In their Netflix series, the Sussexes call their engagement announcement in 2017 an “orchestrated reality show”. In the opening segment, Meghan Markle claims that the pair had “never been allowed to tell our story… until now” to which Prince Harry agrees and says: “We’ve never been allowed to tell our story, that’s the consistency. “
Prince Harry and Meghan admitted that they tried to keep their relationship as private as possible, going as far as to wear disguises.
The royal couple had a private engagement party in 2017 with their friends where they wore animal onesies, and friend Lucy Fraser confirmed the Sussexes attended as penguins.
She said: “Meg and Harry were in matching penguin onesies because penguins mate for life and they were so sweet and we had so much fun.”
In the Netflix documentary, it is revealed that Meghan filmed part of the proposal, and grainy footage shows Prince Harry going down on one knee on a picnic blanket surrounded by candles as he holds out a ring.
Amusingly, the romantic atmosphere is slightly interrupted by Meghan’s dog, Guy, who seems more interested in the white roses on the picnic blanket rather than the couple’s big moment.
Prince Harry jokes in the series: “It wasn’t that I knew she’d say yes, but she’d already moved Guy over, so I had Guy as a hostage.”
Prince Harry said in the Netflix show: “I popped 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 lying around.”
Meghan shows her filming a conversation with her friend Jess as Prince Harry is about to get down on one knee, and while on the phone she whispers: “Oh my God Jess. It’s happening. He told me not to peek.”
Prince Harry also revealed he wanted to ask Meghan to marry him at a much earlier date, but couldn’t as he needed to ask Queen Elizabeth’s permission, and also claims he wasn’t allowed to propose outside the UK.
According to the 2020 biography ‘Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan’, Prince Harry began shopping for engagement rings in May 2017, and he asked the question in November 2017.
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Prince Harry gave Meghan a custom ring he designed himself with the help of Cleave & Company, which was Queen Elizabeth’s favorite jeweler that she used often.
The type of engagement ring Meghan has is often called a trilogy ring, with the three stones typically representing a couple’s past, present and future, with the largest stone representing the present.
During the Sussexes’ engagement interview in 2017, Meghan said: “It’s beautiful, and he designed it, it’s incredible.”
The engagement ring held special meaning for the couple, as the biggest center diamond on the ring comes from Botswana, which is a location which holds special meaning to Prince Harry as he took Meghan there early on in their relationship.
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Prince Harry also said in their engagement interview: “It was I think about three, maybe four weeks [after our first date] that I managed to persuade her to come and join me in Botswana.
“And we camped out with each other under the stars…she came and joined me for five days out there, which was absolutely fantastic.”
The two side stones of the piece were inherited from Princess Diana, and once belonged to her private jewelery collection.
On her late mother-in-law, Meghan said during her engagement interview: “It’s so important to me to know that she’s a part of this with us.”