PRINCE Harry was left “in a trance” after meeting Meghan Markle for their first date, a pal claimed in a new book detailing their relationship.
The pair were “in their own little world” for three hours over beers and martinis at London’s Dean Street Townhouse, after being introduced by a friend.
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After just the one meeting the couple were “obsessed”, with a pal saying “it was as if Harry was in a trance” and Meghan excitedly said “this could have legs”.
The new book, Finding Freedom serialised in The Times, tells how they met up the next evening in the same spot for dinner – both sneaking in through a back entrance and being served by one trusted waiter.
On another date, Meghan was driven to Harry’s cottage in Kensington Palace for a cosy night in after he told a pal she was “ticking every box fast”.
Hinting at the blossoming relationship during her first London trip, Meghan posted on Instagram a photo of a Love Hearts candy saying “Kiss Me” with the caption “Lovehearts in #London” – a possible message to Harry.
She also began following an account with the handle @SpikeyMau5 – Harry’s once used private Instagram page.
The book adds: “For Meghan, she was all in. Nothing could get her to slow down, not even a friend who cautioned her about getting involved with Harry.
“Three months into their relationship, a Meghan friend said, they had already begun swapping the words ‘I love you’. It was Harry who said it first, but Meghan immediately replied, ‘I love you, too’.
“From there it didn’t take long for them to begin talking in non-oblique terms about their future.”
The couple went to great lengths to keep their relationship and trips across the globe a secret from the world until October 2016, when news first broke they were an item.
The pair went on a series of dates, as Meghan, 38, sampled British life without anyone knowing she had fallen for the prince.
That June and July she went to Wimbledon, watching close pal Serena Williams, and even visiting Buckingham Palace as a tourist.
Later Harry, 35, would whisk Meghan off to LA, in a break that would “seal the deal” on their relationship’s future.
Pals said Meghan suddenly “became very secretive” after the trip, shutting down “any mention of Harry”, with a pal adding “it had suddenly got serious”.
The couple stayed in touch before hooking up again in September.
But a month later, with Harry secretly holed up at Meghan’s Toronto apartment, the news finally broke that they were an item.
In what now seems like a fateful quote, one friend insisted: “Meghan is a very confident and intelligent woman and she’s not overawed mixing with royalty.
“That’s one of the things Harry admires about her.”
This weekend we told how Harry and Meghan were branded a pair of “whingers” over their long list of gripes in a bombshell biography.
As Buckingham Palace stayed silent, more details emerged of the Sussexes’ complaints about royal life.
They were said to have been furious at Harry losing his military titles and being snubbed by William and Kate, among other whines.