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Full transcript of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's engagement interview

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle took the world by storm on Monday when it was announced that the famous duo were engaged and plan to wed in the spring of next year.

"His Royal Highness and Ms. Markle became engaged in London earlier this month," the official announcement from Clarence House read.

But how did Harry, 33, meet Markle, 36, and how did he ask her to be his bride? Those questions and more were answered in the pair's first sit-down interview with the BBC since the big news broke.

Harry detailed this "perfect" romance, while the former "Suits" actress called their courtship "authentic and organic."

Here is the full transcript of that heartfelt, candid interview:

  • Interviewer: Your Royal Highness, Meghan Markle, congratulations to you both.
  • Meghan Markle: Thank you.
  • Int: Can we start with the proposal and the actual moment of your engagement. When did it happen? How did it happen?
  • Prince Harry: It happened a few weeks ago, earlier this month, here at our cottage; just a standard typical night for us.
  • Meghan Markle: Just a cozy night, it was - what we were doing just roasting chicken and having ...
  • Prince Harry: Roasting a chicken, trying to roast a chicken.
  • Meghan Markle: Trying to roast a chicken and it just - just an amazing surprise, it was so sweet and natural and very romantic. He got on one knee.
  • Prince Harry: Of course.
  •  
  • Int: Was it an instant yes from you?
  • Meghan Markle: Yes, as a matter of fact I could barely let you finish proposing. I said, "Can I say 'yes' now?"
  • Prince Harry: She didn't even let me finish. She said, "Can I say yes? Can I say yes?" and then were was hugs and I had the ring in my finger and I was like, "Can I - can I give you the ring?" She goes, "Oh yes the ring." So no it was - it was a really nice moment, it was just the two of us and I think managed to catch - catch her by surprise as well.
  • Meghan Markle: Yeah.
 
PHOTO: Britain's Prince Harry and his fiancee, U.S. actress Meghan Markle give their first interview following their engagement, Nov. 27, 2017. (Pool via Kensington Palace)
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  • Int: And this is how long after you first met?
  • Meghan Markle: Oh it would be a year and a half, a little bit more than that?
  • Prince Harry: No just about - it would be about a year and a half yeah.
  • Meghan Markle: Just about that?
  • Int: Which for most people would be quite a whirlwind. Is that how it's felt to you?
  • Meghan Markle: I don't think that I would call it a whirlwind in terms of our relationship. Obviously there have been layers attached to how public it has become after we had a good five, six months almost with just privacy, which was amazing. But no, I think we were able to really have so much time just to connect and we never went longer than two weeks without seeing each other, even though we were obviously doing a long distance relationship. So it's - we made it work.
  • Int: How did you first meet?
  • Prince Harry: Ah yes, we first met - we were introduced actually by a mutual friend, who - we will ...
  • Meghan Markle: We should protect her privacy and not reveal too much of that.
  • Prince Harry: We'll protect her privacy yeah. And - but it was - it was literally - it was through her and then we met once and then twice back to back two dates in London, last July.
  • Meghan Markle: Yes.
  • Prince Harry: The beginning of July. And then it was I think about three, maybe four weeks later that I managed to persuade her to come and join me in Botswana. And we - we camped out with each other under the stars, we spent - she came and joined me for five days out there, which was absolutely fantastic. So then we were really by ourselves. Which I think, which was crucial to me to make sure we had a chance to get to know each other.
  • Int: But the friend who introduced you, was she trying to set you up?
  • Meghan Markle: Yes, it was definitely a set up. (laughs) It was a blind date. And it’s so interesting because we talk about it and now and even then, I, you know, because I’m from the States, you don’t grow up with the same understanding of the royal family and so while I now understand very clearly, there’s a global interest there. I didn’t know much about him, and so the only thing that I had asked her when she said that she wanted to set us up, was, I had one question. I said, "Well is he nice?" Cause if he wasn't kind, it just didn’t, it didn’t seem like it would make sense and so, we went and had a, met for a drink, and then I think very quickly into that we said, "Well what are we doing tomorrow? We should meet again."
  • Prince Harry: "What are we doing tomorrow? Let’s meet again." And then it was like, "Right there is, we need to get the darries out and find out how we’re gonna make this work." Because I was off to Africa for a month, and she was working. And we just sort of right where is, where’s the gap? And, the gap happened to be in the perfect place. So.
 
PHOTO: Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan Markle pose for the media in the grounds of Kensington Palace in London, Nov. 27, 2017. (Eddie Mulholland/Pool via AP)
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  • Int: How much did you Prince Harry know about Meghan? Had you seen her on TV?
  • Prince Harry: No, I’d never, never even heard about her until this friend said "Meghan Markle." I was like right, "OK, give me, give me a bit of background."(Meghan Markle laughs). "Like what’s going on here?" So no, I’d never, I’d never watched "Suits," I’d never heard of Meghan before. And I was beautifully surprised when I, when I walked into that room and saw her. There she was sitting there, I was like, "OK, well, I’m really gonna have to up my game!" (laughs) Sit down and have a, and make sure I’ve got good chat.
  • Meghan Markle: I think for both of us though, it was, it was really refreshing because given that I didn’t know a lot about him. Everything that I’ve learned about him, I learned through him. As opposed to having grown up around different news stories, or tabloids, or whatever else. Anything I learned about him and his family was what he would share with me. And, vice versa. So for both of us, it was just a really authentic and organic way to get to know each other.
  • Int: And was that quite refreshing for you, in the way that you’ve been brought up, you know, with a lot of people knowing a lot about you?
  • Prince Harry: Well, thinking they know.
  • Int: Well, thinking they know.
  • Meghan Markle: Exactly.
  • Prince Harry: Yeah, no. It was hugely refreshing to be able to get to know someone who isn’t necessarily within your circle, doesn’t know much about me, I didn’t know much about her, so to be able to start almost fresh, right from the beginning, and getting to know each other step by step, and then taking that huge leap of only two dates, and then (Meghan Markle chuckles), and then going holiday together in the middle of nowhere. And you know, sharing a, sharing a tent together and all that kind of stuff. It was, it was fantastic. It was absolutely amazing to get to know her, as quickly as I did.
  • Int: Starting a long distance relationship, you were working on "Suits," you had, I imagine, a packed filming schedule, you’ve got lots of commitments of your own, how hard was it, to keep things going?
  • Prinec Harry: (takes a breath) It was-
  • Meghan Markle: It was just a choice. Right? I think that very early on, when we realized we were going to commit to each other, that we knew we had to invest in the time and the energy and whatever it took to make that happen. And, so yes. With the filming schedule, (laughs) it was not the easiest, because it of course included a lot of travel. Back and forth, but.
  • Prince Harry: Other than you had any idea what time zone you’d be... for the last year and a half.
  • Meghan Markle: No. (laughs)
  • Prince Harry: Coming over here four days or a week, and then going back and then straight into filming the next day. 4 A.M. wake calls, on a Monday, straight into set, you know.
  • Meghan Markle: Right off the plane and straight to set. Just coming back into it again.
  • Prince Harry: And just trying to, just trying to stay as close as possible. But, you know, on two different time zones. And five hours apart does have its challenges. But, but you know, we made it work, and now we’re here. So, we’re thrilled.
 
PHOTO: Britain's Prince Harry holds hands with Meghan Marklem wearing an engagement ring in the Sunken Garden of Kensington Palace, London, Nov. 27, 2017. (Toby Melville/Reuters)
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PHOTO: Britain's Prince Harry poses with his fiancee Meghan Markle during a photocall after announcing their engagement in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace in London, Nov. 27, 2017. (Facundo Arrizabalaga/EPA)

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PHOTO: Britain's Prince Harry and his fiance U.S. actress Meghan Markle pose for a photograph in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace in west London, Nov. 27, 2017, following the announcement of their engagement.

(Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images)

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