For the first time ever, Meghan Markle has spoken about her romance with Prince Harry.

As the world spent the last year watching and waiting and whispering about the speculated – and finally confirmed – relationship between actress Meghan Markle and Prince Henry “Harry” of Wales, the 36-year-old Suits star remained quiet.

She stayed silent even as she was hounded by nasty headlines and internet trolls and Harry, 33, issued a statement confirming their relationship in a bid to stop the hate in November last year. She has kept outwardly calm, professional and, above all, sincerely private… Until now.

In her first public acknowledgment of her relationship with the prince in a Vanity Fair cover story, Markle has said they’re in love and had been dating for six months before the media caught on.

She said she hopes people understand this is “their time”, perhaps in reference to endless media speculation about whether or not the Prince will (or has already) proposed.

“We’re a couple,” she explains. “We’re in love. I’m sure there will be a time when we will have to come forward and present ourselves and have stories to tell, but I hope what people will understand is that this is our time. This is for us. It’s part of what makes it so special, that it’s just ours. But we’re happy. Personally, I love a great love story.”

Meghan and Harry. Image via Getty.

She spoke about the racism she's endured since being the centre of such a media storm, and what it felt like to be brought up as a biracial girl in California.

"[One Christmas my father brought me] a black mum doll, a white dad doll and a child in each colour," Markle said. "My dad had taken the [Barbie Doll] sets apart and customised my family."

Finally, Markle said the media attention hasn't changed her, with her friends and family keeping her grounded.

"I think it’s really simple," she said. "We’re two people who are really happy and in love. We were very quietly dating for about six months before it became news, and I was working during that whole time, and the only thing that changed was people’s perception."

"Nothing about me changed. I’m still the same person that I am, and I’ve never defined myself by my relationship."

It's what we love about her, and what will make her (hopefully, one day) an excellent princess.

For everything Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and the Royal Wedding, visit our Royal Wedding hub.

To read our plea for Prince Harry to keep that ring in his pocket, click here.

For more on Meghan Markle, click here.

And to read 'What no one’s saying about Meghan Markle’s long-running TV show', click here.

LISTEN: Meghan Markle is the Princess we need.