'We'll start a family in the near future': Lovestruck Harry says he wants children soon but is taking things 'one step at a time'

  • Prince Harry, said he and Meghan Markle will start a family 'in the near future'?
  • He declared his mother Diana would have been excited about the engagement
  • Miss Markle has quit her role in the TV drama Suits to become a full-time royal
  • Harry confessed that he knew Miss Markle was 'The One' when they first met?

Prince Harry last night confessed he fell in love with Meghan Markle the moment they met on a blind date.

Lifting the lid on their whirlwind romance, he said 'the stars were aligned' when 'this beautiful woman fell into my life'.

The lovestruck Prince declared his late mother Diana would have been 'jumping up and down' with excitement at the news he is to marry Miss Markle this spring. Harry, 33, also promised he and the American actress, 36, will start a family 'in the near future'.

Miss Markle, who has quit her role in the television drama Suits and will now become a full-time royal, yesterday spent time 'utterly charming' the staff at the couple's new home in Kensington Palace.

Prince Harry and actress Meghan Markle announced their engagement at Kensington Palace on Monday?

Prince Harry and actress Meghan Markle announced their engagement at Kensington Palace on Monday?

Their romance has moved swiftly. In an extraordinarily candid interview yesterday, they revealed how they went on just two dates in London last July before a besotted Harry invited her on a magical camping holiday in Botswana. They shared a tent under the stars 'in the middle of nowhere'.

Yesterday at a photocall in Kensington Palace's Sunken Garden – much loved by Diana – Harry was asked: 'When did you know she was the one?' He replied: 'When did I know? From the very first time we met.'

Last night he confessed: 'The fact that I fell in love with Meghan so incredibly quickly was confirmation to me that all the stars were aligned – everything was just perfect. It was this beautiful woman – just sort of literally tripped and fell into my life; I fell into her life.

'We're a fantastic team, we know we are, and we hope over time to try to have as much impact on all the things we care about as possible.'

In their first joint interview this evening, Miss Markle, 36, said she did not even wait for the 33-year-old royal to finish proposing before she said 'yes' - and it was 'so sweet and natural and very romantic'

In their first joint interview this evening, Miss Markle, 36, said she did not even wait for the 33-year-old royal to finish proposing before she said 'yes' - and it was 'so sweet and natural and very romantic'

As news of their engagement spread across the world, it emerged that:

  • Harry popped the question on one knee earlier this month while they were cooking roast chicken at his cottage in Kensington Palace;
  • He gave her a ring he designed himself from diamonds belonging to his mother;
  • The couple will have a church wedding in spring 2018 – but will probably avoid early April when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's third child is due;
  • The PM has ruled out a bank holiday and Windsor Castle's chapel emerged as favourite to host the royal wedding;
  • Harry said his mother and his bride-to-be would have been 'thick as thieves' and 'best friends';
  • Miss Markle could become a princess but is more likely to be given the title Duchess of Sussex;
  • The Archbishop of Canterbury said the couple had 'chosen to make their vows before God';
  • Meghan's beloved rescue dog Guy is now at the palace but her other dog Bogart is still in Canada with friends.

Despite feverish speculation last week, the Mail understands that while the announcement has been in the offing for some time, yesterday was always the planned date.

At 2pm the smiling couple made it official by posing for photographs arm in arm in the Sunken Garden – where Harry and his brother William had white roses planted in Diana's memory on the 20th anniversary of her death.

The couple, who had been in Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace when the proposal happened, revealed that they first met on a blind date after being set up by a female friend - and have tried to see each other every two weeks

The couple, who had been in Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace when the proposal happened, revealed that they first met on a blind date after being set up by a female friend - and have tried to see each other every two weeks

Harry said that his mother and bride-to-be would be as 'thick as thieves' during his first official interview with Miss Markle, after their engagement announcement on Monday

Harry said that his mother and bride-to-be would be as 'thick as thieves' during his first official interview with Miss Markle, after their engagement announcement on Monday

Harry looked nervous but happy and his fiancée stroked his arm lovingly as they spoke to reporters – with the actress calming his nerves rather than the other way round.

A beaming Prince Charles said he was 'thrilled' by the news, while the Queen and Prince Philip were 'delighted for the couple and wish them every happiness'.?

The Queen will sign an elaborate notice of approval at the Privy Council to consent to the marriage. Theresa May offered her 'very warmest congratulations' and said: 'This is a time of huge celebration for two people in love.'

Harry and his American fiancée, who divorced her first husband in 2013, will start married life at Nottingham Cottage, Harry's bolthole in Kensington Palace, while they seek a country house.

The cottage is next door to his brother William and sister-in-law Kate, who said in a joint statement: 'We are very excited for Harry and Meghan. It has been wonderful getting to know Meghan and to see how happy she and Harry are together.'

Harry sought the blessing of Miss Markle's parents Thomas Markle and Doria Ragland, who divorced when their daughter was six, before he proposed.

The Prince popped the question earlier this month during a 'cosy night in' at his Nottingham Cottage when they were cooking Miss Markle's signature chicken dish.

She said it was 'just an amazing surprise – so sweet and natural and very romantic'.

Dropping to one knee, the Prince barely managed to finish his proposal before the actress interrupted: 'Can I say yes now?'

Charles just can't stop smiling?

Beaming with pride, Prince Charles spoke of his joy at his younger son's engagement yesterday

Beaming with pride, Prince Charles spoke of his joy at his younger son's engagement yesterday

Beaming with pride, Prince Charles spoke of his joy at his younger son's engagement yesterday.?

The heir to the throne chuckled and grinned broadly during an official visit to Dorset and said he was thrilled for Harry and his bride-to-be Meghan.

Asked what he thought of the engagement, he said it was 'very good', adding: 'Thrilled for them both. They'll be very happy indeed.'

Harry introduced Meghan to his father earlier this year and the Prince of Wales was said to have been 'very impressed' by the 36-year-old.?

Miss Markle also made a favourable impression on Charles's wife Camilla.

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