Can you call it a blind date if he's a royal and she's a TV star? Prince Harry and Meghan Markle had likely seen photos of each other before they let their mutual friends set them up in the summer of 2016, but they hadn't spoken. Retelling the story of their first date to the BBC, Markle said "I didn't know much about him, so the only thing that I had asked [our mutual friend] when she said that she wanted to set us up, was, 'Well is he nice?' Cause if he wasn't kind, it just didn't seem like it would make sense." Turns out, he was nice, and they were both thrilled, hitting it off immediately. Two years later, the couple is now engaged, and set to wed on May 19 at Windsor Castle. Here's a recap of their courtship.
Danny Lawson - PA Images/PA Images via Getty ImagesPUBLIC PERSONAFollowing their first date, they were able to keep their relationship under wraps for several months before the British press got wind of the news. The Sunday Express was first to report on their relationship, in October 2016.Danny Lawson - PA Images/PA Images via Getty ImagesWHEN THEY GO LOWThe next two weeks brought a whirlwind of attention to Markle and her family from the press as well as fans and critics on social media. When the coverage went in a sexist and racist direction, Prince Harry stepped in, taking the unprecedented move of releasing a statement deriding the commentary and asking for reflection and respect from the press.Karwai Tang/WireImageBY ROYAL DECREEThe statement, released November 2016, read in part: "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."BEN BIRCHALL/AFP/Getty ImagesIN LOVEThat statement was the first time Prince Harry acknowledged the relationship publicly. Markle's first comments came nearly a year later, in an interview in Vanity Fair. "We're two people who are really happy and in love," she told the magazine.Chris JacksonMAKE 'EM LAUGHSince their relationship has been made public, the two have been spotted together walking through London and appearing at official events like the Invictus Games, which was created by Prince Harry for wounded service members turned athletes.Handout/Alexi Lubomirski via Getty ImageTO BE MARRIEDIn November 2017, the two announced their engagement.
Chris Jackson/Chris Jackson/Getty ImagesHandout/Alexi Lubomirski via Getty ImagesVictoria Jones - PA Images/PA Images via Getty ImagesCROWD FAVORITESince the engagement, the couple have begun touring the region together, including this stop at Millennium Point in Birmingham.CHRIS JACKSON/AFP/Getty ImagesGIVING BACKHere the royal-couple-to-be attends the first annual Royal Foundation Forum in February 2018.Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImageRSVPPrince Harry and Markle will marry at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle on May 19. The venue has room for 800 guests inside, but millions more will be tuning in from home to catch a glimpse of the newest royal couple.