This morning it came out that Prince Harry’s girlfriend and “Suits” actress, Meghan Markle, is Vanity’s Fair’s October cover star. A lengthy profile and photo spread accompany the piece, and if you haven’t already seen it, let’s cut to the chase: Meghan participated in both. She also not only acknowledged her relationship with Harry, but discussed it – her statements alluding to an imminent engagement.
She confirmed one detail that we didn’t know for sure – when exactly the couple met. Meghan says it was in July 2016, but then later says that the press release Kensington Palace issued that November came after about six months of dating. I’m going to assume that July is the correct time frame, which means that the press release actually came after only four months of dating. That’s interesting – it not only means Harry inflicted Palace wrath on her behalf pretty quickly, but that the press picked up on their relationship a lot faster than previously thought. Regardless, it supports one aspect of this relationship that’s always been apparent – it moved quickly.
“We’re two people who are really happy and in love. We were very quietly dating for about six months before it became news, and I was working during that whole time, and the only thing that changed was people’s perception. Nothing about me changed. I’m still the same person that I am, and I’ve never defined myself by my relationship.”
Another close friend is the actress Abigail Spencer, who has been a Suits cast member. When asked why she thinks Harry was drawn to Markle, Spencer says, “She’s got warm elegance, though her style is hard to pin down. It’s classy and timeless. When you’re talking to her, you feel like you’re the only person on the planet. And it’s just wonderful to see her so in love.”
And then there’s this:
“We’re a couple,” she explains. “We’re in love. I’m sure there will be a time when we will have to come forward and present ourselves and have stories to tell, but I hope what people will understand is that this is our time. This is for us. It’s part of what makes it so special, that it’s just ours. But we’re happy. Personally, I love a great love story.”
Naturally, all of this paints the picture that an engagement is a foregone conclusion. Actually, it paints a picture that an announcement is a foregone conclusion – they may very well already be engaged. Even if they aren’t, there’s definitely an understanding between them, as evidenced by the quiet retreat from social media Meghan took earlier this year. I’ve been saying for months that I think this will all be confirmed any day now, and I still thinks that’s the case to a certain extent. The autumn is still very much in play.
Now, at first blush, this profile seems unorthodox. The first interview that the Duchess of Cambridge gave was when her own engagement to the Duke was announced. Since then, her participation with media opportunities has been limited – usually Palace-commissioned documentaries or commemorative videos. She participated in the cover shoot for British Vogue’s centennial issue, but declined an interview. Otherwise, it’s been fleeting and tied to her charity work – the tennis documentary earlier this year, for example.
Even so, Meghan’s choice in doing this isn’t as shocking as it would have been even a year ago. Harry sat down for an interview with Newsweek in March, participated alongside William in the BBC and ITV documentaries in honor of his mother and the lead up to the London Marathon with Heads Together this spring was chock full of interviews, not least of which was the podcast for the Telegraph. For that matter, William was recently GQ’s cover star. In light of that, this perfectly respectful, discreet and flatting article in a reputable magazine isn’t as out of place as it might once have seemed.
Of course Harry knew about it and of course so did the larger infrastructure of KP.
Clearly wheels are in motion here and have been for quite a while. The only real question is “when”?