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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Share Their Engagement Story and How They First Met

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle said they got engaged this month while roasting a chicken on a “cozy night” at their Kensington Palace cottage, speaking out about their relationship for the first time in an interview after announcing their engagement Monday.

“Just an amazing surprise. It was so sweet and natural and very romantic. He got on one knee,” Markle said in the BBC News interview on Monday. “As a matter of fact, I could barely let [him] finish proposing.”

Prince Harry said he was “beautifully surprised” when he met Markle for the first time about a year and a half ago because a mutual friend set them up on a blind date. The couple described camping with each other “under the stars” in Botswana and meeting each other’s families, while flying back and forth between the U.K. and Canada to spend time together.

Prince Harry designed the engagement ring himself, using a diamond from Botswana and two diamonds from his mother Princess Diana’s personal jewelry collection “to make sure that she’s with us on this crazy journey together.”

“They would be thick as thieves,” Prince Harry said of his late mother and his fiancée. “I think she would be over the moon, jumping up and down, you know, so excited for me. But then, as I said, probably would have been best friends with Meghan. It is days like today when I really miss having her around and miss being able to share the happy news.”

“I’m sure she’s with us, jumping up and down somewhere else,” Prince Harry added during the couple’s interview.

Markle said she has enjoyed meeting Princess Diana’s family and learning more about her through them. “Obviously, not being able to meet his Mom, it’s so important to me to know that she’s a part of this with us,” Markle said. “I’m able to, in some way, know a part of her through them and, of course, through him. And it’s incredibly special.”

Markle, whose mother is black and father is white, said it was “disheartening” that she has faced discriminatory scrutiny because of her biracial family.

“It’s a shame that that is the climate in this world — to focus that much on that,” Markle said. “At the end of the day, I’m really just proud of who I am and where I come from, and we have never put any focus on that. We’ve just focused on who we are as a couple. So when you take all those extra layers away and all of that noise, I think it makes it really easy to just enjoy being together and tune all the rest of that out.”

Prince Harry and Markle were congratulated on their engagement Monday by people around the world, from Markle’s Suits costars like Patrick J. Adams and world leaders including Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

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Write to Katie Reilly at Katie.Reilly@time.com