Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s relationship is one for the history books. So how did the fairytale get started?
The 36-year-old actress and 33-year-old royal met in May 2016 through mutual friends. After dating for a few months, Harry was forced to confirm that the Suits star was indeed his girlfriend after Markle’s privacy was invaded by members of the press.
Markle has apparently impressed several members of the royal family including Harry’s father, Prince Charles, and sister-in-law, the Duchess of Cambridge.
She appeared to be getting ready for royal life rather quickly after shuttering her lifestyle blog and drastically reducing her social media presence before quitting her role.
After making their public debut at September’s Invictus Games, the couple have finally announced their engagement with a royal wedding taking place in spring 2018.
Here’s a complete timeline of their year-long relationship.
The couple met in May 2016 in Markle’s hometown of Toronto. Harry was there promoting the 2016 Invictus Games, meeting the 36-year-old actress through friends. (Photo: Getty Images)
In November, Harry was forced to issue a statement confirming that the Suits star was his girlfriend and telling the media to back off. Markle along with her family and friends had been hounded by the press since the dating rumors began. (Photo: Getty Images)
Shortly after, Markle’s reported to have met Prince Charles as well as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Kate was said to be “thrilled” with Harry’s choice and vowed to help Markle enter one of the most unique families on earth. (Photo: Getty Images)
The couple was first spotted in public together in London. According to local salespeople, Harry and Markle visited a Christmas tree stall in Battersea Park, walking away with a six-foot Nordmann Fir. (Photo: Getty Images)
The couple was officially photographed for the first time in February, after having a dinner date at London’s Soho House. Harry held Markle’s hand as the duo was swarmed by waiting paparazzi.
The prince introduced Markle to all of his friends while attending the wedding of Tom Inskip and Lara Hughes-Young in Jamaica. The pair was spotted eating and drinking together with the actress wearing a gorgeous Erdem gown. (Photo: FameFlynet)
As with most royal couples, things remained quiet for the next few months. In April 2017, Markle shuttered her lifestyle blog, The Tig, prompting rumors that she was preparing for real royal life. She also stopped posting on Instagram around the same time. (Photo: The Tig)
In May, the Duchess of Cambridge’s sister Pippa Middleton married James Matthews. Plenty of royals were in attendance including Prince Harry. Although Markle didn’t show up to the ceremony, a source said she was at the evening reception wearing a maroon backless dress. Unfortunately, no pictures were taken. (Photo: Getty Images)
Harry was spotted giving his girlfriend a kiss after taking part in the Audi Polo Challenge in May. With Markle supporting her partner on the sidelines, it was the first time the pair were seen in public together. (Photo: Rex)
In late August, Prince Harry took Meghan away to the Meno a Kwena safari lodge in Botswana for a three-week romantic stay. The royal has visited the camp several times over the years. (Photo: Meno a Kwena)
Outrage ensued when Markle appeared on the cover of Vanity Fair, opening up about her relationship publicly for the very first time. “We’re a couple. We’re in love. I’m sure there will be a time when we will have to come forward and present ourselves and have stories to tell, but I hope what people will understand is that this is our time. This is for us,” she told the magazine. (Photo: Vanity Fair)
Both Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were in attendance at the opening ceremony of the 2017 Invictus Games. But royal fans were disappointed to see the couple sitting apart. Protocol dictated that as an unofficial member of the royal family, Markle couldn’t sit in the VIP section with Harry and was left to sit next to First Lady Melania Trump instead. (Photo: Getty Images)
The wait was over. Prince Harry and Markle finally made their first appearance together at the Invictus Games in Toronto. Aptly wearing a shirt called ‘The Husband,’ the actress was pictured smiling and laughing next to her royal partner. (Photo: Getty Images)
The couple were spotted leaving the match hand-in-hand. (Photo: Getty Images)
The Prince and Markle made another appearance at the Invictus Games alongside Markle’s mother Doria. The trio sat in the royal box at the closing ceremony with Harry giving his girlfriend a kiss on the cheek. (Photo: Getty Images)
With removal vans being spotted outside of Markle’s Toronto home and her appearance doing a bit of shopping on London’s King’s Road, an engagement announcement seemed imminent. (Photo: Getty/The Mega Agency)
The couple announced their long awaited engagement with Kensington Palace saying that the wedding will take place in spring 2018. (Photo: Getty Images)