The high society matchmakers who introduced famous couples

Magic of the society matchmaker! As Finding Freedom says Misha Nonoo and Markus Anderson DID set up the Sussexes, Tatler celebrates the friends behind other power couples including Princess Eugenie and Kate Middleton

  • Finding Freedom says Misha Nonoo and Markus Anderson set up the Sussexes
  • Meghan and Harry ‘prefer to keep the story of their matchmakers a mystery’
  • Following book’s claim, Tatler recalled the socialites behind other power couples

There has been much speculation over who set up  Prince Harry and Meghan Markle back in July 2016, but now it appears the identity of the mystery friends has finally been confirmed.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s bombshell biography Finding Freedom, released yesterday and co-authored by journalists Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, suggests Misha Nonoo and Markus Anderson were behind the couple’s first meeting.

It’s thought the Duchess’ close pals, the former being a British fashion designer and the latter Soho House’s global membership director, set Harry, 35, and Meghan, 39, who are now living in the US, up on a blind date in London. 

‘Despite reports that Violet von Westenholz had set up the date, it was mostly Meghan’s pals Misha Nonoo and Markus Anderson who were in on the first meeting,’ wrote the authors. 

But Misha and Markus aren’t the only socialites who has enjoyed playing matchmaker for her well-heeled friends, with even Prince Harry himself, Princess Eugenie, and Kate Middleton and Prince William thought to have played the part of cupid.

Rumor has it Eugenie, 30, was responsible for setting up close friend and singer Ellie Goulding with her husband, art dealer Caspar Jopling.

Meanwhile, Prince Harry helped introduce Mike and Zara Tindall after taking his cousin with him to the 2003 Rugby World Cup, where she first met her husband.

And last month, Thomas van Straubenzee, 38, a lifelong friend of Prince William, tied the knot with Lucy Lanigan-O’Keeffe, 32, a teacher at Princess Charlotte and Prince George’s school, Thomas’s Battersea.

The Cambridges are believed to have helped spark the flames of romance between the pair, who are expecting their first child.

Following Finding Freedom’s hints, Tatler has recalled the socialites behind other power couples.

Misha Nonoo and Markus Anderson – Meghan Markle and Prince Harry 


The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s (pictured right) bombshell biography Finding Freedom, released yesterday and co-authored by journalists Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, suggests Misha Nonoo (pictured left with Meghan) and Markus Anderson were behind the couple’s first meeting

It’s thought the Duchess’ close pals, the former being a British fashion designer and the latter Soho House’s global membership director, set Harry, 35, and Meghan, 39, who are now living in the US, up on a blind date in London. Pictured centre: Markus Anderson at Meghan’s wedding

It’s long been rumoured that fashion boss Violet von Westenholz, a close friend of Meghan’s, set up the Duke and Duchess of Sussex back in July 2016.

However, Meghan and Harry’s bombshell biography Finding Freedom, released yesterday and co-authored by journalists Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, suggests Misha Nonoo and Markus Anderson were behind the couple’s first meeting. 

It’s thought the Duchess’ close pals, the former being a British fashion designer and the latter Soho House’s global membership director, set Harry, 35, and Meghan, 39, who are now living in the US, up on a blind date in London. 

‘Despite reports that Violet von Westenholz had set up the date, it was mostly Meghan’s pals Misha Nonoo and Markus Anderson who were in on the first meeting,’ wrote the authors. 

They added: ‘The couple themselves prefer to keep the story of their matchmaker a mystery, even to close friends. 

‘Meghan’s only clue to pals at the time was that her first encounter with Harry was “serendipitous”.’

According to the book, Harry and Meghan’s first date was at Soho House’s Dean Street Townhouse in central London. 

Princess Eugenie – Ellie Goulding and Caspar Jopling


Pop star Ellie Goulding married Old Etonian Caspar Jopling (pictured right) at York Minister in 2019, after being together for two years. The pair are said to have been introduced by Princess Eugenie (pictured left with her pal), who knew Caspar through the art world and Ellie socially

Pop star Ellie Goulding married Old Etonian Caspar Jopling at York Minister in 2019, after being together for two years. 

The pair are said to have been introduced by Princess Eugenie, who knew Caspar through the art world and Ellie socially.

Having bonded over their mutual love of jigsaw puzzles and quiet nights in, they became engaged within 16 months of meeting.

And of course, Princess Eugenie, as well as her sister Princess Beatrice and mother, Sarah, Duchess of York, were in attendance at the couple’s wedding last August.

But the royal, who is married to Jack Brooksbank, is also rumoured to have introduced her cousin Prince Harry to his former girlfriend Cressida Bonas. 

Cressida, 31, who famously dated the Duke of Sussex, 35, for three years until 2014, tied the knot with Harry Wentworth-Stanley, the estate agent son of the Marchioness of Milford Haven, at the exclusive Cowdray Park, in Midhurst, West Sussex, last month.

The Cambridges – Thomas van Straubenzee and Lucy Lanigan-O’Keeffe


Thomas van Straubenzee, 38, a lifelong friend of Prince William, tied the knot with Lucy Lanigan-O’Keeffe (pictured right), 32, a teacher at Princess Charlotte and Prince George’s school, Thomas’s Battersea, last month. Pictured left: Kate and William

Thomas van Straubenzee, 38, a lifelong friend of Prince William, tied the knot with Lucy Lanigan-O’Keeffe, 32, a teacher at Princess Charlotte and Prince George’s school, Thomas’s Battersea, last month.

The couple married at Chelsea Old Church, in south west London, on July 24 with only their parents and siblings present as they were forced to delay and downscale their plans due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Sunday Times reported.

Charlotte, five, was set to be a bridesmaid at the wedding which was due to take place in April, while Prince William, 38, was going to be an usher in the original plans.

The Cambridges are believed to have helped spark the flames of romance between the pair, who are expecting their first child.

Mr van Straubenzee, who works as a partner in the private office of estate agent Knight Frank, has known William since prep school, with his family being known as one of the royal family’s closest and most loyal allies.

His new wife is an assistant head teacher at Thomas’s Clapham and teaches mindfulness and outdoor learning at the school’s Battersea branch where Charlotte and George attend. 

Lady Anne Glenconner – Princess Margaret and Roddy Llwellyn


Princess Margaret and her lover Roddy Llewellyn (pictured right in 1978) were introduced by Lady Anne Glenconner (pictured left) 

Princess Margaret and her lover Roddy Llewellyn famously hit the headlines in 1976 after they were photographed holidaying on the island of Mustique together – the royal’s marriage to Lord Snowdon ended just a month later.

But it was Princess Margaret’s closest confidante Lady Anne Glenconner who accidentally introduced the pair three years earlier.

Lady Glenconner invited her friend to a long weekend at Castle Glen and had planned a huge dinner party but a late cancellation left her one man short.

A relative gave her the number of Roddy Llewellyn, whose equestrian father Harry had won the only gold medal for Great Britain in the 1952 Olympics.

Lady Glenconner’s husband Colin drove to Edinburgh station to meet him, accompanied by their teenage son Charlie, and Princess Margaret, who was intrigued because she knew Roddy’s father. 

‘The princess and Roddy had immediately clicked, even though he was 17 years younger,’ recalled Lady Glenconner for the Daily Mail.

‘She’d then whisked him off shopping to find some tight swimming trunks — which my son described as “budgie smugglers”. I said to Colin, “Oh, gosh, what have we done?”‘

Prince Harry – Mike and Zara Tindall


 It’s not only the women in high society setting up their friends – with Prince Harry (pictured left) having played cupid for his cousin Zara and her husband Mike Tindall (pictured right)

It’s not only the women in high society setting up their friends – with Prince Harry having played cupid for his cousin Zara and her husband Mike Tindall. 

In 2005, England rugby player Mike Tindall, 41, revealed that Prince Harry played a vital role in helping the father-of-two get together with his wife Zara. 

Mike and Zara – the Duke of Sussex’s cousin and the Queen’s granddaughter – met at the 2003 Rugby World Cup after Harry invited his relative to the event.

‘Harry had asked one of the lads to text him so he could come and celebrate with us. He brought Zara and Peter, her brother, and we got to know each other,’ explained Mike to the Mirror. 

Zara and Mike married in 2011 in Scotland and now have two daughters together Mia, six, and Lena, two.

They live on Princess Anne’s Gatcombe estate in Gloucestershire. It is located in the heart of the Cotswolds, and is just a few miles away from Highgrove, Prince Charles’ home in nearby Tetbury.

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