Prince Harry. Picture: Bang Showbiz

Prince Harry could be set to propose to Meghan Markle this December as it won't outshine any other royal dates, according to former royal chef Darren McGrady.

The 32-year-old royal has been in a relationship with the 'Suits' actress since last year, and although some insiders thought an engagement would come earlier this month when the star celebrated her 36th birthday, former royal chef Darren McGrady thinks a Christmas proposal is much more likely. 

According to Darren, popping the question in December would put the event out of the way of other important royal dates, so as not to overshadow events such as the 20th anniversary of his mother's death this month, and the wedding anniversary of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip in November.

Darren told Hello! magazine: "I really do think they would have been engaged by now. But Princess Diana's 20th anniversary this month in August, they can't trump that. And then November is the Queen and Prince Philip's platinum wedding anniversary so they can't trump that either, whereas December they can announce the engagement and they'd be free to marry next year; I think that's what's going to happen."

The former chef - who served Princess Diana and her two sons Harry and William - added that if the flame-haired royal does pop the question in December, it would mean the couple would be able to join the royal family for their traditional Christmas celebrations.

Meanwhile, it was previously reported that the happy couple are "heading in [the] direction" of an engagement.

A source claimed: "Harry and Meghan are not engaged yet, reports that they are are jumping the gun slightly. 

"They are definitely heading in that direction, but when they do get engaged Harry will follow Royal protocol and an announcement will be made by the Palace."

The pair are said to be very much in "love" with each other, however neither of them wishes to commit to marriage before they're totally convinced it's right for them.

The insider added: "Harry and Meghan are very much in love, but they both want to make completely sure that they are ready to take the next step before doing so. 

"Harry does not want to make the same mistake as his mother and father did. When he marries it will be for life, and it's not something he is going to rush into."