Royals

Happy 1st wedding anniversary Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan! A timeline of their beautiful love story

In celebration of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's first wedding anniversary, we take a look back at their love story from the very first spark to the birth of little Archie.
meghan and harry wedding day and with baby archieGetty Images

Just shy of their first year wedding anniversary, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have welcomed their first child together, a son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.

To say their love story has been a whirlwind romance is probably an understatement, meeting for the first time just 18 months before becoming engaged, but if one thing is clear, it’s that no matter what gets thrown their way, their relationship just goes from strength to strength.

In celebration of the couple’s first year wedding anniversary on May 19th, we take a look back at the timeline of their whirlwind romance, from their very first meeting to the birth of their gorgeous wee boy, Archie, and their debut as family-of-three.

prince harry and meghan markle

July 2016: The future Duke and Duchess of Sussex are set up on a blind date

Prince Harry and Meghan’s historic fairytale romance all began with a blind date!

“We were introduced actually by a mutual friend,” Harry revealed in the couple’s first interview following the announcement of their engagement. While it’s not known who the mutual friend is, there is speculation that it could either be Harry’s friend Violet von Westholz, while others have speculated that it was fashion designer Mischa Nonoo.

The couple revealed sparks flew from the get-go: “We met for a drink,” Meghan said, “and then I think very quickly into that we said, ‘Well what are we doing tomorrow? We should meet again.'”

(Images: Getty)

prince harry and meghan markle matching bracelets

Late 2016: They travel to Africa and are spotted with matching bracelets

Just a few weeks after meeting, Harry made the bold move to ask Meghan whether she wanted to travel with him to Africa. She of course said ‘yes’, with Harry revealing the two camped under the stars – how romantic!

While the couple had kept things under wraps at the time, rumours started flying when the two were spotted wearing matching bracelets.

(Images: Getty (L), Instagram (R))

prince harry issues statement

November 2016: Harry issues a rare statement regarding Meghan’s safety

As the rumours and speculation about the couple intensified, Prince Harry made a rare statement, defending Meghan’s safety.

“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.

“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.”

Speaking about the intense media scrutiny Meghan revealed both her and Harry had been incredibly taken aback by it at the time.

“There was a misconception that because I have worked in the entertainment industry that this would be something I would be familiar with,” she said during their engagement interview. “But I’ve never been part of tabloid culture. I’ve never been in pop culture to that degree and and lived a relatively quiet life.”

(Image: Getty)

prince harry and meghan markle

December 2016: The first pictures of Harry and Meghan together emerge

It felt like it had been a long time coming when pictures finally emerged of Harry and Meghan together.

In early December Meghan was spotted wearing a gold necklace which had the letters ‘M’ and ‘H’ on it, before the two of them were spotted later that month picking out a Christmas tree together and holding hands as they went to London’s West End to watch The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Nighttime.

(Images: Getty)

meghan markle and prince harry

January 2017: Meghan meets the extended family

After spending a romantic New Years together in Norway, according to US Weekly, Harry introduced Meghan to members of his family, reportedly beginning with his father, Prince Charles and then his sister-in-law Duchess Catherine along with his niece Princess Charlotte. According to the publication the future sister-in-laws “got on fabulously.”

(Images: Getty)

meghan markle and prince harry at the polo

May 2017: Harry and Meghan’s love blossoms in the public eye

With Meghan in Toronto filming Suits the pair maintained a long-distance relationship for a while, but met up frequently, being spotted in London and according to People, the pair travelled to Montego Bay in Jamaica to attend Harry’s childhood friend Tom “Skippy” Inkskip’s wedding.

It was then in May that the pair made their first public appearance as a couple attending the annual Audi Polo Challenge at Ascot together. Prince Harry participated in the event and the two shared some serious PDA, including a little peck!

prince harry and meghan markle in botswana 2017

August 2017: Harry and Meghan take another trip to Africa

In August 2017 the couple paid another trip to Africa, travelling to Botswana to assist Elephants Without Borders and to celebrate Meghan’s 36th birthday. The couple have recently shared a snap from their time there on their official Instagram page which shows them attaching a tracking device to a bull elephant.

“Tracking his movements has allowed conservationists to better protect him and other elephants and ensure heightened protection for these beautiful creatures moving forward,” the caption explains.

(Image: Instagram/@sussexroyal)

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry at the Invictus Games

September 2017: Meghan declares her love for Harry in a candid interview

By September it was clear that things were very, very serious for the smitten couple. In a candid interview with Vanity Fair magazine, in which Meghan was also the cover star, the Suits actress opened up for the first time about her royal romance.

Talking about her relationship with Harry she said: “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.”

That same month the couple were happily snapped attending the Invictus Games in Toronto.

(Image: Getty)

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle engagement photo call

November 2017: Harry and Meghan announce their engagement and give the cutest interview

And just when we thought it couldn’t get any more adorable, it did, with the announcement of their engagement!

The couple marked the occasion with a photo call at the Sunken Gardens at Kensington Palace (a series of official portraits followed a month later, taken in the grounds surrounding Frogmore House at Windsor), and held their first interview together as a couple with the BBC.

(Image: Getty)

Kate Middleton Prince William Meghan Markle and Prince Harry at Christmas 2017

December 2017: Meghan attends Christmas with the royal family for the first time

Well and truly finding her footing as a future royal, a statement released by Buckingham Palace confirmed Meghan would be joining the royal family for Christmas at Sandringham, which was big news at the time, as it was quite a break from tradition – even Duchess Catherine didn’t attend Christmas with the royal family before her and Prince William had gotten married.

(Image: Getty)

meghan markle and prince harry laughing

Early 2018: Meghan and Harry tackle walkabouts together

Public walkabouts are part and parcel with being a royal and in the months following their engagement Meghan got plenty of practice, accompanying Harry to a number of official engagements as the two of them prepared for their wedding in May.

(Image: Getty)

prince harry and meghan markle kissing on their wedding day

May 2018: The fairy tale royal wedding

And just like that, the day arrived!

Harry and Meghan, now the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, tied the knot on May 19 in a beautiful ceremony at St George’s Chapel at Windsor, with their wedding watched by tens of millions of people across the globe.

(Image: Getty)

Loading the player…

The Best Moments From the Royal Wedding

Meghan Markle and Harry beach

October 2018: The couple announce they’re expecting, during their first international tour

In October the newlyweds headed to on their first international tour, visiting Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga with a jam-packed schedule. It was also at the beginning of this tour that the couple announced the exciting news that they were expecting their first child together!

The couple had both talked in the past about their desire to have children, so knew how delighted they would’ve been to be able to share the news!

(Image: Getty)

Meghan markle and prince harry in Morocco

February 2019: The parents-to-be looked loved up and relaxed during their royal tour of Morocco

All eyes were on Meghan and her growing baby bump as she headed into the final stages of her pregnancy.

While no exact date was given of when the baby was expected to arrive, after Meghan let slip in January that she was six months along, it was predicted late April or early May would be likely.

Throughout her pregnancy the Duchess attended a long string of engagements both solo and with Harry, with the two of them making a three-day trip to Morocco together where it was evident that the couple were as loved-up as ever.

(Image: Getty)

meghan markle prince harry commonwealth day service

March 2019: Their last official public engagement together before Meghan went on maternity leave

To mark the 70th anniversary of the modern Commonwealth, Meghan and Harry stepped out together heading to Canada House before attending a service at Westminster Abbey. The royal engagements served as Meghan’s final public appearance before heading on maternity leave.

Meghan did however make an unannounced appearance a week later at New Zealand House with Harry, to pay tribute to the victims of the abhorrent Christchurch mosque terror attacks in March.

(Image: Getty)

Meghan Markle Prince Harry and Archie debut

May 2019: Their gorgeous first child, Archie, is born

And, perhaps the most perfect product of their love: a baby!

It was a wait that felt never-ending for royal fans (with Harry admitting that the baby did in fact arrive later than expected), so you imagine the excitement and celebration when Baby Sussex finally arrived! And while Meghan skipped the photo call, Prince Harry fronted the media outside Windsor to announce the happy news that he and Meghan had welcome a healthy son into the world, visibly over the moon, beaming from ear to ear.

Two days later the Sussexes made their debut as a family-of-three, posing for adorable family portraits in St George’s Hall, with the proud new parents talking about how perfect their son was. And, just hours later the couple announced the new royal baby’s name: Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor – adorable!

While it’s only been three, whirlwind years, it’s clear that Meghan and Harry’s love has gone from strength to strength and now with a little bub and moving into their first family home at Windsor, we can’t wait to see how the new chapter of their love story plays out.

Happy 1st anniversary to the wonderful couple!

(Image: Getty)

Related stories


Get your favourite magazines home delivered!  

Subscribe and save up to 38% on a magazine subscription.