It seems like Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have been together forever. Their storybook romance continues to leave us swooning and some of us are even starting to believe in fairy tales. Here’s a look back at how it all started, beginning with their meet-cute in the summer of 2016.
During the couple’s first interview together, Harry revealed he and Meghan met through a mutual friend: “It was definitely a set-up — it was a blind date. It was a blind date for sure.” Much of their early relationship was long-distance, as Meghan was still shooting her television series Suits in Toronto, while Harry was in the U.K.
October 31, 2016
News breaks of Harry and Meghan’s relationship courtesy of Express, which reported that: “In recent weeks royal watchers have noticed that Harry, fifth-in-line to the throne, has had a notable spring in his step and can’t stop smiling.”
They quoted a friend as saying:
It’s too early to say if the relationship will lead to anything long-term but who knows? At the moment they are just taking it a step at a time and seeing how things develop.
November 1, 2016
PEOPLE reports Harry had already introduced Meghan to his father, Prince Charles. Things were serious by now!
November 8, 2016
The Royal Family confirms (via statement) Harry and Meghan are dating and ask that the public treat them with respect, saying:
Prince Harry is worried about Ms. Markle’s safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her. It is not right that a few months into a relationship with him that Ms. Markle should be subjected to such a storm. He knows commentators will say this is ‘the price she has to pay’ and that ‘this is all part of the game’. He strongly disagrees. This is not a game – it is her life and his.
November 26, 2016
Prince William issues his own statement in response to Harry’s plea to protect Meghan. Though William shies away from public statements about royal relationships, he made clear his support for his little brother: “The Duke of Cambridge absolutely understands the situation concerning privacy and supports the need for Prince Harry to support those closest to him.”
December 14, 2016
It’s announced that Meghan Markle is 2016’s most Googled actress. It’s also the day photos are published of Meghan and Harry holding hands for the first time in public after seeing a show in London’s West End.
December 20, 2016
It’s reported the Queen is totally on Team Meghan. Us Weekly quoted a Buckingham Palace insider as saying Her Majesty was “fully supportive” of the union. And even though she had yet to meet Meghan, “She’s delighted to see Harry in a loving relationship.”
January 6, 2017
Us Weekly reports that Meghan and Harry enjoyed their first vacation together in Norway, saying the couple “decided last-minute to postpone warmer travel plans elsewhere in an attempt to see the Northern Lights.”
March 4, 2017
Meghan is Harry’s Plus One at the wedding of one of Harrys’ childhood friends. The two jetted off to Jamaica for the nuptuals, where, according to People, “For Markle, it is thought to be the first time she has accompanied Harry to a wedding and it marks something of a public coming out for the couple.”
April 14, 2017
May 7, 2017
Meghan and Harry share two firsts: their first public outing together and their first public kiss. Both happened following a charity polo match Harry played in.
May 20, 2017
She didn’t get to go to the wedding (Royal protocol), but Meghan accompanied Harry to Pippa Middleton’s wedding reception in England. He even drove about three hours round-trip to go pick her up from Kensington Palace, where she had been staying.
August 23, 2017
Us Weekly speculates that Harry proposed to Meghan during a three-week stay in Africa for the actress’s 36th birthday, quoting a source as saying the Prince wanted to propose near the anniversary of his mom’s death “so he can associate August with something joyful.”
November 27, 2017
This was a big day for the couple. They announced their engagement, took part in a photocall at Kensington Palace to mark the happy neews, and gave their first interview as a couple for the BBC.
The official announcement from Kensington Palace reads:
“His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales is delighted to announce the engagement of Prince Harry to Ms. Meghan Markle. The wedding will take place in Spring 2018. Further details about the wedding day will be announced in due course. His Royal Highness and Ms. Markle became engaged in London earlier this month. Prince Harry has informed Her Majesty the Queen and other close members of his family. Prince Harry has also sought and received the blessing of Ms. Markle’s parents. The couple will live in Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace.”
Related Story: 7 Royal Traditions Meghan Markle Has Already Broken
Prince William and Kate Middleton release a statement congratulating Harry and Meghan on their engagement.
On the news of Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle's engagement, The Prince of Wales, speaking for himself and The Duchess of Cornwall, said: "We're thrilled. We're both thrilled. We hope they'll be very happy indeed."
— Clarence House (@ClarenceHouse) November 27, 2017
December 1, 2017
Harry and Meghan make their first official visit together since announcing their engagement.
Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle arrive in Nottingham for their first official visit together since announcing their engagement. pic.twitter.com/iXXrJEumxk
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) December 1, 2017
December 15, 2017
Kensington Palace confirms the date of Meghan and Harry’s wedding: May 19, 2018
His Royal Highness Prince Henry of Wales and Ms. Meghan Markle will marry on 19th May 2018.
Today's announcement follows earlier confirmation of the month of the wedding and its location at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle. pic.twitter.com/7pgdRM90Na
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) December 15, 2017
December 21, 2017
The hottest royal engagement photos ever taken are released, one at a time, by Kensington Palace. In one of the sexier pics, Markle wore a Ralph & Russo gown with a nude lining.
The yin and yang of the formal and informal photos was reportedly started by Harry’s parents, Prince Charles and Lady Diana. As Variety points out, one official portrait shows Diana decked out in an emerald green ball gown, while Charles is stiffly posed in his full navy uniform, like some sort of twisted prom photo op. But, as royal tradition seems to now follow, the couple released another portrait that shows them looking like catalog models, wearing matching blue cotton oxfords.
December 25, 2017
Meghan spends Christmas with her future in-laws, which actually breaks royal protocol, as Meghan and Harry are not yet married.
Merry Christmas! The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle have joined members of the Royal Family for the Morning Service on Christmas Day in Sandringham. pic.twitter.com/6DMRGFPntt
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) December 25, 2017
The two are planning their honeymoon. Word on the street is that they want to escape to some place warm. They’re expected to make a decision this month. After all they’ve been through in such a short amount of time, they deserve to kick back on the beach with some cocktails in hand. 2018 is not going to be any easier.