With increased speculation that Prince Harry has or will soon propose to Meghan Markle, the question then remains—how will the public know if there is another royal engagement?
According to royal protocol, an engagement announcement will likely formally be made by Kensington Palace. Think back to 2010, when Prince William and Kate Middleton’s official engagement announcement was made nearly a month after the actual proposal took place in Kenya.
The link between Harry’s latest trip to Africa with girlfriend of one year Markle—in time for her 36th birthday—has helped fuel speculation that an engagement is imminent. The charitably-minded couple both share a common heart for Africa. Prince Harry has actively campaigned to protect the continent’s natural wildlife, and has also focused his energy on helping children with HIV and AIDS. In fact, the Prince founded a charity in 2006 with Prince Seeiso of Lesotho called Sentebale to help orphans impacted by the disease in the southern African country.
During Harry’s latest trip to Africa, he reportedly took Markle camping, enjoyed time on a private island, and stopped by UNESCO World Heritage Site Okavango Delta, a wildlife habitat in northern Botswana.
The Suits actress even expressed her appreciation for African wildlife in a piece published this week for Glamour, in which she named 10 women who changed her life–the first being primatologist Dian Fossey. “Two years ago, when I was in Rwanda, I made it my mission to see the mountain gorillas [protected by the Fossey Fund],” she wrote. “If it weren’t for her, these animals could be extinct.”
Other notable mentions from Markle’s list included former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, scribe Toni Morrison, and her own mother, Doria Ragland. “My mom’s a yoga instructor, but she does social work, as well, and she works specifically with the geriatric community. For me to watch this level of life-long sensitivity to nurturing and caregiving, but at the same time my mom has always been a free spirit,” she expressed. “She’s got dread locks and a nose ring. She just ran the LA Marathon. We can just have so much fun together, and yet, I’ll still find so much solace in her support. That duality coexists the same way it would in a best friend.”
When it comes to Prince Harry’s side of the family, Markle is—by now—well acquainted. She recently attended Pippa Middleton’s wedding reception with her boyfriend, and likely mingled with other members of the royal family, including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Unlike Kate Middleton, Markle will not become a princess by marriage to Harry, the fifth in line to the royal throne. Instead, she would be bestowed the title, “Her Royal Highness Prince Henry of Wales.”
Following their 2010 official announcement, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge then attended a photo call at St. James’s Palace, which was followed by their first public joint interview.