Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's first interview after engagement: in full
Here is the full text of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's first interview after their engagement announcement.
Interviewer: Your Royal Highness, Meghan Markle, congratulations to you both.
Meghan Markle: Thank you.
Int: Can we start with the proposal and the actual moment of your engagement. When did it happen? How did it happen?
Prince Harry: It happened a few weeks ago, earlier this month, here at our cottage; just a standard typical night for us.
Meghan Markle: Just a cosy night, it was - what we were doing just roasting chicken and having ...
Prince Harry: Roasting a chicken, trying to roast a chicken.
Meghan Markle: Trying to roast a chicken and it just - just an amazing surprise, it was so sweet and natural and very romantic. He got on one knee.
Prince Harry: Of course.
Int: Was it an instant yes from you?
Meghan Markle: Yes, as a matter of fact I could barely let you finish proposing, I said - can I say yes now?
Prince Harry: She didn't even let me finish, she said can I say yes, can I say yes and then were was hugs and I had the ring in my finger and I was like can I - can I give you the ring? She goes - oh yes the ring.
So no it was - it was a really nice moment, it was just the two of us and I think managed to catch - catch her by surprise as well.
Meghan Markle: Yeah.
Int: And this is how long after you first met?
Meghan Markle: Oh it would be a year and a half, a little bit more than that?
Prince Harry: No just about - it would be about a year and a half yeah.
Meghan Markle: Just about that?
Int: Which for most people would be quite a whirlwind, is that how it's felt to you?
Meghan Markle: I don't think that I would call it a whirlwind in terms of our relationship, obviously there have been layers attached to how public it has become after we had a good five, six months almost with just privacy, which was amazing.
But no, I think we were able to really have so much time just to connect and we never went longer than two weeks without seeing each other, even though we were obviously doing a long distance relationship. So it's - we made it work.
Int: How did you first meet?
Prince Harry: Ah yes, we first met - we were introduced actually by a mutual friend, who - we will ...
Meghan Markle: We should protect her privacy and not reveal too much of that.
Prince Harry: We'll protect her privacy yeah. And - but it was - it was literally - it was through her and then we met once and then twice back to back two dates in London, last July.
Meghan Markle: Yes.
Prince Harry: The beginning of July. And then 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 - we camped out with each other under the stars, we spent - she came and joined me for five days out there, which was absolutely fantastic.
Meghan Markle: Just to take the - take the time to be able to go on long country walks and just talk.
Prince Harry: We've been - we've been all over the place.
Int: Have you met the Queen?
Meghan Markle: I have, yes.
Prince Harry: A couple of times.
Meghan Markle: Yes, true, a couple of times.
Int: What was that like?
Meghan Markle: It's incredible, I think, you know, a) to be able to meet her through his lens, not just with his honour and respect for her as the monarch, but the love that he has for her as his grandmother, all of those layers have been so important for me so that when I met her I had such a deep understanding and of course incredible respect for being able to have that time with her. And we've had a really - she's - she's an incredible woman.
Prince Harry: And the corgis took to you straight away.
Meghan Markle: That's true.
Prince Harry: I've spent the last 33 years being barked at; this one walks in, absolutely nothing ...
Meghan Markle: Just laying on my feet during tea, it was very sweet.
Prince Harry: ... just wagging tails and I was just like argh.
Int: That has to be a good sign. Speaking of dogs, have you brought yours to the UK?
Meghan Markle: Well I have two dogs that I've had for quite a long time, both my rescue pups. And one is now staying with very close friends and my other little guy is - yes he's in the UK, he's been here for a while.
Int: Okay, let's hope he adjusts well.
Meghan Markle: I think he's doing just fine.
Int: What was it like introducing Meghan to your father and your brother?
Prince Harry: What was it like? It was exciting I mean I've - you know I'd been seeing her for a period of time when I - literally didn't tell anybody at all. And then William was longing to meet her and so was Catherine, so you know being our neighbours we managed to get that in a couple of - well quite a few times now and Catherine has been absolutely ...
Meghan Markle: She's been wonderful.
Prince Harry: ... amazing, as has William as well, you know, fantastic support. And then my - my father as well, we had a couple of - no more than that ...
Meghan Markle: We've had ...
Prince Harry: ... A handful of teas and meetings and all sorts of gatherings over at his place as well. So no the family together have been absolutely, you know, a solid support and my grandparents as well have been - have been wonderful throughout this whole process and they've known for quite some time. So how they - how they haven't told anybody is - is again a miracle in itself. But now the whole family have come together and have been a huge amount of support.
Meghan Markle: They've been amazing.
Int: And Meghan your parents, do you think - you know while very happy for you obviously ...
Meghan Markle: Yes.
Int: ... Do you think they have worried at all about the scale of what you're getting into?
Meghan Markle: Well I'm sure the onset, both my parents and my close friends were concerned, because we got very quickly swept up in a media storm that, as I shared, was not part of my life before that, but they also had never seen me so happy. And I think also once my friends - excuse me, were able to - to really meet Harry, and my mom, who we've spent a lot of time with, who is so much fun.
Prince Harry: Her mum's amazing.
Meghan Markle: It was just - you know it was just obvious that no matter what we were being put through that it was just temporary and that we were going to be able to get through that. So everybody was really happy. And he's talked to my dad a few times, hasn't been able to meet him just yet, but it's all been - it's all been worth every effort.
Prince Harry: Yeah, yeah it's been great.
Int: Your ring.
Meghan Markle: Oh yes.
Int: Tell us about your ring.
Prince Harry: The ring is - is obviously yellow gold because that's what - her favourite and the main stone itself I sourced from Botswana and the - the little diamonds either side are from my mother's jewellery collection to make sure that she's with us on this - on this crazy journey together. And ...
Meghan Markle: It's beautiful, and he designed it, it's incredible.
Prince Harry: Yeah, make sure it stays on that finger.
Meghan Markle: Of course.
Int: What does it mean to you Meghan to have those stones on your finger that once belonged to Princess Diana?
Meghan Markle: I think everything about Harry's thoughtfulness is - and the inclusion of that and obviously not being able to meet his mom it's so important to me to - to know that she's a part of this with us. And I think in being able to meet his aunts and - and also like Julia and just different people who were so important to his mom, I'm able to, in some way, know a part of her through them and of course through him. And it's - it's incredibly special. And you know to be able to have this which sort of links where you come from and Botswana which is important to us and it's - it's perfect.
Int: What do you think your mother would have thought of Meghan, or said about Meghan?
Prince Harry: Oh they'd be thick as thieves, without question, I think she would be over the moon, jumping up and down, you know so excited for me, but then, as I said, would have probably been best friends - best friends with Meghan.
So no it's - you know it is days like - days like today when - when I really miss having her around and miss being able to share the happy news. But you know with the ring and with everything else that's going on I'm sure she's ...
Meghan Markle: She's with us.
Prince Harry: I'm sure she's with us yeah, you know, jumping up and down somewhere else.
Belfast Telegraph Digital