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Meghan Markle accompanies Prince Harry to Pippa Middleton's wedding reception

May 20, 2017 10:31 PM
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Meghan Markle accompanies Prince Harry to Pippa Middleton's wedding reception

Earlier Pippa was beaming in a custom-made Giles Deacon wedding gown as she wed her new husband financier James Matthews.

Markle 35, joined Harry, 32, at the private reception at the Bucklebury home of Middleton's parents, Carole and Michael Middleton. The couple, who began dating last summer, joined nearly 300 other guests at the evening reception, including Middleton's sister Princess Kate and Prince William.

The actress joining Prince Harry at such a high profile event has left many wondering whether wedding bells are not too far off, with Markle making her own walk down the aisle soon.

The invitation is also particularly notable because it's the first time Harry has invited Markle to join him at an event with Prince William and Princess Kate and their two children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte.

Markle did not join Harry, William and Kate at the reception in Englefield House, where guests went following the ceremony at St Mark's Church in Englefield, Berkshire, near the Middletons' Bucklebury home.

Approximately 100 guests were invited to the more intimate and exclusive church service. Middleton reportedly had a "no ring no bring" policy for the intimate ceremony inside St Marks Church. However, Markle's no-show at the church was understood to be a decision driven by a hope that her appearance wouldn't be a distraction at the ceremony and a desire that it remain Pippa's big day. The fact that Harry was invited to the evening reception with his girlfriend is a clear endorsement of just how important Markle is to Prince Harry.

While Pippa stole the show at her sister's wedding in 2011 in a figure-hugging maid of honor dress, many British tabloids speculated that Markle might steal the spotlight from Pippa.

The Middletons' mansion, dubbed "Bucklebury Manor," boasts seven bedrooms and sits on 18 acres of property with stunning gardens, fish ponds and a tennis court and pool. A large glass tent structure, estimated to cost more than $100,000 was erected on the property for the reception.

Earlier this month, Harry was photographed kissing Markle at a charity polo match at Coworth Park in Ascot, a significant step in the couple's relationship and the first time they attended a public event together as a couple.

Today's event is the second wedding that Markle has attended with Harry in as many months. In March she accompanied Prince Harry to Jamaica for the wedding of a childhood pal from Eton, the school he attended as a teenager.

Harry also joined Markle in Toronto, where she films the TV show "Suits," for Easter instead of spending the holiday at Windsor with Queen Elizabeth II and the royal family, indicating just how serious the relationship has become.

Harry and Markle met last summer after being introduced by mutual friends. The couple kept their relationship under wraps for several months. They were photographed together for the first time last November attending a play and leaving the private Members Club Soho in February holding hands.

They have been nearly inseparable, with the two jetting back and forth across the Atlantic to spend time together. The couple took a romantic vacation together after the New Year to view the northern lights in Norway.

The couple will be celebrating their one-year anniversary this summer and an engagement is expected shortly thereafter. Kensington Palace recently announced that Harry is embarking on an overseas tour in June to Singapore and then to Sydney, which will host the 2018 Invictus Games, the international sporting competition for wounded, injured and sick servicemen and -women founded by the prince in 2014.

The actress recently shut down her lifestyle blog The Tig and gave up her fashion line at Canadian department store Reitmans -- another indication that an engagement may be imminent. The royal family fiercely guards their privacy. Reducing her very public profile would be necessary if Markle is to join the royal family.

As fifth in line to the throne, Prince Harry would still need to get permission to marry Markle. She is divorced and reportedly practices the Jewish faith. The royal family are Anglican. She would also be the first biracial Princess to join the the Windsor family if Harry were to propose.

However, royal experts don't see this as an impediment to the American getting her fairytale ending. The monarchy has modernized since Edward VIII abdicated the throne for a divorced Wallis Simpson. Prince Charles married longtime love Camilla who was also divorced in 2005. The Queen adores her grandson and wants him happy.

Source: abcnews.go.com

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