In recent weeks, rumors of Prince Harry proposing to Meghan Markle have been all over social media and the tabloids.
Across platforms, the consensus seems to be that the engagement is virtually a done deal.
In fact some, believe that Harry and Meghan are already engaged and simply have yet to make a formal announcement.
So what’s the holdup?
Well, it’s important to remember that this is a royal engagement we’re talking about, and while it’s unlikely that Harry will ever take the throne, his marriage is still a matter of interest across the British empire.
As a result, Meghan and Harry can’t just post a ring selfie on Facebook and call it a day.
Several higher-ups need to sign off on the coupling before any sort of announcement can be made.
And as candidates for royal marriage go, Meghan is a bit of a divisive one.
To be clear, if there’s any hesitance from Harry’s family, it’s almost certainly not due to Meghan as a person.
By all accounts she’s been well received by Harry’s father and brother, as well as by Kate Middleton and the Queen.
(Sure, there are those rumors that Camilla Parker Bowles doesn’t like Meghan, but who the hell cares what she thinks, anyway?)
There are three main issues that might give royal authorities pause when it comes to signing off on a marriage between Harry and Meghan.
For starters, Meghan is American.
For royal history buffs the situation might bring to mind that of Wallis Simpson and King Edward VIII.
Edward was forced to abdicate the throne in order to marry his American wife in 1936.
In that case, however, the issue wasn’t so much that Simpson was American, as there are no clear rules against Royals getting hitched to foreigners.
No, the reason Edward was forced to step down was the fact that Simpson was a divorcee … as is Meghan.
Markle married Trevor Engelson in 2013, and the actor has already been a bit of a thorn in the royals’ side.
Fans of Netflix’s The Crown are likely already familiar with the royal family’s policy on marrying divorcees:
It’s strictly forbidden.
The show portrays the romance between Princess Margaret, sister of Queen Elizabeth II, and Captain Peter Townsend, a pilot whom she was not allowed to marry because he had been divorced.
Recent letters from the time reveal that the Queen would have allowed the marriage if Margaret were willing to give up her rights to succession of the throne.
Of course, that was a different time and given a chance to make that decision again, the Queen would probably choose differently.
And she’ll likely get a chance to do exactly that in the case of Harry and Meghan.
The only other matter that stands in Meghan and Harry’s way–or that would have at one time, anyway–is the fact that Meghan is Catholic.
Fortunately, the rule forbidding members of the royal family from marrying Catholics was lifted by the Queen in 2013.
Many have pointed out that this could still be an issue if the couple has kids, as the children would have to be raised in the Anglican Church, but it doesn’t appear that Meghan is still a practicing Catholic, anyway.
So there you have it.
While there are certainly some complexities in play, Harry should be permitted to marry Meghan.
We’re there are lots of guys out there who wish they had so many excuses to put off proposing, but we’re guessing Harry ain’t one of ’em!