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'Delighted' British royal family reacts to Prince Harry's engagement

The British monarchy was thrilled with the announcement of Prince Harry's engagement
/ Source: TODAY

The announcement of Prince Harry's engagement to American actress Meghan Markle was immediately met Monday with an outpouring of jubilation from the British royal family.

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While the news broke Monday, Kensington Palace said in a statement that the couple had actually gotten engaged earlier this month in London. It also disclosed that Prince Harry, 33, had informed his grandmother, "Her Majesty The Queen and other close members of his family," all of whom issued statements through social media.

Prince Harry's father, Prince Charles, made the announcement formal with a statement from the royal Clarence House, which said the Prince of Wales was "delighted" to announce the engagement.

The redheaded royal's grandmother felt the same way.

"The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh are delighted for the couple and wish them every happiness," Buckingham Palace said in a tweet.

The wedding will take place in the spring of 2018 with further details "announced in due course," according to Kensington Palace. The timing will be watched closely by royal watchers because Harry's older brother, Prince William, is expecting his third child some time in April.

But William and his wife, Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge expressed excitement about Harry's engagement and their fondness for the couple.

"We are very excited for Harry and Meghan," they said. "It has been wonderful getting to know Meghan and to see how happy she and Harry are together."

Markle, a 36-year-old California native who has been living in Toronto, where until recently she had been filming her television series, "Suits," will be moving to London, Kensington Palace said.

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In addition to informing his family members of the engagement, Prince Harry "also sought and received the blessing of Ms. Markle's parents."

Thomas Markle and Doria Ragland, in return, wished their daughter and her fiancé a "lifetime of happiness."

"We are incredibly happy for Meghan and Harry. Our daughter has always been a kind and loving person," according to a statement by the pair, who divorced when Markle was a young child. "To see her union with Harry, who shares the same qualities, is a great source of joy for us as parents."

Harry and Markle couple dated for more than a year before making their first official appearance together this past September at the Invictus Games in Toronto. The pair reportedly met in London through friends, according to the cover story for Vanity Fair's October issue.