Queen’s ‘cryptic’ reply after Prince Harry asked if he could marry Meghan MarkleAugust 27, 2023
Prince Harry told how the Queen gave him a ‘cryptic’ nine-word response when he asked her if he could marry Meghan Markle.
The Duke of Sussex, 38, described how he was left confused by the late monarch’s reply when he sought her approval before popping the question to his now-wife, 42. According to Royal protocol, the first six people in line of succession to the throne must ask the monarch’s permission to become engaged.
Writing in his memoir Spare, Harry described how he waited until the family were on a shooting trip in Sandringham before broaching the subject, hoping he would catch the late Queen in a 'good mood'.
He said he waited until the shoot was over to get his grandmother alone and told her how much he loved Meghan and that he wanted to marry her.
He wrote that he said to the Queen, "I've been told that I have to ask your permission before I can propose." He added the Queen replied, "You have to?"
Harry said that was what he had been told then, in the book, detailed a moment of silence before the Queen replied: "Well then, I suppose I have to say yes."
Harry wrote how he was left befuddled by the response. He said: "I didn't get it. Was she being sarcastic? Ironic? Deliberately cryptic? Was she indulging in a bit of wordplay?
“I'd never known Granny to do any wordplay and this would be a surprisingly bizarre moment (not to mention widely inconvenient) for her to start, but maybe she just saw the chance to play off my unfortunate use of the word 'have' and couldn't resist."
He added he stood and tried to work out what the Queen was saying before realising she was saying yes – describing himself as a 'muppet'. He then thanked his grandmother, saying it was 'fabulous'.
Harry went on to propose during a night in at their Kensington Palace home over a dinner of roast chicken outside under the stars. But the Duke almost spoiled the surprise with his choice of drink for the weekday meal.
Speaking of the moment in their Netflix documentary Harry & Meghan, Harry said: "I did pop a bottle of champagne while she was roasting a chicken and that kind of slightly gave the game away. She was like, 'You never drink champagne, what's the occasion?' And I was like, 'I don't know, I just had it like, lying around."
While he prepared for the occasion, Meghan called a friend to share the excitement. She recorded the phone call, and was heard saying: "Oh my God Jess, Jess, it's happening, it's happening. He told me not to peek."
The couple shared a photo of the romantic moment on the docu-series, showing Harry kneeling on a blanket holding a ring box. Harry had taken two diamonds from Princess Diana's collection and one he obtained from Botswana to create the gold ring.
Recalling the moment in their engagement interview, Harry said: "She didn't even let me finish. She said, 'Can I say yes? Can I say yes?' and then there were hugs and I had the ring in my hand 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."
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