Actress Meghan Markle has opened up about her relationship with Prince Harry in an interview with Vanity Fair, declaring that the couple are "really happy and in love".
In a cover interview for the magazine's October issue, the 36-year-old refers to the royal as her "boyfriend" and reveals that the pair had been dating for six months, having met in London in July 2016, before it became public.
Since the relationship hit the headlines it has hardly been out of them, but Markle explains that while the attention she faces for dating Prince Harry "has its challenges... it comes in waves - some days it can feel more challenging than others".
However, she conceded that from the moment the couple made their relationship public she was surprised by "the way things changed.
"But I still have this support system all around me, and, of course, my boyfriend's support".
This support led to Prince Harry issuing a strongly-worded statement asking for privacy for the pair due to the "wave of abuse and harassment" suffered by the American.
Yet in the interview Markle seems comes across as unfazed by the amount of attention their relationship has generated, saying that "at the end of the day I think it’s really simple.
“We’re two people who are really happy and in love.
"We were very quietly dating for about six months before it became news, and I was working during that whole time, and the only thing that changed was people’s perception.
"Nothing about me changed. I’m still the same person that I am, and I’ve never defined myself by my relationship.”
The Suits actress continued that she was happy to keep her relationship with the 33-year-old out of the public eye, explaining: "We're a couple. We're in love.
"I'm sure there will be a time when we will have to come forward and present ourselves and have stories to tell, but I hope what people will understand is that this is our time.
"This is for us.
"It's part of what makes it so special, that it's just ours. But we're happy. Personally, I love a great love story."
Also in the interview, Markle told of her hatred of having her freckles airbrushed off in photos, doing odd jobs in order to be able to pay her bills while trying to make it as an actress, her dogs and her love of food.