London — Britain’s Prince Harry said Monday he was "thrilled" to be marrying his American girlfriend Meghan Markle early next year, confirming months of speculation about the one-time playboy royal and the glamorous actress. The prince revealed he fell for Markle "the very first time we met" as the pair posed smiling and laughing for photographers in the gardens of his home at Kensington Palace. The activist and "Suits" actress said she was "so very happy" as she held Harry’s hand and showed off her diamond engagement ring. Queen Elizabeth, Harry’s grandmother, led the chorus of approval for the couple, who the palace said got engaged in London in secret earlier this month. After their engagement, Harry informed the queen, close members of the royal family and also sought the blessing of Markle’s parents. He designed the ring himself — it contains one diamond from Botswana, a country he visited numerous times, and two from his late mother princess Diana’s personal collection. "The q...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00.