W2W - a Royal engagement

OUR Prince is to marry an American actress.

It’s been on the cards for a while, but this week was formalised and I am delighted for both Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Everyone enjoys a love story and the beautiful country of Botswana has featured heavily in theirs.

After just a few dates, Harry persuaded Meghan to visit the country with him where, as he told us all, they slept under the stars.

It’s not surprising, then, that Miss Markle’s engagement ring contains one large diamond from Botswana and two from Prince Harry’s mother.

Interestingly, the country spawned another royal love story some 70 years ago, one that shocked many at the time.

In the late 1940s, English girl Ruth Williams married King Seretse Khama.

This inter-racial union, told in the recent film, A United Kingdom, came as South Africa had just adopted apartheid.

They did all they could to strip Seretse Khama of his country and his birth-right.

To the couple’s eternal credit, they prevailed, returning to Botswana after five years’ exile.

And, while Ruth was accepted as the mother of the nation, Seretse Khama founded the Democratic Party, becoming Botswana’s first Prime Minister, then President after independence.

He was knighted by the Queen in 1966.

Ian, the couple’s eldest son, is now Botswana’s fourth elected President.

It’s a romantic and significant story and proof, if any were needed, that Africa catches many hearts.

Clearly it caught Miss Markle’s.

Now, with a lifetime ahead of them, they will no doubt aim their energies at humanitarian causes.

They’ve also said they want to be involved with the Commonwealth.

The union seems a perfect match and, with plenty of life experience between them, they will no doubt be a force for much good.