Prince Harry Reflects on Meeting Meghan Markle and Bonding Over Shared Love of Africa

In his new memoir, Prince Harry reflects on his royal upbringing, military service in Afghanistan, and the moment he met his future wife, Meghan Markle. He writes that he was struck by her beauty when he first saw her photo on Instagram, and reached out to a mutual friend for her contact information on July 1, 2016, which also happened to be the birthday of his late mother, Princess Diana.

Harry also mentioned that he and Meghan bonded over their shared love of Africa, and that they quickly connected through text messages, going late into the night. He notes that it was an “uncanny” coincidence that their conversation began on the same day as his mother’s birthday.

The Duke of Sussex also revealed that he struggled to come to terms with his mother’s death, and that even ten years later, he found himself driving through the same tunnel in Paris where she died. He shared that it was a surreal and emotional experience, and that he still feels her presence in his life. In an interview with PEOPLE, Harry spoke about how he’s come to understand the loss of a parent and the ongoing process of grief.

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