It's been a year since Prince William's youngest brother, the famously single Prince Harry, began dating Suits actress Meghan Markle. And what first appeared as another Hollywood fling for the royal, has transformed into a serious relationship - leading people to wonder if the red-headed prince has finally found the one. While rumors swirl that a royal proposal is imminent, it is still uncertain when the Prince might pop the question. But until news of a royal engagement breaks, here's a definitive timeline of the couple's royal relationship.
Harry reportedly meets the Suits actress for the first time in Toronto while promoting the 2017 Invictus Games. According to Us Weekly, a month later Meghan began following Harry's private social media account.
Meghan posts a series of Instagram photos of her trip to London. In one photo, the actress thanks friend, Anderson Markus, for a "yummy breakfast." Markus, also a mutual friend of Harry's, is reportedly responsible for introducing the couple.
Oct. 31, 2016
The Sunday Express reports that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are not only an official couple, but the pair has been secretly dating for several months. A source tells the Express that Harry is “happier than he’s been for many years” and is "besotted" with the American actress. On the same day, Meghan posted a sweet photo on her Instagram of two bananas spooning, possibly hinting at the new love in her life.
Nov. 1, 2016
The Vancouver Sun publishes an interview with Meghan promoting her collection for retailer Reitmans. In the interview, Meghan discusses her collaboration with Reitmans, her charity work with World Vision, and her plans for the holidays. Though she avoids any mention of Harry, she happily says, “So, my cup runneth over and I’m the luckiest girl in the world!”
Around the same time, People reports that Harry, whose relationship with Meghan has become very serious, has already introduced the actress to his father, Prince Charles.
Nov. 8, 2016
Harry confirms his relationship with Meghan in a formal statement released by the royal house. In the statement, Harry also pleads the press and trolls on social media to stop the “wave of abuse and harassment," towards his girlfriend. According to Harry, he has been involved with “nightly legal battles” to stop the media from publishing defamatory stories about Meghan and their relationship. A quote from the statement reads:
"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 shares a Mahatma Gandhi quote on her Instagram, leading people to interpret her post as a response to Harry's statement on their relationship.
Nov. 21, 2016
According toUs Weekly, while visiting the island of Antigua, Prime Minister Gaston Browne, teases Harry about his new romance and says, “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.”
Nov. 27, 2016
Prince William releases a statement to clear up rumors that he was unhappy with his brother's decision to publicize his relationship. A portion of the statement reads, “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
Meghan is photographed in Toronto wearing a gold necklace featuring the letters “M” and “H.” According to Entertainment Tonight, the 14K gold asymmetrical letter necklace by Maya Brenner, leads people to believe that the letters stand for Meghan and Harry.
Dec. 14, 2016
Meghan is named the most-searched actress of 2016 by Google. The same day, Meghan and Harry are snapped in London's West End holding hands on their way to see the Tony award-winning show "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime." According to The Sun, the couple walk through the Soho area while admiring the Christmas lights throughout Piccadilly Circus. The day before the show, Meghan and Harry were spotted together picking out a 6-foot Christmas tree.
Dec. 20, 2016
Queen Elizabeth II approves of her grandson's relationship with Meghan. According to Us Weekly, the Queen is “fully supportive” and another source reveals that the Queen is “delighted to see Harry in a loving relationship.” The Queen approving Harry's new love is a big deal for the royal family considering that it took her majesty almost a decade to approve her son's romance with Camilla Parker Bowles after Diana's death.
Jan. 31, 2017
After spending Christmas with their own families, the couple spends New Year's together in London.
Jan. 4, 2017
The Daily Mail reports that Harry met Meghan's father six months prior. Meghan’s half-brother Thomas Markle Jr. discloses to the Daily Mail that their father has been aware of Meghan's relationship since it began. In the interview, Thomas says his father is, “pretty happy about Harry and he’s extremely proud of her." Meghan is very close to her family and even attended her mother's graduation from the University of Southern California, after she received her Masters in Social Work in 2016.
Jan. 6, 2017
After spending New Year's in London, the couple embarks on a romantic trip to Norway. This is the first time that the often incognito couple vacation together and according to Us Weekly, Harry planned the romantic getaway so that the two could to catch the Northern Lights. The couple stay with Harry's close friend, Inge Solheim, at his luxury property in Tromsø, Norway. A source tells the sun The Sun that Harry "put a lot of thought into it and wanted to make it as romantic and special as possible.”
Jan. 10, 2017
According to Us Weekly, Harry introduces Meghan to his sister-in-law Kate Middleton and Princess Charlotte at Apartment 1A at Kensington Palace. According to the magazine, Kate and Meghan, "got on fabulously."
Feb. 2, 2017
Meghan and Harry are spotted holding hands while leaving West London's Soho House. According to The Sun, on-lookers at the member's only club say that the couple tried to remain low key by sitting in a cozy corner of the restaurant. A friend close to the couple also reportedly tells The Sun that a spring engagement is imminent: “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
After a two-month break from social media, Meghan shares an Instagram post that says, "#NoBadEnergy."
Photos are released of the couple together in Montego Bay, Jamaica, attending the wedding of Harry's childhood friend, Tom “Skippy” Inskip. Meghan is Harry's plus one to the wedding as the prince serves as one of the ceremony's 14 ushers. A source later reveals to People, that the two were incredibly "joyful" during the wedding festivities, and seemed very much in love.
April 7, 2017
After three years, Meghan announces that she will shut down her lifestyle website, The Tig. In a statement shared on both the Tig website and her Instagram, Meghan says, “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.’”
Though it is rumored that Meghan shut down her passion project as a royal relationship sacrifice, a source tellsPeople that the actress’ decision to shut down the site is not due to her relationship, but due to her busy schedule, balancing humanitarian work with shooting her TV series Suits. The People source also says, “The Tig has been a labor of love for Meghan, but it’s a full time job."
April 13, 2017
Harry flies from England to spend Easter weekend with Meghan in Toronto. Photos of Harry are released by E! Online and reveal the young prince wearing a baseball cap and toting a large duffle bag while entering Meghan’s building.
May 7, 2017
Meghan and Harry make their first formal public appearance as a couple and share their first public kiss at the annual Audi Polo Challenge in Ascot, England. As Harry participates in the games, Meghan, garbed in a chic navy dress and white blazer, cheers on her prince from the sidelines. The couple is later snapped engaging in some PDA off-site in the polo parking lot.
Love is in the Air: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle ❤️💏💑- Royal Women (@vaninaswchindt) May 8, 2017
Maybe the Next Royal Wedding pic.twitter.com/YbOc3Eeyh6
May 16, 2017
As England prepares for Pippa Middleton's big day, which Meghan is said to accompany Harry to, rumors swirl that Prince Harry has already asked his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, for permission to propose to his girlfriend. Despite being formerly married to film producer Trevor Engleson, according UK's Mirror, the Queen has given her consent for Harry to pop the question. (Royals are historically not allowed to marry divorcees, a rule that affected Edward VII, The Queen's sister, Princess Margaret, and even Price Charles.) The royal rules have also changed for the Prince's wedding venue. In the same way that the prince wouldn't have been able to marry Meghan due to her former marriage, he also would not have been able to marry at the historic Westminster Abbey. According to the Express, the Abbey's General Synod Ruling of 2002 bars divorced peoples from being allowed to get hitched in the Church of England. Fortunately for the couple, the two just need the Queen's permission and then a special license from the Archbishop of Canterbury.
May 17, 2017
As Pippa's wedding weekend draws near, Meghan arrives in London, days ahead of the festivities. According to E! Online, the actress landed at London's Heathrow Airport and was immediately escorted to Kensington Palace. Harry bringing Meghan as his date to Pippa's big date again shows how serious his relationship with TV star is.
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