So, its officially the day after Harry and Meghan announced they were engaged and planning a spring wedding, and the British papers are awash with Harry and Meghan coverage this morning.
Among the many areas of interest to the ink-stained wretches of London’s Fleet Street are Meghan’s complicated and potentially troublesome family, her bi-racial background, the fact that one of her dogs is already in the U.K., the likelihood of a church wedding, whether Meghan is already pregnant, where they will live, what she will be called, her previous relationships and delight that the British soap opera EastEnders managed to insert a last minute scene showing a character discovering the news.
In the scene, which the BBC said was filmed yesterday after the announcement was made (although online theorists have been questioning whether this was an establishment conspiracy), a character is questioned about what he is staring at on his phone.
"Nothing much," he answers, "Just some prince bloke marrying some actress."
In terms of a future residence for the royal couple, most commentators seem to agree that they will likely stay at Harry’s Kensington Palace bolthole, Nottingham Cottage, a two bedroom home that was the birth place of Queen Victoria in 1819 and, more latterly, William and Kate’s first marital home. It is where they took Prince George following his birth in July 2013 and spent their first few months as a family-of three before moving out that autumn. The engagement announcement boldly stated that Harry and Meghan would be living at “Nott Cott” together in the run up to their marriage.
However Harry will almost certainly be looking for a country home and the Daily Beast has been told that he has been spotted looking at properties near Chipping Norton in Oxfordshire, within easy reach of Soho House’s country club outpost Soho Farmhouse.
The cottage will also, some say, be home to Markle’s two rescue dogs, Guy the beagle and Bogart the Labrador cross, one of whom, she confirmed in yesterday’s televised interview, has already arrived in the U.K. The other hound, she said, is staying with friends (presumably in Toronto) and it is unclear why it will also be brought over, or if the future royal couple are downgrading to being a one-dog couple.
When it comes to a future title for the couple, most commentators (including this one) suggest that Princess Meghan is, tragically, not a runner.
Harry and Meghan are likely to be gifted the title Duke and Duchess of Sussex by the Queen. She could, however, per the Telegraph, choose a Dukedom for her grandson from any titles that are currently in abeyance, and other options include the dukedoms of Clarence, Connaught, Windsor, Albany, and Cumberland and Teviotdale.
Duke of Clarence can probably be ruled out, given that the previous holder of that title, George Plantagenet, was drowned in a barrel of wine (as a royal, he was allowed to choose his method of execution, and opted for death by vino) on the orders of his brother of King Edward IV after being convicted of treason. And for obvious reasons, the Queen is unlikely to burden another American woman with the title Duchess of Windsor.
Markle’s full name is Rachel Meghan Markle, but given she was named as Meghan in Buckingham Palace’s announcement she seems unlikely to revert to Rachel upon marriage.
And when and where will that marriage take place?
May, probably, with the 800-seater St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle emerging as the favorite location among bookmakers, followed by Westminster Abbey (where William and Kate married) and St Paul’s Cathedral (Charles and Diana, 1981), all now possible thanks to the abolition of an ancient law which banned divorcees (such as Meghan) from marrying in a Church of England church.
Most bizarre of all the various pieces to emerge this morning is a thoroughly odd after-the-fact interview with Meghan by Piers Morgan in the Daily Mail.
Morgan, who was sacked in 2004 as the editor of the Daily Mirror after the paper published fake pictures purporting to show Iraqi prisoners being tortured by British troops – recounts his friendship with Markle, and says that in June 2016 he met her for a drink in his local pub.
Given the detail of his recollection, one can only assume he had a tape recorder running. He says that she said: “My dad’s Caucasian, my mother’s African-American, so I’m half-white, half-black. It caused me a lot of confusion when I was young because it’s not easy to be ethnically ambiguous in America. But I learned to embrace being a mixed-race woman.”
Morgan says she was “passionate and knowledgeable” about political issues, like U.S. gun violence.
“I just wish more people in my country would make a stand about it,” she said. “I’ve enjoyed living in Canada for the past five years, without Rambo & co. People say it’s not the guns but mental illness, to which I say, so then why give mentally ill people legal access to buy guns? It’s staggering. So many needless deaths.”
On the question of children, reports today pick up on the one-word question: “Children?” in the televised interview, to which Harry replied: “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.”
Harry’s comment was taken in some quarters as a denial that Meghan was pregnant, despite the fact that he had not been asked that question.
This, combined with the fact that she was wearing a massive coat for the 2-minute photocall (on an admittedly cold day) has led some ls to question whether Meghan actually is already pregnant.
Bookmakers swiftly cut the odds of a Royal baby already being on the way, with Paddy Power was giving odds of seven to one on a 'shotgun wedding' yesterday.