He is a flame-haired former wild child, who courted controversy in his youth by smoking cannabis and by once wearing a Nazi uniform to a party. She is a biracial, divorced actress from abroad. Together, they are taking the British monarchy — that most conservative of institutions — into a more modern era.
Prince Harry, a grandson of Queen Elizabeth II and fifth in line to the throne, is engaged to Meghan Markle, his American girlfriend, the royal family said on Monday.
The prince, 33, and Ms. Markle, 36, will marry in the spring, a statement from Clarence House added.
The Prince of Wales is delighted to announce the engagement of Prince Harry to Ms. Meghan Markle. pic.twitter.com/zdaHR4mcY6
— Clarence House (@ClarenceHouse) November 27, 2017
Prince Harry and Ms. Markle’s engagement underscores recent shifts in the British monarchy. They are part of a new generation of royals eager to project themselves as modern, inclusive and down-to-earth. This latest set of royals, who include the duke and duchess of Cambridge — Prince Harry’s elder brother, William, and his sister-in-law, Catherine — have in recent years tried to connect better with the public.
It is a marked difference, for example, from the queen, who has maintained a more traditionally aloof style.
Prince Harry and Ms. Markle are expected to be known as the duke and duchess of Sussex after they are married, according to the British news media, although she may be known informally as Princess Meghan. If Prince Harry were to decline the dukedom, he would remain Prince Henry of Wales — his official name.