Prince Harry: I Proposed to Meghan While Roasting a Chicken
In a TV interview, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle talked about their romance, how he proposed, what it was like for her to meet the queen, and why Princess Diana is ‘with’ them.
Prince Harry confirmed he is officially the most adorable bearded man on the planet this afternoon, giving a winning interview for the BBC (now available on the internet) in which he smiled, grinned, and joked with his beloved wife-to-be, Meghan Markle, the two clutching hands like love-struck school kids.
In the interview, with BBC News’ Mishal Husain, Harry revealed that he proposed in early November to Meghan at his home, Nottingham Cottage, while trying to roast a chicken.
In shunning the usual cliché-ridden locations—a beach in Madagascar, a mountaintop in Africa—where less confident men may feel the need to go down on one knee, Harry revealed himself as the ultimate, in-the-moment modern British male.
Meghan, who sat with her hand clasped in his, both resting on her knee, said it was a surprise proposal. “He got on one knee... I could barely let you finish proposing. I said, ‘Can I say yes now?’”
Harry picked up the story from there, but brilliantly fluffed it (although we all knew exactly what he meant): “I had the ring in my finger and I was like can I give you the ring? She goes, ‘Oh yes the ring.’”
If Harry seemed sweetly bumbling, he looked visibly devoted to his fiancée. Meghan was eloquent, poised, and—you sense—will be a passionate and voluble champion of the causes that the couple come to represent. It feels very much a partnership of equals.
“I was falling in love with Meghan so incredibly quickly… all the stars were aligned… this beautiful woman fell into my life. We are a fantastic team, we know we are!” he added.
Indeed, they seemed to be in this interview.
The couple talked about how they had met on a blind date arranged by a friend about a year and a half ago. (Meghan quietly made sure that they didn’t reveal the name of the woman who had introduced them, and thereby compromise her privacy.)
It was clear from the outset that they had fallen for one another, but both had packed schedules. Harry was about to spend a month in Africa, while Meghan was filming the TV drama Suits in Toronto. It was a question, said Harry, of finding time in the “gaps,” with Meghan whizzing between time zones across the Atlantic.
The first five months of the relationship were conducted in private, and then the couple saw each other at least once every two weeks. They had camped together “under the stars” in Botswana early in the relationship.
Harry had never heard of Meghan until the friend’s introduction, and was “beautifully surprised” when they met. “I’m going to really have to up my game here,” he recalled feeling. She said she had come to know him personally too, rather than grow up surrounded by news stories about him. Both had gotten to know each other “afresh,” Harry said.
Early on, they knew they had to invest the time and energy to make the relationship work, said Meghan.
“I did not have any understanding of what it would be like,” Meghan said of getting involved with a member of the royal family.
The couple was unprepared for the level of scrutiny they had faced, said Harry.
Meghan said there was a misconception that as a TV actress she would be acquainted with media interest, but she hadn’t been part of “tabloid culture,” and had not bargained for what had been written about her, including “a lot of mistruths.” She had chosen not to read any of it, the good and the bad.
Husain bought up the media focus on her mixed-race ethnicity. “Of course its disheartening,” said Meghan. “It’s a shame that that is the climate, to focus on that, or that it would be discriminatory in that sense. I’m proud of who I am and where I come from. We just focus on where we are as a couple.”
Meghan said she wanted to get to know more about the communities of Britain, smaller charitable organizations, and tour the Commonwealth.
“There’s a lot to do,” said Harry.
When Husain referred to Harry as Meghan’s future husband, Meghan was all poise while Harry chuckled at the term and said, “Ooh, that sounds nice, dunnit?”
“It’s a new chapter,” Meghan said in a measured tone, as the interviewer catalogued the enormity of her new role. Harry talked about his own sense of responsibility, for what Meghan will be taking on professionally as his wife.
He said he had thought, “I know I’m in love with this girl and I hope she is in love with me.” But he also knew there would be need to be “frank conversations what she was letting herself in for. It’s not easy for anybody, but I know that at the end of the day she chooses me and I choose her. Whatever we have to tackle will be us as a team. She’s capable of anything. Together there’s a hell of stuff and work that needs doing.”
For now, he added, they were putting their relationship first, but that a shared “passion for change, for good” would motivate their public works.
They would start a family “in the near future.”
The pair talked about meeting each other’s families. Of meeting the queen, Meghan noted the love that Harry had for his grandmother. “She’s an incredible woman,” she added.
The queen’s corgis had fallen for Meghan immediately too, said Harry, laughing. The dogs had barked at him for the duration of his life so far.
The couple have also hung out with William and Kate; Kate had been “amazing,” said Meghan. Her parents and close friends had been “concerned” as the couple were swept up in a media storm, but they could also see how happy she was. “Her mum is amazing,” said Harry, beaming.
When asked about the engagement ring—which is yellow gold, Markle’s favorite, the main stone sourced from Botswana, and decorated with diamonds from Princess Diana’s jewelry collection—Markle gave a perfect response, saying: “The inclusion of that and, obviously not being able to meet his mom, it’s so important to me to—to know that she’s a part of this with us.
“I think in being able to meet his aunts... and different people who were so important to his mom, I’m able to, in some way, know a part of her through them and of course through him.”
When asked what Diana would have thought about Meghan, Harry replied, “Oh they’d be thick as thieves, without question. I think she would be over the moon, jumping up and down, so excited for me, but then, as I said, she would have probably been best friends with Meghan.
“You know, it is days like today when I really miss having her around and miss being able to share the happy news. But, you know, with the ring and with everything else that’s going on, I’m sure she’s with us, jumping up and down somewhere else,” Harry said.
Meghan echoed Harry. “She’s with us,” she said firmly.
As Husain thanked them both, the couple shared a look of joy and perhaps relief that the interview was over. They had aced it, although we never found out if the roast chicken had turned out OK.