US & Canada

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle: How North America reacted

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry at their first appearance together in public in September 2017 Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption There had been intense speculation about the pair since they were pictured at the Invictus Games in September

The American love affair with the British Royal Family is an enduring, long-distance relationship, spiced up every now and then by a birth or a marriage.

The latest development has a distinctly American twist: Prince Harry has announced his engagement to the US actress Meghan Markle.

US networks are breathlessly covering the news. CBS gave it a "hip hip and a hooray".

Many on the other side of the pond have focused not just on Ms Markle's nationality but the fact that she is mixed race.

"Prince Harry's future mother-in-law is a black woman with dreadlocks. There are no words for this kind of joy," tweeted journalist Samara Linton.

One Ontario man thought the engagement was good news for another minority: the ginger haired.

After news that Prince Harry had sought permission from Ms Markle's father, it was then the turn of Wendell Pierce, who plays her on-screen father in the TV drama Suits, to add his blessing.

Patrick Adams, who plays her love interest in the drama, and the show's creator Aaron Korsh also chipped in.

Ms Markle will now find herself rubbing shoulders with the great and good of British high society.

It is an experience familiar to the American nutritionist and author, and now Viscountess Hinchingbrooke, Julie Montagu.

Ms Montagu, from Sugar Grove, Illinois, married John Montagu, the 11th Earl of Sandwich.

"It's about being respectful of the history, the history Megan is marrying into is older than America itself," she told the BBC.

"At the same time, you don't want to lose who you are as a person and as an American."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Ms Markle has been dating Prince Harry since summer 2016

She said Ms Markle might face a steep learning curve when it came to pronunciation ("My first lesson was that 'viscount' doesn't rhyme with 'discount'") and setting a table ("All those forks and knives and spoons... I had to have my husband show me how to set a table").

It would however be "such a breath of fresh air to have an American", she said.

UK social media site won some fans for taking a slightly different perspective to most, by making the successful bride-to-be the focus of the news. editor Greg Pollowitz also speculated that it might be part of an elaborate ploy to take back America.

On another note, Twitter-shy US president Donald Trump has yet to offer his congratulations to the couple. His predecessor has...

As has his counterpart to the north...

Natasha Bird, digital editor at Elle Magazine, which has published two essays by Ms Markle, speculated that the American actress might help Her Majesty's subjects "lose a bit of our British cynicism and adopt more of the we-can-do-anything attitude they have in America".

Good luck to her.

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