— -- In their first sit-down interview since they announced their engagement, Prince Harry and his future bride, Meghan Markle, detailed their romance and how they fell in love.
Prince Harry, fifth in line to the British throne, told the BBC that he fell "quickly" for the former "Suits" star.
Harry, 33, and Markle, 36, dated a year and a half before their engagement was announced today by Clarence House, the office of Prince Harry's father, Prince Charles.
The prince said today that he proposed "a few weeks ago" while the two had dinner in their cottage.
"It was so sweet and natural and very romantic," Markle said of the private moment.
"The fact that I fell in love with Meghan so quickly was confirmation for me that all the stars were aligned," he said, while holding Markle's hand. "Everything was just perfect."
"This beautiful woman just literally tripped and fell in my life," he added.
The two described a romance that blossomed organically, away from tabloid headlines and the pressures that come with it.
"It was hugely refreshing to get to know someone who isn't necessarily in your circle, who doesn't know much about me," Harry explained.
He added that it was also amazing "to be able to start almost afresh right from the beginning and getting to know each other step by step."
Markle added, "It was really refreshing because ... I didn't know about him. Everything I learned about him, I learned through him. Anything I learned about him and his family was what he would share with me and vice versa. It was really an authentic and organic way to get to know each other."
The couple shared that they went on two dates before traveling together to "the middle of nowhere and sharing a tent together" in Botswana.
Prince Harry admitted that courting long-distance proved challenging as they had to navigate around Markle's work schedule as she filmed "Suits" in Toronto. He noted having "4 a.m. wake-up calls" on her shoot days and juggling their different time zones.
The couple also recalled when Kensington Palace issued an unprecedented statement in November 2016, not only confirming their relationship but condemning the "abuse and harassment" by some members of the press, which included "racial undertones."
Markle has often spoken in the press about her biracial identity, having a white father and black mother.
The actress said that press coverage was "disheartening" and led her to not read any coverage of their relationship, positive or negative.
"It's a shame that that is the climate in this world, to focus on that," she continued. "But I think at the end of the day, I'm really just proud of who I am and where I come from and we have never put any focus on that. We just focused on who we are as a couple."
Prince Harry also condemned what he called a "distorted view" of the relationship through a racial lens. "For me, it's an added member of the family. It's another team player that's part of the bigger team," he added.
Prince Harry concluded, "For all of us, we just want to ... carry out our work and try and encourage others to see the world in the correct sense."
Clarence House also detailed in their announcement today that the couple will wed in spring 2018.
"Further details about the wedding day will be announced in due course," a statement read.