Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are engaged

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LONDON (CBS/AP/KKTV) - Britain's royal palace says Prince Harry and actress Meghan Markle are engaged and will marry in the spring of 2018.

Harry, a bad-boy-made-good by his tireless devotion to wounded vets and his embrace of a variety of charitable causes, has for several years said he wants to start a family, and the rumors of his engagement to Markle have been flying for some time.

The announcement came Monday from the office of Harry's father, Prince Charles.


The announcement says the couple became engaged earlier this month. It says 36-year-old Markle has met Queen Elizabeth II, and Harry also has received the blessing of Markle's parents. Thomas Markle and Doria Ragland said their daughter Meghan "has always been a kind and loving person. To see her union with Harry, who shares the same qualities, is a source of great joy for us as parents."

The couple made their first appearance as an engaged couple in front of photographers Monday.

The marriage represents a first-ever blending of Hollywood glamor with the once-stuffy royal family, which has of late seemed less fixed in its ways.

Harry, 33, is currently fifth in line to the British throne, but will drop to sixth in line after the birth of his brother Prince William's third child next year.


Weeks after first opening up about their relationship, Prince Harry and Markle made their first official public appearance in September, holding hands as they walked toward Toronto's city hall to attend a wheelchair tennis event at Harry's Invictus Games for wounded veterans.

The couple plan to live in Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace. Markle is also reported to have started the sometimes time-consuming process of moving her dogs from Canada to Britain. She recently left her television show, a development that helped fueled engagement speculation.

Markle, 36, recently told Vanity Fair they were in love. Harry had been dating Markle since last year. He confirmed the relationship in November when he complained about intrusive press coverage.

Markle was raised in the Los Angeles area. Her father is a Hollywood lighting director, her mother a yoga instructor and psychotherapist.

The announcement means another grand royal wedding may be in the offing - the first since William and and Kate married in 2011 - though it is possible the couple may choose to have a private ceremony, perhaps in a remote location far from the paparazzi who bedeviled Harry's mother, Princess Diana.

Harry, a bad-boy-made-good by his tireless devotion to wounded vets and his embrace of a variety of charitable causes, has for several years said he wants to start a family, and the rumors of his engagement to Markle have been flying for some time.

Best known as paralegal Rachel Zane in the US Network legal drama, "Suits," Markle has appeared on "General Hospital," "Fringe," ''CSI: Miami," ''Without A Trace" and "Castle." She also is a campaigner for gender equality.

The wedding is expected to take place in the spring.