Prince Harry and Meghan Markle seem meant to be. However, is it possible that they may have never met if it wasn’t for a mysterious woman who played matchmaker for the couple?
Some details seem to be pointing toward one person Harry and Markle had in common before they started dating. Here’s what we know about the woman who introduced the next royal bride and groom, and how it’s led to their engagement.
1. Mystery sparked by an interview
During a sit-down BBC interview, Harry and Markle spilled about the first time they met in London. They were set up on a blind date by a “mutual friend,” as described by Harry, in summer 2016.
Harry first started setting the scene by recalling, “Ah yes, we first met, we were introduced actually by a mutual friend, who we will …” Markle jumped in, warning, “We should protect her privacy and not reveal too much of that.”
Tiptoeing around the identity of their matchmaker, Harry continued, “We’ll protect her privacy yeah. And … it was through her and then we met once and then twice back-to-back two dates in London, last July.”
Next: What we do know about her.
2. We know it’s a woman
In an effort to protect her identity, Harry and Markle slipped (potentially by accident) that their matchmaker is a woman by using female pronouns in their recollection. With options narrowed down, people began speculating who this mystery woman may be.
Next: Instagram provides some key clues.
3. Markle’s Instagram led to some potential clues
Markle posted quite a few photos with her friend, Misha Nonoo, in the summer of 2016. They were traveling around Spain, and very likely could have made a stop in England. In another post from mid-July 2016, Markle refers to Nonoo as her “honey bunny.” Maybe she was feeling extra grateful for her pal after the introduction to Harry?
Next: But the answer wasn’t revealed — until now.
4. Here’s who really introduced them
In January 2018, it was revealed that Violet von Westenholz introduced the pair. E! reported the news, and it quickly spread.
Of course, this hasn’t been confirmed by the royal and his bride-to-be themselves, but chances are it never will be.
Next: A closer look at their first date.
5. Details of their first date
Despite having friends in common, Harry and Markle really knew very little about each other prior to their blind date. Markle claimed that going into the date, the only question she had for her matchmaker was, “Well, is he nice?” She explained, “Because if he wasn’t kind it just didn’t — it didn’t seem like it would make sense.”
Harry is obviously just as nice as we’d hoped, considering Markle’s confession: “And so we went and had a drink and then I think very quickly into that we said, ‘Well, what are we doing tomorrow? We should meet again.’”
Even though Harry may have been known for his fair share of relationships in the past, he admitted that Markle made him feel the need to “up [his] game.” He claimed, “I was beautifully surprised when I walked into that room and saw her and there she was sitting there. I was like, ‘Okay, well I’m going to have to really up my game here. And sit down and make sure I’ve got a good chat.’”
Next: This is when things got serious.
6. Here’s where things got serious
After their first few dates, Harry and Markle tried to find time in between their busy schedules to meet. Harry explained how they really got to know each other:
It was I think about three, maybe four weeks later that I managed to persuade her to come and join me in Botswana, and we camped out with each other under the stars. She came and joined me for five days out there, which was absolutely fantastic. So then we were really by ourselves, which was crucial to me to make sure that we had a chance to know each other.
In October 2016, the media began speculating their relationship. One month later, Markle was officially referred to as Harry’s “girlfriend,” but it wasn’t under the best circumstance. The announcement was tied to a statement issued by Kensington Palace in which Harry pleaded that the media stop the “abuse and harassment” of his girlfriend regarding her biracial background.
The couple was able to move past the controversy, and were photographed together for the first time in December 2016.
Next: Their first official public outing.
7. Their first official public outing
Though Harry and Markle were spotted together numerous times over the next year, they made their first official public outing together in September 2017 at the Invictus Games in Toronto. The two were clearly in love, packing in the PDA with little kisses and hand-holding. In the same month, Markle told Vanity Fair, “We’re two people who are really happy and in love.”
Considering the white button-down “Husband” shirt that Markle wore to their first outing was designed by Nonoo, we’re taking it as a subtle hint of gratitude to their matchmaker.
Next: The moment everybody was waiting for.
8. Their engagement
We weren’t surprised, but we were definitely excited when Markle and Harry’s engagement was announced on Nov. 27, 2017. In Prince Charles’ official statement from his office at Clarence House, he was “delighted to announce” their engagement.
The statement revealed that Harry proposed earlier in the month, so we’re sure the couple is relieved to bring their engagement out of hiding. In a joint interview, Harry and Markle gave us the adorable details about the magical moment she said yes.
“It was so sweet and natural and very romantic,” Markle gushed. “He got down on one knee. As a matter of fact, I could barely let you finish proposing. I said, ‘Can I say yes now?’” Harry took his turn, recalling, “There was hugs and I had the ring in my finger. I was like, ‘Can I give you the ring?’ She goes, ‘Oh, yes! The ring!’”
They’ve already confirmed their wedding will take place on May 19, 2018 at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, so we can officially start counting down the days.
Next: Here’s their new home together.
9. Their new home together
The royal pair will live on the grounds of Kensington Palace in Nottingham House. Prince Harry has lived there for four years, but now he’ll be joined by Markle. Before Harry called Nottingham House his home, William lived there.
The Telegraph says Nottingham House has two bedrooms, a living room, dining room, and two bathrooms. The two bedroom, two bathroom cottage is not without quirks. According to the Telegraph, ceilings in Nottingham House are so low, the Duke of Cambridge had to “stoop” down to keep from hitting his head on the ceiling.
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