He said it was a gift for ‘someone special’ and she was revealed as his girlfriend days later
- Prince Harry, 32, spent thousands on a painting called Everybody Needs Somebody to Love by rising British artist Van Donna
- A red version of the piece was auctioned at Christie’s last year for £3,000
- It is not known for certain whether the acrylic, stencil and spray piece was bought for 35-year-old Meghan, or as a gift for someone else
He may have a reputation as a brave warrior Prince – but he is also known for being unafraid to reveal his deepest emotions.
And now it’s believed that besotted Prince Harry has signalled to girlfriend Meghan Markle that she is his ‘special person’ – by spending thousands on a painting for her called Everybody Needs Somebody To Love.
It is in two parts, called a ‘diptych’. One half features a view of a couple walking hand-in-hand, while the other half contains the title of the piece in a blue script.
A red version sold at Christie’s last year for £3,000.
It is not known for certain whether the acrylic, stencil and spray piece was bought for 35-year-old Meghan, or as a gift for someone else.
But the pair had started their romance by the time of the purchase last October, even if his burgeoning relationship with the American actress was still not public knowledge. Rumours had been awash about the pair all through last summer and they were finally confirmed as a couple at the end of October. The couple were pictured together for the first time the following February.
A well-placed source told The Mail on Sunday: ‘We often see him in the street. One day he popped in [to the gallery] with his bodyguard and said he was looking for something for an important person in his life. He fell in love with the Van Donna diptych.
‘After paying for it, he said, “Do you think I could split them up, keep one for myself and give the other to the important person?” A few days later, he was photographed with Meghan and we realised who the “special person” was.’
If the painting was a gift, it will do nothing to quell growing speculation that an engagement is imminent. Nor will reports from Canada that Meghan was last week spotted trying on bridal gowns while shopping for an evening dress in Toronto.
Harry is currently preparing to take part in his first State visit, and will host the King and Queen of Spain next week.
The Prince, who gained a B grade in his Art A-level at Eton, has grown up surrounded by some of the world’s finest art collections. Both his grandfather Prince Philip and his father Prince Charles are keen painters.
But the purchase of the Van Donna piece suggests Harry does not share their very traditional tastes. The 31-year-old British artist never gives interviews and, like street artist Banksy, hides behind a nickname – said to be styled after her heroes Van Gogh and Madonna.
She describes herself in online biographies as a ‘working wife and mother’ who ‘reconnected with art’ after finding she had ‘no outlet for her creativity’.
LIMITED EDITION PRINTS BY VAN DONNA
She knows the Prince has bought the work, tweeting: ‘OMG! So excited that Harry has acquired my paintings! Yay!!!’
Although she omitted Harry’s surname, The Mail on Sunday has confirmed that the buyer was indeed the Prince.
Last night, neither Walton Fine Arts owner Michael Sakhai, Van Donna nor Kensington Palace would comment.
ORIGINAL ARTWORKS BY VAN DONNA