5 things we learned about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle from the Kensington Palace statement

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Rumours about the relationship have been swirling, but only now has Kensington Palace confirmed that Prince Harry and actress Meghan Markle are indeed an item.

Here are five key things we learned about the couple from the statement.

1. It's on

Meghan Markle
(Evan Agostini/AP)

Prince Harry and US actress Meghan Markle are officially an item. There had been no word from Kensington Palace since their romance first came to light just over a week ago, but now the palace has confirmed they are dating.

2. It's been going on for a few months

Prince Harry
(Matt Dunham/AP)

Harry and Meghan are a "few months" into their relationship, according to the palace.

3. How the Prince copes with interest in his love life

Harry has never been comfortable with curiosity about his private life, but has coped with it by trying to "develop a thick skin", Kensington Palace said.

4. Harry's has had enough of the press intrusion

Prince Harry
(Joe Giddens/PA)

"The past week has seen a line crossed", said Harry's press aide Jason Knauf.

Markle has faced a "wave of abuse and harassment" including racism, sexism and a smear on the front page of a national newspaper, plus attempts by reporters and photographers to gain illegal entry to her home, Knauf said.

5. Harry is determined to protect his girlfriend

The unprecedented statement - in length and emotion - shows how Harry is set on protecting Markle - even if doing so attracts even more attention in the short run.