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In the summer of 2016, Suits’ Meghan Markle was an actress on a hit television show, but, when it came to dishing about a first date to a girlfriend, Meghan was just like the rest of us when it all goes well: smitten, and eager to spill.
According to Tom Bower in his new book Revenge: Meghan, Harry and the War Between the Windsors, the future Duchess of Sussex said seven words that encapsulated Prince Harry’s first impression on her—“He’s lovely, adorable, and such a gentleman,” per The Mirror.
This is what Meghan allegedly told talent manager and friend Gina Nelthorpe-Cowne the next morning after Harry and Meghan’s first date in London, set up by mutual friend Violet von Westenholtz, Bower writes. Meghan and Nelthorpe-Cowne, dissecting the date the night before, were like “excitable teenagers,” he writes.
“Meeting Harry on 1st July 2016 came at a critical moment for Meghan,” Bower writes. “Nearly 35, she mentioned to Gina that her biological clock was ticking. She wanted children. If they clicked, she could fulfill her ambition for global celebrity.”
As Meghan gushed to Nelthorpe-Cowne, the latter asked “Will you meet again?”
“I hope so,” Meghan said. “We left on good terms.”
By the end of the pair’s conversation, Nelthorpe-Cowne shared Meghan’s palpable excitement, as Bower quotes her as saying “we were both in heaven, like teenagers, about the news.”
Then, over lunch, Meghan told Nelthorpe-Cowne that she and Harry were meeting again for a second date.
“He’s really lovely,” she sighed, according to Bower.
Sixteen months later, Harry and Meghan announced their engagement in November 2017. In an interview coinciding with the announcement, Meghan said “we met for a drink, and then I think very quickly into that we said, ‘Well, what are we doing tomorrow? We should meet again.’”
By the end of that second date, Harry said in an appearance on friend James Corden’s The Late Late Show that he knew she was the one, and that they went from “zero to 60” within weeks of dating.
“The second date I was starting to think, ‘Wow, this is pretty special,’” Harry said. “It wasn’t where we went, it’s the way we hit it off with each other. We were just so comfortable in each other’s company.”
Following the back-to-back dates in London, the pair went away to Botswana together, where Harry revealed in a speech to the United Nations this week that he knew Meghan was his soulmate.
“Dating with me, or any other member of the royal family, is flipped upside down,” he said to Corden. “All the dates come dinners or watching TV or chatting at home, then once you become a couple, you venture out for dinner and to the cinema. Everything was done back-to-front with us. So, actually, we got to spend an enormous amount of time just the two of us, rather than going to friends’ houses.”
Besotted from the beginning on both accounts, it seems.
Rachel Burchfield is a writer whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family. In addition to serving as the weekend editor at Marie Claire, she has worked with publications like Vogue, Vanity Fair, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, and more. She cohosts Podcast Royal, a show that provides candid commentary on the biggest royal family headlines and offers segments on fashion, beauty, health and wellness, and lifestyle.
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