Meghan Markle's love story is a real-life fairy tale — 20 years in the making!

Meghan Markle’s love story is a real-life fairy tale — 20 years in the making!

An unearthed photo of a then 15-year-old Meghan shows the future royal posing outside of Buckingham Palace in the summer of 1996.

The teen tourist, who was born and raised in Los Angeles, could have only dreamed that two decades later, she’d be welcomed into the royal family as Prince Harry’s bride-to-be.

Taken during a European summer trip, Meghan, dressed in a simple black dress and carrying a large purse (not unlike the one she wore during her first royal outing!), flashes a modest smile in the photo as she sits atop a railing outside the palace with childhood friend Ninaki Priddy.

Meghan doesn’t have to stand behind the palace railings any longer. After meeting Prince Harry on a blind date in July 2016, she quickly won the royal’s heart and the two just wed at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle in May 2018.

Announcement Of Prince Harry's Engagement To Meghan Markle
Credit: Samir Hussein/WireImage

And she has made her new home alongside Prince Harry at their cozy cottage on the grounds of another royal abode: Kensington Palace.

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Kensington Palace
Credit: PA Images/Getty; Inset: Samir Hussein/WireImage

“They are blissfully happy together and have been since the very beginning,” a source tells PEOPLE. “There really are no two people as made for each other as they are. They share such a passion for philanthropy and helping others— that really was the bond that made everything click.”