Today is historic, but not for the reason you may think; rather, because a prince made a very public statement about a girl.
When a smitten Prince Harry asked for privacy on behalf of his new girlfriend, American actress Meghan Markle, he did the royal equivalent of changing his Facebook status to “in a relationship,” while simultaneously proving we’re in the new era of Harry 2.0.
Gone is the cheeky spare heir, the naughty royal who once thought nothing of playing naked billiards in a Vegas hotel room and dressing up in a Nazi uniform for a costume party. Instead, we’ve been presented with the ultimate gentleman, a man willing to put aside his need for a private life in order to save his girl.
Whether it’s considered a blessing or a curse, Harry has inherited his mother’s depth of compassion. To his friends it was always clear when Harry met the right girl, he would fall, and fall hard. “Out of the two brothers, he’s the more sensitive one,” a family friend once told me. “He was the one Diana would worry about. While William knew he would be king, and carried with him the stoicism that comes with that kind of responsibility, Harry always possessed a more sensitive nature. He’s incredibly intuitive and understanding of other people’s needs.”
While on the surface this new romance might seem like a simple tale of boy meets girl, it’s way more than that. The interest in his mother’s relationship with Dodi Fayed led to an insatiable hunt for pictures of the new couple. The cat-and-mouse chase that ensued is exactly what Harry wants to avoid.
Just a few months ago, Harry admitted to London’s Sunday Timesthat dating was something that filled him with “massive paranoia.”
“If or when I do find a girlfriend, I will do my utmost…to ensure that me and her can get to the point where we’re actually comfortable with each other before the massive invasion that is inevitably going to happen into her privacy,” he explained. “The other concern is that even if I talk to a girl, that person is then suddenly my wife, and people go knocking on her door.”
Today showed that Harry is willing to cast aside his own needs to stand up for his girl. His statement is unprecedented and sets Meghan apart from his previous love interests, Chelsy Davy and Cressida Bonas. Harry’s official statement from Kensington Palace also implies that the Queen, Prince Charles and Prince William are supportive of his new romance (he would never have released a statement without their blessing).
And it seems Meghan Markle is the lucky girl he’s been waiting for, for all these years.