The tale of how Prince Harry met Meghan Markle is one I hope we tell for generations to come.
Not because I think it’s particularly exceptional. Or because I think it’s especially desirable to fall in love with a Prince.
Rather, it’s a story that matters because of its very ordinariness.
According to a source, Prince Harry confided in London-based Ralph Lauren PR director, Violet von Westenholz, a friend he had been close with for years, that he could “hardly go on Tinder or a dating app like normal people” and finding someone he genuinely connected with was “proving to be almost impossible”.
Markle, according to E!, had been “part of the London social scene for a while,” and when Harry expressed his difficulties finding someone, von Westernholz had an idea.
Two people, single in their thirties, one a British Prince, and the other an American actress, were set up on a blind date in July 2016. Before Markle agreed, however, she did have one question for von Westenholz: “Is he nice?”
It would seem he was.
So what can we learn from one of the most famous love stories of the last century?
Firstly, find a friend like goddamn Violet von Westenholz.
But, er, more specifically: Set up your mates.
The practice of matchmaking has become increasingly privatised in a world where dates are available at our fingertips. The search for a date has been relegated to the bedroom, under the covers on a lonely Saturday night, with the only companion being the dull glow of one’s mobile phone.
And there may be thousands of options in that late night cocoon. But that’s just the paradox, isn’t it? Too much choice has made it harder than ever to actually make one.
The new rules, in a post-dating-app world, dictate that dating is not something you do in public. You don’t flirt with someone while at a bar with friends, or at a coffee shop on the weekend. Everyone’s likely too busy flicking through Tinder, anyway.
It’s assumed, because actually getting a date might be easier than ever, that our single friends don’t need any help. We’re terrified to intrude. We also don’t want to assume that they even want a date. A significant percentage of single people are entirely content – and don’t need anyone meddling with their romantic life.
But then there are those who would much rather be in a relationship, and you don’t have to be a Prince to detest Tinder.
Recently, a friend confessed she’d found herself typing into Google; “Where am I meant to meet someone?” and that struck me as sad as it was true.
The biggest secret of the dating world – for anyone who hasn’t explored it for a while – is that most of us hate dating apps, and we just swipe because we feel like we don’t have any other choice.
The second biggest secret is that none of us have any idea what we’re doing.
Dating can be lonely and terrifying, and currently the single man or woman is being left to their own devices. Literally.
But the secret message hidden within Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s love story is this: whether someone is a stunning Hollywood actress, or a beloved Prince, when it comes to dating, we could all do with a little help.
Someone’s ideal partner could be sitting in your phone contacts, just like was the case with von Westenholz, so be a pal and send a text.
And long live the art of the set up.