Prince Harry declared he was “thrilled” as he and bride-to-be Meghan Markle made their first appearance in public since the announcement of their engagement on Monday
Harry and American actress Ms Markle stepped out briefly in front of the cameras hand in hand at an open-air photocall in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace.
Their long-anticipated engagement was announced by the Prince of Wales on Monday morning with a statement saying the couple, who have been dating for 16 months, will marry in the spring next year.
A beaming Ms Markle, in a white belted coat, clutched Harry’s hand with both of her hands as they posed briefly for the press, and showed off her diamond engagement ring.
Ms Markle said she was “so very happy, thank you” to be engaged to Harry.
The prince said he was “thrilled, over the moon” adding: “Very glad it’s not raining as well.”
The couple were smiling and giggling throughout their appearance.
When Harry was asked how he proposed, Ms Markle replied “Save that”, with Harry adding: “That will come later”. The pair are giving a television interview to be broadcast on Monday evening.
Kensington Palace said the prince designed Ms Markle’s engagement ring himself – using two stones which belong to his late mother.
The two outside stones are diamonds from the personal collection of Diana, Princess of Wales.
At the centre is a diamond from Botswana, a country that holds special significance for Harry who has visited many times since he was a child.
It is also a place the couple has spent time together over the last year and a half, Kensington Palace said.
The band is made of gold and the ring was made by Cleave and Company, Court Jewellers and Medallists to Her Majesty The Queen.
The couple braved the cold and answered a number of questions from the waiting press, before waving at the cameras and walking back through the garden arm in arm.
The sunken garden is poignantly the site of the memorial garden created in memory of Harry’s late mother Diana, Princess of Wales to mark the 20th anniversary of her death this year.
It was one of the princess’s favourite parts of the palace grounds.
Harry and Ms Markle were separated from the media by several metres of water, standing on the other side of the large ornamental pond. (NAN)