If the newspapers and magazines are to be believed, The Queen has given Meghan Markle the seal of approval this month, sparking rumours that an engagement announcement is imminent. However, is this really the case, and indeed, has The Queen even met Meghan Markle at all?
By most accounts, Her Majesty has now met Prince Harry’s girlfriend on two separate occasions. Although the palace will not comment on the reports, it is thought that Miss Markle has met The Queen at both Balmoral and at Buckingham Palace.
The encounter at Balmoral Castle is said to have happened at the beginning of September during Her Majesty’s summer holiday.
Shortly after this encounter, both she and Prince Harry made their first official public appearance together at the Invictus Games in Toronto.
Meghan attended a tennis match alongside Prince Harry where they were seen holding hands.
The latest meeting with the 91-year-old Monarch is widely said to have occurred last Thursday at Buckingham Palace over afternoon tea.
The encounter, which lasted just over an hour, was kept deliberately informal to ensure that as little people as possible knew about the visit inside the Palace.
The Duchess of Cambridge was not introduced to The Queen until she and Prince William had been in a relationship for five years. This means rumours of an imminent engagement are rife.
It is a well established constitutional convention that the first six heirs to the throne must have The Queen’s permission to get married. Prince Harry, who is currently fifth-in-line, will need Her Majesty’s permission if he wishes to marry.
This will be the case until (and if) the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have a fourth child when he will become seventh-in-line to the throne and will no longer have to ask the Monarch for permission.