According to the new book, Finding Freedom, the Duke of Sussex also began engagement ring shopping six months before he proposed.

By Nashia Baker
August 11, 2020
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After having a whirlwind first date back in 2016, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's relationship never slowed down, according to the new tell-all book Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family ($17.51, amazon.com). In fact, the couple actually started discussing their wedding day just after one year since they met, The Daily Mail reports—yes, they started planning the big day before they were engaged. "By June 2017, [Meghan] and Harry weren't talking about their wedding as a possibility so much as an absolute," the authors of Finding Freedom wrote. "They even went so far as to bring the Palace into the conversation, consulting with the prince's aides about the best time for a ceremony."

While the couple was only candidly having conversations about their future together, Prince Harry was serious about the plans—he actually started making plans of his own to pop the question in May of 2017. "Unbeknownst to most, [Harry] already had an engagement ring in the works. That May, Harry travelled alone to Botswana in his role as patron of Rhino Conversation Botswana," the authors revealed. "'While in Africa, he did a little secret diamond scouting with a close friend who helped him to source the perfect conflict-free stone."

News that the royal couple wasted no time in planning their wedding will come as no surprise to fans: We already knew that the couple marked a few major milestones relatively early on in their relationship. People previously reported that Prince Harry told Meghan that he loved her after just three months of dating, but even shortly after their first couple of dates it was clear that he found "the one." A close friend noting in the book: "Almost immediately they were almost obsessed with each other. It was as if Harry was in a trance."

The friend also added that "Harry knew they would be together at that point. She was ticking every box." But Meghan also had strong feelings for Harry, immediately replying that she loved him after the royal told her for the first time.

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