Prince Harry dated actress Meghan Markle for more than two years before they announced an engagement in November 2017.
Here is a timeline of the couple’s relationship:
Markle would later reveal in an October 2017 interview Vanity Fair that she and Harry met in London in July 2016.
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Nov. 8, 2016
Kensington Palace confirms Harry is dating Markle by issuing a statement calling for an end to sexist and racist harassment of Markle on social media. Markle is referred to as Harry’s girlfriend in the Nov. 8 statement from his communications secretary.
“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,” part of the statement said.
The statement went on to say Harry is worried about Markle’s safety and is “deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her.”
Nov. 26, 2016
Prince Harry’s brother, Prince William, issues a statement of his own supporting Harry and Markle.
“The Duke of Cambridge absolutely understands the situation concerning privacy and supports the need for Prince Harry to support those closest to him,” William said in a statement to The Daily Telegraph.
Dec. 14, 2016
The first photos emerge of Harry and Markle as a couple, according to a claim from British tabloid The Sun. Wearing winter coats and beanies, the couple was reportedly going to the Gielud Theatre in London. The day before, the tabloid said the two picked out a Christmas tree together.
Jan. 15, 2017
The Sun reports that Markle has met Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton and Princess Charlotte.
“It went really well and Meghan was very excited about meeting her,” an unnamed friend told the paper.
Feb. 2, 2017
The Sun once again publishes photos of the couple together, this time after a dinner date at Soho House in London. An unnamed person who saw the two told the tabloid the couple “tried to keep as low-key as possible.”
March 3, 2017
Harry and Markle were photographed in Montego Bay, Jamaica, for the wedding of one of Harry’s college friends, Tom “Skippy” Inskip. The Telegraph reported that the two were affectionate during the three-day wedding event.
May 20, 2017
Markle accompanies Harry to Pippa Middleton’s wedding reception, according to UsWeekly. Earlier that month, on May 7, People reports that the two were photographed kissing in the Coworth Park Polo Club parking lot in Ascot, England. Markle had been cheering Harry on during a charity polo match with William.
Sept. 5, 2017
Markle speaks publicly for the first time about her relationship with Harry in an interview with Vanity Fair. She expressed the support she has from her boyfriend after the media attention since they began dating.
“(T)he only thing that changed was people’s perception,” she told the publication. “Nothing about me changed. I’m still the same person that I am, and I’ve never defined myself by my relationship.”
“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. 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.”
Sept. 13, 2017
UsWeekly reported that Merkle has met Prince Harry’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, Sept. 3.
“It went well. It’ll no doubt be the first of many encounters,” an unnamed source told the magazine.
The report comes as engagement rumors continue. UsWeekly claims Harry has already created an engagement ring.
Harry proposes to Markle earlier in the month. Weeks later, on Nov. 27, the royal engagement is announced. At a photo call the same day, Markle debuts her three-diamond engagement ring, which includes two diamonds from Diana, Princess of Wales’s personal collection. When asked if the proposal was romantic, Harry responded, “Of course it was.”
May 19, 2018
Nearly two years after they first met, Harry and Markle marry at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle in London. Before the ceremony, Queen Elizabeth conferred the titles of Duke and Duchess of Sussex on Prince Harry and Markle.
Oct. 15, 2018
People reported that a Kensington Palace statement also included a reaction from Markle’s mother, Doria Ragland.
“Ms. Ragland is very happy about this lovely news and she looks forward to welcoming her first grandchild,” the statement read.