Over the past couple of months, the royal rumor mill has been in overdrive: Is an engagement on the cards for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle?
Royalists and fans of the Suits star are eagerly anticipating that Kensington Palace could soon announce an engagement following the couples’ public displays of affection at the Invictus games, Markle’s insightful Vanity Fair interview and a reported private meeting between the couple and the Queen.
Unfortunately, as it stands, there has been no official word just yet. So while we hope and wait, let’s take a look back at how a variety of other royal couples have announced their engagements.
The Queen Mother (Queen Elizabeth) and King George VI
After being asked for the third time, Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon said yes to King George and the announcement was made in the Court Circular—the official Royal communications source—from York Cottage at Sandringham in January, 1923, according to The Telegraph.
They had an official black and white engagement portrait taken on the day the announcement was made at Elizabeth’s London residence.
The Queen and Prince Philip
Almost 70 years ago, the engagementof the young Princess Elizabeth and Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten was announced by her father, King George VI, and mother, Queen Elizabeth, via the court circular in July, 1947.
“It is with the greatest of pleasure that the King and Queen announce the betrothal of their dearly beloved daughter, the Princess Elizabeth, to Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten.RN, son of the late Prince Andrew of Greece and Princess Andrew (Princess Alice of Battenberg), to which union the King has gladly given his consent,” the statement said, as reported by The New York Herald at the time.
Shortly afterwards, the princess debuted her engagement ring for the first time in official photographs taken at Buckingham Palace.
Princess Margaret and Anthony Armstrong-Jones
The Queen’s sister’s engagement announcement to photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones was announced on the radio in February 1960. According to Lord Snowdon’s biographer Anne De Courcy, the couple were engaged just before Christmas in 1959 but waited to make the announcement until after the birth of Prince Andrew at the Queen’s request after she gave the union her blessing.
They posed for official pictures in the grounds of Windsor Castle a day after the engagement announcement, which was described by reporters as a ‘surprise’ at the time.
Related article: The Untold Story Behind Kate Middleton’s Engagement Ring
Prince Charles and Lady Diana
After months of speculation, and press-hounding in Diana’s case, Buckingham Palace announced the engagement of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer at 11am GMT, on 24 February, 1981.
The Lord Chancellor, Lord Maclean, gave the following statement on behalf of the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh at a ceremony at the palace: “It is with greatest pleasure that the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh announce the betrothal of their beloved son the Prince of Wales to the Lady Diana Spencer, daughter of the Earl Spencer and the Honourable Mrs Shand Kydd.”
Prince Charles had proposed to Lady Diana three weeks earlier at Buckingham Palace. The couple gave an interview to mark their engagement where Prince Charles famously said “whatever in love means,” when the couple were asked if they were feeling in love.
Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson
The announcement of this couple’s plans to wed were laid bare on the gates of Buckingham Palace on March 19, 1986. Written on the Queen’s stationery, the one-sentence announcement said the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh were “greatly pleased” to announce the forthcoming nuptials. According to the Washington Post, copies of the announcement were also given to well-wishes waiting at the palace gate.
The couple gave a joint televised interview to the BBC and ITV where they made jokes, rolled their eyes, laughed out loud and told broadcasters what they saw in each other. For Andrew, this included his soon-to-be wife’s “red hair.”
Princess Anne and Timothy Laurence
After Princess Anne’s first marriage to Mark Phillips ended in April 1992, her engagement to Royal Navy commander Timothy Laurence was announced just months later on 5 December.
The announcement was much less official than that of her first and there were no official photographs.
Instead, Buckingham Palace made a simple and nonchalant announcement on a Saturday: “Due to the level of speculation about the matter, we decided to confirm that the princess royal and Cmdr. Laurence are planning to marry. But I cannot say where and when,” the United Press International agency reported. The couple married just days later on December 12 in Balmoral, Scotland.
Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones
This announcement did not come as much of a surprise as The Sun newspaper leaked their impending announcement just hours before it was done officially on January 6, 1999, according to the BBC.
The couple posed for a photocall at St James’s Palace where Sophie disputed reports that she had issued the prince with an ultimatum for marriage following their five-year relationship.
“We are the very best of friends and that’s essential but it also helps that we also love each other very much,” the Prince told the press.
Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles
The announcement of Prince Charles’ upcoming civil ceremony to Camilla Parker-Bowles came directly from him, rather than the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh like he and his sibling’s previous engagement announcements.
The statement, issued on February 10, 2005, also included a comment from Charles’ sons Princes William and Harry, who both said: “We are both very happy for our father and Camilla, and we wish them all the luck in the future.”
The Queen later issued a statement expressing her and the Duke’s happiness at the nuptials. That evening the couple attended a reception at Windsor Castle, beneath an illuminated Round Tower which the Queen had ordered to be lit to celebrate their engagement, The Guardian reported.
Prince William and Kate Middleton
After years of speculation from the press over when Prince William would pop the question to his long-term girlfriend, Clarence House and Prince Charles announced the couple would marry on November 16, 2010, adding that Prince William had sought the permission of Kate’s father, Michael Middleton. A statement was also released on social media, showing how times had shifted.
The Prince of Wales is delighted to announce the engagement of Prince William to Miss Catherine Middleton – www.princeofwales.gov.uk
— Clarence House (@ClarenceHouse) November 16, 2010
The couple conducted a revealing interview with ITV where Catherine displayed Prince William’s late mother Diana’s engagement ring and talked about the prospect of life together. The blue silk wrap dress Kate wore sold out within 24 hours of the news and a month later the couple released official portraits shot by Mario Testino.
From: Harper’s BAZAAR US