A royal fairytale unfolds
She didn’t need to lose her glass slipper, fervently rub her genie lamp, use Tinkerbelle’s pixie dust, or even consult good ol’ Fairy Godmother – her literal ‘wing’woman –¬for a flick of herwand. Okay you got me; there was a match-maker involved. But all it took was that one mutual friend, one blind date, and a trip to Botswana filled with romance and starlight, and the rest is royal history…
Ah yes, the royal wedding. The hot-topic everyone is buzzing about, and in true gossip fashion with rumors arising left and right. But love is strong andwith just hours to go, the couple continues unfazed and determined. Everyone is scramming to know all the nitty-gritty details of the events, the venues, the designers, the caterers, which tiara she will select, and which lucky guests have received the golden tickets. There are even articles speculating the color and brand of the nail polish she will be wearing–yes, you read that correctly.
With all this excitement and craze, it is easy to forget the simpler things. This is above all, a celebration of love! The countdown is on for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, but between frivolous news of wedding cake tastings, dreamy dress fittings, and gifts galore, enthusiasts might have missed out on romance that began it all.
If you have been wondering about that royal match-maker, E! News confirmed that sheis none other than Harry’s childhood friend Violet von Westenholz. According to a source, von Westenholz’s father is a baron and is pals with Prince Charles, and von Westenholz met Markle through her public relations work at Ralph Lauren.
"Meghan had been a part of the London social scene for a while and had slotted into the high society set really easily," E! News’ source said. "And so when Harry told Violet he was having trouble finding someone, Violet said she might just have the perfect girl for him."
That led to a first blind date in the summer of 2016, after which the pair immediately wanted to meet again.
Two dates in, it’s reasonable–even common– to take a next step. Perhaps taking it upstairs or even enjoying breakfast together, but not for the royal. Prince Harry was so smitten that he took a big risk just a few weeks later by planning a trip to Botswana.
"I managed to persuade her to come and join me in Botswana and we camped out with each other under the stars," he told BBC, and the move certainly paid off. "We were really by ourselves, which was crucial to me to make sure that we had a chance to get to know each other," he explained.
The trip ended up being quite meaningful and has come to be a symbol of their love, as we see with Meghan’s engagement ring in how the central stone actually came from Botswana instead of the royals' collection of gems.
The new lovebirds had almost six months of blissful privacy before tabloids caught wind of the budding royal romance. TheSunday Expresspublished a story on October 31st, 2016, claiming Harry was "besotted" with the Suits actress, and it wasn’t long before otherstoo began to connect the dots. Hello!noted the pair’s matching bracelets while others synced up Prince Harry’s frequent travel with Meghan's international Instagram posts. And two years later, here we are today.
The writer is the Dhaka Tribune Correspondent in Hollywood, CA