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A Complete Timeline of Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and The Royal Family Relationship

For over 1200 years, people all over the world have been laying their eyes over the British Royal Family. It is no doubt they are the longest-reigning monarchs the world has ever had, conquering many countries and the public’s hearts also. Princess Diana who has been a long-time favorite made the royal family even more popular, and the former "Suits" actress, Meghan Markle, has been following the same steps.

As of 2021, Oprah’s interview with the royal couple Prince Harry and Meghan Markle has been one of the most famous interviews that caught the public’s eyes for multiple reasons. But to understand everything about it, we need to go back and revisit the couple’s timeline since the beginning.

Check it out!

The meeting

July 2016 – Meghan Markle and Prince Harry met through mutual friends in London, and soon the pair sat down and had some drinks. But it was only after a couple of months that the relationship began. In the new biography of the couple, "Finding Freedom", Harry and Meghan stated that they both felt a “palpable attraction” and that one of the pillars of their relationship was their sharing of love and passion for charity work.

October 2016 – After almost three months of dating, rumors started at The Sunday Express and the newspaper reported that Prince Harry was dating an American actress. Still, the couple didn’t come out that month.

November 2016 – Shortly after, Markle told The Vancouver Sun, in a Q&A, that she was the “luckiest girl in the world” for having Harry as a boyfriend. The same month, People magazine reported that Meghan met Harry’s father, Prince Charles, and more rumors started about the couple getting engaged. This was also the start of the ups and downs of Markle’s image in the British tabloids that she had to endure. Following this, the Prince shamed them about Meghan’s coverage, claiming it was sexist and racist.

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. - Statement by the Communications Secretary

Following the statement, intrigues started to happen between the brothers since the Duke of Cambridge, William, stated that he wasn’t happy about the couple’s decision to go public about their relationship, but he was supportive for Harry to speak publicly about Meghan’s image in the press.

January 2017 – The actress meets Kate Middleton, William’s wife and Duchess of Cambridge, and her daughter Princess Charlotte, but wasn’t able to meet Prince George at the time. The start of the year was also very memorable for the new couple since they went on their first vacation together in Norway.

April 2017 – Meghan shuts down her lifestyle blog, starting a rumor that she might get engaged with Harry.

May 2017 Pippa Middleton’s (Kate’s sister) wedding was head of the tabloids. Although Harry was invited to the ceremony, Meghan could not attend because the bride had a strict policy of “no ring, no bring”, but the Prince was able to pick his lover for the reception.

September 2017 – Meghan is interviewed by Vanity Fair, where she states that she and Harry are in love.

"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." she stated.

The couple’s picture surfaced on the internet while they were attending a tennis event during an Invictus Game in Toronto.

The wedding

November 27, 2017 – After all, the rumors were true, and the couple announced their engagement. In a BBC interview, Markle said it happened while they were roasting a chicken.

"[We were] trying to roast a chicken and it just — just an amazing surprise, it was so sweet and natural and very romantic. He got on one knee." – she said. The announcement also stated that the ceremony would happen on May 19, 2018.

December 2017 – The newly engaged couple makes their first royal appearance while greeting onlookers in Nottingham, England.  Weeks later, Meghan celebrated Christmas with the rest of the Royal Family. This was a fairly remarkable occurrence since royal fiancés are not included in royal celebrations, but the Queen invited the actress to celebrate at the Sandringham Estate. It was also the first time Meghan was clicked in a picture with Duke William and Duchess Kate. US Weekly also reported that Queen Elizabeth II was fully supportive of the newly engaged couple.

March 2018 – Before tying the knot, the couple is seen in multiple royal engagements together.

May 19, 2018 – The day has come for the royal couple. The wedding ceremony was held at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. Many celebrities were invited, such as Oprah, Elton John, Serena Williams, Cara Delevigne, and many others. Meghan walked down the aisle accompanied by Prince Charles in her father’s stead.

Meghan and Harry later said in Oprah’s interview that they got secretly married three days before the royal ceremony at Windsor Castle. They asked the Archbishop of Canterbury to perform the wedding.

October 2018 – After five months of marriage, the couple announced that they were expecting a baby. The same month they toured for 16 days throughout Fiji, Australia, Tonga, and New Zealand.

January 2019 – Meghan stated that she was suffering from her mental health secretly, later revealed in Oprah’s 2021 interview.

March 2019 – First indication of royal tensions. Buckingham Palace announces that Harry and Meghan will have their own household. There are also media reports of discussions between the couples.

May 2019 – Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor is born. The new parents also broke royal tradition by skipping the post-birth photo-calls in the hospital steps. Archie also didn’t receive a royal title. Originally, it was reported that Meghan and Harry didn’t want him to have a title. Later, in the same Oprah interview, it was revealed that it was not his parent’s choice for him not to receive a title nor security, although he was 7th in line for the succession to the British throne. 

Although not having a title, Archie was conceived the title of Master, making him Master Archie Mountbatten-Windsor.

October 2019 – Meghan and Harry address the public that they would be suing Associated Newspaper after the Daily Mail published private letters between Markle and her father.

September 2019 – The couple flies off the country again and tours in Angola, Malawi, and South Africa. While in South Africa, they meet with Graca Machel, Nelson Mandela’s widowed wife. Archie also accompanied them, making him one of the firsts young royals to ever go on a royal tour at that age (one-month-old). The couple also spent some days in Botswana.

The beginning of the end

October 2019 – News and tabloids report that the royal couple would take a six-week break from royal duties and go to Canada to spend the holidays with Markle’s mother. The former actress also stated about the pressure she was suffering by being constantly in the public’s eye.

January 2020 – The couple announces that they will be financially independent of the royal family and would be stepping down their senior roles as royals, while also spending more time in North American than in the UK.

We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen. We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honor our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth*, and our patronage. This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity” – the statement continues.

* COMMONWEALTH: political association between 54 member states, that are former territories of the British Empire.

Later in Oprah’s 2021 interview, Harry said they both chose to step back from royalty because of the “lacking understanding and support” from both the media and the royal institution.

10 days after that, an inside talk happened between royal members, it was agreed upon that Harry and Meghan would no longer have their royal titles nor engage with royal duties.

March 2020 – The couple goes back to the UK for their last official royal duty at the annual Commonwealth Day service in London.

The "Megxit" movement

April 2020 – Meghan and Harry cut ties with four newspapers, including The Sun, Daily Mail, Daily Inquiry, and Daily Express, in which they would no longer answer or engage with any journalists’ members of these communication businesses. The same month, the couple talks more in-depth about the plans to launch a non-profit organization called Archewell, named after their son Archie. The ONG was launched in October of that same year.

July 2020 – The couple moves to Santa Barbara in California. The papers and social media give the movement of their distancing from royalty the name “Megxit”.

A new beggining

August 2020 – The couple places flowers in honor of Princess Diana’s anniversary of death.

September 2020 – While preparing for the streaming of the fourth season of The Crown, a biographical drama of the royal family, Netflix announces that the couple signed a multi-year deal to produce tv shows and movies for children and adults. 

November 2020 – Meghan reveals to the New York Times that she had a miscarriage in July, and opens up about the couple’s mental health and healing process.

February 14, 2021 - Meghan wins her case against Associated Newspaper for breaching her exchange of mail between her and her father. It was also the day where they announced another pregnancy. Harry wins an apology from the Mail on an article claiming he had turned his back on the military. Four days later, Buckingham Palace announces that the couple’s split from monarchy would be permanent and that they would lose their royal patronages. In a James Corden show, "The Late Late Show", Harry says that he stepped away from royal duties because of how “toxic” the British press was destroying his mental health and also because he wanted to protect his family from it.

March 2021 – The Times reports that Meghan and Harry’s former staff bullied the couple, and Buckingham Palace launches an investigation about it. Meghan and Harry have their first sit-down after leaving monarchy in an exclusive episode of Oprah, "Oprah with Meghan and Harry: a CBS primetime special". They both come clean about their time in England and their duty with the monarchy, while also explaining the events after their exit. It revealed the couple’s mental health. Meghan also talks about her naiveness before entering the royal institution and talks about the polemic episode with a royal family member who was “concerned” about Archie’s skin color.

April 2021 – Harry lays on a job at BetterUp Inc. Netflix announces that the couple will be launching a documentary series "Heart of Invictus", that will accompany the participants of the Invictus Game, an international event founded by Harry in 2014. It will be the first production made by Archewell Productions

On the 9th of April, Buckingham Palace announces that Prince Philip has died at the age of 99. Harry goes back to England for his grandparent’s funeral, but Meghan stays behind because of medical precautions since she’s pregnant.

It’s an undeniable truth that Meghan Markle and Harry agitated the world and Britain’s monarchy, especially with Oprah’s interview. Whether more truths will come out or not, it is only reserved for the future. Until then, we peasants will have to wait for more news to have, at least, a little piece of royalty in our life and of this couple who became a favorite to us.

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This article was edited by Nicoly Bastos.

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Bárbara Castro

Casper Libero '23

Hi! I'm a journalist who loves reading, writing and everything from pop culture!
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