In an interview with BBC News broadcaster Mishal Husain, the British royal and American actress revealed their relationship stemmed from a blind date set up by a mutual friend.
"It's so interesting, because we talk about it now, and even then... you know, because I'm from the States, you don't grow up with this same understanding of the royal family," Markle said. "I now understand very clearly: there's a global interest there.”
She admitted that on the couple’s first arranged meeting, she didn’t know what to expect.
“I didn't know much about him, and so the only thing I had asked [my friend] when she said she wanted to set us up was, ‘Is he nice?' Because if he wasn't kind, it just didn't seem like it would make sense,” she continued. “And so we went and met for a drink, and then I think very quickly into [our first date] we said, 'What are we doing tomorrow? We we should meet again.'"
Harry, who is fifth in line to the throne, shared Markle’s enthusiasm for the relationship after the first date.
"It was like, 'Right! Diaries! We need to get the diaries out and find out how we're going to make this work,' " Harry added. "Because I was off to Africa for a month and she was working. We just said, 'Right, where's the gap?' And the gap happened to be the perfect place."
Just as Markle was admittedly unfamiliar with Harry, he was just as unaware of her celebrity status in America.
“No… I’d never watched Suits. I never heard of Meghan before, and I was beautifully surprised when I walked into that room and saw her,” he said of their set-up. “There she was, sitting there. I was like 'OK, well, I'm going to have to up my game [and] have a sit down and make sure I've got good chat.'"
"I think for both of us, it was really refreshing," Markle explained, "because given that I didn't know a lot about him, everything I've learned about him, I learned through him—as opposed to having grown up around different news stories or tabloids or whatever else.”
Harry agreed that it was “hugely refreshing” to “start almost afresh” with Markle.
After only two dates, Harry invited Markle to join him on a holiday in Botswana (where he got the main diamond in Markle’s stunning engagement ring).
On the five-day trip to Africa, the high-profile couple, who were trying to keep their budding romance under wraps, had the chance to connect without the fear of being seen.
“We camped our with each other under the stars,” Harry recalled of the trip, saying the time in seclusion “was crucial to me to make sure that we had a chance to get to know each other.”0comments
Harry proposed in the couple’s cottage in Kensington Palace earlier this month, and the pair are set to be married in spring 2018, Clarence House announced Monday morning.
Following the announcement, Harry and Markle attended a brief photocall, then sat down with Husain for a full-length interview, Harry And Meghan: A Royal Engagement, which aired on BBC1.