Prince Harry says he is “thrilled” after announcing he is to marry US actress girlfriend Meghan Markle.
The fifth in line to the throne will marry Markle in spring 2018.
The couple, who have been dating since the summer of 2016, smiled as they posed for photographs outside Kensington Palace in London on November 27, where they will live.
Prince Harry said it had been a romantic proposal, while Markle said she was “so very happy, thank you”.
Markle, wearing a white belted coat, held Harry’s hand as they appeared briefly for the press at the palace’s Sunken Garden, and showed off her diamond engagement ring.
Asked by a reporter when he knew Suits star Markle “was the one”, Harry said: “The very first time we met”.
Kensington Palace said Markle’s engagement ring was designed by Prince Harry and features two diamonds which belong to his late mother, Diana, Princess of Wales.
At the centre of the ring is a diamond from Botswana, a country the couple has spent time together over the last year and a half. The band is made from gold.
The announcement, issued by Clarence House, the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall’s official residence, said details about the wedding day would be unveiled “in due course”.
The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh said they were “delighted for the couple and wish them every happiness”, a Buckingham Palace spokesman said.
Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, said they were “very excited for Harry and Meghan”, adding: “It has been wonderful getting to know Meghan and to see how happy she and Harry are together.”
Markle met Prince Harry through mutual friends in London in July 2016.
Markle’s parents, Thomas Markle and Doria Ragland, said their daughter was a “kind and loving person” and they were “incredibly happy”.
They added: “To see her union with Harry, who shares the same qualities, is a source of great joy for us as parents.”
Prince Harry, 33 and Markle, 36, made their first public appearance as a couple in September at the opening ceremony of the Invictus Games, a sporting event set up by the prince for injured, wounded and sick soldiers.
Their married home will be the prince’s current residence, Nottingham Cottage, on the grounds of Kensington Palace.