Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have been dating since Summer 2016, and the couple has reportedly hit a huge milestone in their royal romance. On Wednesday, a source close to the prince revealed that Meghan was introduced to Harry's grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, on Sept. 3 during a weekend away at the family's Birkhall estate in Scotland. "Harry decided to take Meghan to visit as he hadn't been up yet all Summer," Us Weekly reported, adding that another big reason for the trip was "to introduce Meghan to the queen." The pair popped by the queen's Summer residence at Balmoral Castle, and the meeting "went well," with the source going on to say, "It'll no doubt be the first of many encounters."
So, what does it mean that Meghan met the queen? Depending on how you look at it, it could mean everything . . . or literally nothing. Meghan and Harry's recent trip to Bostwana and Zambia ignited loads of engagement rumors, with a source even saying that Harry intended to propose with a ring that he created using a brooch that once belonged to Princess Diana.
While "everyone knows how happy Harry is," the news of an engagement would certainly take time to put together on the palace's end — and it would be damn near impossible for Harry to pop the question without getting the queen's approval (and written permission!) first. While "the entire weekend was a success" and pretty much confirms the trajectory of Harry and Meghan's relationship, it doesn't quite confirm any wedding bells. Sure, the queen isn't your everyday, run-of-the-mill relative, but the end of the day, the meeting could just be a guy introducing his girlfriend to his grandma.
The meeting also came just days before Meghan's gushy Vanity Fair interview was released, and reports surfaced that the quotes may have rubbed the famously private monarch the wrong way. "We're two people who are really happy and in love," she said, adding that the public scrutiny "has its challenges, and it comes in waves — some days it can feel more challenging than others." We'll just have to see how the rest of these "many encounters" play out: the more time Meghan spends with the queen, the more likely it is that the queen will give her blessing for their engagement, and the sooner Meghan becomes the UK's version of Grace Kelly.