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Engagement speculation as Prince Harry turns 33

By Laura Elston

Prince Harry celebrated his 33rd birthday yesterday amid speculation over whether this will be the year he weds his actress girlfriend Meghan Markle.

Harry - who paid his first official visit to Northern Ireland earlier this month - is widely expected to propose to Markle, who stars in the hit legal drama Suits, after she recently opened up about their relationship in an interview with Vanity Fair magazine, declaring: ''We're two people who are really happy and in love."

The pair have been dating for just over a year after meeting through friends.

They are expected to make their first public appearance together at an official event soon when Harry heads to Markle's home city of Toronto for the 2017 Invictus Games next week.

Fifth in line to the throne, Harry will give speeches at both the opening and closing ceremonies, watch a host of sports events and carry out a number of extra engagements including visiting a mental health and addiction teaching hospital.

The prince, who founded the Invictus Games, a Paralympic-style competition for wounded, injured and sick former and still-serving servicemen and women, will be in the Canadian city carrying out public appearances from September 22-30.

Meanwhile there were reports of a power struggle at Buckingham Palace following the departure of the Queen's Private Secretary Sir Christopher Geidt.

The Times reports today that this comes amid differences over how to manage the transition of power between the Queen (91) and Prince Charles. The newspaper reports Royal sources that say said the prince's staff are keen to "accelerate" plans to increase his involvement in key Royal events.

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