Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have been making headlines since they went public with their relationship. Many have been keeping an eye on them, thinking that this could mean another royal wedding — and they were right!
Only two months after going public, the couple officially announced their engagement in November, following 18 months of dating. As royal wedding plans begin, we’re taking a look back at some of the juicy from their relationship — including how they met and when they plan to get married.
1. The two reportedly met in May 2016
According to Sunday Express, the prince sought out the Suits actress and the two eventually started dating. They reportedly met in Toronto, where Prince Harry was launching the 2017 Invictus Games, and Markle was shooting her television show.
The two started out as friends. “They had gotten on when they first met but it was just as friends,” a source told Us Weekly. “They then developed romantic interests in each other and, before you knew it, they were texting every day.”
So what exactly brought them together? “Harry loves that she is so into philanthropy,” the source continued. “One of the first things they spoke about was her shelter dogs. He loves that she’s so caring.”
2. The two then started dating in October 2016
Sources close to the royal noticed that he was happier, but he wasn’t ready to go public with his relationship.
“He’s happier than he’s been for many years,” a source said. “They are taking each week as it comes and just enjoying each other’s company but it’s fair to say that they love seeing each other and there’s a definite chemistry between them.”
The source then continued, “Harry has been desperate to keep the relationship quiet because he doesn’t want to scare Meghan off. He knows things will change when their romance is public knowledge but he also knows he can’t keep it a secret for long.”
3. Prince Harry reportedly introduced Markle to Prince Charles a month later
Although the former bachelor seemed to be taking it slow, he did reportedly introduce the actress to his father in November 2016. “Harry is pretty serious about her and she is pretty serious about him,” a close friend said, according to People Magazine. “It’s great. They have a lot in common and I’m sure they will get on very well.”
4. Prince Harry asked for the harassment of Markle to stop
Not everyone is happy to hear that the two are dating. The actress was the subject of so much harassment, that Prince Harry released a statement asking for it to stop. Some of the harassment was from online trolls, but photographers were also showing up at her mother’s front door.
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.
5. Some of it was reportedly due to racism
Prince Harry’s statement also revealed that some of the harassment was due to racism. “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,” read the statement.
6. Prince William met Markle in November 2016
Harry’s older brother met Markle while she was visiting in London. Sources claimed that the two “got on fabulously” and that William is happy for them. However, there were rumors that he disapproved of other aspects of their relationship.
7. Prince William responds to rumors that he disapproved of the couple going public
Prince William knows a thing or two about dating as a royal. There were reports that he disapproved of his little brother going public with Markle, but he soon cleared the air in a statement by saying he supports them.
“The Duke of Cambridge absolutely understands the situation concerning privacy and supports the need for Prince Harry to support those closest to him,” the statement said according to The Telegraph. A royal source, however, also talked about the problems behind-the-scenes.
“The Duke was as alarmed as anyone about what was happening with Meghan,” the source claimed. “No-one wanted to have to put that statement out, including Prince Harry, and there was concern about confirming the relationship.” Things then changed pretty quickly. “But over the course of one weekend, things escalated to the extent that Prince Harry felt he had to act.”
8. Markle has been wearing a necklace with a ‘H’ and ‘M’ on it
Is this necklace a step closer to an engagement ring? The actress was seen wearing a 14k gold necklace with a tiny “H” and “M” on it in December 2016. According to ET, the necklace costs $240 with $60 for each additional letter and is made by jewelry designer Maya Brenner.
9. Queen Elizabeth II reportedly supports their relationship
Of course, the person whose approval probably means the most, is the queen herself. According to Us Weekly, she is “fully supportive” of their relationship. “She’s delighted to see Harry in a loving relationship,” said a source.
10. Duchess Kate Middleton and Princess Charlotte also met Markle
Although the actress hasn’t met the queen, she has met other royal family members. On Jan. 10, 2017 she reportedly visited the Duchess and her daughter at Apartment 1A in Kensington Palace, according to Us Weekly. “Meghan’s so happy she’s getting to know more of Harry’s nearest and dearest,” a source revealed. The meeting reportedly “went well.”
11. Markle is reportedly invited to Pippa Middleton’s wedding
Now it’s Pippa Middleton’s turn to walk down the aisle. Although Markle and Prince Harry are serious, Markle reportedly didn’t have an invitation to be his date to the church service. According to Daily Telegraph, she was only invited to the reception because the bride reportedly wants the ceremony to be small.
However, a month later, there were new reports claiming Markle has been invited to the church service along with the reception, according to The Telegraph.
12. Rumors of a proposal started swirling early on
Of course, many people are probably wondering if there will be another royal wedding. “It wouldn’t surprise me if he’s already thinking about an engagement just because that’s where his head goes, but that’s not where the relationship is at right now,” a source told E! “This is totally Harry. The problem with Harry is when he falls, he falls hard. He goes in big time.”
13. Markle quit her brand ambassador role, fueling the engagement rumors
The actress was once the ambassador of the clothing retailer and brand, Reitmans. But she quit the role abruptly in April 2017, according to the Daily Mail.
Some also took this to be a sign that she is getting ready to be engaged and take on royal duties.
14. Markle left her role on Suits
The brand ambassador job isn’t the only position the actress is thinking of quitting. According to Metro, a source said she’s “ready to move on from Suits” and “acting altogether.” But we probably shouldn’t assume it’s all because of who she’s dating.
“Even before Harry, she was starting to think about transitioning out of acting,” the source continued. “She wants to focus on otherworldly endeavors she is passionate about, like her philanthropy.”
15. The couple spent Easter weekend together
The couple is serious, so it’s no surprise that they are spending holidays together. According to the Daily Mail, the two were in Toronto together for Easter in 2017. They met in the city because Markle was working on new episodes of Suits at the time.
16. Markle moves to London
In late November 2017, it was revealed that Markle had moved to London. The news came after the 36-year-old actress wrapped production on her final season of Suits in Toronto, Canada.
Markle reportedly moved into Prince Harry’s two-bedroom cottage in Kensington Palace.
17. The couple formally announces their engagement
After months of speculation, the couple formally announced their engagement in late November 2017. The two also posed for a royal photo call at Kensington Palace, where Markle showed off the ring Harry designed for her using two diamonds that belonged to his late mother, Princess Diana.
According to the official announcement, the couple plans to get married in spring 2018.
Follow Nicole Weaver on Twitter @nikkibernice.
Additional reporting by Michelle Regalado.
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