Who would have thought all Prince Harry needed to tie him down was an actress from America? Since news broke that the British royal and Meghan Markle were an item, we've been obsessed with them. From their first blind date to the Royal Wedding and of course, their Royal baby, here's a complete history of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's relationship.
- Meghan Markle and Prince Harry first met on a blind date in 2016 and kept their relationship very private for a few months until the press got word of the news
- Prince Harry proposed in November 2017 with a one-a-kind three-stone engagement ring that included diamonds from Princess Diana's collection.
- Their 2018 royal wedding brought loads of A-listers across the pond for the nuptials, and marked their new title as husband and wife: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
- Nearly a year after their wedding, the couple welcomed a son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.
- At the beginning of 2020, they announced they will be stepping down as senior members of the Royal Family and will be splitting their time between the United Kingdom and North America.
May 2016: A Blind Date
Not much is known about Prince Harry and Meghan's first date, but one thing is for certain. The pair were set up on a blind date by a mutual friend and fashion designer, Misha Nonoo. Matchmaker, matchmaker, make us a royal match next time, OK?
October 31, 2016: The Secret's Out
The day it all began—at least for the public. The Sunday Express reported that Prince Harry had been secretly dating the Suits star, and according to one source the royal was "happier than he’s been for many years." That very day, Meghan posted an adorable banana couple hugging on her Instagram page, followed by a high-tea snap on November 1.
November 1, 2016: A Cryptic Quote
Canada's Vancouver Sun published a Q&A in which Meghan discussed her collection for retailer Reitmans. Her closing quote, while cryptic, sure said a lot. "So, my cup runneth over and I’m the luckiest girl in the world!" she shared.
November 2, 2016: Transatlantic Travels
It didn't take long for reports of the new couple to begin swirling. Us Weekly wrote that Prince Harry made a top-secret visit to Toronto in October, where Markle was filming her show, and claimed it was "one of many transatlantic travels in their relationship."
November 8, 2016: Royally Official
After days of ongoing reports of the new couple, Prince Harry released a rare statement that acknowledged the relationship. The 32-year-old asked that the media respect the privacy of his American girlfriend and her loved ones, noting he was "worried about Ms. Markle’s safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her."
November 27, 2016: Brotherly Support
After reports surfaced claiming Prince Harry did not have older brother Prince William's blessing to go public with his relationship, the Duke of Cambridge released a statement through Kensington Palace to set the record straight. According to The Telegraph, it read, "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: Getting Into The Christmas Spirit
The Sun published the first photos of the couple together in London. Dressed inconspicuously, the bundled-up twosome were snapped in London's West End. The prince and his girlfriend were spotted picking out a Christmas tree in London's Battersea Park the day before. Relationship milestones!
January 6, 2017: Ringing In The New Year
After ringing in the new year together in London, Us Weekly reported the couple took their first vacation together to Norway to catch the Northern Lights. The two reportedly stayed in Tromsø for the romantic getaway.
February 2, 2017: A Valentine's Day Date
Just days before Valentine's Day, Meghan and Harry were photographed by The Sun holding hands outside of London's Soho House, where they reportedly first met in the summer of 2016 through a mutual friend.
March 4, 2017: She's His Plus One
Meghan joined Harry at his childhood friend Tom Inskip's wedding in Montego Bay, Jamaica. E! published photos of the couple enjoying a conversation at their table, and People reported that it was Meghan's first time accompanying Harry to a wedding.
May 6-7, 2017: The Post-Match Peck
The prince and the actress not only attended their first public event as a couple, but the two were also photographed kissing for the first time—all in one weekend. Meghan was spotted cheering on her beau at the annual Audi Polo Challenge in Ascot, England. On day two of the event, the couple was candidly photographed sneaking in a kiss post-match.
May 20, 2017: Plus One at Pippa's
After much speculation, Harry indeed brings Meghan as his date to Pippa's wedding. Meghan was not in attendance at the ceremony per royal protocol, but Harry made the three-hour round trip to Kensington Palace, where his date was staying, picking her up for the wedding reception. Can we give him the best boyfriend award already?
June 19, 2017: He (Sort Of) Puts A Ring On It
While we waited for the ring, Daily Mail reported that Harry gifted Meghan with a gold thumb ring. The jewelry gift joined a collection of a blue and white bracelet (which matched his own), a Cartier Love bracelet, a Maya Brenner necklace with "M" and "H" initials, and a gold arrow ring.
August 4, 2017: Birthday in Botswana and a Proposal Promise
The pair celebrated Meghan's 36th birthday with trip to Botswana where they stayed with a few of Harry's closest friends. The three-week holiday also prompted plenty of speculation around whether or not the actress would return home with a ring. However, according to the revealing book Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family (which was released in 2020), the prince made his intention of proposing to the actress "very clear." The romantic conversation took place under "Botswana's blanket of stars"—the same place they supposedly fell in love a year earlier.
September 5, 2017: She's Wild About Harry!
Meghan graced the cover of Vanity Fair's October 2017 issue with a headline that read "She's Just Wild About Harry." During the candid interview, she opened up about her relationship with the royal and said, "This is for us. It’s part of what makes it so special, that it’s just ours. But we’re happy. Personally, I love a great love story."
September 13, 2017: Meeting The Queen
Shortly after their African holiday, Prince Harry orchestrated a secret introduction between his girlfriend and his grandmother—AKA the Queen! The couple jetted off to Scotland to visit Prince Charles and Harry’s stepmother, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. The following day, the couple headed to Balmoral Castle, the queen’s summer residence.
September 25, 2017: PDA In Toronto
After so much time avoiding the spotlight, the pair made a public joint appearance at the 2017 Invictus Games in Toronto and even showed a little PDA as the two sat front row to watch a wheelchair tennis match.
November 13, 2017: Saying Goodbye To Suits
After playing Rachel Zane on the hit series Suits since 2011, Meghan reportedly quit the show. Of course, the news led to even more speculation of an impending move across the pond followed by an engagement.
November 21, 2017: Royal Roommates
Engagement rumors reached a fever pitch as People reported that, "Markle will live with Harry at his two-bedroom Nottingham Cottage in the grounds of Kensington Palace, where staff already know Markle."
November 27, 2017: Engaged!
It's official! Kensington Palace confirmed that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry were engaged. "His Royal Highness and Ms. Markle became engaged in London earlier this month,” Clarence House said in a statement. The romantic moment occurred when the couple was cooking a quiet dinner at home—proof that the engagement chicken works!
December 21, 2017: The Official Portrait
The couple commissioned New York-based fashion photographer Alexi Lubomirski to take the engagement photos at Frogmore House in Windsor. Meghan's sheer Ralph & Russo ballgown caused some serious controversy among those claiming the nude top wasn't appropriate for the soon-to-be royal. However, we can't image the actress wearing anything else!
December 25, 2017: A Very Royal Christmas
As a soon-to-be official member of the royal family, Meghan spent her first Christmas with Prince Harry and the Queen. "The family loved having her there," Harry revealed shortly after the holiday.
March 14, 2018: A Stamp Of Approval
While most have to gain parental permission to wed their S.O., Prince Harry had an extra person to please before he walked down the aisle. Luckily, the Queen officially expressed her wedding well wishes in a letter to the advisors of the Privy Council, giving Meghan and Harry the go-ahead!
May 19, 2018: The Royal Wedding
During one of the most-anticipated weddings of this generation, Meghan and Harry said "I do" in front of 600 hundred guests (and millions of television viewers) at Windsor Castle's St. George's Chapel. The bride commissioned Givenchy's Clare Waight Keller to design her simple boatneck gown. Several of Meghan's former Suits castmates witnessed the nuptials and Idris Elba even DJ'ed the reception at Frogmore House. In August 2020, it was revealed that the newlyweds chose “I’m in Love” by Wilson Pickett for their first dance of the evening.
October 15, 2018: They're Expecting!
One fall Monday, Harry and Meghan shocked the world when they announced they were expecting! Kensington Palace confirmed the news in a statement writing, “Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are very pleased to announce that The Duchess of Sussex is expecting a baby in the Spring of 2019. Their Royal Highnesses have appreciated all of the support they have received from people around the world since their wedding in May and are delighted to be able to share this happy news with the public.”
October 16, 2018: A Tour Down Under
The day after the couple announced their pregnancy news, they jetted off on their first official tour as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. They visited Australia, Fiji, the Kingdom of Tonga, and New Zealand, a trip that coincided with Prince Harry's Paralympic competition, Invictus Games, which was held in Sydney that year.
February 19, 2019: Stateside Baby Shower
In February, the Duchess made a surprise visit to New York City to celebrate her pregnancy with friends. The star-studded event, which was reportedly hosted and paid for by Serena Williams, was held in the Mark Hotel's penthouse suite—the most expensive hotel room in America! Guests like Amal Clooney, Gayle King, Abigail Spencer, Jessica Mulroney and Misha Nonoo participated in a flower arranging class and enjoyed a "dessert-tasting experience" by world-renowned chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten.
April 2, 2019: @SussexRoyal
A month following their formal split from Kensington Palace, an account now dedicated to solely Prince William and Kate Middleton, Harry and Meghan created an official Instagram account, Sussex Royal. Their post featured a carousel of images, the first being their official monogram—a design that blends the first letters of Harry and Meghan's names into one elegant icon, topped with a coronet and “Official Instagram for their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Sussex” written beneath it.
May 6, 2019: Introducing Baby Archie
Meghan and Harry welcomed the littlest royal family member a few weeks shy of their first anniversary. Two days later they announced his name: Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. While an unexpected name, royal reporter Emily Andrews says the couple picked it because they just liked it!
July 6, 2019: Archie's Private Christening
The proud new parents chose to keep their son's christening quite private. However, since christenings are very important to royals, the couple shared two official photos from the ceremony at Windsor Castle.
July 14, 2019: Lion King Premiere In London
For the first red carpet moment together, Meghan and Harry attended The Lion King premiere in London in support of their conservation efforts in Africa. While there, the royals rubbed elbows with the movie's cast including Beyoncé and her husband Jay-Z. In a video taken by royal commentator Rebecca English, Beyoncé told Meghan, "The baby is so beautiful, we love you guys." Queens meeting queens—absolutely iconic!
September 25, 2019: Bringing Archie To Africa
Prince Harry and Meghan took their first official tour as a family of three to Africa this fall. During the 10-day visit, the couple introduced their son to a very important man—Desmond Tutu! The photos revealed just how adorable Archie is and how loving the new parents are.
January 8, 2020: A Shocking Relationship Decision
On January 8, 2020 the couple revealed via Instagram that they will be stepping down as senior members of the Royal Family and will work to become "financially independent." They also shared that they will be splitting their time between the United Kingdom and North America. "This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity," they wrote.
July 2020: The Sussexes Move to Santa Barbara
After a few months of living in Tyler Perry's Beverly Hills mansion, the Duke and Duchess made their California residency official and purchased a home in Santa Barbara—about 100 miles north of Los Angeles. "The Duke and Duchess of Sussex moved into their family home in July of this year," a rep for the couple told People in August. "They have settled into the quiet privacy of their community since their arrival and hope that this will be respected for their neighbors, as well as for them as a family."
September 2, 2020: The Newest Stars of Netflix
Meghan is going back to her Hollywood roots! The Duke and Duchess founded a production company and landed a multi-year deal with Netflix, according to The New York Times. The news means Meghan and Harry will be creating documentaries, docu-series, feature films, scripted shows and children’s programming for the streaming company. "Our focus will be on creating content that informs but also gives hope,” the couple said in a statement. “As new parents, making inspirational family programming is also important to us.”
September 8, 2020: Finally Financially Independent
Nine months after stepping down as senior royals, the Sussexes finally achieved their goal of financial independence. The couple paid off the taxpayer-funded renovation costs of their former Frogmore Cottage home in Windsor (a feat that cost $3 million) and no longer rely on financial assistance from Prince Charles (who was helping with living costs since the pair's move in March, per People.
November 25, 2020: Mourning the Loss of a Second Child
In November Meghan wrote a deeply personal essay for The New York Times in which she shared details of a miscarriage she suffered in July 2020. “I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second,” Meghan wrote in the heartbreaking essay. In the roughly 1,000 word piece, the Duchess used her pain to shed light on the "taboo" that still exists about experiencing such a loss: “In the pain of our loss, my husband and I discovered that in a room of 100 women, 10 to 20 of them will have suffered from miscarriage. Yet despite the staggering commonality of this pain, the conversation remains taboo, riddled with (unwarranted) shame, and perpetuating a cycle of solitary mourning."
December 15, 2020: Officially Spotify Podcasters
First Netflix, and now Spotify—the Duke and Duchess of Sussex inked a multi-year partnership with the streaming service that includes a plan to host and produce podcasts that uplift and entertain audiences. The joint venture kicks off later this month with a holiday special hosted by the couple that couldn't come any sooner. Spotify-owned studio Gimlet will produce the show in partnership with Archewell Audio.
"What we love about podcasting is that it reminds all of us to take a moment and to really listen, to connect to one another without distraction," Harry and Meghan said in a statement. "With the challenges of 2020, there has never been a more important time to do so, because when we hear each other, and hear each other’s stories, we are reminded of how interconnected we all are."