Prince Harry has been ever-obsessed with Meghan Markle. The Duke of Sussex opened up about his relationship with his wife in his memoir, Spare, published January. 10. Part 3 of the book begins with the story of how he first connected with Meghan, after seeing her photo while scrolling on Instagram in 2016.
Prince Harry opens up on Meghan Markle
Meghan and a mutual friend named Violet made a silly video with a Snapchat dog face filter, and Prince Harry wrote that he’d “never seen anyone so beautiful” when her face popped up on his feed. Harry asked Violet to make an introduction, and she shared Harry’s secret Instagram account with the Suits star. Meghan messaged him first, and they immediately connected over a shared love of Africa, as Harry’s page was filled with photos from the country (a revelation the Duke and Duchess of Sussex first made in Harry & Meghan on Netflix).
The conversation, which quickly turned to text, began on July 1, 2016 — what would have been Princess Diana’s 55th birthday. Meghan was coincidentally in London to watch Wimbledon, and she said yes when Harry asked if she’d like to meet before she flew back home to Canada.
“Great. Now: Where to meet? I suggested my place,” Harry wrote. “Your place? On a first date? I don’t think so,” he recalled that Meghan said, to which he countered, “No, I didn’t mean it like that.”
“She didn’t realize that being royal meant being radioactive, that I was unable to just meet at a coffee shop or pub,” he explained.
Meghan had an idea — Soho House at 76 Dean Street, “her headquarters whenever she came to London” — and booked a table for them at the private social club for the following night. On July 3, 2016, Harry was 30 minutes late for their first date due to bad traffic.
“Red-cheeked, puffing, sweaty, half an hour late, I ran into the restaurant, into the quiet room, and found her sitting at a small area on a low velvet sofa in front of a low coffee table,” he recalled. Apologizing, he ordered a Peroni and sat by her side.
“She was wearing a black sweater, jeans, heels. I knew nothing about clothes, but I knew she was chic. Then again, she could make anything look chic,” Harry wrote. “I’d seen so many photos of her from fashion shoots and TV sets, all glam and glossy, but here she was, in the flesh, no frills, no filter… and even more beautiful. Heart-attack beautiful. I was trying to process this, struggling to understand what was happening to my circulatory and nervous systems, and as a result my brain couldn’t handle any more data. Conversation, pleasantries, the Queen’s English, all became a challenge.”