Odds on royal engagement cut after Prince Harry kisses Meghan Markle on cheek

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attending the Invictus Games in Toronto, Canada
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attending the Invictus Games in Toronto, Canada

The public show of affection between Prince Harry and girlfriend Meghan Markle has prompted bookmakers to slash the odds on the couple getting engaged this year.

Harry was pictured kissing Meghan on the cheek during the closing ceremony of the Invictus Games in Toronto at the weekend.

Last week, royal fans watched in amazement as the pair strode hand-in-hand into a venue to watch a wheelchair tennis match at the Games, a Paralympics-style event founded by Harry for wounded and injured servicemen and women and veterans.

Both Paddy Power and William Hill now have the prince and his actress girlfriend with odds of evens to announce they are getting married this year.

William Hill spokesman Rupert Adams said: "The price of a Harry and Meghan engagement continues to fall and they are now 1-1 to get engaged this year - as far as we are concerned, it is definitely a case of when not if."

A Paddy Power spokesman said: "It looks like the Prince is in a Harry to marry, the way he and Meghan Markle canoodled last week."

He added that an engagement this year is now rated as evens, with a 2018 wedding a 3-1 shot.

As the relationship hots up, the bookie also offered odds of 14-1 on the pair announcing a pregnancy before the end of 2018 and odds of 2-1 the couple will spend Christmas with the Queen at Sandringham.

William Hill have odds of 1-1 the couple will get engaged in 2017 and 4-5 they will announce their nuptials in 2018.

Bookmaker Coral has suspended betting on a Harry and Meghan engagement but have made 2018 the odds-on favourite year for a royal wedding at 1-2, while 2019 is 5-2 and 2020 is 4-1.

Coral spokesman John Hill said: "We have pulled the plug on betting on the pair announcing they are engaged as we feel wedding bells are definitely on the horizon.

"Betting is still available on when the couple will tie the knot though, and it suggests we will have a Royal wedding to look forward to next summer."