Prince Harry is set to to marry his American actor girlfriend Meghan Markle in spring next year, Clarence House has announced.
On ‘The Royal Family’ Facebook page a copy of the announcement reads: “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 Duke and Duchess of Cambridge said in a joint statement: ‘We are very excited for Harry and Meghan. It has been wonderful getting to know Meghan and to see how happy she and Harry are together’. Prince Charles said he was “delighted to announce” his son’s news and said that Ms Markle’s parents had given their blessing.
News of Prince Harry’s engagement with Meghan Markle has sparked furor and debate on social media platforms – namely on Ms Markle’s race. On the Daily Mail, one comment read “A sad day for Britain, our culture, heritage and history…”
Only last year did Prince Harry accuse tabloid newspapers as being ‘racist’ and ‘sexist’. In one Daily Mail Online article it read: “Harry’s girl is (almost) straight outta Compton” referring to the higher proportions of non-white persons in Los Angeles involved in gang violence and criminal activity.
Markle has spoken of her heritage as a source of pride. “My dad is Caucasian and my mom is African-American,” she has said in the past. “To say who I am, to share where I’m from, to voice my pride in being a strong, confident mixed-race woman.”
While many will know Markle for portraying Rachel Zane on the show Suits, she has also traveled to Rwanda as a global ambassador for World Vision Canada and has worked as a women’s advocate for the UN (for Political Participation and Leadership). She has publicly supported Emma Watson’s He For She campaign.
While most of the world will be happy for the Royal engagement, critics have argued that a strong independent woman like Markle will be giving up her feminist status by becoming a princess.
Elsewhere, twitter users were less concerned about the wedding itself. Instead users were debating whether the actual event itself is a reason for working people to be relieved from a day of work. Others have also argued that spending $32 million (or approximately £20 million) on another Royal Wedding is a huge sum of money as millions are facing hardship from cuts to public services.