Prince Harry and Meghan Markle: Complete Relationship Timeline – Hollywood Life

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle: Complete Relationship Timeline

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's fairy tale love story has seen so much. From great triumphs to personal sorrows to explosive interviews, look back at their romance.

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Prince Harry, Meghan Markle
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  • Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been together since 2016
  • They walked down the aisle in 2018 and have welcomed two children
  • Prince Harry and Meghan notoriously left the British royal family and moved to America
  • They have since released podcasts, Netflix programming, and even a book

It’s no secret that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle‘s exit from the British royal family in 2020 completely changed their relationship. There have been reports of animosity galore — and proof thanks to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex‘s bombshell 2021 interview with  Oprah Winfrey, in which they accused their oral relatives of being racist and ignoring their pleas for mental health counseling. Now, all eyes are on them as the world wonders whether or not they will show face at King Charles III’s coronation in May 2023.

According to a March 2023 report, the pair are expected to see King Charles’ official coronation. “Harry and Meghan are being factored into all of the planning…. the cars, the seating plans, dining arrangements, everything,” an individual close to the royal family revealed to the Daily Mail. “No one knows for certain whether this means they have definitely accepted — it could, of course, be just in case they do — but it’s clearly not a ‘no’.” 

As fans await to see what Meghan, 41, and Harry, 38, decided to do for the coronation, take a look back at their complete relationship timeline.

First Public Date

Meghan Markle, Prince Harry
Prince Harry and his girlfriend Meghan Markle attend the wheelchair tennis competition during the Invictus Games in Toronto (Photo: Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press)

Romance rumors swirled during the summer of 2016 about Harry finding love with an American actress. People put two-and-two together after seeing Suits star Meghan walking around London, despite the fact that production for her hit show was in Toronto, Calif. After lying low for several months and trying to keep their blossoming relationship under wraps, Kensington Palace confirmed their romance on Nov. 8 of that year along with a plea to the media to be kinder to the couple.

“Since he was young, Prince Harry has been very aware of the warmth that has been extended to him by members of the public. He feels lucky to have so many people supporting him and knows what a fortunate and privileged life he leads,” the statement began. The statement went on to say Harry has never been “comfortable” with the world wanting to dissect his private life and is exceptionally concerned with the media’s reaction to his new romance with the actress.

“He has rarely taken formal action on the very regular publication of fictional stories that are written about him and he has worked hard to develop a professional relationship with the media, focused on his work and the issues he cares about,” the statement continued. “But the past week has seen a line crossed. His girlfriend, Meghan Markle, has been subject to a wave of abuse and harassment.”

“Some of this has been very public — the smear on the front page of a national newspaper; the racial undertones of comment pieces; and the outright sexism and racism of social media trolls and web article comments. Some of it has been hidden from the public — the nightly legal battles to keep defamatory stories out of papers; her mother having to struggle past photographers in order to get to her front door; the attempts of reporters and photographers to gain illegal entry to her home and the calls to police that followed; the substantial bribes offered by papers to her ex-boyfriend; the bombardment of nearly every friend, co-worker, and loved one in her life,” the formal statement from the royal family explained.

The statement revealed that Harry was concerned about Meghan’s safety. “He has asked for this statement to be issued in the hopes that those in the press who have been driving this story can pause and reflect before any further damage is done. He knows that it is unusual to issue a statement like this, but hopes that fair-minded people will understand why he has felt it necessary to speak publicly,” the notice continued.

In Sept. 2017, Meghan accompanied Harry to the Invictus Games, the young royal’s philanthropy for veterans he founded in 2014, as seen above.

A Royal Engagement

Prince Harry, Meghan Markle
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at the official photocall announcing their engagement on November 27, 2017 at Kensington Palace (Photo: zz/KGC-55/STAR MAX/IPx 2017)

Just two months after their appearance at the Invictus Games, Meghan and Harry sent hearts aflutter when they, along with Kensington Palace, confirmed that they were engaged! “His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales, is delighted to announce the engagement of Prince Harry to Ms. Meghan Markle,” the official statement read. “The wedding will take place in Spring 2018.”

Meghan and Harry beamed with joy in photos following their engagement. Harry gifted his future bride a stunning ring that included two diamonds from Harry’s mother, Princess Diana‘s, own personal collection. It was a beautiful way to pay tribute to her.

In their first interview following their engagement, the Anti-social actress revealed Harry popped the question while they were “trying to roast a chicken” together. “And it was just—just an amazing surprise, it was so sweet and natural and very romantic. He got on one knee,” she recalled.

Meghan also spoke out on the intense media coverage and criticism she received due to being associated with a royal. “There’s a misconception that because I worked in the entertainment industry this is something I’d be familiar with. I’ve never been part of tabloid culture or pop culture. I lived a relatively quiet life. That was a really stark [change],” she noted. “I think we were hit so hard at the beginning I made the choice not to read anything…we focused all our energies on nurturing our relationship and on us.”

Harry needed his late grandmother Queen Elizabeth‘s permission to marry, per the Royal Marriages Act 1772. It was amended in 2013 to include only up to the sixth in line to the throne for the approval process, and Harry was fifth at the time. On March 15, 2018, Buckingham Palace released the monarch’s approval with the statement, “My Lords, I declare My Consent to a Contract of Matrimony between My Most Dearly Beloved Grandson Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales and Rachel Meghan Markle, which Consent I am causing to be signified under the Great Seal and to be entered in the Books of the Privy Council.”

Meghan’s First Royal Christmas

Meghan Markle, Prince Harry
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attend Christmas church services at St. Mary Magdalene Church on the Sandringham Estate in December 2017 (Photo: KGC-178/STAR MAX/IPx)

Following their engagement, Prince Harry and Meghan stepped right into their royal duties and began making appearances with the rest of the royal family as a couple. In December 2017, Meghan spent her first Christmas with the royals at their Sandringham Estate. The entire family, including Prince Harry’s brother Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton, were all in attendance. Fans even got to see Meghan curtsy Queen Elizabeth publicly for the first time.

Following the holiday, Harry couldn’t help but gush about his bride-to-be and how well she adjusted to royal protocols. “It was fantastic,” the prince shared on the December 27 edition of BBC Radio 4 Today. “She really enjoyed it and the family loved having her there. There’s always that family part of Christmas, and there’s always that work element as well. Together we had an amazing time. We had great fun staying with my brother and sister-in-law and running around with the kids. Christmas was fantastic.”

A Royal Wedding Like No Other

Prince Harry, Meghan Markle
Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex and Meghan Markle, The Duchess of Sussex share a kiss following their wedding ceremony held at St. George’s Chapel on the grounds of Windsor Castle in May 2018 (Photo: zz/KGC-107/STAR MAX/IPx)

Months after celebrating the holidays, it was time for the big day. The United Kingdom was brimming with anticipation over the marriage of Prince Harry and Meghan, and on May 19, the couple exchanged their ‘I dos’ in front of millions. The ceremony was a beautiful blend of royal tradition and Meghan’s African American roots. Upon leaving the ceremony and greeting thousands who came to wish them well, the Prince and Duchess shared a kiss on the steps of St. George’s Chapel on the grounds of Windsor.

Of course, the wedding didn’t go off without any drama. Mrghan’s relationship with her father, Thomas Markle, began to unravel in the weeks leading up to her nuptials after he was caught staging photos of him trying on a suit for paparazzi — after he told her he did no such thing. He suffered a heart attack just days before the wedding and ended up missing it altogether.

Plus, there were rumors that Meghan made Kate cry after being allegedly rude to her about her daughter, Charlotte’s, flower girl dress. Meghan cleared up the air, however, in her and Harry’s 2021 chat with Oprah. “A few days before the wedding, [Kate] was upset about something — the issue was correct, about flower girl dresses — and it made me cry and it really hurt my feelings,” she said, correcting the rumors that flew through the media. “I thought in the context of everything else that was going on those days leading to the wedding that it didn’t make sense to not be … trying to be supportive.”

Meghan & Prince Harry Continue Royal Duties

Meghan Markle, Prince Harry
Meghan The Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex at a reception at Buckingham Palace to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the investiture of Charles The Prince of Wales (Photo: zz/KGC-375/STAR MAX/IPx)

It wasn’t long after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle wed that they announced they were expecting their first child. The news broke in Oct. 2018, just five months after exchanging their vows. But while the couple was excited to begin this new journey, they continued on with their royal duties, attending events and making public appearances. They were often photographed, and fans had the opportunity to see Meghan’s stunning maternity wear, much like her gorgeous ensemble pictured above!

Meghan & Prince Harry Become Parents

Meghan Markle, Prince Harry
Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Meghan The Duchess of Sussex with their baby son, Archie – who was born on May 6, 2019 – at a photocall on May 8, 2019 in St. George’s Hall at Windsor Castle (Photo: zz/KGC-375/STAR MAX/IPx)

Almost exactly one year after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were married, the couple officially became parents! Meghan and Prince Harry welcomed son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor on May 6, 2019. Days later, the happy little family attended a photocall, where Archie got his first brush with the cameras. The sweet baby boy even met his great-grandmother and grandfather, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, along with his grandfather, Prince Harry’s father, Prince Charles.

Meghan and Harry positively gushed about their son. “It’s pretty amazing. I have the two best guys in the world, so I’m really happy,” Meghan shared at the photocall. “He’s just been a dream. It’s been a special couple of days.” Harry even added that becoming a father was “the most amazing experience [he] could ever possibly imagine.”

Meghan & Prince Harry’s Royal Duties Continue

Meghan Markle, Prince Harry
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex during a visit to Auwal Mosque, the oldest mosque in South Africa, on day two of their tour of Africa in September 2019 (Photo: AP Images)

Mere months after welcoming Archie, Meghan and Prince Harry returned to their royal duties by taking a tour of South Africa in late Sept. 2019. The couple even brought along their son, making the trip their first as a family. Four-month-old Archie even got to meet Archbishop Desmond Tutu during the family’s trip to Cape Town!

Meghan and Harry shared a sweet photo of Archie and the Nobel Peace Prize winner, captioning the image, “Arch meets Archie! The Duke and Duchess were honored to introduce their son Archie, to Archbishop, Desmond Tutu and his daughter, Thandeka.” It was a very special moment for the family.

Stepping Back From Royal Duties

Prince Harry, Meghan Markle
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrive at the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey, London, on Commonwealth Day. The service is the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s final official engagement before they quit royal life. Picture date: Monday March 9, 2020 (Photo: AP Images)

Although Meghan and Prince Harry’s life seemed idyllic, the truth couldn’t have been further from assumption. Away from the cameras, Meghan and Harry struggled with the prying media attention and often racist attacks on Meghan from tabloid outlets. As such, the couple announced in January 2020 that they would be taking a step back as senior members of the royal family.

The couple subsequently moved to North America, closer to Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland. It was not a decision Prince Harry took lightly, but it was a choice he made knowing that “there really was no other option,” he said at an event in mid-January. On March 9, 2020, Meghan and Prince Harry made their final appearance as senior members of the royal family by attending Commonwealth Services at Westminster Abbey, which is pictured above.

The Queen released an updated statement in Feb. 2021. “Following conversations with The Duke, The Queen has written confirming that in stepping away from the work of The Royal Family it is not possible to continue with the responsibilities and duties that come with a life of public service,” the statement from Buckingham Palace read. “The honorary military appointments and Royal patronages held by The Duke and Duchess will therefore be returned to Her Majesty before being redistributed among working members of The Royal Family. While all are saddened by their decision, The Duke and Duchess remain much-loved members of the family.”

Meghan and Harry responded with a statement of their own on Feb. 20, 2021. “As evidenced by their work over the past year, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex remain committed to their duty and service to the UK. and around the world, and have offered their continued support to organizations they have represented, regardless of official role,” they said, per AP News. “We can all live a life of service. Service is universal.”

A Personal Loss

Meghan Markle, Prince Harry
Meghan Markle opened up about the miscarriage she experienced in July 2020 in an op-ed published in The New York Times on November 25  (Photo: AP Images)

Months after leaving the United Kingdom and settling in California, Meghan and Harry experienced a loss that so many have dealt with, but too few discuss openly. On Nov. 25, 2020, an op-ed penned by Meghan detailed the miscarriage of her and Harry’s second child that she suffered in July. Meghan recalled changing her son, Archie’s, diaper when she “dropped to the floor” and knew that something was not right.

After courageously detailing how she and Prince Harry reckoned with the “unbearable grief,” Meghan used her words as a way to de-stigmatize what she, and so many others, experience. “Some have bravely shared their stories; they have opened the door, knowing that when one person speaks truth, it gives license for all of us to do the same,” Meghan’s essay read. “We have learned that when people ask how any of us are doing, and when they really listen to the answer, with an open heart and mind, the load of grief often becomes lighter — for all of us. In being invited to share our pain, together we take the first steps toward healing.”

Blessed News

Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Meghan The Duchess of Sussex and their son Archie visit Cape Town, South Africa, in 2019 (AP)

On Valentine’s Day 2021, Meghan and Harry shared the greatest of news: “We can confirm that Archie is going to be a big brother,” the couple said in a statement to HollywoodLife. Months after Meghan penned her Op-Ed about her heartbreaking miscarriage, the couple were “overjoyed” to announce that they were “expecting their second child.” The statement came with a stunning black-and-white photo, taken by Misan Harriman, of Megan lounging with Harry, her head in his lap and her hands cradling her baby bump.

A Powerful Decision

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Attend the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey on Commonwealth Day in  March 2020 (Photo: SplashNews)

A year after Meghan and Harry’s groundbreaking decision to step down from the royal family, the couple confirmed to Her Majesty The Queen that they will not be returning as working members of the royal family, Buckingham Palace said in a Feb. 19 statement.

“Following conversations with The Duke [Harry], The Queen has written confirming that in stepping away from the work of The Royal Family, it is not possible to continue with the responsibilities and duties that come with a life of public service. The honorary military appointments and Royal patronages held by The Duke and Duchess will therefore be returned to Her Majesty before being redistributed among working members of The Royal Family,” the statement said. “While all are saddened by their decision, The Duke and Duchess remain much-loved members of the family.”

“As evidenced by their work over the past year, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex remain committed to their duty and service to the UK and around the world,” a spokesperson for Harry and Megan said to the BBC, “and have offered their continued support to the organizations they have represented regardless of official role. We can all live a life of service. Service is universal.”

The Infamous Interview With Oprah

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle give a ‘no holds barred’ interview to Oprah Winfrey, airing on CBS on March 7. Photo credit: Harpo Productions/Joe Pugliese

CBS aired an exclusive two-hour sit-down interview between Harry, Meghan, and Oprah Winfrey on March 7, 2021, as noted above. During the interview, Harry and Meghan dropped some major bombshells about struggles as working members of the British royal family. Meghan claimed that while she was pregnant with her son Archie, there were “conversations about how dark his skin might be when born.” When Oprah pressed Meghan, who expressed those concerns, the Duchess declined, saying it “would be very damaging to them.” Oprah, on the following Monday’s CBS This Morning, revealed that Harry said it was neither Queen Elizabeth II nor Prince Phillip.

During the interview, the couple revealed that they secretly wed days before their public 2018 royal wedding. Meghan also explained why she felt the need to refute the rumor that she made her sister-in-law, Kate Middleton, cry over an issue regarding Princess Charlotte’s flower-girl dress. “I don’t say that to be disparaging to anyone, because it was a really hard week of the wedding, and she was upset about something. But she owned it, and she apologized, and she brought me flowers and a note apologizing.”

Meghan also revealed that she contemplated suicide due to the stress and pressures of royal life. “I was ashamed to say it at the time and ashamed to have to admit it to Harry. But I knew that if I didn’t say it, then I would do it,” she said. “I just didn’t want to be alive anymore. That was a clear and real and frightening and constant thought.”

During the conversation, Meghan spoke about her falling out with her father, Thomas Markle, after he collaborated with the British tabloids. She and Harry also claimed that Queen Elizabeth II has received some “really bad” advice from senior advisers within the “The Firm,” or the business-side of the British Royal family.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry and King Charles
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have a strained relationship with Harry’s father, King Charles (Photo: Shutterstock)

“I don’t know how they could expect that after all of this time we would still just be silent if there is an active role that The Firm is playing in perpetuating falsehoods about us,” Meghan explained in a promo clip ahead of the interview’s airing, sharing why she and Harry felt the need to speak out. “And if that comes with risk of losing things — I mean, there’s a lot that’s been lost already.”

Harry in a previous teaser hinted that the couple’s move from the U.K. to California was in part due to his late mother Princess Diana’s tragic fate. “By biggest concern was history repeating itself,” Harry said, alluding to his mother and her shocking death. “I’m really relieved and happy to be sitting here, talking to you with my wife by my side because I can’t begin to imagine what it must have been for her going through this process by herself all these years ago,” he added, referring to Diana’s infamous 1995 Panorama interview with Martin Bashir where she openly talked about the pain of estranged husband Prince Charles’ alleged cheating throughout their marriage.

The interview wasn’t all drama and scandal. Meghan, who was pregnant with her second child when giving the interview, revealed that she and Prince Harry were going to have a girl.

Meghan And Harry Become Parents A Second Time

Lilibet “Lili” Diana Mountbatten-Windsor was brought into the world in a Santa Barbara, Calif. hospital in June 2021. “On June 4th, we were blessed with the arrival of our daughter, Lili. She is more than we could have ever imagined, and we remain grateful for the love and prayers we’ve felt from across the globe,” the couple wrote on their Archewell Foundation website. “Thank you for your continued kindness and support during this very special time for our family.”

Lilibet was able to meet history-making Queen Elizabeth before her death and even celebrated her first birthday in London during  the queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

Meghan And Harry’s Business Moves

After setting into a Montecito, Calif. mansion, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle joined the entertainment world together through various ventures. They launched Archewell Productions and Archewell Audio via lucrative partnerships with Netflix and Spotify, respectively. Through their multi-year deal with Netflix, the couple will produce original programming ranging from children’s programming, documentaries, scripted shows, and more.

“Our lives, both independent of each other, and as a couple have allowed us to understand the power of the human spirit: of courage, resilience, and the need for connection. Through our work with diverse communities and their environments, to shining a light on people and causes around the world, our focus will be on creating content that informs but also gives hope,” Harry and Meghan said in a statement in Sept. 2020, per PEOPLE.

The couple released their first podcast together called Archewell Audio in Dec. 2020, but it seems to have been a one-hit recording. Meghan, however, has been hard at work on her podcast, Archetypes, since 2022. The podcast attempts to “explore and subvert the labels that try to hold women back”. In March, her podcast won an award at the 48th Annual Gracie Awards.

Their biggest Netflix project to date is their docuseries, Harry & Meghan, which dropped in Dec. 2022. One of the most heartbreaking revelations Harry made in the docuseries is that he feels responsible for Meghan’s estrangement with her father.  “Of course, it’s incredibly sad what happened. She had a father before this. And now she doesn’t have a father. And I shouldered that. Because if Meg wasn’t with me, then her dad would still be her dad,” he noted.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's 'Meghan & Harry'
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s ‘Meghan & Harry’ (Photo: Netflix)

Furthermore, in Jan. 2023, Harry released his memoir, Spare, which was a nearly unfiltered recollection of his life, in which he openly compared himself to being the backup heir to the British throne. In the tell-all, the father of two wrote about his and William’s secret “club” at their father’s estate they used as an escape from their daily life, plus the physical altercation they got into over disagreements about Meghan’s treatment by the royal family. In terms of little-known facts about royal life, Harry revealed that no one is allowed to hug the queen, he had to ask permission to keep his beard for his wedding day, and the royals fold their own clothes.

Harry Sues ‘Daily Mail’

In Oct. 2022, Prince Harry, along with British singer Elton John, and others sued the Daily Mail newspaper for unlawful breaches of privacy, per TODAY. In court docs obtained by the company, the group accused Associated Newspapers, the publisher behind the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday, and the Mail Online of “breaking and entry into private property”.

“They were the victim of numerous unlawful acts carried out by the defendant, or by those acting on the instructions of its newspapers, The Daily Mail and The Mail On Sunday,” attorney David Sherborne said a legal doc, per TODAY.

Harry and the “Rocketman” hitmaker both arrived in a London court in March, showing that they mean business with the suit. Associated Newspapers hopes the case is thrown out and alleges the plaintiffs’ complaints are old and irrelevant.