ROYAL WEDDING: Prince Harry to marry Meghan Markle

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Prince Harry is to marry his American actress girlfriend Meghan Markle.

The much-anticipated news was confirmed by the Prince of Wales in a brief statement issued by Clarence House.

It read: "His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales is delighted to announce the engagement of Prince Harry to Ms Meghan Markle.

"The wedding will take place in Spring 2018. Further details about the wedding day will be announced in due course.

"His Royal Highness and Ms Markle became engaged in London earlier this month.

"Prince Harry has informed Her Majesty the Queen and other close members of his family.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle watching Wheelchair Tennis at the 2017 Invictus Games in Toronto, Canada

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle watching Wheelchair Tennis at the 2017 Invictus Games in Toronto, Canada

"Prince Harry has also sought and received the blessing of Ms Markle's parents.

"The couple will live in Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace."

Fifth in line to the throne Harry, 33, has been dating the 36-year-old star, who found fame in the US legal drama Suits, since the summer of 2016.

Their 16-month whirlwind romance blossomed when they met through mutual friends in London and the pair have been almost inseparable in recent months, with Markle said to have virtually moved in to Harry's home at Kensington Palace.