Prince Harry and Meghan Markle: A Complete Timeline of the Rise and Fall of Britain’s Most Controversial Couple

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s love story was supposed to be one for the ages. After sparking up a romance in 2016, the pair wasted no time on their engagement and subsequent wedding. Although things were looking bright when they welcomed their first son, Archie Harrison, is the spring of 2019, the couple quickly fell from grace. Here’s a complete timeline of the rise and fall of Britain’s most controversial couple.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle | Photo by Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images

2016: A romance blossoms

In the summer of 2016, a mutual friend introduced Prince Harry and Meghan Markle via a blind date. Harry later recalled the moment he laid eyes on Meghan and revealed that his nerves almost got the better of him.

“I was beautifully surprised when I walked into that room and saw her,” Harry shared. “I was like, I’m really going to have to up my game here.”

According to Vogue, their romance quickly took off and a few weeks after their first meeting, Prince Harry flew Meghan to Botswana for a romantic getaway. Africa has always been a special place for Harry, and his relationship with Meghan really solidified during their trip.

November 2016: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle make it official

In October of 2016, rumors began to surface that Prince Harry was dating a new girl. At the time, an inside source claimed that Harry was “besotted” by Meghan, who remained silent on the issue.

A month later, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle couldn’t take it anymore and Kensington Palace released a statement on their behalf. The palace confirmed that the two are dating, though the excitement was dulled by Harry’s criticism of how the media was treating Meghan.

“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,” the statement read.

Little did anyone know that Meghan’s relationship with the press would be a sore spot for the couple for years to come.

Spring 2017: Engagement rumors heat up

In the spring of 2017, rumors of an engagement started to gain ground. In the early part of the year, Harry and Markle had been spotted together in public on numerous occasions. When she shut down her blog, The Tig, in April, royal watchers were preparing for a wedding announcement.

The engagement talk reached a fever pitch when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle took a romantic trip to African in August, where they privately visited Victoria Falls. A month later, the actress admitted that she is very much in love.

Harry and Meghan would go on to confirm their engagement in November of 2017.

May 2018: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tie the knot

After months of build-up, Harry and Meghan finally tied the knot in a gorgeous ceremony inside St. George’s Chapel. Millions of people around the world watched the ceremony on television, though their big day was almost ruined by the absence of Meghan’s father, Thomas Markle.

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First kiss #RoyalWedding

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Thomas was unable to make Meghan’s wedding because of health issues, which forced her to walk down the aisle by herself.

Fall 2018: Harry and Meghan are expecting

After a short break following their wedding, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle jetted off to Australia for an extended tour of the region. But before they left England, the couple announced that they were expecting their first child.

A month later, they revealed plans to move out of Kensington Palace and into Frogmore Cottage, which was being remodeled.

Spring/Summer 2019: Harry and Meghan fight rumors

Although the couple welcomed a healthy son, Archie Harrison, in May of 2019, the birth was overshadowed by rumors concerning their relationship with Prince William and Kate Middleton.

Inside sources claimed that the couples were at odds because William cautioned Harry against moving too quickly with Meghan.

Prince Harry would later confirm the feud rumors in a shocking documentary, titled Harry & Meghan: An African Journey. Meghan also interviewed for the documentary and revealed that life as a member of the royal family has been a real struggle.

In addition to the confession, Harry and Meghan sued several British tabloids for publishing personal letters the Duchess wrote to her father.

Fall 2019: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle skip Christmas

Amid all the negative reports about them, Harry and Meghan announced in the fall of 2019 that they would not be spending Christmas with the royal family at Sandringham.

Instead, the two flew to America to celebrate the holidays with her mother, Doria Ragland, who lives in the Los Angeles area. The decision to skip Christmas with Queen Elizabeth stirred up a lot of drama in the royal family and could not have come at a worse time for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.