Two months before Prince Harry proposed to Meghan Markle, the couple made their first joint appearance at the 2017 Invictus Games in Toronto. It was there, in the capital of Ontario, that the royal asked his girlfriend’s mother, Doria Ragland, for her daughter’s hand in marriage.
“Harry asked Meghan’s mother for permission to marry her daughter when they were both in Toronto for the Invictus Games,” a source exclusively tells Us Weekly.
The Suits actress’ parents, Thomas Markle and Ragland, sent their well wishes to the future spouses after the engagement news broke on Monday, November 27. “We are incredibly happy for Meghan and Harry,” Thomas and Ragland said in a statement via Kensington Palace. “Our daughter has always been a kind and loving person. To see her union with Harry, who shares the same qualities, is a source of great joy for us as parents. We wish them a lifetime of happiness and are very excited for their future together.”
Clarence House confirmed in a separate statement that Harry, 33, “sought and received the blessing” of the 36-year-old’s parents before popping the question.
After the Invictus Games, a source told Us that Ragland was “bowled over by how down-to-earth and humble” the former Army helicopter pilot was. In fact, he was the one who invited her to the annual event. “He thought it was an opportunity for them to celebrate a special moment,” the insider revealed at the time.
Markle has been open about the close bond she shares with her mother. “My mom’s a yoga instructor, but she does social work, as well, and she works specifically with the geriatric community,” she told Glamour in August. “For me to watch this level of life-long sensitivity to nurturing and caregiving, but at the same time my mom has always been a free spirit. She’s got dread locks and a nose ring. She just ran the L.A. Marathon. We can just have so much fun together, and yet, I’ll still find so much solace in her support. That duality coexists the same way it would in a best friend.”
Harry and Markle met in London in July 2016. They are set to wed in spring 2018.