How Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s love story began in the least royal way imaginable

Now it's one of the most famous royal romances ever.
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When the world found out that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry were in a relationship, it sounded almost too good to be true.

Everyone’s favourite charming, lovable red-headed royal had matched with a stunning Hollywood star, and thus, fairytales suddenly seemed very real.

So where did this magical union begin, you ask?

Well, it all started in the least royal way imaginable, as Harry and Meghan met on Instagram – of all places! The couple explained their origin story in their December 2022 Netflix documentary, Meghan & Harry.

“I was scrolling through my feed, and someone who was a friend had this video of the two of them, it was like a Snapchat,” Harry said.

The Duchess then explained it was a Snapchat filter in the footage, saying: “That whole thing, the dog ears. That’s what he saw of me.”

“That was the first thing,” Harry confirmed. “I was like, ‘Who is that?'”

But no matter who was behind it, the result was glorious – from day dot the couple have charmed the masses with their adoring looks and ample hand-holding, not to mention their stunning good looks.

From romance to royalty, this couple have always stood by each other; even when they decided to step back from their senior royal roles in 2020.

Though their time as senior working royals didn’t last, the love between the Duke and Duchess of Sussex certainly has and now they share two beautiful children together.

And the pair proved their love was stronger than anything as they stepped out to attend the Foundation Women of Vision Awards: Celebrating Generations of Progress and Power on May 16, 2023. While the couple may be at odds with the British royal family, they remain strong with Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, who also attended the event.

For a love story better than fiction, grab yourself a cuppa and get comfortable; this is Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s complete relationship timeline.


Mid-2016: Blind date

A ginger royal and a striking brunette walk into a bar… and the rest was history – quite literally. After being set up on a blind date with Harry, Meghan said there was an instant connection.


A few weeks later: Harry invites Meghan to Africa

Mere weeks after meeting, Harry reportedly took the plunge and went all out for his new flame, inviting Meghan to accompany him to Botswana, where they camped out together “under the stars,” Harry revealed to the BBC – how romantic!


Late 2016: matching bracelets

The couple had done well to keep things under wraps thus far, but by October 2016, the rumour mill was in full swing with many speculating that we had a new royal pairing on our hands. Eagle-eyed fans even spotted the royals sporting matching bracelets – a classic couple move that all but confirmed things!


November 2016: Harry issues a rare statement for Meghan’s safety

As speculation and rumours spread that the couple were courting, the media scrutiny intensified ten-fold. In fact, the pair were under such a magnifying glass that Prince Harry took it upon himself to issue a statement via Kensington Palace to defend Meghan’s safety.

“Prince Harry is worried about Ms. Markle’s safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her,” the statement read.

“He knows that it is unusual to issue a statement like this, but hopes that fair-minded people will understand why he has felt it necessary to speak publically.”


December 2016: First pictures of the couple together emerge

It was the moment we’d all been waiting for – Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were pictured together as they strolled to a show in London’s West End. To add to the romance, the pair were hand-in-hand as they walked along Piccadilly surrounded by Christmas lights – swoon!


January 2017: Meghan meets the extended family

After reports of her first meeting with father-in-law-to-be King Charles in November 2016, Meghan was then introduced Harry’s elder brother Prince William and wife Princess Catherine two months later – a big step for the new couple!


February 2017: The relationship between Meghan Markle and Prince Harry continues to grow

2017 was off to a running start for these two, with the pair being spotted together on a date in London at the beginning of February. Over the next few months, various reports of the pair’s outings surfaced. With each, the world rejoiced.


May 2017: A smooch at the Polo

By May, things were well and truly serious – and candid snaps of the pair sharing a peck at the Polo was enough to send royal fans into frenzy – we’ve got the real deal here, folks!


August 2017: Another trip to Africa

The couple returned to Africa a year after their initial visit as a new couple. They reportedly spent three weeks there visiting Botswana and Victoria Falls – how dreamy!


September 2017: Meghan’s declaration of love

In an unprecedented move, Meghan Markle opened up about her relationship with Prince Harry in a candid interview with Vanity Fair, saying, “We’re a couple. We’re in love. I’m sure there will be a time when we will have to come forward and present ourselves and have stories to tell, but I hope what people will understand is that this is our time.”


September 2017: Meghan and Harry go public

Finally and at long last, Ms Meghan Markle and Prince Harry went completely public with their relationship when they were snapped happily together at the 2017 Invictus Games.


November 2017: The engagement announcement

And then it happened. The engagement announcement that swept the world and our hearts in one collective breath. Their photo call at the The Sunken Gardens in Kensington Palace was all the proof we needed that this couple are for keeps.


December 2017: Meghan attends Christmas with the royals

Just like that, she was part of the family! Meghan was snapped at the Christmas Day service at Sandringham shortly after her and Harry’s big announcement.


Early 2018: Meghan and Harry tackle royal walkabouts together

As a royal, a public walkabout is part and parcel – and over the first few months of 2018, Meghan became well-acquainted with them as she and Harry made several official appearances across Britain.


Early 2018: The cute moments continue…

It seems the pair couldn’t help but show their affection for each other – and snaps like these proved it.


May 2018: The Royal Wedding

And so it was! Meghan and Harry officially tied the knot at St George’s Chapel, Windsor on May 19, 2018 and the world watched on (with barely a dry eye in the house, might we add).


July 2018: A kiss at the Polo

Ah, newlywed bliss… The royal couple shared a sweet smooch at the Polo shortly after their royal wedding, and pure glee would be an accurate description of the reactions it was met with.


October 2018: Baby on board!

What could be better than a royal wedding? A baby announcement, it seems! Mere hours after touching down in Australia to commence their royal tour Down Under, Meghan and Harry announced that they were expecting a baby together – what a time to be alive!


October 2018: A royal tour clad with PDAs

After announcing they were expecting their first child together, the couple couldn’t have looked more excited (or more smitten!). A wholesome day at Syndey’s Bondi beach was case in point – they couldn’t take their eyes off each other.

meghan markle prince harry relationship


February 2019: Royal tour of Morocco

The Sussexes commenced a three day tour of Morocco in early 2019, and in true Meghan-and-Harry fashion, the affectionate moments continued in full-force.

meghan markle prince harry relationship


March 2019: An on-stage PDA

In a surprise moment, a heavily pregnant Meghan was pulled on-stage by her doting husband during a WE Day celebration at Wembly Stadium, and we couldn’t take our eyes off the loved-up pair!

meghan markle prince harry relationship


March 2019: The eve of parenthood

With Meghan only weeks away from giving birth, the royal couple put on a classic display of affection while attending Commonwealth Day celebrations in London. Little more than a month later, a VERY exciting new chapter began for the pair…

meghan markle prince harry relationship


May 2019: Birth of Meghan and Harry’s son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor

On May 6, the world delighted when Meghan and Harry officially welcomed a brand new addition to their family – baby Archie. Besotted with his wife and son, Prince Harry gushed to media in the hours following, stating that Archie was “absolutely to die for”.

We couldn’t help but agree! Just two days later, we clapped eyes on the gorgeous little newborn for the first time, and it was clear the brand new parents were already nailing parenthood, with Meghan commenting: “It’s magic, it’s pretty amazing. I have the two best guys in the world so I’m really happy.”


January 2020: Meghan and Harry step back

In an announcement that stopped virtually every royal watcher and their dog in their tracks, Meghan and Harry revealed they would be stepping back from their senior roles within the royal family. They made the decision in line with a wish to raise their son away from the public eye, and leave the pressures of their royal roles behind. Shortly after the announcement, the pair moved to Santa Barbara in the United States.


Feburary 2021: Meghan and Harry’s second baby

It was the welcome news they needed after a difficult year. On February 14, Meghan and Harry announced they were expecting their second child – due in the coming summer months. The announcement came with this gorgeous image of the pair in their backyard, snapped by famed photographer and Meghan’s pal, Misan Harriman.

meghan markle prince harry relationship


March 2021: The Oprah Interview

In a televised royal event that will go down in history, the Duke and Duchess shared an interview with Oprah Winfrey where they divulged the details behind their dramatic exit from the royal family, sharing a number of troubling anecdotes and challenges they faced at the hands of their royal roles. The explosive interview was somewhat offset when they also announced the gender of their second baby – a girl!

meghan markle prince harry relationship


June 2021: Birth of Meghan and Harry’s daughter, Lilibet “Lili” Diana Mountbatten-Windsor

In June, the news was confirmed by a spokesperson that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle had welcomed their daughter on June 4.

Lilibet is named after her great-grandmother, the late Queen Elizabeth II, whose nickname was Lilibet, and her middle name, Diana, was chosen to pay tribute to her late grandmother, Princess Diana.

The royal baby was born at the Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, weighing 7 libs 11 oz.

meghan markle prince harry relationship


November 2021: The red dress that broke the internet

The couple left the world’s jaws agape when they made a surprise appearance at the 2021 Salute To Freedom Gala at the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum to mark Remembrance Day known as Veterans Day in the US. Meghan stunned in her crimson Carolina Herrera gown as she walked in hand-in-hand with her prince.

meghan markle prince harry relationship


Christmas 2021: The world meets Lilibet

After months of patiently waiting, royal fans were thrilled to officially meet Lilibet when she appeared in the Sussex’s 2021 Christmas card. The card read: “This year, 2021, we welcomed our daughter, Lilibet, to the world. Archie made us a ‘Mama’ and a ‘Papa’, and Lili made us a family.”

meghan markle prince harry relationship


February 2022: The Duke and Duchess make their award show debut

After years of speculation, Meghan and Harry finally made their award show debut at the NAACP Image Awards. They were collecting the President’s Award in recognition of special achievement and distinguished public service. While on stage, Meghan made a powerful speech about how George Floyd’s tragic death impacted their charity work.

“In the months that followed, as my husband and I spoke with the civil rights community, we committed ourselves and our organisation Archewell to illuminate those who are advancing racial justice and progress,” she said.

meghan markle prince harry relationship


April 2022: The Invictus Games in the Netherlands

Meghan supported Harry at the Invictus Games in the Netherlands for the third time since they made their relationship public. In conversation with People, the Duke was sentimental about the games’ connection to him and his wife.

“The Toronto Games were our first time out and about publicly in an official way. We were dating at the time, so it was a lot to take in, but fortunately, we were with the perfect community for that. Now, five years later, here we are in the Hague at the fifth Invictus Games, as parents of two and living in the U.S,” he said.


June 2022: Back to London

The Duke and Duchess returned to the UK with their children in June 2022 to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee with the extended royal family. Making a rare public appearance for a service of thanksgiving, the pair walked hand-in-hand and looked as smitten as ever.

Harry was dapper in a suit and his military badges, Meghan was a vision in an off-white coat dress and matching hat, with her hair slicked back in a low bun. She accessorised with the same earrings she wore for her first solo engagement as a royal, then again for the 2020 Commonwealth Day service, her final one as a senior royal.


July 2022: Together in the US

Now living in the US with their two childen, Harry and Meghan rarely make public appearances but when they do it’s full of PDA and lingering looks. Arriving at the United Nations General Assembly to mark Nelson Mandela International Day together, photographers caught the couple holding hands and sharing tender touches before Harry gave a moving keynote speech.


September 2022: Together in grief

The couple put on a united front as they held hands while attending the Queen’s funeral in September 2022.

meghan markle prince harry relationship


December 2022: Accepting an award

Harry and Meghan couldn’t stop beaming as they arrived at the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Ripple of Hope Awards Gala in December 2022.

meghan markle prince harry relationship


May 2023: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are clearly still going strong in their relationship

The couple shared a look of love at the Foundation Women of Vision Awards.

meghan markle prince harry relationship

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