'Luckiest girl in the world' Meghan fuels Harry romance rumours

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American actress Meghan Markle has fanned the flames of speculation over her rumoured romance with Prince Harry in posts online.

And her estranged sister Samantha Markle, 51, appeared to confirm the relationship, saying her father had known for months.

Markle, who stars in hit US TV show Suits, shared an image of a cup of tea in a cup and saucer, next to an elephant-shaped teapot, and another of two embracing bananas with her million followers on Instagram.

The 35-year-old also described herself as the "luckiest girl in the world" in an interview with a Canadian newspaper.

Her posts and comments are the first public remarks since a report in a national Sunday newspaper sparked the rumours.

Kensington Palace has said it will not comment on private matters and Markle, a regular user of social media, has not confirmed or denied the reports since they emerged.

Markle's older sister, who lives in Florida, said the pair were "not close".

The former actress also told the Sun: "My father has known for five months. When it came out, dad said: 'I knew it was Harry, I just didn't say anything'."

She said: "I think her ambition is to become a princess. It was something she dreamed of as a girl when we watched the royals on TV."

She added: "She always preferred Harry -- she has a soft spot for gingers."

Earlier on Tuesday, in an interview with the Vancouver Sun about the launch of her new clothing collection, Markle said she was looking forward to seeing her family and travelling in December but made made no mention of a potential boyfriend.

Adding she would be travelling to India and filming a seventh series of Suits, she said: "So, my cup runneth over and I'm the luckiest girl in the world!"

Some of her followers on Instagram thought they spotted the implied message in the posts she made on Tuesday.

One user, commenting on the picture of the bananas, said: "Is that message for your red hair prince?"

Another said: "You and Prince Harry."

But one user suggested she was deliberately fuelling the rumour mill, saying: "She is trollin'! Ha! I love it!"

Harry has been an eligible bachelor since he split from long-term girlfriend Cressida Bonas more than two years ago. 

He has been linked to a number of women including singer Ellie Goulding and Camilla Thurlow and now he has been linked with Markle, with the pair spotted wearing the same bracelet.

The Sunday Express reported the pair met in May while Harry, 32, was in Canada promoting Invictus Games Toronto 2017, the paralympics-style competition for injured servicemen and women and veterans he founded.

The Telegraph cited sources claiming Harry and Markle had been dating since the summer and had been in a serious relationship since August.

Bookies have begun offering odds on when the pair will first be seen in public together, including at the traditional Royal Christmas church service at Sandringham or in a royal box at an international rugby at Twickenham.