Meghan Markle: I'm 'in love' with Prince Harry

Photo: Bang

Meghan Markle has spoken about her boyfriend Prince Harry in public for the first time, admitting they are a "couple" and "in love".

The 'Suits' star has opened up about her 32-year-old boyfriend for the first time in public, admitting the couple - who have been together for more than a year - are "really happy", and insisting the only thing which has changed about her is "people's perceptions".

She said: "I can tell you that at the end of the day I think it's really simple.

"We're two people who are really happy and in love. We were very quietly dating for about six months before it became news, and I was working during that whole time, and the only thing that changed was people's perception.

"Nothing about me changed. I'm still the same person that I am, and I've never defined myself by my relationship."

Meghan is prepared for a time when she and Harry - who is fifth in line to the throne - will have to "present ourselves" in public, but for now the pair are enjoying the "special", early stages of their relationship.

She said: "We're a couple. 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."

The 36-year-old star has valued Harry's "support" since they started dating as the spotlight on her has increased, and admits dealing with the added interest into her life can be "challenging" at times.

She added to Vanity Fair magazine: "It has its challenges, and it comes in waves - some days it can feel more challenging than others.

"And right out of the gate it was surprising the way things changed. But I still have this support system all around me, and, of course, my boyfriend's support."

In November, Harry released a statement via Kensington Palace admitting he was "disappointed" he hadn't been able to "protect" his girlfriend following the increased media interest into her life.

Part of the statement read: "His girlfriend, Meghan Markle, has been subject to a wave of abuse and harassment.

"Prince Harry is worried about Ms. Markle's safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her. It is not right that a few months into a relationship with him that Ms. Markle should be subjected to such a storm."

The full interview with Meghan Markle appears in the latest issue of Vanity Fair magazine.