Royal conspiracy: did Prince Harry & Meghan lie about when they got engaged?

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announce their engagement

Did you know that even now, a decade after the fact, I still believe Prince William and Duchess Kate lied about their proposal? They claimed that William proposed to Kate on a trip to Kenya, which happened about a month before they announced it in November 2010. I never believed that. I think William proposed to her earlier than that out of necessity, because the RAF wouldn’t allow William and Kate to live together on their base without being married or engaged. True story. I bring this up because I think it’s one of the rare instances of commonality between the brothers – I’ve never believed Prince Harry and Meghan’s vague proposal story, something about cooking chicken for dinner in Nottingham Cottage and Harry dropping to one knee. According to the formal story, Harry proposed in late October or early November 2017. Yeah, he didn’t wait that long. And now it sounds like Finding Freedom will reveal when he actually proposed:

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry were hiding something major during their first official outing together. The couple made their public debut at the Toronto Invictus Games in September 2017 after over a year of dating, holding hands and smiling as they headed to watch wheelchair tennis. But there was a secret reason for their look of love: they were already engaged, according to the new book Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family.

Meghan hinted at the big news in a subtle way — she wore a classic white button-down shirt dubbed the “Husband Shirt” from her designer friend Misha Nonoo’s collection — yet their secret went undetected.

Two months later, on November 27, Clarence House announced Meghan and Prince Harry’s engagement — but the couple continued to hold back on revealing the exact date of when they actually got engaged. “It happened a few weeks ago, earlier this month, here at our cottage; just a standard typical night for us,” Harry said during their engagement interview.

Meghan added that the proposal happened on a “cozy night” while they were making a dinner of roasted chicken. “It just – just an amazing surprise, it was so sweet and natural and very romantic,” she said. “He got on one knee.”

[From People]

Yeah, again, I don’t buy the “official” story. I remember the summer of 2017, and how Harry took Meghan away to visit all of their favorite places in Africa. I believe that he proposed to her on that trip, that vacation, which he organized around her birthday (August 4). Sounds like Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand got the scoop about it too. It would make sense, especially given how Meghan and Harry behaved at the Invictus Games in September, in what would have been just a few weeks after he actually proposed. Their comfort at being photographed together belied the fact that they already knew that they were *that* serious.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry hold hands at the Invictus Games 2017

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle enjoy each others company at the Invictus Games

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry hold hands at the Invictus Games 2017

Photos courtesy of Backgrid, WENN.

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75 Responses to “Royal conspiracy: did Prince Harry & Meghan lie about when they got engaged?”

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  1. Harla says:

    I think both stories are true. They seriously discussed marriage and agreed to get married while in Botswana for Meghan’s birthday But Harry didn’t have the ring so he did the “official” proposal at their cottage once the ring was finished.

    • taylor says:

      This is how it happens in the Lifetime movie lol maybe they got the scoop too

      • Mignionette says:

        Hint hint: I know the soon to be ex wife of the life time movie director (last name Huda) and I can guarantee that they definitely got the scoop via a friend of said director’s wife (also in film industry) who was dating a palace aide….

    • S808 says:

      I think this makes sense cause in previous excerpts it talks about how they quickly began to talk about more long term plans

      • notasugarhere says:

        If she wasn’t contracted to Suits for the seventh season, IMO we would have seen them officially engaged sooner.

      • Becks1 says:

        Also, this just clicked in my head – August 2017 was the 20th anniversary of Diana’s death, and while not letting M go to the private ceremony/event was BS, I wonder if that was also part of the reason for holding off, since there were events, the documentary, etc that came out around that time, then you have Invictus in September, and Meghan wrapping up Suits – they probably wanted to wait for the first two to happen with the focus being on those things, and they might have also wanted to wait for M to be in London with Harry, especially if there were security concerns, when they officially announced.

        Holy runon sentence Batman. Sorry lol.

      • Dl says:

        @Becks1. I dearly love 60′s Batman. Made me chuckle thank you

    • Cate says:

      Makes sense to me and I think for most modern couples this is a fairly common way of doing things? You have a serious talk (or two, or ten) and figure out you are on the same page and ready to get married, and then one half of the couple does the official “proposing”, but there’s no real surprise to the outcome?

      I mean, by the time my husband proposed we had talked about a lot of stuff and I was very certain we were getting married. The proposal was only a surprise in that I wasn’t expecting it right at that particular moment. But it wasn’t like “surprise! and now you have to make up your mind!” My mind was already made up–thanks to our earlier deep conversations.

      • Amy Too says:

        Same with me and husband. We talked about it a lot, decided we would get married, even talked about what kind of wedding/how big/when. Then he ordered a ring and gave it to me/“proposed” one night when we were at home. It sounds kind of similar to what happened with Meghan and Harry and probably a lot of older and/or mature (as in not 20-year-olds) couples who are already living together. We were already living together and had a child.

  2. Mika says:

    Anyone else looking at umm… pant folds… in that first Invictus games picture?


    Just me?

  3. Nev says:

    I got engaged at that same place as the Invictus Games!

  4. BayTampaBay says:

    Did not William promise Ma Middleton that he would marry Kate years before he officially proposed?

    Did not Ma Middleton get upset because the official proposal was taking too long to come to fruition?

    • Noki says:

      I am sure Carole was gently nudging for years Lol.

    • Tessa says:

      He took three years after the breakup to propose. I never thought it a done deal until she got the ring on her finger.

      • Anance says:

        Neither did I. I remember place resistance to Kate being a factor.

        FWIW, the Wales living experiment may have been another roadblock set up by the Palace, saying they needed a trial run. Of course, we know William was fine with waiting (as was Edward w/Sophie) b/c Harry and Beatrice were not required.

        Perhaps the age of the bride is a factor. (?)

  5. Lisa says:

    I know this has been said a million times but oh well:

    They are super HOT together. The way they look at each other….

  6. Nina Simone says:

    I also never bought their “engagement story.” Something about it just didn’t click. Hard to put my finger on it. It was quite obvious that they were engaged during one of their Africa trips. I think it was Botswana? Glad to see this confirmed.

  7. Christine says:

    Ok so…. Why wait to announce? To make it seem like they were dating longer before getting engaged? To keep it private as long as possible? I am genuinely wondering….

    • Mignionette says:

      I think there are two engagement dates 1. the date Harry proposed 2. the official date given by the RF. Both can be true.

    • Sa says:

      If I recall correctly, I think they announced their engagement not that long after she finished filming Suits. So maybe her finishing up on the show is why they they gave a delayed engagement story.

    • Maxime duCamp says:

      I wonder if it was something as simple as they wanted something private that was just for them? I know a couple that secretly eloped before their traditional wedding and never told anyone from their family and always celebrated their “secret” wedding anniversary. Meghan and Harry knew how public everything about their courtship and relationship would be and how interest would ramp up after the official announcement of their engagement. I can understand if they wanted to keep it private for a while and have a secret engagement date that was private and just for them to celebrate.

      • Nina says:

        I thought of this too. knowing there would be SO much public EVERYTHING, I can see wanting to save something that was private just for themselves.

  8. Noki says:

    It makes sense that they probably have to go according to Palace instructions,or is the issue that they didnt just tell the truth in their interview? Will and Kate had the Kenyan story maybe they wanted something different to tell.

  9. taylor says:

    That wouldn’t be surprising. Why else make their first official appearance, and I believe around this time her Vanity Fair cover came out. They were setting the stage, and they wouldn’t have done that if the commitment weren’t already made.

    It’s so crazy how they obviously welcomed the attention and PR Meghan brought to the family when she was a gf and fiancee (even if they were snarking bts). But it’s clear that when she married in and that interest was sustained (and growing), the claws came out. They should really be thanking her. Royal coverage is at a 21st century high, and they have all benefited.

    • BayTampaBay says:

      Agree with you. If the Sussexes were not already engaged then Vanity Fair would not have run the cover story they ran.

  10. Jay says:

    I think even if they weren’t engaged, it would have been obvious that Harry was serious about Meghan. Granted, rich people roll differently, but I think he took her to Botswana on the third date? I think both of them knew what they wanted and didn’t want to wait around, ahem, a decade.

    Maybe Harry felt pressure to pretend the courtship was longer to avoid accusations of getting married on a whim, sort of a way to protect Meghan?

    They have both really had to fight for their relationship, which I think in the end will make them more resilient.

  11. Sofia says:

    I don’t know if the words “will you marry me?” was used in Botswana but I think they made a promise to get engaged by the end of the year or something

    • niki says:

      Yeah, you don’t upend your life the way Meghan was preparing to do unless you’ve had several long and hard conversations about it. She gave up her jobs, home, friends, privacy, and more to enter into this life with him. That requires serious planning and thought.

  12. Swack says:

    Does it matter. Just seems another way to point out their flaws.

  13. S808 says:

    I don’t they were Engaged that early but they definitely talked about it and knew it was something they both wanted. As said above, they made the commitment but I don’t believe they had actually gotten engaged until they said.

  14. Savu says:

    I’m all for it!

    This is in no way the same thing – but my boyfriend proposed about a month ago after five years together. We took a week with only our parents knowing, then the next week we told close friends. It was SO FUN that we had this little secret and we just got to enjoy it. And we have exactly zero spotlight on us!

    • GG says:

      CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR ENGAGEMENT! I love that y’all got to tell everyone on your own time. My partner and I have decided that we will announce our engagement in the news paper like Rose Leslie and Kit Harrington before telling friends or putting it on social media. It’s a secret I look forward to keeping soon.

    • yellow says:

      I took a month to tell my coworkers (all women) because something happened with the ring and it was getting redone (broker promised something the designer didn’t actually offer as an option, but designer made good on it and made me a custom ring). The day before I was going to mention it, one of them spotted my (new) ring during a staff meeting!

  15. Va Va Kaboom says:

    Hm, I don’t know if I agree with the William and Kate revised timeline. Or at least, I don’t think the discrepancy was so they could live together on the RAF base. The RAF seemed incredibly lenient with William over the years. It wouldn’t surprise me if they let it slide without a ring because while Kate spent most of her time “visiting” William, she technically lived in London. Then again, I wasn’t aware that they supposedly lived on the actual base together, so what do I know.

    • BayTampaBay says:

      I was never aware they actually lived together on a RAF base either. I love discovering new gossip!

    • notasugarhere says:

      William and Kate didn’t try to live on base together. William didn’t live on base, he already lived in the rented farmhouse on the private estate. Kate moved in Summer/Fall 2010, months before their November engagement. But I agree, the W&K engagement story was lies with the entire story lifted from someone else in their set.

      • BayTampaBay says:

        Are you saying that Karen & Kevin Keen lifted another couple’s engagement story and just substituted their own names for PR purposes?

      • Wren says:

        W&K used Natalie Pinkhams engagement story as their own.

      • Nic919 says:

        I still found that it was weird of William to have his ex girlfriend Jecca’s parents estate as the location for his official proposal story to Kate.

  16. What eating you says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if they did because willnot and kant didn’t find out about the engagement until an hour before they released the news.

  17. Ginger says:

    I never believed their engagement story and always thought they got engaged in Botswana in August. They probably had to wait till after the Queens wedding anniversary and Invictus, maybe? The RF plan everything to not overshadow anyone else.

    • Original Penguin says:

      I totally respect that they want to keep the ‘real’ story for themselves and made up a cute story for us. That’s fine. They don’t owe us the real story.

  18. Becks1 says:

    I said this at the time – no way was Meghan doing that Vanity Fair cover if they weren’t already engaged. I know that they plan covers in advance, but I knew as soon as it came out with the title “Wild about Harry!” that they were engaged.

    My guess is they discussed it in Botswana and it was a done deal – maybe around their first anniversary – I can see both of them being like, “where is this going?” and “agreeing” to engagement, but Harry still wanting to do the whole romantic proposal thing. Didn’t one of her diamonds on her ring come from Botswana? That would fit if so.

  19. C-Shell says:

    My husband and I did this exact thing, and it was because we worked for the same company and gossip was rampant. We dated for months, got engaged and didn’t announce until the ring was ready.

    This makes so much sense for them. I’d bet Harry proposed/they proposed at an impossibly romantic time without the input from the RF, and it took weeks/months to negotiate with the vipers before they could announce.

  20. Who ARE These People? says:

    It’s their private moment to keep secret & whatever date the Palace chose to announce is Palace business, I guess.

    The roast chicken story was so obviously a “cover” but I’d assumed it was a cover for a moment far more private and intimate.

    • candy says:

      i also think the roast chicken story was a way to stop the vegan rumors

      • notasugarhere says:

        There was no need for something like that. Only the rampant haters were insisting she’d ever said she was vegan. Anyone willing and capable of reading her direct quote from an old interview knew she wasn’t vegan, nor had she claimed to be.

  21. Emmitt says:

    I don’t understand why we the public need to know the exact date they got engaged. What purpose does it serve? We announced our engagement on Christmas Day. We actually got engaged several weeks earlier, but everyone thinks we got engaged on Christmas Day. Those precious weeks that very few people knew were special and without all the questions that are raised when the official announcement is made.

    Harry & Meghan probably were engaged several weeks/months before they announced it probably because Incandescent Bill would’ve raged if they had announced it any earlier.

  22. notasugarhere says:

    wrong place

  23. February-Pisces says:

    It sounds plausible, I also think harry would have wanted to make it extra special and romantic so if they were in Botswana he would have done it there. There’s no way harrys proposal was ever going to be basic. But I also respect if they wanted to keep that moment private. I don’t believe williams and Kate’s story either, wasn’t the exact same story as one of their friends? I can’t imaging him doing anything romantic at all. His was probably basic AF.

    • Ginger says:

      William probably just handed Kate the ring and said “here” and that’s it lol. He doesn’t have a romantic bone in his body.

      • says:

        LMAO!!! I nearly spit my tea out! “Here.” That is hilarious!

      • L84Tea says:

        LMAO!! You forgot to add, “Here…now go call your mum already.”

      • FicklePickle says:

        I’ve always imagined him doing the down on one knee ‘will you marry me’ thing, because TRADITION!, but doing it in the most listless and ‘i don’t wanna be here doing this but i have no choice’ manner possible.

        Ya know, the look toddlers and teenagers have when Mom and/or Dad stop to talk to friends at the grocery store.

      • notasugarhere says:

        There is nothing romantic about William. I doubt he even asked, but rather threw a stolen cursed ring at her and said, ‘Fine. I’ll finally marry you if you agree to let me live however I want’.

  24. A Guest says:

    If they had announced that they’d gotten engaged in Africa, folks would have screamed about them copying Cain and Keen.

  25. candy says:

    Agree on both fronts! I remember K&W’s engagement interview there was a very vague timeline around telling her parents, which is how I knew they were fudging the timeline. Remember she said “I had just come back from Scotland.” I mean, it’s totally plausible that she would have gone from Kenya to Scotland to London. But I think they got engaged in Scotland, which is obviously a special place to them.

    Regarding M&H totally agree they got engaged on their one year anniversary in Botswana, which is really romantic

    Some couples get cagey about their proposals and want to keep the story to themselves. My sister and now BIL went to a garden and did a formal engagement with pictures. And that’s the story they tell everyone ;-) But I know they got engaged the day before.

  26. Miss617 says:

    I can picture Harry finding the main stone on Meghan’s ring on that Botswana trip, and proposing then and promising she’d get the ring when he brought it to his jeweler.

  27. TheOriginalMia says:

    I don’t find it odd that we don’t know the exact story. Some things are private. I will say I knew she was the one when they came out at the IG. It wouldn’t surprise me if they were already engaged, though. Harry has been so very protective of her, that I fully believe he would keep their actual engagement date a secret between the two of them.

  28. Vanessa says:

    For couple that the British tabloids and the royal reporters and the Cambridge’s stans who claim over and over that the Sussex’s were irrelevant. People wanted to know every little details about them If Meghan and Harry wanted to keep the details about how they really got engaged I say good for them . The British tabloids were able to create a narrative about Harry and Meghan from the beginning that has been based on lies spread by haters .

  29. Valiantly Varnished says:

    I believe they got engaged in Africa as well. And I’m also glad that they haven’t officially shared that. Let the BRF have their boring engagement story and Harry and Meghan can have the REAL one that is just theirs.

  30. Marigold says:

    They look so happy and innocent in these photos. Relaxed. In love. They had no idea the nightmare that was to come. I’m so glad they are out

  31. BnLurkN4eva says:

    I always felt they got engaged before the time they announced they did. No sensible woman would give up so much at that age and stage of her life to move to another country based on just dating. The proposal probably came after he had worked things out with the boss and got the ring made. It’s also possible that the story they related happened only that it was a second proposal, this time with ring and the formalities worked out.