A Timeline Of Prince Harry + Meghan Markle's Relationship
Editor's Note: Meghan Markle deleted her social media accounts in January 2018. Some of the embedded photos in this story will no longer appear.
Oct. 31, 2016:
The Sunday Express reports that Prince Harry has been secretly dating Suits star Meghan Markle. According to one source, Harry is "happier than he's been for many years" and "there’s definitely chemistry between them." Meghan’s Instagram becomes the destination for royal enthusiasts, who note the timing of this photo of two bananas spooning.
Nov. 1, 2016:
Canadian paper the Vancouver Sun publishes a Q&A with Meghan promoting her collection for retailer Reitmans. The piece is mostly about the collection, her charity work with World Vision, and her holiday plans. She makes no mention of Harry but offers this cryptic quote, "So, my cup runneth over and I'm the luckiest girl in the world!"
Both Toronto paper Star and Us Weekly report that Harry and Meghan attended a Halloween party together in Canada following a "bait-and-switch" situation at Heathrow airport. (Meghan lives in Toronto when Suits is filming). People, meanwhile, reports that Harry has already introduced his new girlfriend to his father, Prince Charles. According to one source, "Harry is pretty serious about her and she is pretty serious about him."
Nov. 8, 2016:
Harry confirms his relationship by releasing a rare statement that includes a plea to the media and social media trolls to stop the "wave of abuse and harassment."According to Harry, there have been "nightly legal battles" to stop papers from publishing defamatory stories while Meghan’s mother has been fighting photographers at front door.
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.
Nov. 18, 2016:
Meghan posts this Mahatma Gandhi quote to her Instagram, leading many to view it as her first official response to Harry's statement on their relationship.
Nov. 21, 2016:
During an official visit to Antigua, Prime Minister Gaston Browne teases Harry, "I believe we are expecting a new princess soon. I want know that you are very welcome to come on your honeymoon here…there will be nowhere in the world as special to spend your honeymoon, when that day arrives." Sources tell Us Weekly Harry was "clearly embarrassed" and even "went bright red." Oh, Harry.
Nov. 27, 2016:
Following reports that Prince William was unhappy with Harry’s decision to go public with his relationship, Will releases a statement through Kensington Palace to clear the air: "The Duke of Cambridge absolutely understands the situation concerning privacy and supports the need for Prince Harry to support those closest to him."
Dec. 7, 2016:
While at a flower shop in Toronto, Meghan is pictured wearing a necklace with the letters "M" and "H." According to Entertainment Tonight, the 14K gold Maya Brenner Asymmetrical Letter necklace is $240, with an additional $60 for each letter.
Dec. 14, 2016:
Google confirms that Meghan was the most-searched actress of 2016, with Brad Pitt taking top spot for actors. That same day, Meghan and Harry are spotted holding hands in public for the first time after catching The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime on London’s West End. The Sun reports that the couple, who wore his-and-hers beanies, admired Christmas lights along Piccadilly. The day before, Meghan and Harry were spotted picking out a 6-foot Christmas tree together.
Dec. 20, 2016:
Us Weekly reports that Queen Elizabeth II is "fully supportive" of Harry's relationship with Meghan. According to one source, the Queen is "delighted to see Harry in a loving relationship."
Jan. 4, 2017:
The Daily Mail reports that Harry and Meghan’s father met around six months ago. According to Meghan’s half-brother Thomas Markle Jr., their dad knew about the relationship from the start. "He's pretty happy about Harry and he's extremely proud of her," according to Thomas. "They have an amazing relationship, they're very close and they've always been."
Jan. 6, 2017:
Meghan and Harry embark on their first official vacation together after spending New Year's in London. Us Weekly reports that the couple jetted off to the Norwegian fjords to catch the Northern Lights, staying with Harry's close friend, expedition guide and polar consultant Inge Solheim at his luxury property in Tromsø. According to a source at The Sun, Harry "put a lot of thought into it and wanted to make it as romantic and special as possible."
Jan. 15, 2017:
Harry introduces Meghan to Kate Middleton and Princess Charlotte, a source tells Us Weekly. The meeting "went well" and took place at Apartment 1A at Kensington Palace earlier in the month. No word on where Charlotte's brother George was that day.
Feb. 2, 2017:
Meghan and Harry are spotted holding hands in London after dinner at the exclusive Soho House, where they reportedly first met last June through mutual friend Markus Anderson, a consultant at the private members' club. Sources tell The Sun that the actress, who is currently on a break from filming Suits, has "virtually moved in" with Harry at his cottage in Kensington Palace. One friend predicts a spring engagement: "I know that sounds a bit crazily soon, but he’s head over heels and they can’t bear to be apart."
Feb. 12, 2017
Meghan returns to Instagram after a two-month break to post an inspiring quote about #NoBadEnergy. Note her stylish kitty flats.
March 4, 2017
Meghan joins Harry at a friend's wedding in Montego Bay, Jamaica. According to People, Meghan wore a long floral dress and sunglasses while Harry served as one of 14 ushers in a navy blue blazer and pants.
April 7, 2017
In an announcement and final post, Meghan's lifestyle website The Tig shuts down after nearly three years. "What began as a passion project (my little engine that could) evolved into an amazing community of inspiration, support, fun, and frivolity. You've made my days brighter and filled this experience with so much joy. Keep finding those Tig moments of discovery, keep laughing and taking risks, and keep being 'the change you wish to see in the world.'"
Despite speculations that this is a sign Meghan and Harry will soon tie the knot, a source tells People that the actress’s decision to close the site is related to her filming schedule for Suits and her humanitarian work. “The Tig has been a labor of love for Meghan, but it’s a full time job," says the source.
April 13, 2017
Harry secretly flies to Toronto to spend Easter weekend with Meghan, according to photos obtained by E! News. The site reports that Harry arrived with a large duffel bag and sported a baseball hat to hide his face outside Meghan's building.
April 14, 2017
TMZ publishes photos of Meghan wearing a new ring on her left index finger while out in Toronto. The ring contains one important detail: the initial "H."
May 7, 2017
Meghan and Harry share their first public kiss following Harry's participation in the annual Audi Polo Challenge in Ascot, England. The smooch happened outside the polo fields on a parking lot. That same weekend, Meghan was seen cheering on the prince from the sidelines in a stylish navy blue dress and white blazer combo.
May 20, 2017
Meghan is Harry's date at Pippa's wedding reception, held at the Middletons' $8 million estate in Bucklebury. According to E! News, Meghan's absence from the ceremony was per royal protocol to ensure royals like Harry don't upstage civilian events. Following the ceremony, Harry reportedly drove straight to Kensington Palace, where Meghan had been staying for a few days, to pick up his date. FYI, church door-to-palace, it's about a three-hour roundtrip drive, so it must be ~love.
June 12, 2017
Meghan "smiles" after being asked about Prince Harry and marriage while promoting the latest season of Suits at the 2017 ATX Television Festival in Austin, ABC News reports. Sitting with her cast, Meghan participated in a table read and stayed on topic for her entire appearance.
June 19, 2017
The Daily Mail reports that Harry has given Meghan a gold ring—for her thumb. According to one source, Harry gave the ring about six weeks ago and Meghan has "happily" informed people on the set of Suits that it indeed is from the royal and that it's actually too big for her thumb. The ring is the latest piece of jewelry Harry has given his lady, joining a collection that includes a blue and white bracelet (which matches his own), a Cartier Love bracelet, a Maya Brenner necklace with the initials "M" and "H," and a gold arrow ring.
Aug. 23, 2017
Us Weekly reports that Harry might have proposed to Meghan during their three-week stay in Botswana for her 36th birthday. One source notes that Harry wanted to "associate August with something joyful," referring to the anniversary of Princess Diana's death. Harry first visited Botswana 20 years ago shortly after Diana died and earlier this year, described the country as one "where I feel like myself than anywhere else in the world."
Sept. 5, 2017
Speaking to Vanity Fair in a rare interview, Meghan opens up about being "really happy and in love" with Harry. She also confirms that they met in July 2016 and managed to date under the radar for a few months before the press caught on.
I can tell you that at the end of the day I think it's really simple. We're two people who are really happy and in love. We were very quietly dating for about six months before it became news, and I was working during that whole time, and the only thing that changed was people'S perception. Nothing about me changed. I'm still the same person that I am, and I've never defined myself by my relationship.
In the same interview, Meghan also says that "there will be a time" when they come forward and share more of their life together with the public, but for now, they want to keep things as private as possible. "This is for us. It's part of what makes it so special, that it's just ours. But we're happy. Personally, I love a great love story."
September 24, 2017
Meghan and Harry make their first public appearance together at an official royal event except for one minor detail: they sit 18 seats apart due to royal protocol. Still, Meghan was spotted cheering on her beau as he joined Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in opening the annual Invictus Games in Toronto, where the actress lives and films her show Suits. For the occasion, Meghan wore a burgundy Aritzia dress with a matching Mackage moto jacket.
September 25, 2017
Meghan and Harry sit together for a Wheelchair Tennis event at the Invicitus Games. The pictures are everything.
November 27, 2017
Prince Charles announces the engagement of Meghan and Harry, who will wed in Spring 2018.
In a statement, Clarence House confirmed that Harry proposed in London in early November after receiving a blessing from Meghan's parents. The Queen and close members of the royal family were also informed. According to the announcement, Meghan and Harry will reside at Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace—just a 20 minute drive from Buckingham Palace, in case the Queen ever wants to drop by for tea.
Harry's family release separate statements congratulating the couple on their engagement, along with Meghan's parents.
Before the day wraps, Harry and Meghan briefly meet with press at Kensington Palace Gardens to pose for photos.
According to PEOPLE, Harry proposed with a three-stone diamond ring he designed with British jewelers Cleave and Company. The center stone is from Botswana while the two side stones are from Princess Diana's personal collection.
In their first joint interview since announcing their engagement, Harry and Meghan reveal to the BBC's Mishal Husain that the surprise proposal happened over a typical roast chicken dinner at their cottage.
Other highlights of the interview include Harry describing their first major trip as a couple to Botswana, Meghan's reaction to the media attention surrounding her ethnicity, plans to start a family, and Meghan's relationship with the Queen's corgis. Of how he thinks his late mother, Princess Diana, would react to the engagement and Meghan, Harry says, "I think they'd be thick as thieves. She would be over the moon, jumping up and down, so excited for me... It's days like today when I really miss having her around and miss being able to share the happy news. With the ring, I’m sure she’s with us, jumping up and down somewhere else."
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This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.