Well, her Toronto home has been packed up and closed and Meghan Markle has officially said goodbye to her role as Rachel Zane in Suits. With all accounts suggesting she is now cosily ensconced in Kensington Palace’s Nottingham Cottage with Prince Harry, all bets are off that an engagement will be announced any day now.
When I say ‘any day now’, it genuinely feels like every single day royal observers and commentators have been on tenterhooks from dawn til mid morning, debating on Twitter and other social media platforms whether today will be THE DAY, and have thus far been sadly disappointed.
To go by previous royal engagement announcements, should Harry and Meghan choose to follow the traditional form, the day is usually a Tuesday or Wednesday, with an announcement coming around 11am. Traditionally, the royal parent of the engaged party will announce it – so I would expect the announcement to come from Clarence House rather than Kensington Palace itself. However, Prince Harry has been known to do things his own way – which leaves those waiting unsure how this is going to work.
The royal family don’t tend to make big announcements on days when there are political events, such as the budget or an election. They are also unlikely to announce on a day of crisis internationally, as it would draw attention away from the reporting of such an event and would therefore be unseemly.
An announcement seems likely to happen before Christmas, and as such is likely to happen in late November or early December since there will be plans for festive parties or celebrations the closer to Christmas we get. The House of Commons is also on their traditional Christmas recess from 21st December until the 8th January, so an engagement announcement seems unlikely to occur between those dates.
With all the anticipation and holding of breath that is going on within interested circles, an announcement seems sensible sooner rather than later. With newspapers reporting that Prince Harry wants Meghan to be protected by royal protection officers, an official status for her would not only be helpful, but also has been traditional in such cases. Royal fiancees have generally been left to run the media gauntlet until the moment the ring was officially twinkling on their finger.
After an eighteen month courtship, with two people who are in their thirties and have both expressed the desire to be parents, a swift engagement and wedding would appear to be on the cards.
And so, we continue to sit and wait. It could be Tuesday or Wednesday.
Or Thursday. Or Friday…