proposed, Markle quickly advised her fiancé, “Save that for later,” however the prince confirmed their courtship was nothing short of a fairy tale. “When did I know she was The One? Very first time we met,” he said.

Meghan Markle’s engagement ring includes diamonds from Diana Princess of Wales’s collection. (Photo: Getty Images)

Naturally, all eyes were on Markle’s left hand which boasted the engagement ring that Harry designed himself — the center rock is from Botswana where the couple vacationed in August, and two diamonds are from Diana’s jewelry collection.

Afterward, the couple gave their first official television interview to the BBC, to be aired Monday night, during which Markle described their low-key engagement. “What were we doing — just roasting chicken?” Markle says in a clip. “It was just an amazing surprise. It was so sweet and natural and very romantic. He got on one knee.” She also added, “…I could barely let you finish proposing. I said, ‘Can I say yes now?'”

Harry said, “It was a really nice moment, just the two of us, and I think I managed to catch her by surprise.”

In many ways, the happy moment mirrored that of Will and Kate in 2010 — the couple, who are expecting their third baby in April, also chose the month of November to announce their marriage in 2010.

Prince William and Kate Middleton gave their first interview as an engaged couple in 2010. (Photo: Getty Images)

Prince Charles had the honor of breaking the news in an almost identical statement which read, “The Prince of Wales is delighted to announce the engagement of Prince William to Miss Catherine Middleton. The wedding will take place in the Spring or Summer of 2011, in London. Further details about the wedding day will be announced in due course. Prince William and Miss Middleton became engaged in October during a private holiday in Kenya. Prince William has informed The Queen and other close members of his family. Prince William has also sought the permission of Miss Middleton’s father.”

And just like Harry and Markle, the couple held a same-day press conference, although inside at St. James Palace, where Will and Kate (who wore a blue, silk Issa dress), were asked similar questions about the proposal. The prince also honored his late mom by giving Middleton her blue-sapphire-and-diamond ring.

However, Prince Harry and Markle’s union is unprecedented. They got engaged within one year of dating, a stark comparison to Will and Kate’s eight-year courtship, which earned the duchess the media nickname “Waity Katie.” And as an American celebrity, Prince Harry is breaking tradition — while there’s no rule that excludes non-royals from entering the family, it’s not common practice.

And while Markle will undoubtedly undergo etiquette training to learn how to present as a royal, she has a slight edge on Middleton, due to her on-camera experience as an actress on the television show Suits.

When it comes to style, Markle may also be a match for Middleton. According to the Telegraph, just like the Duchess, Markle caused Line the Label’s website to crash from people vying to copy her engagement look. Is this the Markle Effect?

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