The encounter took place during Harry’s 32nd birthday bash in September, after the prince had invited his nearest and dearest to the secluded estate in Aberdeenshire for two days of country pursuits, including grouse shooting.
Sources reveal that the Prince of Wales even hosted the couple at his Birkhall residence, a grand hunting lodge on the grounds of Balmoral. (Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, was in London due to previous engagements.)
“I’d call the visit a coming-out party,” a source tell Us of the Suits actress and Harry’s two-night trip, which saw them fly in from London on September 15. “It would have been the first time some of his close friends got to meet her.”
And while Markle, 35, had already met some guests — including Princess Eugenie and partner Jack Brooksbank — on previous trips to the U.K., it was the first time many of Harry’s inner circle had the opportunity to meet the American actress.
“It’s been important for Harry to introduce Meghan to the people he cares about,” adds a pal of the couple, who have been dating since June.
Charles may have been the first immediate family member Markle has met, but sources tell Us that Prince William and Duchess Kate are likely be next.
“Not meeting William and Kate yet has simply been about not being in the same place at the same time,” explains an insider. “They will see each other soon.”
For more on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s relationship, including details on his secret visit to her home in Toronto, pick up the new issue of Us Weekly on newsstands now.
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