Prince Harry said that he was left speechless by the late Queen's response when he asked for her blessing to marry Meghan Markle.
The Duke of Sussex admitted in his memoir Spare that the old Royal Family rule of asking the monarch for permission to get married frustrated him, arguing that the tradition "didn't make any sense". And it appeared that his reluctance to carry out the formality did not go unnoticed with his grandmother.
Harry wrote that he was nervous about posing the question and waited until the family were on a shooting trip in Sandringham in the hope that he would catch the Queen in a "good mood", The Mirror reports. The prince confessed that his mind was racing as the two had a moment alone, and recalled the exact words he used in his new book.
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Telling the Queen how much he loved Meghan and expressing his intention to marry her, he told his grandmother: "I've been told that I have to ask your permission before I can propose".
The Queen replied: "You have to?", to which Harry confirmed that this is what he had been told by other members of the Royal Family.
The Duke recalled that there was an "agonisingly long pause" before the Queen finally responded: "Well, then I suppose I have to say yes."
Harry admitted that he was left bewildered by her answer. He wrote in Spare: "I didn't get it. Was she being sarcastic? Ironic? Deliberately cryptic? Was she indulging in a bit of wordplay?
"I'd never known Granny to do any wordplay and this would be a surpassingly bizarre moment (not to mention widely inconvenient) for her to start, but maybe she just saw the chance to play off my unfortunate use of the world 'have' and couldn't resist," he mused.
The prince said that he tried to work out what the Queen meant by her words, before describing himself as a "muppet" as he realised she had said yes to the question. He then thanked his grandmother, saying it was "fabulous" that she had given her permission.
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