The announcement everyone was wondering about finally came on Monday, Nov. 27, and there's photos to prove it. The first photos of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle give us a sneak peak at the engagement ring. The couple's engagement was announced officially by the British royal family on Monday, and the two appeared in the Sunken Gardens of Kensington Palace for a photoshoot at 2 p.m. GMT.
According to Us Weekly, Prince Harry designed the ring for his bride-to-be using diamonds from a brooch that belonged to his late mother, Princess Diana. Vogue UK reports the ring was made by Cleave & Company, court jewellers and medallists to the Queen. The gold ring's centerpiece diamond comes from Botswana, which Harry has visited as a child, and where he and Markle have vacationed.
But wait, what about Princess Diana's old engagement ring? The blue sapphire ring, famously Diana's ring from her engagement to Prince Charles in 1981, was already spoken for. It had been kept by Prince Charles for years, but it changed hands to the eldest son when Harry gifted the sapphire to his older brother William so that he could give it to Kate Middleton in their 2010 engagement. (Family is worth the sacrifice, right?)
Still, Markle made out with a pretty jaw-dropping ring herself.
It's actually not the first time Markle is sporting a ring gifted by Prince Harry — she was spotted wearing a gold band on her thumb earlier this year, per Vogue. But it's definitely the most significant.
Prince Harry, 33, is fifth in line to the throne in Britain. Markle, 36, is an American actress known for her role on the show Suits. The couple has quietly been dating for months but generally avoiding the spotlight. Per Vogue, they met in summer 2016, and that November, the royal palace released on official statement confirming their relationship. Recently, though, there was speculation about whether the couple would get married.
The newly engaged couple has won the approval of both families, according to an official statement. The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh said they were "delighted for the couple and wish them every happiness," while the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall (Prince Harry's father and his wife) said, "We're thrilled. We're both thrilled. We hope they'll be very happy indeed." Markle's parents also gave their blessing (which Prince Harry sought prior to popping the question), wishing the two "a lifetime of happiness."
An official statement released by Clarence House billed the wedding for the spring of 2018, reading,
...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.
The newlyweds have company at their "Not Cot" abode. Kensington Palace is the current resident of Prince William, his wife Kate Middleton, and their children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte. The latter family lived at the two-bedroom Not Cot prior to moving into the 20-room palace. Per Daily Mail, when Harry moved in to the cottage, he apparently installed a hammock in the backyard (so Markle has that added bonus to look forward to).
The Sunken Gardens, where the duo spoke to the press and Markle's new ring made its debut, is the site of a memorial garden dedicated to Princess Diana. This year marks the 20th anniversary of her passing.
The couple will apparently make another appearance Monday night (UK time, so plan accordingly) in a broadcast interview, and hopefully we'll all get to see another close-up of that diamond.