This week, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry made their first official public debut as a couple, and it's causing us to pay a little bit more attention to her ring finger. Royal engagement rumors are nothing new (throwback to Kate Middleton's rampant engagement rumors with Prince William during their eight years of dating), but this royal engagement would be a little different, and not just because Markle is American.
If the prince and the Suits actress were to get married, it would mark a series of firsts for the British monarchy as a whole, and that's something worth spotlighting.
VIDEO: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Hold Hands During Their First Public Appearance
Scroll down to see some of the ways this potential engagement would shake things up in Buckingham Palace.
1. It'd Mean Hollywood and Buckingham Palace Would Meet Head to Head
As an actress on Suits, Markle hails from tinseltown, and that is a stark contrast from previous royal fiances. Things would only get more unique if she chose to continue her acting career. Even Grace Kelly (who married into the royal family of Monaco) gave up her A-list career because royal duties called, so if Markle continued to act while joining Prince Harry's family, it might cause quite a stir.
2. She Might Not Accept Etiquette Lessons, Which Could Mark a Deviation from Tradition
Becoming a member of the British royal family isn't as easy as putting on a wedding ring, but if Markle refused etiquette lessons it might stir things up, as Majesty magazine editor Ingrid Seward explained to E! News. "I think Meghan could be amazing, and maybe with her actress background and her publicity background she will be able to handle it, but I think she will find the private side of it quite difficult," she said.
"The problem is [if she doesn’t accept help]. Diana for instance, wouldn’t accept any help, but that’s a long long time ago, and I think they would make sure that Meghan would have someone to guide her though. Even from the way of holding a knife and fork, she’d have to be guided through the whole thing.”
3. It Could Create a Fashion-Related Conflict of Interest Between Personal and Royal Business
Members of the royal family often wear and support British designers. While that's normally a non-issue for the family members, Markle has designed fashion collections of her own, which could create tricky fashion-centric conflicts of interest.
4. Markle Could Take up Princess Diana’s Legacy of Pushing Royal Boundaries
Princess Diana's engagement, marriage, and divorce all created a series of British monarch firsts, and it's reasonable to assume that an engagement between Prince Harry and Markle, who was previously married, would continue that legacy. “Harry is interested in taking up Diana’s mantle and pushing the monarchy in a direction it normally wouldn’t go,” said Arianne Chernock, a British history professor at Boston University, to the New York Post. “He likes to have fun and be seen as of the people.”
5. She Would Become One of the Most Outspoken Royals Ever From the Get Go
While the royal family is notoriously tight-lipped about their personal lives outside the public eye, as an actress, Markle has been considerably more open. Even in interviews she's had already, she hasn't shied away from talking about her relationship with Prince Harry. “We’re a couple. ... We’re in love. I’m sure there will be a time when we will have to come forward and present ourselves and have stories to tell, but I hope what people will understand is that this is our time," she told Vanity Fair. "This is for us. It’s part of what makes it so special, that it’s just ours. But we’re happy. Personally, I love a great love story.”