For the British royals, a polo match is a serious engagement, but the game itself isn’t the most important part of the event. The A-list-only crowd is like who’s who of the upper crust, and paying attention to who’s there is a sure way to keep up on the latest relationship news.
When Prince Harry asked Meghan Markle to join the onlookers at his “exclusive” charity fundraiser polo game on Saturday, he knew the engagement rumors would heat up to white-hot.
The next breaking news about #buckinghampalace I see better be about Meghan Markle & Prince Harry's engagement ????????????— JB (@TheRealJEB11) May 4, 2017
The Mirror reminded readers that an imminent engagement announcement is in the cards after Queen Elizabeth called an emergency meeting this week. Once a “sparkling” Markle was spotted at Prince Harry’s game in Ascot, even the doubters were convinced that the official Buckingham Palace announcement that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are engaged is right around the corner.
This whole #buckinghampalace thing is probably just Prince Harry got engaged to Meghan Markle. That's my guess anyway.— • R E B E C C A • (@raebaker_) May 4, 2017
All eyes were on Meghan as hopeful fans searched for a glint of diamond on her ring finger, but so far, there’s no big, shiny engagement ring to be seen.
For many, just seeing Prince Harry’s girlfriend at the polo match was almost as good as catching a glimpse of a diamond and hearing the news that Meghan, 35, and Harry, 32, are engaged. Meghan sat in the Royal Box with Mark Dyer and his wife, Amanda Kline. Dyer was Prince Charles’ equerry and is often described as a second father to Harry.
It was the first public event Meghan has attended with Harry. Her presence at the match is a definite sign that there is every reason to believe that Meghan and Harry are engaged in secret, or will be engaged very soon.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry just attended their first public event together as a couple https://t.co/AFRZ1kaWtA— ELLE Magazine (US) (@ELLEmagazine) May 6, 2017
As the Telegraph wrote, “it must be serious.” The Ascot Park games are an “official society function” with cameras and reporters everywhere. It’s the kind of place a royal would expect to be highly photographed.
For Harry and Meghan, who have made a point of avoiding the cameras up until now, their open, unguarded attitude at the match was almost an engagement announcement in itself.
The couple kept their plans secret, and Meghan’s presence at the match was a surprise for the rest of the wealthy crowd. Markle was everything a princess should be while she watched her prince “wow the crowd” with his athleticism.
Prince Harry Plays Polo While Girlfriend Meghan Markle and Eddie Redmayne Cheer Him On https://t.co/Tbu0rufnuO— People Magazine (@people) May 6, 2017
According to one royal watcher, the unexpected appearance might have been a dress rehearsal for Meghan and Harry when they attend Pippa Middleton’s wedding together.
“This polo trip might just take a bit of the heat out of Meghan’s appearance at Pippa’s wedding.”
Pippa Middleton has the tricky task of trying to keep most of the attention directed towards the bride on her own wedding day. As Kate Middleton’s sister, Pippa was already facing an uphill battle, although Kate is reportedly determined not to upstage her sister.
Now, with the growing speculation the Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are engaged already, Pippa has another star to contend with in Meghan Markle. Giving people a chance to see Meghan and Harry out together before Pippa’s wedding may help take the edge off.
The Suits actress looked “an absolute picture of happiness,” according to a witness who described Markle to The Sun. Her increasingly royal bearing and fit-for-a-princess outfit have fans waiting with baited breath to hear that Meghan and Harry have finally decided to put a ring on it.
Meghan wore an elegant navy dress and white jacket that had something of a Kate Middleton look to it, while still retaining Markle’s own distinctive style.
Markle has already won the approval of Harry’s brother and sister-in-law, Prince William and Kate Middleton, and even William and Kate’s children reportedly think the world of Uncle Harry’s girlfriend.
[Featured Images by Chris Pizello/Getty Images and Matt Dunham/AP Images]