Reports surface that Harry is dating Markle. A royal insider tells PEOPLE that they have been seeing each other for “a couple of months.”
Markle steps out for the first time in Toronto since her romance with Harry is revealed.
Harry confirms he is dating Markle with an unprecedented public statement. In it, he condemns the sexist and racist abuse she had been subjected to in the days since their relationship was made public. “Prince Harry is worried about Ms. Markle’s safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her,” the statement read. “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.”
Prince William releases a statement of his own, this one equally unprecedented, refuting reports that he was displeased with Harry’s decision to publicly condemn reports about Markle. “The Duke of Cambridge absolutely understands the situation concerning privacy and supports the need for Prince Harry to support those closest to him,” says the statement, which Kensington Palace released to The Telegraph.
Harry makes a detour to Toronto on his way home from his official tour of the Caribbean to see Markle. During his time in the Caribbean, he looks uncomfortable when the Prime Minister of Antigua announces at a pubic event, “I am told that there may be a new princess and I just want to say that should you make the decision to honeymoon – then Antigua and Barbuda want to welcome you.”
Meghan leaves London after spending the week before Christmas with Harry. Harry, flanked by five Metropolitan police officers, personally accompanied his girlfriend to Heathrow airport to wish her farewell prior to the flight. During her London visit, the couple go Christmas tree shopping together.
For a winter getaway, Markle and Harry visited Tromvik, Norway, a small, isolated town in the northern region of the country. There, they were able to whale watch and see the Northern Lights, though a local told PEOPLE that the couple was “discreet” during their stay.
Harry and Markle are photographed at their first public event together. She watches him play polo in the Audi Polo Challenge at Coworth Park Polo Club in Ascot, England. The couple were also photographed sharing a kiss afterward — the first time they’ve done so in public.
Harry and Markle are spotted out and about in London after having dinner at the Soho House. Later that month, she returns to Toronto, where she films the USA legal drama Suits, after spending weeks with Harry at his London home, Nottingham Cottage, at Kensington Palace.
Markle and Harry head to Jamaica to attend the wedding of Tom “Skippy” Inskip — one of Harry’s closest friends — and Laura Hughes-Young. “Harry and Meghan seem very much in love,” a source tells PEOPLE, adding that Harry spent much of his time introducing Markle to friends during the “joyful” wedding. At one point, the onlooker says that Harry got up and “did a little dance” for Markle.
Instead of spending the holiday at home in England with the rest of his family, Harry heads to Toronto to spend Easter weekend with Markle.
Though she didn’t attend the daytime ceremony, Harry brought Markle as his date to Pippa Middleton’s wedding reception.
Harry and Markle are photographed arriving in Africa for a safari vacation. They arrive on Aug. 4, her 36th birthday. During their three-week visit, they spent time in Botswana and Zambia, at Victoria Falls.
Markle sits down with Vanity Fair for her first-ever interview about her relationship with Harry. “I can tell you that at the end of the day I think it’s really simple,” Markle tells the magazine’s October 2017 issue. “We’re two people who are really happy and in love.”
It is announced that Markle’s ex-husband, Trevor Engelson, is set to produce a series based on their relationship, as well as Markle’s relationship with Harry.
For the first time, Markle and Harry make an official public appearance together — sort of. They both attend the opening ceremonies for the 2017 Invictus Games in her adopted hometown of Toronto, Canada, but they don’t actually appear at the event side-by-side. Instead, Markle sits next to mutual friend Markus Anderson, who introduced the couple, and Harry next to First Lady Melania Trump.
Two days later, Harry and Markle make their first official public apperance together at a wheelchair tennis match at the Invictus Games. The two enter hand in hand, and “seemed at home with each other,” said Kylie Lawler, whose husband Kyle was playing in the match.
Markle and Harry are not only seen together at the closing ceremonies for the Invictus Games, but they’re photographed kissing, too. Meghan’s mom, Doria Ragland, is seated in the private box with the couple during the event.
It is reported that Harry has brought Markle to Buckingham Palace to introduce her to his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth. As fifth (soon to be sixth, when Prince William and Princess Kate welcome their third child next year) in line to the throne, Harry must procure the Queen’s permission before he marries.
At a ceremony to honor Britain’s fallen soldiers at Westminster Abbey’s Field of Remembrance, fellow veteran Matt Weston asked Harry why Markle wasn’t there with him. “I took the mickey and asked where his missus was and he said she wasn’t here,” Weston told reporters. “I asked if she would come next time because she’s awesome, and he said he couldn’t hide her anywhere — but I said you wouldn’t have to hide her.”
Harry and Markle announced that they are engaged on Monday, Nov. 27, 2017. According to Kensington Palace, the pair got engaged earlier in November and will have a wedding in Spring 2018.