Interviewer: Your Royal Highness, Meghan Markle, congratulations to you both.
Meghan Markle: Thank you.
Int: Can we start with the proposal and the actual moment of your engagement. When did it happen? How did it happen?
Prince Harry: It happened a few weeks ago, earlier this month, here at our cottage; just a standard typical night for us.
Meghan Markle: Just a cosy night, it was – what we were doing just roasting chicken and having …
Prince Harry: Roasting a chicken, trying to roast a chicken.
Meghan Markle: Trying to roast a chicken and it just – just an amazing surprise, it was so sweet and natural and very romantic. He got on one knee.
Prince Harry: Of course.
Int: Was it an instant yes from you?
Meghan Markle: Yes, as a matter of fact I could barely let you finish proposing, I said – ‘can I say yes now’?
Prince Harry: She didn’t even let me finish, she said ‘can I say yes, can I say yes’ and then were was hugs and I had the ring in my finger and I was like ‘can I, can I give you the ring?’ She goes – ‘oh yes the ring’.
So no it was, it was a really nice moment, it was just the two of us and I think I managed to catch… catch her by surprise as well.
Meghan Markle: Yeah.
Int: And this is how long after you first met?
Meghan Markle: Oh it would be a year and a half, a little bit more than that?
Prince Harry: No just about – it would be about a year and a half, yeah.
Meghan Markle: Just about that?
Int: Which for most people would be quite a whirlwind, is that how it’s felt to you?
Meghan Markle: I don’t think that I would call it a whirlwind in terms of our relationship, obviously there have been layers attached to how public it has become after we had a good five, six months almost with just privacy, which was amazing.
But no, I think we were able to really have so much time just to connect and we never went longer than two weeks without seeing each other, even though we were obviously doing a long distance relationship. So it’s – we made it work.
Int: How did you first meet?
Prince Harry: Ah yes, we first met – we were introduced actually by a mutual friend, who – we will …
Meghan Markle: We should protect her privacy and not reveal too much of that.
Prince Harry: We’ll protect her privacy yeah. And – but it was – it was literally – it was through her and then we met once and then twice back-to-back two dates in London, last July.
Meghan Markle: Yes.
Prince Harry: The beginning of July. And then it was I think about three, maybe four weeks later that I managed to persuade her to come and join me in Botswana. And we – we camped out with each other under the stars, we spent – she came and joined me for five days out there, which was absolutely fantastic.
So, then we were really by ourselves which was crucial to me to make sure we had a chance to get to know each other.
Int: But the friend who introduced you, was she trying to set you up?
Meghan Markle: Yes, it was definitely a set-up. It was a blind date.
Prince Harry: It was definitely a set-up. It was a blind date for sure.
Meghan Markle: And it’s so interesting because we talk about it now and even then you know, because I’m from the States you don’t grow up with the same understanding of the royal family. And so, while I now understand very clearly there is a global interest there, I didn’t know much about him and so the only thing that I had asked her when she said she wanted to set us up was, ‘I have one question’ which was, ‘Well, is he nice?’ ‘cos if he wasn’t kind it just didn’t seem like it would make sense and so we went and we had a, met for a drink and I think very quickly into that we said, ‘well what are we doing tomorrow? We should meet again.’
Prince Harry: What are we doing tomorrow? Let’s meet again. And then it was like, right, diaries. We need to get the diaries out and find out how we’re going to make this work, because I was off to Africa for a month, she was working. And we just said right where’s the gap? And the gap happened to be in the perfect place.
Int: So how much did you, Prince Harry, know about Meghan? Had you seen her on TV?
Prince Harry: No. I’d never even heard about her until this friend said Meghan Markle. I was like ‘right, okay, give me a bit of background … what’s going on here?’ So no, I’d never watched Suits, I’d never heard of Meghan before, and I was beautifully surprised when I walked into that room and saw her. And there she was sitting there… I was like okay well I’m going to have to up my game … sit down and make sure I’ve got good chat.
Meghan Markle: I think for both of us though it was, it was really refreshing because, given that I didn’t know a lot about him, everything that I’ve learned about him, I learned through him as opposed to having grown up around different news stories or tabloids or whatever else… anything I’ve learned about him and his family was what he would share with me and vice versa, so for both of us it was just a really authentic and organic way to get to know each other.
Int: And was that quite refreshing for you in the way that you’ve been brought up, with a lot of people knowing a lot about you, was it refreshing?
Prince Harry: Or thinking they know
Int: Or thinking they know.
Meghan Markle: Exactly
Prince Harry: It was hugely refreshing to be able to get to know someone who isn’t necessarily within your circle, doesn’t know much about me, I don’t know much about her. So to be able to start almost afresh, right from the beginning, getting to know each other, step by step and then taking that huge leap of only two dates and then going effectively on holiday together in the middle of nowhere and you know sharing a tent together and all that kind of stuff. It was … fantastic. It was absolutely amazing to get to know her as quickly as I did.
Int: And starting a long distance relationship, you (Meghan Markle) were working on Suits, you had, I imagine, a packed filming schedule, you’ve (Prince Harry) got lots of commitments of your own, how hard was it to keep things going?
Prince Harry: (exhales) It was, yeah.
Meghan Markle: It was just a choice, right. I think that, very early on when we realised we were going to commit to each other, we knew we had to invest the time and the energy and whatever it took to make that happen. And so yes with the filming schedule it was (laughs) not the easiest because it of course included a lot of travel back and forth.
Prince Harry: I don’t think you’ve had any idea what time zone you’ve been on for the last year and a half.
Meghan Markle: No. (laughs)
Prince Harry: Coming over here four days or a week and then going back, and then straight into filming the next day, 4am wake-up calls on a Monday, straight into set.
Meghan Markle: Right off the plane and straight to set. And just coming back and doing it again.
Prince Harry: And just trying to stay as close as possible but you know on two different time zones. And five hours apart does have its challenges. But we made it work and now we’re here so, we’re thrilled.
Int: In the case of your relationship, unlike for most people, there’s this whole layer of what it means to get involved with someone from the royal family. How much of a sense did you have Meghan of the enormity of what you were getting into? What it might mean for your life?