How long have Meghan Markle and Prince Harry been together and how did the Duke and Duchess of Sussex first meet?
FORMER Suits actress Meghan Markle married Prince Harry in Windsor on May 19, 2018, and the pair are now expecting their first child any day now.
Here is how the popular prince met the star actress and swept her off her feet…
How long have Prince Harry and Meghan Markle been together?
It's not completely clear how or when Harry and Meghan first met but it's thought the couple may have been introduced by Soho House director Markus Anderson at the Invictus Games.
- In late October 2016, it was reported that glamorous actress Meghan, who played Rachel Zane in legal drama Suits, was dating Prince Harry.
- On November 8, 2016, Kensington Palace confirmed the pairing with a statement, saying the Prince was worried for her safety.
- On February 2, 2017, the first pictures of Harry and Meghan – who is three years his senior – as they were spotted hand-in-hand, while out on a date in London. At the time, pals said actress Meghan had “virtually moved in” to Harry’s cottage at Kensington Palace with the couple having been “inseparable” for weeks.
- On May 6, 2017, Meghan made her first public appearance as royal girlfriend when she proudly watched Prince Harry playing polo in Berkshire.
- On September 25, the pair were pictured together in Toronto as they attended the Invictus Games, Prince Harry's sporting competition for wounded service personnel.
- On October 1, 2017, during the games closing ceremony, the pair were spotted in an embrace and at one point the pair shared a kiss. It came as they sat in the stadium beside Meghan's mum Doria.
- On October 19, 2017, it was reported Harry had taken Meghan to Buckingham Palace for a meal with his grandmother – Her Majesty the Queen.
- On November 14, 2017, speculation grew about Meghan's exit from Suits when a source told Us Weekly her departure would be easier as co-star Patrick J. Adams had also decided it was time to leave. The insider said that Patrick's exit storyline "will make it an easy break for Meghan to leave as well".
- On November 26, 2017, it was reported Palace officials briefed PM Theresa May on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s "imminent” engagement.
- On November 27, 2017, it was announced that the couple were engaged to be married in spring 2018. After a photocall at Kensington Palace, they gave their first joint interview to the BBC.
- On December 15, 2017, Kensington Palace confirmed the ceremony will be held on Saturday, May 19, 2018.
- On March 22, 2018, Meghan and Harry sent out their Royal Wedding invitations.
- On May 19, 2018, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle wed in Windsor in front of their family, friends and the world.
- On October 15 2019, Harry and Meghan announce they are expecting their first child in Spring 2019.
What have Prince Harry and Meghan Markle said about their relationship?
In September 2017, Meghan gave her first interview about Prince Harry.
She told Vanity Fair: “We’re a couple. We’re in love.
“I’m sure there will be a time when we will have to come forward and present ourselves and have stories to tell — but I hope what people will understand is that this is our time.
“This is for us. It’s part of what makes it so special, that it’s just ours. But we’re happy. Personally, I love a great love story.
“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."
In their first-ever joint interview, which aired on November 27 following the official announcement of their engagement, Harry told the BBC: "I'd never even heard of her until this friend said 'Meghan Markle' – I was like 'right OK give me a bit of background.'
"I'd never watched any of Suits. I was beautifully surprised when I walked into that room and saw her.
"I thought I'm really gonna have to up my game, sit down and make sure I have good chat."
What have friends and family said about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle?
Following the news of the engagement, Meghan Markle's parents, Thomas Markle and Doria Ragland, wished the couple "a lifetime of happiness".
They released a statement, published by Clarence House, which said: "We are incredibly happy for Meghan and Harry. Our daughter has always been a kind and loving person.
"To see her union with Harry, who shares the same qualities, is a source of great joy for us as parents.
"We wish them a lifetime of happiness and are very excited for their future together."
What does Meghan Markle's engagement ring look like?
The couple made their first public appearance since making their announcement in a photo call outside Kensington Palace.
During the event, she proudly flashed her diamond ring and smiled for the cameras.
The ring was designed by Prince Harry himself and includes one stone from Botswana, where the pair recently went on holiday, and two diamonds from Diana's collection.
Cleave and Company, Court Jewellers and Medallists to Her Majesty The Queen all helped with the creation of the dazzling jewellery piece.
Did Meghan Markle become a princess when she married Harry?
Royal expert Imogen Lloyd Webber, she will not immediately become Princess Meghan because you can’t become royal through marriage.
The American actress has been given the title Duchess of Sussex by the Queen after her marriage to Harry.
This was because her husband was given a Dukedom.
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