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Prince Harry 'thrilled' to be marrying US actress Meghan Markle

I knew she was the one from the very first time we met

Prince Harry 'over the moon' to be marrying Suits star Meghan Markle

Prince Harry declared he was "thrilled" as he and bride-to-be Meghan Markle made their first appearance in public since the announcement of their engagement earlier today.

Harry and American actress Ms Markle stepped out briefly in front of the cameras hand in hand at an open-air photocall at Kensington Palace.

Their long-anticipated engagement was announced by the Prince of Wales on Monday morning with a statement saying the couple, who have been dating for 16 months, will marry in the spring 2018.

A beaming Ms Markle, in a stunning white belted coat, clutched Harry's hand with both of hers as they posed briefly for the waiting press, and showed off her glittering diamond engagement ring - designed by Harry himself.

Ms Markle's engagement ring was designed by Prince Harry

Ms Markle said she was "so very happy, thank you" to be engaged to Harry.

The prince said he was "thrilled, over the moon" adding: "Very glad it's not raining as well."

The couple looked a picture of happiness, both smiling and giggling throughout their appearance in the Sunken Garden at Kensington - grounds much loved by his late mother Diana Princess of Wales.

The beaming couple Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Harry revealed he knew Ms Markle was "the one" from the first moment they met.

"When did I know she was the one? Very first time we met," the prince told reporters.

Asked how the royal proposed, Ms Markle replied "save that", with Harry adding: "That will come later.'' The pair are giving a television interview to be broadcast on Monday evening.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle looked a picture of happiness as they posed for an official photo call at Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace said the prince designed Ms Markle's engagement ring himself - using two stones which belong to his late mother.

The two outside stones are diamonds from the personal collection of Diana, Princess of Wales.

At the centre is a diamond from Botswana, a country that holds special significance for Harry who has visited many times since he was a child.

It is also a place the couple has spent time together over the last year and a half, Kensington Palace said.

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