LONDON (AP) – Britain’s royal palace says Prince Harry and actress Meghan Markle are engaged and will marry in the spring of 2018.

The announcement came Monday from the office of Harry’s father, Prince Charles.

The announcement says the couple became engaged earlier this month. It says 36-year-old Markle has met Queen Elizabeth II, and Harry also has received the blessing of Markle’s parents.

Harry, 33, is fifth in line to the British throne.

Prince Harry and Markle made a brief appearance before photographers on the grounds of Kensington Palace hours after their engagement was announced.

Harry, wearing a blue suit and tie, said he was “thrilled” and said details about his proposal will come out later. He was then asked if the proposal was romantic, and he replied: “Of course!”

Markle, who said she was “so happy,” was wearing an engagement ring for the first time in public. She held Harry’s hand and rubbed his arm.

harry engagement ring Prince Harry And Actress Meghan Markle To Wed Next Year

(Photo by Chris Jackson/Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

They left with their arms around each other. The couple plan to give their first interview later in the day.
Markle’s parents say they are happy and excited about their daughter’s engagement to Prince Harry.

Thomas Markle and Doria Ragland say their daughter “has always been a kind and loving person. To see her union with Harry, who shares the same qualities, is a source of great joy for us as parents.”

In a statement, Markle’s parents say they wish the couple “a lifetime of happiness and are very excited for their future together.”

Meghan Markle was raised in the Los Angeles area. Her father is a Hollywood lighting director, her mother a yoga instructor and psychotherapist.

Senior British royals, political leaders and religious figures are congratulating Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on their engagement.

Prince William and his wife Kate say they are excited for the couple. They say “it has been wonderful getting to know Meghan and to see how happy she and Harry are together.”

Prime Minister Theresa May offered her “very warmest congratulations,” wishing the couple “great happiness for the future.”

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, who heads the Church of England, said he was “absolutely delighted to hear the news” and wished the couple “many years of love, happiness and fulfillment.”

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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