This was what I was waiting for, ever since Meghan Markle’s Vanity Fair cover came out last week. I was waiting for the Daily Mail’s long-read analysis on what it all means and when we can expect the engagement announcement. Say what you will about the Daily Mail – and obviously, it’s a trashy tabloid with a stupid agenda – but they have great royal reporting. I knew that the DM would have a scoop and they totally have one. You can read the full piece here. Some highlights:
The engagement announcement is coming. The DM writes that following the Cambridges’ baby announcement, “another announcement is being quietly prepared behind the gates of Kensington Palace. Today The Mail on Sunday can reveal that officials are drawing up what they consider to be an inevitable announcement – of an engagement between Prince Harry and the American actress who has been by his side for more than a year…The couple’s first official public appearance together is expected at the Invictus Games in Toronto later this month.”
Charles and Camilla like her. Meghan “has met her prospective in-laws, the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, and is said to have made a good impression.” Ms Markle’s meeting with Charles and Camilla is felt to be particularly significant. ‘Harry’s father is just keen for him to settle down and be happy,’ says a source. ‘Both Charles and Camilla are understood to have held back from expressing views, keen that Harry should have his own space to make his own decision.’ One palace insider said: ‘Harry was nervous of introducing Meghan to them because he did not want people to jump to conclusions about someone he deeply cared for. He wanted to consider in his own time whether or not she might have a permanent place in his life.’
Changes afoot to the royal household: “Significant changes are even afoot within the palace itself, changes which will open up the possibility of a new family home at Apartment 9 for Harry and Meghan. They currently stay in Nottingham Cottage, a small two-bedroom house in the palace grounds. It has become clear that Royal solicitors Harbottle & Lewis, which acts for Prince Charles, William and Harry, has been asked to represent Meghan, too. And it is understood that Kensington Palace has been playing a key role in reducing the actress’s publicity commitments to the TV legal drama Suits, an apparent clearing of the decks and part of what some are calling ‘Operation Princess’.
The stalled announcement: The Mail on Sunday has learned that they have stalled an official announcement, fearing it would overshadow the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death. Harry, along with his brother, has been a figurehead for a summer of national remembrance and celebration of his mother’s legacy. Now, however, with the key date past, he is free to confirm that Miss Markle will become his wife. This is expected to become clear at the Invictus Games on September 23, where the two will appear together for the first time at a public engagement.
What the Queen thinks. “Royal protocol makes it unlikely that Meghan will meet the Queen until the official engagement announcement.” Meghan’s VF cover “ had been sanctioned by Prince Harry and Kensington Palace, but is said to have been greeted with surprise and dismay by Buckingham Palace.
The palace thinks Meghan has some skeletons in her closet: “There is every prospect that both the Prince and senior courtiers must resign themselves to a future in which unexpected and unwelcome revelations emerge from the US.”
Operation Princess is a dumb name. Then again, I love it when operational names are fun or hardcore. They could have called it Operation Yankee Viper or Operation Sparkle Markle or a million other things. Royal courtiers have no imagination. Anyway, none of this is brand new information or speculation. Most of us (me!) assumed that Harry and Meg were waiting until after the Invictus Games in Toronto for the announcement. Most of us assumed that the actual proposal has already happened and that Meghan is currently being managed by the royal family. Still, it’s good to hear that the Daily Mail has heard all of that from the courtiers too.
Photos courtesy of Vanity Fair’s Instagram.