Prince Harry pursued his new girlfriend Meghan Markle by bombarding her with text messages until she agreed to date him, it has been reported.

The 32-year-old became smitten with the 35-year-old Suits actress after meeting her at a charity event in May. Insiders claim that the prince is "besotted" with the American star and charmed her following a string of dates over the summer. The new couple are said to be "extremely serious about each other and massively loved up."

A source told The Sun: "They are the real deal. He definitely pursued her and besieged her with texts until she agreed to a date.

"They went out with a group of friends to Soho House in London in early July, followed by two dates by themselves where Harry swept her off her feet. By August it was a serious."

And it appears the feeling of infatuation is mutual. The source added: "He is very full-on but she was going through quite a tough time with her previous boyfriend and she was very flattered.

"She couldn't contain her excitement, but once she got back from London she became very secretive. It was then that it changed from them just 'seeing each other' to boyfriend and girlfriend. He's head over heels and she feels the same," they continued.

The television star divorced her husband of three years – film producer Trevor Engelson – in 2013, and she was most recently dated celebrity chef Cory Vitiello. But the prince allegedly wooed Markle as she went through a complicated break-up.

The friend added: "Their relationship was on the rocks but it was complicated as they were still living together and had to sort out custody of the dogs.

"Cory is quite the player and they were on the outs in April. Meghan was feeling pretty down and vulnerable. She'd been very hurt by Cory. Then suddenly there's a Prince Charming who's pursuing her like mad and she couldn't contain her excitement."

Who is Meghan Markle? Read more

And while Prince Harry has largely protected his private life, things may change for the royal as his new love is an avid user of social media – which first lead to rumours of their romance. Markle posted pictures of herself wearing a blue beaded bracelet – which has also been spotted on Harry. The "his and hers" jewellery are said to symbolises friendship, fearlessness and independence.

Markle – who is best known for her role as Rachel Zane in the hit US television series Suits – may have bonded with the prince over their passion for humanitarian work. The Toronto-based star was recently appointed an Advocate for Women by the United Nations and joined fellow actresses and ambassadors Angelina Jolie and Emma Watson.

She has also visited Rwanda to work on a clean water project and has travelled to Afghanistan to support US armed forces. The source went on: "Harry loves her humanitarian work in Africa and the fact she's an independent, sassy girl, while she's part of a power clique in Toronto that includes the prime minister and major TV stars so she's not intimidated by celebrity."

Aside from her acting and humanitarian work, Markle is also a successful businessman and runs her own food, fashion and travel website The Tig.

It was first reported that Harry first Markle while promoting his Invictus Games in Toronto back in May – but this is in fact not true. It has been claimed that the actress was in Mexico at the time, while Harry only spent a day in the Canadian city before heading to Florida's Palm Beach to play in a polo match for Sentebale – his African charity.

What is known about their relationship is that friends became aware of the seriousness of their relationship in August. She has also spent time in London while Harry was in Africa from July to September. She visited Soho Farmhouse members' club in Oxfordshire with Made in Chelsea star Millie Mackintosh in September, and posted a photograph onto Instagram of herself in the English setting wearing the aforementioned blue-beaded bracelet.

Prince Harry
Similar bracelets? Prince Harry visits Coach Core at The National Ice Centre in Nottingham Matthew Lewis/ Getty Images