All Eyes on August 4

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Rumor has it that an engagement between Prince Harry and girlfriend Meghan Markle will be announced on August 4, which just so happens to be the birthday of the deceased Queen Mother. According to a new quote that lays out why the news would come in August and not before:

“They are not engaged formally but there is an understanding. The engagement announcement is still tipped for August 4 and is unlikely to come earlier. Why so? Because the general election (June 8), the formation of a new government (June 9), the State Opening of Parliament (June 19) and the state visit of King Felipe of Spain (July 12-14) cannot be overshadowed.”

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Pippa and James Matthews earlier this month

Quite a bit of hay is being made of the fact that Meghan is accompanying Harry to Pippa Middleton’s wedding this Saturday, but I feel like this is a bit of a leap. I don’t doubt that this is a serious relationship and I actually think this relationship is the only one of Harry’s that has looked like it was heading towards an engagement – and I hope that it does! But I fail to see how Pippa’s wedding is any more significant than her traveling to Jamaica with him for his friend’s wedding last month – the family connection here is slight, frankly. His sister-in-law’s sister? That’s essentially a friend.

Of course it means something that the event will include William, Kate and their children, but given that Meghan has already privately met them that hurdle has already been cleared. It’s a sign that she’s very much been welcomed into the fold, but what I’m not seeing here is the direct line between her attendance and an engagement.

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Meghan traveling to and from visiting Harry (however, not this particular trip)

Nevertheless, it’s been reported the Church of England has made it clear Harry and Meghan could marry at Westminster Abbey despite the fact Meghan is divorced. So, just in case you were worried about that…

Personally, if they do marry I’d like to see them take over St. Paul’s Cathedral – separate themselves a bit from William and Kate and dust off the cobwebs from the ill-fated 1981 royal wedding.

In any event, Meghan arrived in London yesterday and was immediately whisked to Kensington Palace where security has been told to wave her in, which one paper referred to as the “royal equivalent of giving your girlfriend a key.”

Today, however, Harry had an engagement to carry out. He and William attended the Diana Awards held at St. James’s Palace. Video from reporter Rebecca English of the two arriving:

They handed out a new “legacy” award to honor a young person who has had a positive impact on their community.

Harry meeting with guests (video also from English):

William’s remarks included:

“This summer marks 20 years since our mother died. She achieved so much in her life. From helping to shatter the stigma around AIDS, to fighting to ban landmines and supporting the homeless — she touched the lives of millions. The truth is, though, that she was taken at only 36, just slightly older than I am today. But of course, we can never know what our mother would have gone on to do. But in one sense Harry and I feel that our mother lives on in the countless acts of compassion and bravery that she inspires in others.

“Seated here today are twenty extraordinary young people who are doing just that. We are all too accustomed to stories about young people’s lack of connection to their communities and families. I see every day in my work, as our mother did in hers, that this just simply is not true – these 20 young people are just the tip of the iceberg. We all need to celebrate what today’s generation are achieving.”

While Harry said:

“One of the things our mother taught William and I was the value of doing good when no one is watching. She visited hospitals late at night to comfort patients; she spent hours writing letters to privately support the work of others; she achieved a lot by shining a spotlight, but she worked just as hard when the cameras were gone. It is this spirit of quiet selflessness that unites these 20 recipients of the Legacy Award. Our mother once said that if we all play our part in making our children feel valued, the result will be tremendous. This result was tremendous.”

We’ll next see everyone on Saturday for Pippa’s wedding…in theory. Certainly that’s where they’ll be. To what extent we actually see images on the day-of is up in the air.

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