A Timeline of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's Relationship
As the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announce plans to step back from royal duties, take a look back at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's romantic journey (from blind dates to babies to meeting Beyoncé)
OCTOBER 20, 2016
OCTOBER 31, 2016
Reports surface that Harry is dating Markle. A royal insider tells PEOPLE that they have been seeing each other for "a couple of months."
NOVEMBER 3, 2016
Markle steps out for the first time in Toronto since her romance with Harry is revealed.
NOVEMBER 8, 2016
Harry confirms he is dating Meghan with an unprecedented public statement. In it, he condemns the sexist and racist abuse she had been subjected to in the days since their relationship was made public. "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. "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."
NOVEMBER 27, 2016
Prince William releases a statement of his own, this one equally unprecedented, refuting reports that he was displeased with Harry's decision to publicly condemn reports about Markle. “The Duke of Cambridge absolutely understands the situation concerning privacy and supports the need for Prince Harry to support those closest to him,” says the statement, which Kensington Palace released to The Telegraph.
Harry makes a detour to Toronto on his way home from his official tour of the Caribbean to see Meghan. During his time in the Caribbean, he looks uncomfortable when the Prime Minister of Antigua announces at a pubic event, "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."
Meghan leaves London after spending the week before Christmas with Harry. Harry, flanked by five Metropolitan police officers, personally accompanied his girlfriend to Heathrow airport to wish her farewell prior to the flight. During her London visit, the couple go Christmas tree shopping together.
For a winter getaway, Meghan and Harry visited Tromvik, Norway, a small, isolated town in the northern region of the country. There, they were able to whale watch and see the Northern Lights, though a local told PEOPLE that the couple was "discreet" during their stay.
MAY 6, 2017
Harry and Meghan are photographed at their first public event together. She watches him play polo in the Audi Polo Challenge at Coworth Park Polo Club in Ascot, England. The couple were also photographed sharing a kiss afterward — the first time they've done so in public.
FEBRUARY 4, 2017
Harry and Meghan are spotted out and about in London after having dinner at the Soho House. Later that month, she returns to Toronto, where she films the USA legal drama Suits, after spending weeks with Harry at his London home, Nottingham Cottage, at Kensington Palace.
MARCH 2, 2017
Meghan and Harry head to Jamaica to attend the wedding of Tom "Skippy" Inskip — one of Harry's closest friends — and Laura Hughes-Young. “Harry and Meghan seem very much in love,” a source tells PEOPLE, adding that Harry spent much of his time introducing Meghan to friends during the “joyful” wedding. At one point, the onlooker says that Harry got up and “did a little dance” for Meghan.
APRIL 16, 2017
Instead of spending the holiday at home in England with the rest of his family, Harry heads to Toronto to spend Easter weekend with Meghan.
MAY 20, 2017
Though she didn't attend the daytime ceremony, Harry brought Meghan as his date to Pippa Middleton's wedding reception.
AUGUST 4, 2017
Harry and Meghan are photographed arriving in Africa for a safari vacation. They arrive on Aug. 4, her 36th birthday. During their three-week visit, they spent time in Botswana and Zambia, at Victoria Falls.
SEPTEMBER 5, 2017
Meghan sits down with Vanity Fair for her first-ever interview about her relationship with Harry. “I can tell you that at the end of the day I think it’s really simple,” she tells the magazine's October 2017 issue. “We’re two people who are really happy and in love."
SEPTEMBER 23, 2017
For the first time, Meghan and Harry make an official public appearance together — sort of. They both attend the opening ceremonies for the 2017 Invictus Games in her adopted hometown of Toronto, Canada, but they don't actually appear at the event side-by-side. Instead, she sits next to mutual friend Markus Anderson, who introduced the couple, and Harry next to First Lady Melania Trump.
SEPTEMBER 25, 2017
Two days later, Harry and Meghan make their first official public apperance together at a wheelchair tennis match at the Invictus Games. The two enter hand in hand, and "seemed at home with each other," said Kylie Lawler, whose husband Kyle was playing in the match.
SEPTEMBER 30, 2017
Meghan and Harry are not only seen together at the closing ceremonies for the Invictus Games, but they're photographed kissing, too. Meghan's mom, Doria Ragland, is seated in the private box with the couple during the event.
It is reported that Harry has brought Meghan to Buckingham Palace to introduce her to his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth. As fifth (soon to be sixth, when Prince William and Princess Kate welcome their third child next year) in line to the throne, Harry must procure the Queen's permission before he marries.
NOVEMBER 27, 2017
Harry and Meghan announced that they are engaged on Monday, Nov. 27, 2017. According to Kensington Palace, the pair got engaged earlier in November and will have a wedding in Spring 2018.
DECEMBER 1, 2017
Less than a week after announcing their engagement, Harry and Meghan got right to work, attending her first official royal engagement in Nottingham, England.
DECEMBER 21, 2017
Harry and Meghan released their official engagement photos a few weeks later. In the shots, snapped by photographer Alexi Lubomirski (who will also serve as their wedding photographer), they looked blissfully happy and in love.
DECEMBER 25, 2017
Just a few days later, Meghan broke royal precedent by celebrating Christmas with Harry's family. (Typically, royal fiancées are not invited to Queen Elizabeth's holiday celebrations, just spouses.) It was also the first time Meghan and Harry were pictured in public with Prince William and Kate Middleton.
MARCH 12, 2018
Following Christmas, Meghan made her first official appearance with Queen Elizabeth for a Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey.
MARCH 23, 2018
Harry and Meghan didn't slow down in the New Year: They had a busy schedule of official engagements and events that took them all over the United Kingdom, from Scotland to Birmingham. Here, they arrive for a surprise visit to Belfast, Northern Ireland in March.
APRIL 21, 2018
MAY 1, 2018
With less than three weeks to go until their wedding, it was revealed that the couple did not have any public duties or outings scheduled on their royal calendar until their big day.
MAY 19, 2018
Harry and Meghan became husband and wife after a stunning ceremony in St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle.
OCT. 14, 2018
Harry and Meghan arrive in Sydney for their first official royal tour as a couple. The tour lasts through Oct. 31, 2018.
OCT. 15, 2018
Just hours after landing in Sydney to begin their first royal tour, Meghan and Harry announce that they are expecting their first child. After the announcement, a source tells PEOPLE that Meghan had just had her 12-week scan and was "feeling well."
MAY 8, 2018
Seven months after announcing they were expecting their first child, new parents Meghan and Harry stepped out to introduce their newborn son Archie to the world.
“It’s magic. It’s pretty amazing. I have the best two guys in the world, so I’m really happy,” Meghan said.
June 8, 2019
The couple makes their joint first public appearance post-Archie at Trooping the Colour, the Queen's annual birthday parade.
July 6, 2019
The couple releases an official photo from Archie's private christening at Windsor Castle.
July 14, 2019
The Sussexes meet Beyoncé at the Lion King premiere in London - an important milestone for any couple.
September 24, 2019
On a royal tour of South Africa, the two displayed some royally surprising PDA as Meghan left an event to go check on Archie.