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Prince Harry and actor Meghan Markle announce their engagement

Ellen Whinnett, November 28, 2017 6:25PM Herald Sun

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announce their engagement. Picture: Chris Jackson/Getty Images media_cameraPrince Harry and Meghan Markle announce their engagement. Picture: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

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British royal Prince Harry and American actor Meghan Markle are engaged to be married and will tie the knot next year.

Harry’s father Prince Charles was the first to congratulate the pair when he revealed the happy news.

“Prince Harry has informed Her Majesty the Queen and other close members of his family,” a statement from Prince Charles said.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Picture: Chris Jackson/Getty Images media_cameraPrince Harry and Meghan Markle. Picture: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

“Prince Harry has also sought and received the blessing of Ms Markle’s parents.’’

One of the couple’s first lengthy overseas trips as husband and wife is likely to be to Australia, where Markle will join Prince Harry at the Invictus Games in October.

The Games, an Olympic-style sporting event founded by Prince Harry to support injured and ill servicemen and women, will be held in Sydney from October 20-27 next year.

Ms Markle is no stranger to the Games, with the pair having made their first official public appearance together in September at the opening ceremony of the Toronto Invictus Games.

In a sit-down interview with the BBC after the announcement, Harry said he decided to pop the question at his London residence, Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace, where the couple will soon live together.

“It happened a few weeks ago, earlier this month, here at our cottage; just a standard typical night for us … trying to roast a chicken,” he said.

Ms Markle said the proposal was “an amazing surprise”.

“It was so sweet and natural and very romantic. He got on one knee,” she said.

Meghan and Harry at the Invictus Games in Toronto. Picture: Splash News media_cameraMeghan and Harry at the Invictus Games in Toronto. Picture: Splash News

Prince Harry designed the engagement ring to include two diamonds that belonged to Harry’s mother Princess Diana. The people’s princess, as she was known, died in a car crash 20 years ago when Harry was just 12.

Ms Markle told the BBC the ring was “beautiful” and said the inclusion of Princess Diana’s diamonds showed Harry’s “thoughtfulness”.

“Obviously not being able to meet his mom*, it’s so important to me to know that she’s a part of this with us,” she said.

Prince William and Catherine’s 2011 wedding (left) and Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s wedding (right). Picture” AP/Getty media_cameraPrince William and Catherine’s 2011 wedding (left) and Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s wedding (right). Picture” AP/Getty

Harry said Ms Markle and his mother would have been “thick as thieves*”.

“It’s days like today when I really miss having her around and miss being able to share the happy news but … I’m sure she’s with us,” he said.

Harry’s older brother Prince William paid a similar tribute* to his mum in 2010 when he proposed to his now wife, Catherine, with a ring that once belonged to Princess Di.

The announcement of the spring 2018 nuptials* triggered a wave of royal wedding fever across the world.

Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, is expecting their third child in April, so royal watchers have a big spring ahead of them.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with Prince George and Princess Charlotte. Picture: Dominic Lipinski media_cameraThe Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with Prince George and Princess Charlotte. Picture: Dominic Lipinski

AUSTRALIA’S ROYAL FAMILY

Despite a very un-Australian accent, Prince Harry’s grandmother Queen Elizabeth II is our head of state.

She is our monarch* and the head of the Commonwealth, of which Australia is a part because it is a former British colony*.

The heir to the throne is Prince Harry’s father Charles, Prince of Wales.
Next in line is Charles’ son and Harry’s older brother Prince William, followed by his son Prince George, 4, and then Princess Charlotte, 2.
Prince Harry is fifth in line, but will be pumped to sixth when William and Kate have another baby next year.

Members of the British royal family. Picture: Kirsty Wigglesworth media_cameraMembers of the British royal family. Picture: Kirsty Wigglesworth

GLOSSARY

  • mom: the way Americans say mum
  • thick as thieves: good friends
  • tribute: in honour of someone
  • nuptials: wedding
  • monarch: royal ruler
  • colony: country or area controlled by another

LISTEN TO TODAY’S STORY

CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES
1. Royal wedding
List some reasons why many people in Australia and around the world are excited about this royal wedding news even though they don’t actually know Prince Harry personally.

What is Australia’s link to the British royal family?

Extension:
Construct a family tree of the immediate family (children and grandchildren) of Queen Elizabeth II.

Time: allow 15 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum links: English, Civics and Citizenship

2. Royal invite
Design a wedding invitation fit for this glamorous couple. It should be classy and formal. Include as many details as you can.

Extension:
Who is Meghan Markle?
Research her and how she came to marry an English prince.

Time: allow 30 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum links: Design and Technologies, English

VCOP ACTIVITY
What does the idiom thick as thieves mean?
What other idioms do you know?
Research some idioms and write down their meaning.
Use each one in a sentence.

Time: allow 30 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum links: English, Big Write, VCOP

EXTRA RESOURCES

YOUNG ROYALS GO GLOBAL

LOST DIAMOND RING FOUND ON CARROT

POPE ASKS US TO HELP THE POOR

REMEMBERING PRINCESS DIANA

WHAT IS THE CITIZENSHIP SAGA?


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