Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Whirlwind Romance: A Complete Timeline

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Royal wedding bells are chiming!

Kensington Palace announced the engagement of Prince Harry to Suits star Meghan Markle on Nov. 27, 2017.

And while we are anxiously prepping for May 19, when the regal festivities will all go down, let’s look back at the romance between these two:

July 2016: They Meet

The couple met in July at  after they were set up on a blind date by a mutual friend believed to Violet von Westenholz, according to Katie Nicholl's book Harry: Life, Loss and Love. Von Westenholz's father is a friend of Prince Charles, which explains the Harry connection and works for Ralph Lauren, which is how she met Meghan. 

In their adorable engagement interview, Harry spoke fondly of their first meeting. "I was beautifully surprised when I walked into that room and saw her [for the first time],"he shared. "I was like, 'Wow, OK. I'm going to have to up my game here. I'm going to sit down and make sure I got a good chat.'"

Their second date immediately followed, the two meeting at Soho House London, which has a no camera policy so they wouldn't have been photographed together. 

July 2016: Botswana Under the Stars

After those two dates in London, Harry was clearly smitten and invited Meghan to join him in Botswana before he jetted to an AIDS conference in South Africa. She accepted the invitation (who wouldn't?!).

"I think about three, maybe four weeks later [after we met], I managed to persuade her to come join me in Botswana and we camped out with each other under the stars," Harry gushed in their engagement interview. "We spent five days out there, which was absolutely fantastic. Then we were really by ourselves, which was crucial to me to make sure we had a chance to get to know each other."

Harry would later source the main diamond of Meghan's engagement ring from the African country because it plays such a special role in their relationship. But we're getting ahead of ourselves...

November 2016: Prince Harry Releases a Telling Statement

After several rumors surrounding the Suits star and the red-headed royal led to Meghan being followed and harassed once she was back in Toronto to shoot the USA show, Prince Harry took matters into his own hands. In a rare move, Harry released an official statement from Kensington Palace, both referring to Meghan as his "girlfriend" and condemning those harassing her.

“It is not right that a few months into a relationship with him that Ms. Markle should be subjected to such a storm,” the statement read. “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.”

The telling moment of chivalry marked a new stage in Harry’s dating life. Meghan became the first of Harry’s girlfriends to be so publicly acknowledged. 

Andrew Milligan - WPA Pool/Getty Images

December 2016: First Christmas Together

Things got even cuter when Meghan made her way across the pond to celebrate the holidays with her prince charming. The pair picked out a Christmas tree together at a local lot and were photographed together for the first time while attending a production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time in London’s West End.

March 2017: Jamaican Vacation

From there, things kept getting more and more serious. The couple attended a friend’s wedding in Jamaica together and stayed for a brief vacation afterward.

"This is a big event for Prince Harry, because it's one of his best friends getting married," Katie Nicholl told ET at the time. "It's a big deal for her to be going as his plus one."

May 2017: First Public Appearance

Meghan cheered on her man at the Audi Polo Challenge in Ascot, England, and the two even engaged in some PDA following the match.

May 2017: Pippa Middleton’s Wedding

It was the royal event of the season this past spring when Kate Middleton’s younger sister, Pippa, wed James Matthews. Though Meghan didn’t attend the ceremony, she was all smiles when spotted arriving at the wedding reception with Harry.

August 2017: Birthday Getaway

The couple jetted off to South Africa over the summer to celebrate Markle’s 36th birthday. They were rumored to have gone on a safari and even camped out for the occasion. 

September 2017: Meghan Declares Her Love

Meghan made a big statement of her own in the October issue of Vanity Fair. The actress spoke about her romance with Harry for the first time.

“I can tell you that at the end of the day I think it’s really simple. We’re two people who are really happy and in love. We were very quietly dating for about six months before it became news,” she told the magazine. “And I was working during that whole time, and the only thing that changed was people’s perception. Nothing about me changed. I’m still the same person that I am, and I’ve never defined myself by my relationship.”

September 2017: Invictus Games

After months of staying out of the spotlight, the couple made a public debut in a big way at the Invictus Games. They both attended the opening ceremony, while sitting separately, but then teamed up to watch the wheelchair tennis match a couple days later. The couple held hands and whispered to one another, not hiding their PDA. 

Chris Jackson/Getty Images for the Invictus Games Foundation

November 2017: Moving In

After filming wrapped on Markle’s final season of Suits, she was spotted moving across the pond. Markle was seen out and about in London days before her engagement news broke.

November 27, 2017: Engagement Confirmation!

It’s official! Kensington Palace confirmed the news that Markle and Harry had gotten engaged in early November on Monday, Nov. 27. The statement revealed that couple plans to wed in Spring 2018 and that the Queen is “delighted” by the news. Harry also asked the permission of Meghan’s parents prior to popping the question. The statement revealed that the two will live together in Nottingham Cottage on the Kensington Palace grounds.

Following the announcement, the two attend a photo call in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace and have their first joint interview with BBC.

Tim Rooke

December 1, 2017: First Royal Engagement

The newly engaged couple attend the Terrence Higgins Trust World AIDS Day charity fair in Nottingham, England. The event marks their first public event and first royal duties together after their engagement was formally announced days earlier.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
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December 21, 2017: Engagement Photos

Prince Harry and Meghan's official engagement portraits, taken by Alexi Lubomirski, are released. In one of the pics, Meghan is seen wearing a stunning black-and-gold Ralph & Russo gown. In the casual black-and-white photos the Suits star is wearing a casual light sweater and cuddled up to her fiance, who is donning a big coat. The two share a laugh as Meghan touches Harry's face, showcasing her stunning engagement ring.

Alexi Lubomirski

December 25, 2017

Meghan attends Christmas Day church service with Harry and the rest of his family. This is the first royal family affair for the California girl.

Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie, Princess Anne, Princess Royal, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry attend Christmas Day Church service
Chris Jackson/Getty Images

January 9, 2018: Second Official Engagement

The lovebirds kick off the new year with their second official appearance at Reprezent radio station in Brixton, London, which provides educational and training programs for at-risk teens in the community. This is also when Meghan introduced us to the messy bun.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry visit a radio station in London.
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January 18, 2018: Cardiff Castle

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle visit Cardiff Castle together and look more in love than ever. They also visit Star Hub, where they meet with local children at the sports leisure center.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
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February 1, 2018: Suit It Up

The couple looks equally stylish in matching suits, Harry in navy and Meghan in a black Alexander McQueen pant suit, while attending the Endeavour Fund Awards in London, which supports and celebrates the achievements of veterans.

John Stillwell/PA Images via Getty Images

February 13, 2018: Trip to Scotland

Looking as happy as can be, the twosome make their first trip to Scotland together to visit Edinburgh Castle.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
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February 28, 2018: The Fab Four

A family affair! Harry and Meghan, along with Kate Middleton and Prince William, attend the first annual Royal Foundation Forum in London, where they sat on a panel and answered questions about their philanthropic efforts.

March 8, 2018: Matching Coats

On International Women's Day, the couple -- in coordinating navy coats -- make their way into Millennium Point in Birmingham, England.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
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March 12, 2018: Commonwealth Day Service

Another big moment for the couple was joining Kate, William, and the rest of the royal family, including Queen Elizabeth, at a Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey in London. Meghan looked breathtaking in a cream-colored Amanda Wakeley coat with a white Stephen Jones hat and navy heels, seemingly taking a style cue from her future sister-in-law, Kate Middleton.

During the service, Harry and Meghan shared a sweet moment when they were spotted on live TV giggling. It’s unclear whether the pair were sharing a private joke or reacting to Liam Payne’s performance, but the internet quickly picked up on the exchange.

March 23, 2018: Surprise Trip to Ireland

The bride-to-be and Harry make a surprise trip to Ireland where they greeted people and made their way into Catalyst Inc., Northern Ireland's next-generation science park, in Belfast.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
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May 19, 2018: Royal Wedding

The big day! This might be in the near future, but the couple has been busy preparing for the royal wedding. The twosome have chosen their cake, florist, sent out invitation and getting fit for the their nuptials.

For more on the royal wedding and everything we know (so far!) watch the video below. And be sure to keep up with all of ET's coverage of the royal wedding as we count down to May 19.


Royal Wedding Countdown: All the Details on Meghan Markle's Dress, Wedding Party and More!

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's Royal Wedding: The Complete Guide

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Royal Wedding: All the Famous Guests to Expect

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