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Is this the matchmaker who set up Prince Harry with Meghan Markle?

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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry owe it all to a mysterious matchmaker; the unidentified Cupid who decided that the dashing English prince would be a perfect fit for the glamorous American actress.

The couple have described how their mutual friend arranged the blind date in July last year that led to the announcement 16 months later of their engagement. The only clue they gave was that the matchmaker was a woman.

The firer of Cupid's arrow has not been formally named but The UK Telegraph understands she is Violet von Westenholz: one of Prince Harry's oldest family friends. Baron Piers von Westenholz, Miss von Westenholz's aristocratic father, is a former Olympic skier and friend of the Prince of Wales.

Yesterday, Miss von Westenholz, 33, a close friend of Prince Harry's since they were teenagers, declined to deny that she had been responsible for setting up their first date.

"I might leave that for other people to say [who it is]," she said. "It's a great story and I am sure they are going to be very happy together. I am just happy they are really happy. They are great together."

Miss Westenholz, the public relations director for the Ralph Lauren fashion label, was working with Ms Markle at the end of June last year, just a few days before the blind date that changed the course of royal history.


Miss Westenholz helped to organise a publicity day in London on June 30 2016 for Suits, the US drama in which Ms Markle stars.

Ms Markle, dressed head to toe in the Ralph Lauren fashion brand for the series launch, later posted on her Instagram account: "Thanks Violet von Westenholz."

She would later be thanking Ms von Westenholz?for a lot more than making sure the publicity day went smoothly. On July 4, Ms Markle was accompanied at Wimbledon by Miss von Westenholz as a VIP guest of Ralph Lauren, who designed the outfits for the umpires, line judges, and ball girls and boys at the tournament.


How much more could I adore this gem?? @violetvon_westenholz...#thankyou (@wimbledon @poloralphlauren) ????

A post shared by Meghan Markle (@meghanmarkle) on

Ms Markle wrote on July 4 on Instagram: "How much more could I adore this gem thank you Violet von Westenholz" and added a grinning "selfie" of the two of them. By then, it is thought Ms Markle had already enjoyed her blind date with Prince Harry.

According to the Court Circular, the Prince had flown back to the UK on July 1, having attended a memorial service to mark the Battle of the Somme; their first date - which by the couple's own admission was in July - must have taken place at some point between July 1 and July 5. On that day Ms Markle flew back to Canada where Suits is filmed and she has a home.

By July 3, in the midst of her London stay at exclusive members' club Soho House, Ms Markle had apparently fallen in love. The clue is a posting on Instagram of a "Love Hearts" traditional sweet that bore the simple message "KISS ME". Next to the photograph she simply posted "Lovehearts in London". Ms Markle was smitten.

It is thought the date took place in a private dining room at the exclusive club located in a Georgian town house. A day later Ms Markle was at Wimbledon with Miss von Westenholz at her side.


Lovehearts in #London ??

A post shared by Meghan Markle (@meghanmarkle) on

Twenty-four hours later she was preparing to fly home. "Gutted to be leaving London," she wrote on Instagram. Miss von Westenholz declined to take sole credit for her matchmaking when approached by The Telegraph and insisted others were also involved.

At Wimbledon, keeping Ms Markle company was Olivia Buckingham, another fashionista and a stylist for a number of brands, and Sadie Mantovani, who was then chief brand officer at Ralph Lauren. But there is no doubt of the key link between Prince Harry and Ms Markle: it was Miss von Westneholz who made it possible for a handsome prince to meet his actress wife-to-be.

Ms von Westenholz was a regular on the Royal family's annual skiing trip to Klosters. In 2000, when aged 16, she and her sister Victoria, then aged 13, accompanied Princes William and Harry on their annual week-long skiing trip. Press reports at the time describe the von Westenholz girls as part of a 15-strong royal party.

Violet and Victoria are an integral part of the Prince's circle of close friends and trusted confidantes. Violet has been pictured at parties with the likes of Guy Pelly, who at one time was an ever present figure on the Princes' social circuit.

Violet von Westenholz, despite being the royal matchmaker in chief, appears to be single. She has been linked, previously and briefly, with James Blunt, the Old Harrovian turned pop singer. Within the fashion industry, she is regarded as a "player" who has helped to push the Ralph Lauren brand.

But with her fixing skills, she has brought together from different worlds two 30-something people and made them very happy. In doing so she has also put a smile on the nation's collective face.

Telegraph, UK


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