6 Details About Prince Harry & Meghan Markle’s Engagement From ‘Finding Freedom'
November 27, 2017, will go down in history as the day that convinced even serious skeptics that true love does, in fact, exist — after all, that's when the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced their engagement. While the couple did share some of the story during their official interview with BBC's Mishal Husain shortly after the proposal, the surprising details about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's engagement from Finding Freedom shed so much more light on this milestone. Apparently, there's a whole lot more to know about how and when Harry popped the question. (Elite Daily reached out to reps for the royal couple about all claims surrounding their engagement and did not hear back in time for publication.)
Harry and Meghan were not interviewed for the biography, nor have they commented on any of the claims in it. However, it's rumored that the couple reportedly gave their blessing to publish the book, which was written by respected royal reporters Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand. According to Us Magazine, the authors spoke to more than 100 sources, including palace staff and many in the couple's inner circle, to get the inside scoop on their relationship.
Meghan and Harry's engagement is just one subject they dug up more info on, and these deets they uncovered are simply too swoon-worthy not to share. So, if you already thought the proposal was adorbs, buckle up — because the story is about to get a whole lot sweeter.
They reportedly were secretly engaged for months.
When Harry and Meghan opened up about their proposal in late fall of 2017, the newlyweds were straight-up beaming — but according to Finding Freedom, they'd already been secretly engaged for months before sharing their news with the world. In fact, the authors claim Harry proposed in August of 2017, not in November, as they said in their official interview with BBC. Honestly, I'm just impressed that they managed to keep this major news under wraps for so long.
When Harry and Meghan first announced the news, they revealed that the proposal happened on a "typical night" while they cooking a roast chicken dinner together at their cottage. At the time, Meghan said it was an "amazing surprise" when Harry got down on one knee.
"It was so sweet and natural and very romantic," she added.
Finding Freedom claims that the couple got engaged months prior to their announcement, but that Harry did actually pop the question during a low-key night at home, shortly after their return from a trip to Botswana.
"As Meghan prepared dinner at Nottingham Cottage, which had quickly started to feel like home, he got down on bended knee and asked for her hand in marriage," the authors wrote. "It was a moment they would never forget. But it would be some time before they shared the news with the world. For now, it would be their little secret.”
Omid and Durand also claimed that it all went pretty smoothly.
"Marriage proposals are hard to carry off as planned, but Harry was pleased with how the whole thing went down," they added.
Not many people knew about their news before they shared it with the world.
I know what you're thinking. If Harry and Meghan were secretly engaged for months, how did they prevent the word from getting out? Well, for one thing, the Finding Freedom authors claim that they kept this announcement on the DL.
“The only ones who Meghan had explicitly told were her parents and her best friends, including Jessica, Markus, and Lindsay," they wrote. "To some of her closest girlfriends, she had more recently announced the news simply with a photo of her hand bearing the engagement ring.”
Imagine getting a text with just a pic of Meghan's ring-clad hand? And then having to keep that secret to yourself?
Meghan may have dropped a hint about the secret engagement with her wardrobe.
If you've been following Harry and Meghan's relationship timeline, you probably recall their first public appearance at the Toronto Invictus Games, which happened in September of 2017. The engagement rumors were already swirling at that time, and it's not hard to see why. The couple looked positively smitten — smiling, holding hands, and extra affectionate as they watched the events. If you believe Finding Freedom's claim, Harry had already proposed at this point.
Well, according to the book's authors, Meghan reportedly dropped a subtle hint about their news — she wore a white button-down designed by her friend Misha Nonoo that's referred to as the "Husband Shirt." How did this sly move go unnoticed?
Harry reportedly went on a secret expedition to get the diamond.
You may already be well aware that Harry pulled out all the stops when it came to Meghan's engagement ring. Not only did he reportedly opt to custom design it himself, but he also incorporated some meaningful touches: two stones from Princess Diana's collection, as well as a diamond from Botswana, where the couple has enjoyed multiple memorable trips together. In their BBC interview about the engagement, Meghan said:
"It’s incredibly special to be able to have this [ring], which sort of links where you come from and Botswana, which is important to us. It's perfect."
What you may not know is just how much effort went into getting the perfect diamond. According to Finding Freedom, Harry started discussing their potential engagement with the Palace at some point during the summer of 2017.
"Although Harry had yet to propose, he had started to tell most of his inner circle that it was something he planned to do," wrote Scobie and Durand. "Unbeknown to most, he already had an engagement ring in the works.
The authors claim that in May of that year, Harry reportedly traveled alone to Botswana while serving his role of patron of the Rhino Conservation. While he was in Africa, he did a little "secret diamond scouting" with a close friend who was able to help him source "the perfect conflict-free stone."
No surprise here, but Meghan apparently "loved the ring." According to the book, she reportedly told one friend: "Just the level of thought that went into it. I can’t get over that."
I can't get over it, either, TBH.
Harry reportedly never asked Meghan's dad for permission.
Considering Meghan's somewhat strained relationship with her father, it might come as no surprise that Harry reportedly didn't ask him for her hand in marriage. Not only that, but this somewhat antiquated tradition may just not have lined up with Meghan's beliefs.
"Meghan, after all, was a strong-willed, independent woman in her mid-30s whose feminist ideals centered around the simple fact that both genders should be on an even playing field," the Finding Freedom authors explained.
However, the Queen had reportedly already privately given their engagement her blessing well before she formalized it by signing the Instrument of Consent, according to Finding Freedom.
Once they were engaged, the real work began.
Pretty much as soon as Harry slipped the ring onto Meghan's finger, the Finding Freedom authors claim that she immediately dove into a ton of training and preparation.
"Once Harry asked Meghan for her hand in marriage, he had talked to her about how the entire process of marrying a royal would work," the authors wrote. "He guided her through the necessary protocol that would follow their engagement—including Her Majesty's public declaration of the approval of the union."
So, yeah. It wasn't all fun and games — but that ring alone had to make it all worth it.