Prince Harry and Meghan Markle‘s engagement interview aired earlier tonight in the UK. My excitement from this morning is definitely back after I was so disappointed with the photocall. I enjoyed this interview.
I have transcribed some of the answers to the questions (I took out many of the filler words since I know people dislike when I include them in my transcripts), although I have not transcribed the entire 20-minute interview.
When and how did Harry propose?
Harry: “It happened a few weeks ago, earlier this month here at our cottage. Just a standard, typical night for us.”
Meghan: “Just a cozy night. What were we doing, just roasting chicken and having a [laughs].”
Harry: “Roasting a chicken. Trying to roast a chicken.”
Meghan: “Trying to roast a chicken, and it just an amazing surprise. It was so sweet and natural and very romantic. He got on one knee.”
Harry: “Of course.”
How long were they together before the engagement?
Meghan: “Oh, it would be a year and a half, two, a little bit more than that.”
Harry: “Just about a year and a half, yeah.”
What it a whirlwind?
Meghan: “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 of 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, um, we made it work.”
How did they first meet?
Harry: “Ah, yes, we first met, we were introduced, actually, by a mutual friend who, um, we will…”
Meghan: “We should protect her privacy.”
Harry: “Protect her privacy, yeah. And um, but, it was literally through her, and we met once and then twice, back to back, two dates. In London last July – 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 camped out with each other under the stars, and we, she came and joined me for five days out there which was absolutely fantastic. So then we were really by ourselves, which was crucial for me to make sure we had a chance to get to know each other.”
Did the friend intentionally set them up? Meghan talks about not knowing much about Harry before meeting him.
Megan: “Yes, it was definitely a set up; it was a blind date. And it’s so interesting because we talk about it now and even then, 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 I had asked her when she said 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 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’.”
Harry: “What are we doing tomorrow; we should meet again. And then it was, like, right diaries. We need to get the diaries out and find out how we’re going to make this work, because I was off to Africa for a month, she was working, and we just said ‘right where’s the gap’, and the gap happened to be in the perfect place.”
Did Harry know about Meghan beforehand?
Harry: “No, I’d never even heard about her until this friend said ‘Meghan Markle’, I was like ‘right, okay, give me a bit of background, like what’s going on here’. So no I’d never watched Suits, I’d never heard of Meghan before, and I was beautifully surprised when I walked into that room and saw her, and there she was sitting there, I was like ‘okay, well I’m going to have to up my game’ [laughs] if I’m going to sit down and make sure I’ve got good chat.”
Meghan: “I think for both of us, though, it was really refreshing because, given that I didn’t know a lot about him, everything I’ve learned about him I learned through him as opposed to having grown up around different news stories or tabloids or whatever else. Everything 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.”
On making a long distance relationship work.
Meghan: “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, um, 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.”
Harry: “I don’t think you had any idea what time zone you’d be[long] for the last year and a half.”
Meghan: “No.” [laughs]
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: “Right off the plane and straight to set. Just coming back into it again.”
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.”
How much did Meghan know what she was getting into by dating a prince?
Meghan: “I think I can very safely say, as naive as it sounds now, having gone through this learning curve in the past year and a half I did not have any understanding of just what it would be like. I don’t think either of us did, though, we both said that, even though we knew that it would be.”
Harry: “No, I tried to warn you as much as possible but I think both of us were totally surprised by the reaction after the first five, six months where we had to ourselves of what actually happened from then. So I think you can you can have as many conversations as you want and try and prepare as much as possible, but we were we were totally unprepared for what happened after that.”
Meghan: “I mean, I think also because there’s a misconception that because I have worked in the entertainment industry that this would be something I would be familiar with, but even though I’ve been on my show for, I guess six years at that point, and working before that I’ve never been part of tabloid culture, I’ve never been in pop culture to that degree, and lived relatively quiet life even though I focused so much on my job. So that was a really stark difference out of the gate. But, and I think we were just hit so hard at the beginning with a lot of mistruths that I made the choice to not read anything. Positive or negative. It just didn’t make sense and instead we focused all of our energies just on nurturing our relationship.”
Harry: “On us, yeah.”
Meghan: “On us.”
Some of the scrutiny was about Meghan’s ethnicity.
Meghan: “Of course, it’s disheartening. You know it’s, it’s a shame that that is the climate in this world to focus that much on that or that that would be discriminatory in that sense, but I think, you know, at the end of the day I’m really just proud of who I am and where I come from, and we have never put any focus on that. We’ve just focused on who we are as a couple. And so when you take all those extra layers away and all of that noise, I think it makes it really easy to just enjoy being together and tune all the rest of that out.”
On representing something new for the royal family.
Harry: “I don’t know if it’s something new. For me, it’s an added member of the family. It’s another team player as part of the bigger team and, you know, for all of us, what we want to do is be able to carry out the right engagements, carry out our work and try and encourage others in the younger generation to be able to see the world in the correct sense rather than perhaps being just having a distorted view. So you know, the fact that I fell in love with Meghan so incredibly quickly was a sort of confirmation to me that everything, all the stars were aligned, everything was just perfect. It was this beautiful woman just sort of literally just tripped and fell into my life; I fell into her life. The fact that she, I know the fact that she’ll be really unbelievably good at the job part of it as well is almost is a huge relief to me because she’ll be able to deal with everything else that comes with it. But, no, we’re a fantastic team – we know we are – and, we hope to, over time, try and have as much impact for all the things that we care about as much as possible.”
Meghan: “I am very excited about that, yeah.”
What does Meghan want to do with her platform?
Meghan: “I think what’s been really exciting as we talk about the transition of this, out of my career but into the role, is that as you said the causes that have been very important to me, I can focus even more energy on. Because very early out of the gate I think you realize once you have access or a voice that people are willing to listen to with that comes a lot of responsibility, which I take seriously. And at the same time I think in these beginning few months and now being boots on the ground in the U.K. I’m excited to just really get to know more about the different communities here, smaller organizations we’re working on the same causes that I’ve always been passionate about under this umbrella. And also being able to go around the Commonwealth I think is just just the beginning of that.”
Harry: “There’s a lot to do, there’s a lot to do.”
Getting a new country, giving up her career.
Meghan: “Yes, but I don’t see it as giving anything up, I just see it as a change.”
Harry: “It’s a new challenge.”
Meghan: “It’s a new chapter. Right. And also keep in mind I been working on my show for seven years. So we’re very, very fortunate to be able to have that sort of longevity on a series and for me, once we hit the 100 episode marker, I thought you know what I have I have ticked this box and I feel really proud of the work I’ve done there and now it’s time to, as you said work, work as a team with you.”
Harry on the responsibility of asking Meghan to take on the challenge of a royal role.
Harry: “That sense of responsibility was was essentially from day one, or maybe a couple of months in, when I suddenly realized actually, this is, you know, I feel I know that I’m in love with this girl. And I hope that she is in love with me. We still have to sit down on the soda and I still have to have some pretty frank conversations with her to say, you know what you’re letting yourself in for it is, it’s a big deal and it’s not easy for anybody. But I know that at the end of the day, she chooses me and I choose her. And therefore whatever we have to tackle together or individually, will always be us together as a team. So I think, I think she’s capable.”
Meghan: “So nicely said, isn’t it?”
Harry: “She’s capable of anything. And together, as I said, there’s a hell of a lot of stuff, work that needs doing. At the moment for us, it’s going to be making sure that our relationship is always put first, but both of us have passions for wanting to make change, change for good. And with lots of young people running around the Commonwealth, that’s where we’ll spend most of our time hopefully.”
Meghan: “And it was really one of the first things we connected on, it was one of the first things we started talking about when we met was just the different things that we wanted to do in the world and how passionate we were about seeing change. I think that was, that’s what got date two [laughs], in the books probably.”
Harry: “Plenty to talk about.”
Harry: “Not, not currently no. No, of course, you know. I think one step at a time, and hopefully we’ll start a family in the near future.”
Have they met each other’s families?
Meghan: “Yes. His family’s been so welcoming and…”
Harry: “You’ve met quite a few of them actually.”
Meghan: “I have! On both sides of his family, his mom’s side as well which has been really important to me, too. But yes the family has been great, and over the past year and a half we’ve just had a really nice time getting to know them and progressively helping me feel a part of not just the institution but also part of the family, which has been really special.”
Has Meghan met the Queen and what was that like?
Meghan: “I have, yes.”
Harry: “A couple of times.”
Meghan: “Yes, true, a couple of times. […] It’s incredible, I think, you know, a) to be able to meet her through his lens, not just with his honor and respect for her as the monarch, but the love that he has for her as his grandmother. All of those layers have been so important for me so that when I met her I had such a deep understanding and of course incredible respect for being able to have that time with her. And we’ve had a really, she’s an incredible woman.”
Harry: “And the corgis took to you straight away.”
Meghan: “That’s true.”
Harry: “I’ve spent the last 33 years being barked at; this one walks in, absolutely nothing.”
Meghan: “Just laying on my feet during tea, it was very sweet.”
Harry: “Just wagging tails and I was just like ‘Ugh.'”
What was it like for Harry to introduce Meghan to his father and brother?
Harry: “What was it like? It was exciting I mean I’ve, I’d been seeing her for a period of time when I literally didn’t tell anybody at all. And then William was longing to meet her and so was Catherine, so being our neighbors we managed to get that in a couple of, well quite a few times now and Catherine has been absolutely…”
Meghan: “She’s been wonderful.”
Harry: “…amazing, as has William as well, you know, fantastic support. And then my father as well, we had a couple of, no more than that…”
Meghan: “We’ve had…”
Harry: “…a handful of teas and meetings and all sorts of gatherings over at his place as well. So no the family together have been absolutely solid support, and my grandparents as well have been wonderful throughout this whole process and they’ve known for quite some time. So how they haven’t told anybody is, again, a miracle in itself. Now the whole family have come together and have been a huge amount of support.”
Meghan: “They’ve been amazing.”
Harry: “The ring is, obviously, yellow gold because that’s what, her favorite, and the main stone itself I sourced from Botswana and the little diamonds either side are from my mother’s jewelry collection to make sure that she’s with us on this crazy journey together. And…”
Meghan: “It’s beautiful, and he designed it, it’s incredible.”
Harry: “Yeah, make sure it stays on that finger [laughs]”
Meghan: “Of course. [laughs]”
What does it mean to Meghan to have stones that belonged to Princess Diana?
Meghan: “I think everything about Harry’s thoughtfulness is, and the inclusion of that and, obviously, not being able to meet his mom it’s so important to me to know that she’s a part of this with us. And I think in being able to meet his aunts and also, like, Julia and just different people who were so important to his mom, I’m able to, in some way, know a part of her through them and of course through him. And it’s incredibly special. And to be able to have this which sort of links where you come from and Botswana which is important to us and it’s perfect.”
What Diana would have though of Meghan.
Harry: “Oh they’d be thick as thieves, without question, I think she would be over the moon, jumping up and down, you know, so excited for me, but then, as I said, would have probably been best friends with Meghan. So no it’s days like today when I really miss having her around and miss being able to share the happy news. But with the ring and with everything else that’s going on I’m sure she’s…”
Meghan: “She’s with us.”
Harry: “I’m sure she’s with us yeah, you know, jumping up and down somewhere else.”
There is more in the interview that I didn’t include, which you can watch in the video.
My first thought is that I am very happy that they opened up and actually told us how they met – where, when – because the constant press back and forth for the last year was ridiculous, so I’m glad that they put that to bed. They also cleared up some other press rumors, like who introduced them (they didn’t say a name, but said ‘She’ rather than the man the press said introduced them), and whether Harry knew of Meghan before meeting her (the press said he liked her in Suits and wanted to meet her because of that). They were more open in this interview than I thought they would be, which I like very much – I want to connect with them as a couple, which is why I was disappointed with the photocall, but I am very happy with this interview.
I like that they kept so much eye contact and kept looking at each other throughout the interview, and held hands throughout. It’s nice to see their connection. I thought Harry’s reaction to the children question was funny, like he was startled by it. Meghan is definitely a more articulate speaker than Harry, in that she doesn’t stutter as much as he does. I do have some nitpicks, but I will save those for anther time.
Overall, I very much like this interview and I think Meghan did really well here. I like having this look at them, and knowing more about them as a couple.