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A Royal Romance: How Prince Harry's Relationship With Meghan Markle Began

Prince Harry, in royal garb and hat, sits in a carriage with Meghan Markle who wears a matching pink dress and hat.
Source: Getty

Jul. 23 2019, Updated 11:34 a.m. ET

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have enjoyed a fairy tale romance. But where did it all begin? How did they meet? And what is it like to fall in love with the entire world watching?

MORE: OK OR NOT OK? MEGHAN MARKLE REDESIGNS HER ROYAL ENGAGEMENT RING

Meghan and Prince Harry found, grew and nurtured their love to help it grow into a small family tree. Explore how they went from their first date to the arrival of their first child, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. 

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MORE: PRINCE HARRY & MEGHAN MARKLE POST A VERY DRY BIRTHDAY MESSAGE FOR PRINCE WILLIAM AFTER CHARITY SPLIT

Take a look at their relationship as it happened ... from trips to Norway and holding hands to shopping for Christmas trees together. This relationship between the American actress and the British Royal couldn’t have been more unlikely which also makes it a million times more romantic.

1. Blind Date.

Meghan Markle in a white shirt and ripped blue jeans sits next to Prince Harry who wears a black top and blue slacks. Both are in sunglasses and smiling.
Source: Getty

In July 2016, a friend of Prince Harry’s set him and Meghan Markle up on a blind date. According to the BBC, Meghan didn’t have any preconceived notions saying, “I didn’t know much about him, so the only thing that I had asked our mutual friend when she said that she wanted to set us up, was, 'Well is he nice?' Cause if he wasn't kind, it just didn’t seem like it would make sense."

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2. Next Steps.

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Source: Getty

How quick were there sparks? Real quick. Meghan told the BBC, “We met for a drink and then I think very quickly into that we said, 'Well what are we doing tomorrow? We should meet again.’” At their engagement photo shoot, Harry said that he knew Meghan was the one “the very first time we met.”

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3. Into Africa.

Prince Harry, in a beige sweater, talks to Meghan Markle, in a white top, who listens raptly.
Source: Getty

According to Town & Country, after another date, Prince Harry asked Meghan to join him on a trip to Africa just a month or so later. The Prince said, "I managed to persuade her to come and join me in Botswana and we camped out with each other under the stars. Then we were really by ourselves, which was crucial to me to make sure that we had a chance to get to know each other."

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4. News Leaks.

Meghan Markle, in a white beret, white coat and black dress walks next to Prince Harry in a blue suit.
Source: Getty

After four months of low-key dating, the news of the relationship finally leaked on October 31, 2016. According to the Sunday Express, a source said that Prince Harry was “happier than he’s been for many years and besotted.” Meghan later said, “We had a good five, six months almost with just privacy, which was amazing."

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5. Meeting Dad.

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Source: Getty

Just two months in and talk of engagement was already in the air. Sources told People that “Engagement is certainly a possibility. It is certainly one possible outcome. It’s pretty serious, so we will see.” Harry introduced Meghan to his father, Prince Charles, which added to the speculation.

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6. Formal Statement.

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Source: Getty

In November of 2016, Prince Harry — who had been in legal battles to prevent publishing defamatory stories about the couple — issued a formal statement. He told the press to stop the “wave of abuse and harassment” aimed at Meghan.

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7. Another Statement.

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Source: Getty

Just about two weeks later, another statement was issued. This time Prince William addressed the rumors saying that he was unhappy with brother, Harry’s, decision to discuss his relationship. Prince William said, “The Duke of Cambridge absolutely understands the situation concerning privacy and supports the need for Prince Harry to support those closest to him."

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8. First Christmas.

Meghan sits at a table with other people wearing Christmas hats. She wears a a dress and is smiling as she reaches for a pair of scissors.
Source: Getty

Things were moving quickly between Meghan and the Prince. She was spotted wearing a gold necklace with the letters M and H and the pair were seen choosing a Christmas tree and holding hands while at the theater. The two even strolled through London’s Soho taking in the Christmas lights.

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9. Meeting the Queen.

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Source: Getty

That same Christmas, Meghan was introduced to Her Majesty the Queen of England. Meghan told the BBC that, "It's incredible to be able to meet her through his lens, not just with his honor and respect for her as the monarch, but the love that he has for her as his grandmother. She's an incredible woman."

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10. Romantic Getaway.

Prince Harry, in a grey suit and white shirt, walks hands clasped behind his back next to Meghan Markle who wears a black leather skirt and blouse.
Source: Getty

In early 2017, Meghan and her Prince vacationed in Norway so they could take in the Northern Lights. A source said that Harry “put a lot of thought into it and wanted to make it as romantic and special as possible.”

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11. Meeting Middleton.

Meghan sits in a royal carriage. She wears a dark blue dress. Sitting opposite is Kate Middleton in a yellow dress and hat and Camilla who wears a mint green dress and a white hat.
Source: Getty

Not long after, when back on British soil, Meghan was introduced to Kate Middleton and Princess Charlotte. "She's been wonderful," said Meghan of the Duchess. "Amazing," added Harry.

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12. A Wedding.

Meghan Markle, in a black outfit and clutch, walks with Prince Harry in a blue suit and white shirt past a man decked out in a royal military costume.
Source: Getty

Meghan and Prince Harry attended their first wedding together in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Harry’s friend was getting hitched, and it set the stage for future weddings.

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13. A Second Wedding.

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Source: Getty

In May of 2017, Meghan and Prince Harry attended Pippa Middleton’s wedding.

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14. African Vacation.

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Source: Getty

Meghan and Prince Harry took a three-week vacation in August 2017 to Africa and took in Botswana and the gorgeous Victoria Falls. It was Meghan’s 36th birthday, and they celebrated in style.

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15. Engaged.

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Source: Getty

Meghan and Prince Harry announced their engagement on November 27, 2017. They were reportedly thrilled and happy and even had a photo shoot and an official interview to mark the occasion.

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16. The Wedding.

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Source: Getty

Their wedding was was May 19, 2018 and it was their third wedding together. Tens of millions watched the splashy Windsor Castle wedding on TV as Meghan — in a Givenchy gown — said “I do.”

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17. Their First Pregnancy.

Meghan, wearing a green dress and coat, and Prince Harry, in a dark suit and white shirt, admire a baby onesie that a woman is holding up for them to look at.
Source: Getty

Meghan and Prince Harry landed in Australia and announced they were pregnant on October 15, 2018. This was their first joint royal tour.

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18. Baby Archie Arrives.

Meghan Markle, in a white dress, cups the head of baby Archie who is swaddled in white clothes and held in the loving arms of Prince Harry who wears a light grey suit and white shirt.
Source: Getty

The royal baby boy — Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor arrived on May 6, 2019. As previously reported, he’s seventh in line for the throne.

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