The moment that royal-watchers have been waiting for happened Saturday night in Toronto, Canada, when Prince Harry planted a kiss on Meghan Markle — the American television actress who has been the prince’s girlfriend since July of last year — for the first time in public setting. The kiss was no more than a peck on the cheek from the 33-year-old potential heir to the British throne, to the 36-year-old, once-divorced Markle.
Nonetheless, the moment was seen a major step forward in the romance between the Suits actress and the prince who stands sixth in line to the British throne — behind his father Prince Charles, older brother Prince William and William’s three children (one of whom is not yet born).
The setting for the historic kiss was the closing ceremony of the 2017 Invictus Games, the paralympic-style sports festival for wounded and injured military service members that was founded by Prince Harry and held annually since 2014. The kiss came during a performance by Bruce Springsteen of his 1984 hit song “Dancing in the Dark.”
The Saturday night appearance, punctuated by the long-awaited kiss, marked only the second time that the couple had appeared together in public, the first just five days earlier when the couple sat together to view some of the competition at the Invictus Games event and were seen holding hands.
— MSN Ireland (@msnireland) October 1, 2017
The public appearances and the kiss between Prince Harry and Markle are not only of historic significance for pointing toward the possible future composition of the British Royal family, but also because the pairing of Prince Harry and the Los Angeles-born Markle is the first public romance in the 13-century history of the British monarchy between a prominent royal and a member of an ethnic minority.
Markle is of mixed-race background and in a 2016 essay written for Elle Magazine, she declared “My dad is Caucasian and my mom is African American. I’m half black and half white.”
In fact, Markle’s mother, Doria Radlan — a psychotherapist and yoga teacher who holds a masters degree in social work — joined her daughter at the Invictus Games closing ceremonies on Saturday, in a private luxury box high above the playing surface at Air Canada Centre in Toronto. But for most of the event on Saturday, the prince occupied his official seat on the opposite side of the stadium from the woman whom many royal watchers expect will become his wife.
Meghan Markle attends Invictus Games closing ceremony with mother Doria Radlan pic.twitter.com/FZ7UpGaV36
— Royal Highness (@vaninaswchindt) October 1, 2017
But prior to delivering his closing speech, Harry made his way across the 19,800-seat arena and stiffly appeared in the luxury box with Markle and her mother — which is where he gave his flame a royal smooch on the cheek. Following that unplanned portion of the show, Harry made his way to the stage where he delivered his closing remarks, praising the Invictus athletes.
[Featured Image by Chris Jackson/Getty Images]