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Are Prince Harry And Meghan Markle Engaged? The Betting Is Open
Source: tongagh.com   |   August 25, 2017   |  168 Views

Before his trip to Africa with girlfriend Meghan Markle, Prince Harry visited StreetGames' Fit and Fed, a program that provides activities for kids during the summer in London  Photo: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Since Prince Harry and his American actress girlfriend Meghan Markle started dating more than a year ago, rumors of an imminent proposal have not stopped. This time, though, they have reached a new and still-more-fevered pitch - and the stakes in the British betting world are tipping towards an already-accepted proposal.

MarkleMeghan and  Harry  revel in using their celebrity to help humanitarian causes in 

To celebrate Meghan’s 36th birthday, the prince invited her to Africa, a place close to his heart and the scene of his brother Prince William's proposal to Kate Middleton.

 

Since last week, Harry and Meghan, each of whom are involved in various charities operating on the African continent, have been in Botswana where, among other places, they visited the Okavango Delta, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the area’s great remaining wildlife habitats.

Prince Harry during a past trip to Johannesburg speaks to students at the LifeCo UnLtd project at the Siyabonga  School in Soweto. He has said that in Africa "I feel more myself than anywhere else in the world,"     Photo: Kim Ludbrook/AFP/Getty Images

Their trip also included sailing, camping for a few nights and spending time together on a private island. According to the British press, Prince Harry spent weeks carefully planning every detail of the trip - taken by the media as another signal of an imminent proposal.

The prince’s attachment to Africa makes the wave of speculation about an engagement highly plausible. He has called it the place "where I feel more like myself than anywhere else in the world" and where he has an "intense sense of complete relaxation and normality.”

Meghan Markle is back for the sixth season of the TV series Suits     Photo: Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images

Equally important in the eyes of the British bookmakers is "the Kate and William factor." Harry is very close to his brother and sister-in-law and the fact that Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton at a wildlife conservancy in Kenya counts as an influential model.

Prince William and Kate Middleton officially announcing their engagement in November, 2010    Photo: Royal Monarchy

If the betting in Britain is any indication, the proposal is a done deal. The William Hill betting agency, according to Vogue, “is no longer offering odds on whether Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will get engaged. Their reason? It’s inevitable. In fact, they are instead allowing bets on what year the royal wedding will take place (5/1 on 2017; 2/5 on 2018; 3/1 on 2019 or later).”

“They look very happy together and Meghan is perhaps uniquely equipped to deal with the pressures of becoming one of the most photographed women in the world,” a spokesman for the agency said.

Meghan Markle has not been introduced to Queen Elizabeth - yet.       Photo: Charles Sykes/Invision/AP

For its part, Betfair, the world’s largest online betting exchange, reported that the odds are even that the proposal will happen during the Africa trip.

Despite the absence of indications either from Buckingham Palace or Kensington Palace - the only truly official sources - the engagement has been noisily previewed by a number of tabloid papers and other media.

A recent story in Britain's Daily Star that has received widespread international attention cites people close to the couple claiming that the American TV star accepted the Prince’s proposal but that the news won’t be made official by Buckingham Palace until the Queen has given her permission.

Meghan has practically moved to Harry's private lodge in Kensington Palace     Photo: KGC-146/STAR MAX/IPx

The Star also claims that Harry gave Markle a $130,000 engagement ring he ordered made from a special piece of jewelry that belonged to his mother, Princess Diana. The ring, though, would not be as visible as the matching Zulu betrothal bracelets the couple reportedly exchanged during the trip.

Another version of the allegedly accepted proposal mentions instead a $1 million ruby ring that belonged to his aunt, Prince Margaret.

Although Queen Elizabeth has yet to meet Markle, it's been reported that different members of the royal family, including William and Kate, already have and have granted their approval.  The most recent public stamp came from Mike Tindall, husband of Harry's cousin, Zara Phillips.

A commoner and former rugby player who fell in love with the queen's blue-blooded niece, Tindall said that Markle will “do absolutely fine” as part of the “nerve-wracking royal life.”

Although Tindall has not met Meghan, he said that “she has been under enough pressure in her day-to-day life so I'm sure she will get through it.”

Markle who plays Rachel Zane in the legal drama Suits, met Harry more than a year ago when they were introduced by a mutual friend.

The relationship was officially confirmed last November when Kensington Palace issued a statement that the prince was concerned for her security. “Prince Harry is worried about Ms. Markle’s safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her,” it said. “It is not right that a few months into a relationship with him that Ms. Markle should be subjected to such a storm.”

Prince Harry interacts with children last month in London        Photo: Stefan Rousseau - WPA Pool/Getty Images

The palace added that the prince knew that many people considered such attention the price she must pay for being with him. But, it insisted, “he strongly disagrees. This is not a game - it is her life and his.”

Not long after, the couple was seen holding hands in public during a date in London. After months of rumors, it was also confirmed that she has practically moved in to his private apartment in Kensington Palace.

Meghan has been slowly making more public appearances at his side during official events - for example, in May she watched him play in a polo match in Berkshire, and more recently at the party for the wedding of Pippa Middleton and James Matthews.

Now, assuming that the engagement is a done deal, British bookmakers have open bets on the title that Markle would receive as the wife of the fifth in line to the throne.

For sure, she wouldn't become a princess. Her official title would be “Her Royal Highness Prince Henry of Wales.” In keeping with royal custom, once married the couple would be bestowed a dukedom in the same way William and Kate became the Duke and Duchess Of Cambridge.

Meghan Markle could become Duchess of Sussex, of Clarence or of Buckingham, which are the available options.

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