Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's Eventful Decade: From Their Royal Exit to Baby No. 2 and Beyond

Looking back on how much Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's lives have changed in the last few years as they stepped down from royal duties, relocated to California and became a family of four

01 of 19

Christmas 2019

Archie, Prince Harry
Prince Harry and son Archie. Sussex Royals

Meghan Markle, Prince Harry and an 8-month-old baby Archie celebrated their first Christmas as a family of three in Canada, sharing this adorable snapshot (with a charitable angle!) while looking back at their eventful 2019. Weeks later, they would declare their intent to step back from their roles as senior royals.

02 of 19

Goodbye, Royal Roles

The Duke And Duchess Of Sussex Attend Mountbatten Music Festival
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. Simon Dawson - WPA Pool/Getty Images

The couple made one last royal appearance at the Military Music Festival in London on March 7, 2020, before returning to North America to prep for their late-March move to L.A.

03 of 19

Baby Love

Archie Mountbatten-Windsor 1st birthday
Meghan Markle and Archie. The Duke of Sussex/@SaveChildrenUK

In April, Prince Harry extolled the silver linings of the COVID lockdown: plenty of family time. The couple gave well-wishers a glimpse of that time with a cute video of Meghan reading a book (complete with an Oprah's Book Club sticker — the perks of having famous family friends!) to their newly-minted one-year-old.

04 of 19

Fun to Be One

Meghan Markle; Archie
Meghan Markle reading to Archie. The Duke of Sussex/@SaveChildrenUK

The proud mom shared a smile — and her son's nickname — in the video. The family celebrated with "smash cake and zooms," with cake provided by Meghan and decor by Harry.

05 of 19

Speaking Up

Meghan Markle
Meghan Markle addressing the Immaculate Heart Class of 2020. Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex

The couple made a few Zoom appearances to their patronages in the early months of COVID, but in June, Meghan appeared to give a surprise commencement speech to her alma mater, Immaculate Heart High School in L.A.

In the wake of George Floyd's killing, she gave an emotional speech about the difficult world the students would inherit, saying, "I wasn't sure what I could say to you ... I wanted to say the right thing and I was really nervous that I wouldn't, or that it would get picked apart. And I realized the only wrong thing to say is to say nothing because George Floyd's life mattered and Breonna Taylor's life mattered and Philando Castile's life mattered and Tamir Rice's life mattered, and so did so many other people whose names we know and whose names we do not know."

06 of 19

Rolling Up Their Sleeves

meghan, harry
Homeboy Industries/Twitter

They may have been "just Meghan and Harry" while volunteering in June with Homeboy Industries, which helps formerly incarcerated people deliver meals to food-insecure seniors and youth, but they were also making some major professional moves behind the scenes, signing with a speaking agency that same month.

07 of 19

Settling In

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in a past Zoom call for The Queen's Commonwealth Trust. The Queen's Commonwealth Trust

In August, the couple confirmed that they had moved into their new home in Santa Barbara, about 100 miles north of L.A. On one of his calls, Harry said they felt "unbelievably fortunate" to have the outdoor space for their son.

08 of 19

California Girls

Meghan Markle Gloria Steinem
Meghan Markle and Gloria Steinem. Matt Sayles/Makers Women

In August, Meghan and Gloria Steinem had a backyard chat — chic hats, dog cameos and all — to discuss the importance of voting.

09 of 19

Here to Help

Meghan Markle, Prince Harry
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. Baby2Baby

The couple volunteered their time for several charities, including helping deliver baby supplies for Baby2Baby in August.

10 of 19

Showing Strength

Meghan Markle, Prince Harry
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. Baby2Baby

The couple helped kit kids out with school supplies at the Baby2Baby event. Several months later, Meghan would write an essay for the New York Times revealing that she had experienced a miscarriage just weeks before this appearance.

11 of 19

Digging In

The children of our Preschool Learning Center got a wonderful surprise when The Duke and Duchess of Sussex visited
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Matt Sayles/Assistance League of LA Instagram

In September, the couple marked the 23rd anniversary of his mother Princess Diana's death by planting her favorite flower, forget-me-nots, at an L.A. preschool.

12 of 19

Dynamic Duo

Meghan Markle, Prince Harry
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. ABC

On Voter Registration Day, the couple urged Americans to have their voices heard in the upcoming presidential election.

13 of 19

It's Time

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle shot for the Time 100 event
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Matt Sayles

For the Time 100, the couple posed for an official portrait, shot at their home in California, that recalled their engagement photo.

14 of 19

Family First

Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, Malala Yousafzai
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Malala Fund/Youtube

While speaking with activist Malala Yousafzai about the importance of girls' education for the International Day of the Girl, the couple gave a glimpse into their life at home.

"We were both there for his first steps," Harry said of son Archie. "His first run, his first fall, his first everything."

"In so many ways we are fortunate to be able to have this time to watch him grow, and in the absence of COVID, we would be traveling and working more," Meghan added. "We'd miss a lot of those moments."

15 of 19

Cute Cameo

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. Evening Standard/Twitter

While recording a conversation about structural racism in Britain with the U.K.'s Evening Standard, the couple's pup Guy jumped in for a moment.

16 of 19

Happy Holidays

Meghan Harry Christmas card
The 2020 Sussex family Christmas card. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex

The couple's 2020 Christmas card, an illustration of a photo taken by Meghan's mom Doria Ragland, confirmed that Archie is a redhead like his dad.

17 of 19

Sharing the Love

Harry and Meghan Markle announce pregnancy
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's pregnancy reveal on Feb. 14. Misan Harriman

On Valentine's Day 2020, Meghan and Harry shared the happy news that Archie is going to be a big brother via a romantic black-and-white shot taken remotely via iPad.

18 of 19

Speaking Their Truth

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during their interview with Oprah Winfrey. Joe Pugliese/Harpo Productions

In a March 2021 sit-down interview with Oprah Winfrey watched by more than 17 million people (and later nominated from a 2021 Emmy Award), the couple spoke candidly about the circumstances of their departure from life as working royals, discussed ongoing family tensions, set the record straight about tabloid stories and, most surprisingly, claimed there had been conversations about Archie's skin tone before his birth. Two days later, a 61-word statement issued by the palace on behalf of Queen Elizabeth said that "some recollections may vary."

19 of 19

And Baby Lili Makes Four

The Bench
The Bench by Meghan Markle. Stephanie Petit

The couple welcomed Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor on June 4, 2021. Her name is a tribute to both Queen Elizabeth (Lilibet was a nickname from her childhood used by all of those closest to her) and to Harry's late mother, Princess Diana. Harry had expressed his gratitude previously to Winfrey, saying, "having any child, any one or a two would have been amazing, but to have a boy and then a girl . . . now we've got our family and we've got four of us."

Less than a week after Lili's birth, Meghan's children's book The Bench was released. In the illustrated best-seller, which was originally inspired by a Father's Day poem she wrote for Harry, she included a vision of her newly whole family enjoying a day together at their home in California.

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