Prince Harry and Girlfriend Meghan Markle Meet the Queen Over Afternoon Tea | Do We Hear Wedding Bells?

Prince Harry takes American girlfriend Meghan Markle to Buckingham Palace to meet Queen Elizabeth II | Is this the first milestone on the road to a royal wedding? | Sources say it’s just a matter of “when” and not “if”

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Prince Harry, who “desperately” wanted his grandmother to meet his actor, model, humanitarian girlfriend Meghan Markle, took his lady love to Buckingham Palace for a “deliberately informal” afternoon tea with the Queen of England on Thursday the 12th, reported the Daily Mail.

The reason for keeping it private and informal was to avoid wide publicity at this stage in his relationship with the 36-year-old “Suits” star and, probably, because of any butterflies Markle may have had in anticipation of meeting her beau’s royal grandmother.

The couple is reported to have arrived at the palace at 5:00 pm in a Ford Galaxy station wagon with dark tinted windows – another obvious attempt to keep everything as discreet as possible, for the time being, at least.

They were immediately “whisked up to the Queen’s private sitting room,” which overlooks the palace gardens and Constitution Hill, for the discreet meeting which lasted an hour. Prince Philip was conspicuously absent from the meeting.

Both the palaces, Kingston and Buckingham, have declined to comment on the reports.

By the way, Markle who had been filming in Canada for the television show “Suits” has opted out of it, which some speculate is a step forward in the direction of a life of royalty in England.

Later that Thursday, looking dapper in a dark suit and bowtie, the 33-year-old Prince accepted a posthumous award from the LGBT magazine ATTITUDE on behalf of his mother, Princess Diana. The late Princess was honored at the event for her groundbreaking contributions in challenging the fear and taboo attached to HIV and AIDS in the 1980s and 90s.

Less than a month ago, the couple had made their first joint public appearance at the INVICTUS Games in Toronto, Canada, where they were seen holding hands, seemingly at bliss in each other’s company, and even indulged in some PDA at the closing ceremony of the games on September 25.

Following the INVICTUS Games, which happens to be a Prince Harry initiative, a source told E! News, that the couple was “as good as engaged.”

“Harry left Toronto yesterday on a high and can’t wait to see Meghan next. She has a packed schedule between now and November with Suits, but after that will be an exciting time for them and a new chapter in their relationship,” E! News quoted the source.

“While Meghan may not be wearing a ring or a formal engagement announced, it’s fair to say they’re as good as engaged now. They’ve spoken about their marriage plans openly with each other and friends and family around them are pretty much thinking about wedding attire already!” the source is reported to have added.

“I can tell you that at the end of the day I think it’s really simple,” Markle told VANITY FAIR recently, speaking with reference to the intense publicity her relationship with Prince Harry has attracted.

“We’re two people who are really happy and in love. We were very quietly dating for about six months before it became news, and I was working during that whole time, and the only thing that changed was people’s perception. Nothing about me changed. I’m still the same person that I am, and I’ve never defined myself by my relationship.”

A source has told PEOPLE, “If Harry asks for something, she would say yes as she adores him.” So, any speculations or concerns about Prince Harry not getting the Queen’s royal consent should be put aside.

PEOPLE also reports that if the wedding does take place, or should we say when it takes place, it would be at the St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.

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