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Britain Royal Engagement

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are engaged

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Updated November 27, 2017 01:32 PM EST

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle give their first interview after announcing their engagement.

Updated November 27, 2017 09:15 AM EST

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle spoke on their engagement from Kensington Palace.

Palace officials in Great Britain on Monday announced that Prince Harry is engaged to actress Meghan Markle.

Monday’s news confirms months of speculation that the couple would make plans to wed, and the pair plans on marrying next spring.

Harry’s brother Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton on Monday welcomed Markle to Great Britain’s royal family.

“We are very excited for Harry and Meghan,” they said in a statement. “It has been wonderful getting to know Meghan and to see how happy she and Henry are together.”

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Middleton and William married in 2011, meaning Harry and Markle’s nuptials will mark the first major wedding involving Great Britain’s royal family since then.

Markle is best known for playing Rachel Zane, an ambitious paralegal on the American legal drama Suits.

The actress – who was raised in California and has previously divorced – surprised the British public last September by sharing her feelings for Harry in a Vanity Fair cover story.

“At the end of the day I think it’s really simple,” she said of media focus on their relationship. “We’re two people who are really happy and in love.”

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“Personally, I love a great love story,” the 36-year-old continued, calling Harry, 33, her “boyfriend.”

“I’m still the same person that I am, and I’ve never defined myself by my relationship. The people who are close to me anchor me in knowing who I am. The rest is noise.”

Markle’s Vanity Fair interview was unusual for a love interest linked to Great Britain’s royals, as others before her avoided the media spotlight.

Harry’s past reported girlfriends did not seek out such attention, and Middleton stayed silent until giving a formal televised interview with William after their engagement became public.

Harry and Markle held hands during their first official appearance together last September for the Invictus Games in Toronto.

The Invictus Games are a sporting event for military service personnel that Harry – himself a veteran of Great Britain’s military – spearheaded.

Markle married film producer Trevor Engelson in Jamaica in 2011, but the couple divorced two years later.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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