The couple made their first official public debut at a couple in Toronto this week during the Invictus Games.
It's a love match! Prince Harry and his American girlfriend Meghan Markle chose the Invictus Games in Toronto as the setting for their highly-anticipated official debut as a couple, setting off a flurry of tweets from royal watchers and media outlets from across the globe.
The prince and Markle, an actress living in Toronto during filming of the legal drama Suits, were spotted holding hands as they walked toward Nathan Phillips Square to take in a game of wheelchair tennis—one of dozens of events that make up the week-long Games for wounded soldiers.
It was a casual affair, with both adorned in jeans and black sunglasses. Alas, there wasn't a ring on Markle's left hand—yet. There's no doubt this latest display of affection will only increase the speculation that an engagement is imminent.
Harry, 33, is in Toronto for the Games, a week-long sporting event he founded in 2014 to motivate wounded soldiers. Markle, 36, was in attendance at the Games' opening ceremony over the weekend, but was seated several rows away from the prince, who sat next to U.S. first lady Melania Trump.
According to royal historian Carolyn Harris, author of Raising Royalty: A Thousand Years of Royal Parenting, the selection of the sporting event as their first official outing as a couple is significant.
"The Invictus Games has been his initiative and it grows out of his own military service and now one of the key aspects of his public service is promoting the interests of veterans, so it shows how important this event is to him that he's in Toronto attending all these events and that Meghan is accompanying him," Harris told the Toronto Star.
"This public appearance also demonstrates how Canada is a very welcoming environment for royalty—William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, made Canada their first Commonwealth tour as a married couple and now we're seeing Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stepping out as a couple."
The prince and Markle have been dating for more than a year, although the actress only recently opened up about their relationship for the October issue of Vanity Fair.
"We're a couple," she told the magazine. "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. 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."
During the wheelchair tennis match, the couple cheered on as the New Zealand doubles team (Glen Barnes and Aaron Gibbs) won 6-3 over Australia (Daniel Jeffery and Jamie Tanner). They occasionally clapped and laughed together while watching from the stands. The couple later chatted with people in the audience and left the event holding hands.
The Invictus Games run until September 30.
Copyright 2017 ZoomerMedia Limited