Prince Harry is said to have taken another step towards wedding American actress Meghan Markle after introducing her to the Queen at Balmoral.
An American magazine, US Weekly, claimed today that Meghan Markle, 36, a star of television legal drama Suits, was introduced to the 91-year-old monarch at her Highland castle on September 3.
There was no immediate confirmation from Kensington Palace, which refused to comment, but royal biographer Ingrid Seward, the editor-in-chief of Majesty magazine, appeared to provide some corroboration.
Ms Seward, who knew Harry’s mother, Princess Diana, well, said she understood that the fifth in line to the throne and Ms Markle, who have been dating for 13 months, went to Balmoral together shortly after returning from a safari holiday in Botswana and Zambia.
“I’m 98 per cent sure,” she said. “I can’t be 100 per cent because I didn’t actually see them.”
She had no knowledge of whether they met the Queen while they were on the 50,000-acre estate on Royal Deeside in Aberdeenshire, but US Weekly claimed the actress was introduced while the couple were visiting Prince Charles at nearby Birtkhall over the weekend.
The magazine quoted a source saying: “it went well. It’ll no doubt be the first of many encounters. She fits perfectly into the famly. The difference in backgrounds means absolutely nothing.”
Harry, who will be 33 on Friday and Meghan, a Catholic whose father is white and mother black, began dating in July last year after meeting in London.
Friends believe they are likely to get engaged by the end of the year and wed next summer after the Duchess of Cambridge has had her third baby, due in the spring.
In an interview published in Vanity Fair magazine last week, Meghan declared her love for Harry.
“We’re a couple. We’re in love,” she said. “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.”
She added: “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.”
Asked about the worldwide interest in their relationship, she said: “It has its challenges, and it comes in waves — some days it can feel more challenging than others.
“And right out of the gate it was surprising the way things changed. But I still have this support system all around me, and, of course, my boyfriend’s support.”
She added: “I can tell you that at the end of the day I think it’s really simple. We’re two people who are really happy and in love.”
Harry is due to be in Toronto, where Meghan is based while filming Suits, later this month for the Invictus Games for wounded, sick, and injured servicemen and women. But there has been no confirmation that Meghan will attend the games.
Source: RICHARD PALMER, ROYAL CORRESPONDENT at www.express.co.uk/