It's been just a few months — but with many milestones
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have only been dating a few short months, but they’ve already reached a number of OMG-worthy relationship milestones — from matching jewelry to headline-making statements.
1. A secret beginning.
Before Harry’s Orlando Invictus Games in May, he stopped over in Toronto — where Markle films her hit show Suits — to make a special announcement. Within weeks, the actress was posting curious snaps on her Instagram, including photos of her favorite flower with the hashtag #spoiledrotten and frequent visits to London.
2. Going public.
When you’re dating a royal, it’s only a matter of time before your relationship becomes public. For Markle and Harry, that time came in late October, when their relationship was confirmed. A friend told PEOPLE that it was still “early days” between the couple.
3. “His and hers” jewelry
Markle posted a snap over the summer on Instagram wearing a blue beaded bracelet — one that looked very similar to the bracelets we’ve seen Harry wear in the past. The royal reportedly picked up the bracelet during one of his trips to Africa — and the gift has rarely left the actress’s wrist!
4. Meeting the father.
Things are moving so quickly that Harry has already introduced Markle to his father (and the future king of England), Prince Charles, PEOPLE learned. According to a friend, “Harry is pretty serious about her and she is pretty serious about him.”
4. A public declaration.
In November, Harry slammed what he called the racist and sexist abuse Markle has endured since their relationship was made public. Releasing the groundbreaking statement that not only confirmed the relationship, but condemned the treatment of Markle.
“The past week has seen a line crossed,” the statement read. “His girlfriend, Meghan Markle, has been subject to a wave of abuse and harassment. 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.”
5. Making a home-cooked meal.
An undeniable perk of dating a prince? Dinner at the palace! On November 11, Markle was spotted outside Kensington Palace with a bag of groceries from Whole Foods. And judging by all the delicious recipes on her lifestyle site, The Tig, she has several dishes to try on her royal boyfriend!
7. Fielding awkward jokes.
During his two-week visit to the Caribbean, Harry had a cringeworthy encounter with the Prime Minister of Antigua, who told the prince at an event (and in front of a crowd) that he and Markle should consider the island as a honeymoon destination. “I am told that there may be a new princess and I just want to say that should you make the decision to honeymoon – then Antigua and Barbuda want to welcome you,” he said. Harry visibly winced!
8. Impromptu rendezvous.
In a long-distance relationship, you’ve got to do what you can to make things work. For Harry, that was making a secret detour to Canada to see Markle right after his Caribbean tour wrapped. The trip raised a few eyebrows, as Harry was expected to return to London straight from the Caribbean.
9. Wearing his initials.
While Harry confirmed their relationship with his public plea, Markle made a statement of her own in early December when she wore a necklace with “M” and “H” charms while running errands in Toronto.
10. Buying their first Christmas tree together.
Markle and Harry have been celebrating the festive season together in London. On December 12, the couple stopped at the Pines and Needles store to pick up a 6-foot fir Christmas tree. “It was totally clear that they were a couple,” Zaqia Crawford, who sold the couple the tree, told PEOPLE. “It wasn’t overly affectionate or anything like that — they were just doing cute, couple-y stuff, like making each other laugh and being excited. Just lots of touching and laughing. They were just like any other couple.”
Well, except for the fact that they brought the tree home to a palace afterwards!
11. Their first public photo op.
Based on Markle’s active Instagram profile, she and Harry are surely taking a selfie or two on their own time, but they hadn’t been captured together in public — until now.
The two were snapped wearing matching beanies walking along Piccadilly and Shaftesbury Avenue in the heart of Central London, after seeing the play The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time on the West End, PEOPLE confirmed.