Who exactly is this beautiful bride-to-be who has, quite wonderfully, swept our favourite royal prince off his feet? The woman in question is America's finest - Ms Meghan Markle, and she's swiftly becoming England's finest too.
We just can't get enough of who she is and where she's come from, and we are excited to see where this diverse union into such a high-profile family will take her.
A former American actress, she is best known for her role in the hit US legal drama series Suits, in which she played paralegal-turned-lawyer Rachel Zane.
Markle had parts in CSI: Miami, sci-fi show Fringe and movies such as Get Him To The Greek, Remember Me and Horrible Bosses. She was also a “briefcase girl” – one of the models who hold the suitcases full of cash – on the US version of Deal Or No Deal.
Meghan's charity work gives her a common interest with Prince Harry. He has shown great passion for continuing his mother's aid work and has worked to get projects like the Invictus Games and the Heads Together campaigns out into the global eye.
As well as being a global ambassador for World Vision Canada, Meghan was committed to gender equality through her work as a women’s advocate for the UN.
Ms Markle ran her own blog – thetig.com – promoting self-empowerment and messages of positivity, in which she opened up about her life, loves, her favourite foods and places, and even her celebrity hairdresser. But she closed the site down nine months after she started dating Harry, leaving fans the message: “Don’t ever forget your worth – as I’ve told you time and time again: you, my sweet friend, you are enough.”
Ms Markle has left her acting career behind her to become a full-time royal after she marries. She left Suits and also deleted her Twitter and Instagram accounts in the run-up to the wedding. She has also finished her philanthropic work in order to start her charitable interests afresh with Harry.
She was born on the 4th August 1981, to clinical therapist mother Doria and TV lighting director Thomas Markle, and grew up in Los Angeles. Her parents divorced when she was six, but she remained close to both of them. Ms Markle has written about her mixed heritage – her father is Caucasian and of Dutch and Irish descent and her mother is African-American – and how it created “a grey area surrounding my self-identification” but how she has embraced it to become a “strong, confident mixed-race woman”.
Harry met Meghan on a blind date in London in the summer of 2016 and a few weeks later they camped out under the stars in Botswana when Harry persuaded Ms Markle to join him on holiday. Their whirlwind 16-month relationship was spent flying between the star’s former home in Toronto, Canada, where she filmed Suits, and Harry’s at Kensington Palace, London.
The prince proposed during a cosy night in over a roast chicken. Harry revealed: “She didn’t even let me finish, she said ‘Can I say yes, can I say yes?’ and then there were hugs.” What have we learned about Ms Markle since the engagement? The star has delighted royal fans by being open and tactile, and hugging youngsters during official engagements. Caring Harry and Ms Markle have also asked well-wishers thinking of sending them wedding gifts to donate to one of the seven charities they personally selected instead.
Meghan will not be a princess in her own right, only through marriage. If Harry is given a dukedom by the Queen on his wedding day, she will become a duchess – most likely HRH the Duchess of Sussex – otherwise she will become HRH Princess Henry of Wales.
During a Royal Foundation engagement with Harry and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Ms Markle acknowledged the global anti-sexual harassment movements MeToo and Time’s Up. “There is no better time than now to really continue to shine a light on women feeling empowered,” she said. She has spoken passionately about starting her life as a working royal, saying she wants to “hit the ground running”.
Kensington Palace said Ms Markle will apply for citizenship, but it is not yet known whether she will hold dual American citizenship.
Ms Markle married producer Trevor Engelson in September 2011 after dating him for six years. The couple split in May 2013. Her first wedding took place in Jamaica and was celebrated with a barbecue on the beach. Much has changed since Edward VIII gave up the throne to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson, and since the Queen’s sister Princess Margaret chose duty over love instead of marrying divorcee Group Captain Peter Townsend. Heir to the throne the Prince of Wales divorced Diana, Princess of Wales and in 2005 married divorcee Camilla Parker Bowles, now the Duchess of Cornwall.