Prince Harry’s Regret: Why He Didn’t Get To Propose to Meghan Markle the Way He Wanted

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle got engaged during a quiet night together at Nottingham Cottage while they were “roasting a chicken,” but that low-key setting wasn’t where the prince had planned to propose.

After they announced their engagement in November 2017, the couple revealed how Harry popped the question. However, the royal reportedly had a much more exotic place in mind where he wanted to ask for Markle’s hand in marriage. Here’s more on where that was and why Harry couldn’t propose there even though he wanted to.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle | Karwai Tang/WireImage

Where the prince wanted to propose to Markle

According to the documentary Meghan Markle: Movies, Marriage, and Motherhood, the now-Duke of Sussex had planned to ask the former actress to marry him during their trip to Botswana together.

The prince spoke about that trip in their post-engagement interview when he said, “I managed to persuade her to come join me in Botswana, and we camped out with each other under the stars.”

The African nation is a special place for Prince Harry. In fact, he previously described it as his “second home,” adding, “This is where I feel more like myself than anywhere else in the world.” It’s also one of the first places he visited after his mother passed away. Because of that many thought that Harry was going to propose to Markle while they were there, and now we’re learning that he apparently wanted to.

“I had actually been told by one of his friends that he had planned to pop the question in Botswana,” royal correspondent Katie Nicholl claimed in the documentary.

So what stopped the prince from asking Markle then?

Why he couldn’t do it at that time

Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, and Queen Elizabeth II
Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, and Queen Elizabeth II | John Stillwell – WPA Pool/Getty Images

If Harry did indeed tell his friends that during his three-week trip with Markle that there was a time he thought was the right time to propose, he wasn’t able to do it at that time for one specific reason.

The Sun noted that under British law, Harry had to wait to ask Markle to marry him until after he got written permission from his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, to do so.

The royals who are in the first five positions in line to the throne must ask for permission from Her Majesty before they can say “I do.” Prior to Prince Louis’ birth, Harry was fifth in the line of succession and therefore needed permission to get married.

“So unlike a normal couple, who make a private decision, Harry knew he had to go through the formal hoops before the engagement was official,” The Sun reported. “With that in mind there was no way Harry could have ‘popped the question’ before getting that literal royal seal of approval.”

Once he got the queen’s blessing, he proposed weeks after their trip at Nottingham Cottage.

What Markle thought of the way he proposed

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Although the proposal was reportedly not what Harry had initially planned Markle was very happy with it. She called it “an amazing surprise” that was “sweet and natural and very romantic.”

She also gushed about how the prince got down on one knee when he asked her and she didn’t even let him finish before saying “yes.”

The pair tied the knot on May 19, 2018, and less than a year later welcomed their first son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.

And while the proposal didn’t happen in Botswana, Markle will always be reminded of that special place every time she looks down at her engagement ring as the center diamond in it came from the African country.

Read more: Why Prince Harry Is Being Called the ‘People’s Prince’?