They're Engaged! Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to Marry Next Year

The couple got engaged earlier this month, it has emerged.

Prince Harry is engaged to his American actress girlfriend, Meghan Markle.

The couple was all smiles as they appeared for a photo call at The Sunken Gardens at Kensington Palace, London, on Monday, hours after their engagement was announced. Markle, dressed in white, flashed her engagement ring to the cameras.

The news was shared by Clarence House, the official residence of Prince Harry's father Charles and his wife Camilla, Monday morning.

"His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales is delighted to announce the engagement of Prince Harry to Ms. Meghan Markle," the statement said.

"The wedding will take place in Spring 2018. Further details about the wedding day will be announced in due course."

The 33-year-old prince, who is fifth in line to the throne, proposed to Markle, 36, earlier this month, according to the statement. After getting married, they will live at Nottingham Cottage, a property at London's Kensington Palace.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry appear together at Kensington Palace on Monday. - Getty

The couple will appear for interviews Monday evening.

"Prince Harry has informed Her Majesty The Queen and other close members of his family," the statement continued. "Prince Harry has also sought and received the blessing of Ms. Markle's parents."

As he made a public appearance at a school Monday, Prince Charles said he was "thrilled" at the engagement.

"They'll be very happy indeed," he told reporters.

Markle, who stars in American drama series Suits, started dating Prince Harry last summer. They made their first public appearance as a couple in September at Toronto's Invictus Games, which Prince Harry created.

Earlier this year, Markle's half-sister told Inside Edition she could feel an upcoming engagement.

"I see Meghan and [Prince] Harry as definitely getting married," Samantha Markle, who lives in Florida, said. "Meghan’s already been in public quite a bit, in positions that require a bit of elegance and composure and, of course, she'll fit in perfectly."

In a statement issued by Kensington Palace Monday, Markle's parents Thomas Markle and Doria Ragland shared their joy at the news.

"We are incredibly happy for Meghan and Harry. Our daughter has always been a kind and loving person," they said. "To see her union with Harry, who shares the same qualities, is a source of great joy for us as parents.

"We wish them a lifetime of happiness and are very excited for their future together."

Markle was previously married to fellow actor Trevor Engelson but they split after two years of marriage.

It means she is the first American, the first biracial person and the first actress to be welcomed into Britain's royal family.

The history-making announcement Monday comes in stark contrast to royal attitude when Edward VIII revealed his intentions to marry American divorcée Wallis Simpson. In 1936, he gave up his throne to marry her.