Timeline of Harry and Meghan’s Relationship
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s unprecedented decision to step back as “senior” members of the royal family has enthralled and divided Britain. Following “Megxit” talks, a severance deal – likened to the “hard Brexit” of Boris Johnson – was announced on January 18, 2020. It shows a decisive and unsentimental move by the Queen, as the royal family is making a clean break with two of its most popular members.
Although Harry will remain a prince and sixth in line of succession, the couple will no longer use their HRH (His/Her Royal Highness) titles. They will not receive public funds for royal duties and will no longer formally represent the Queen. Apparently, being a “part-time royal” is not an option.
It is all just uncharted territory, and as we wait to see how much financial independence the couple will really have and what will happen with their “Sussex Royal” branding, we take a look at Harry and Meghan’s relationship from their first date to their royal departure.
October 30th, 2016: News breaks that Prince Harry is dating American actress Meghan Markle. The couple had met earlier in 2016 through friends in London.
December 2016 – May 2017: Harry and Meghan are spotted on several dates – buying a Christmas tree in London, going to see the Northern Lights in Norway, and attending Pipa Middleton’s wedding reception.
September 25th, 2017: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle make their official public appearance as a couple at a wheelchair tennis event at the Invictus Games in Toronto, Canada.
November 27th, 2017: Clarence House announces Harry and Meghan’s engagement. They pose for pictures at Kensington Palace and record a television interview.
December 1st, 2017: The newly engaged couple arrive in Nottingham for their first joint visit.
February 1st, 2018: Meghan attends her first official evening engagement with Harry at the Endeavour Fund Awards.
February 28th, 2018: Meghan and Harry attend a Royal Foundation forum with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge – the first time Harry, Meghan, William, and Kate attend an official function together.
May 19th, 2018: Harry and Meghan marry at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, and become the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
May 22nd, 2018: The newlyweds’ first official engagement as a married couple is a Buckingham Palace garden party in honour of the Prince of Wales’ patronages in his 70th birthday year.
October 15th, 2018: An announcement from Kensington Palace states that the duke and duchess are “very pleased” that Meghan is expecting a baby in the spring of 2019.
May 6th, 2019: Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor is born at the Portland Hospital in London. It is a break from tradition, as previous royals have given birth at the Lindo Wing at St Mary’s Hospital in London.
May 8th, 2019: Baby Archie is officially introduced to the world at a press briefing at St George’s Hall at Windsor Castle. Harry and Meghan later reveal they chose not to use the courtesy title Earl Dumbarton.
July 7th, 2019: Archie is christened at an intimate ceremony attended by close family. Harry and Meghan go against convention, deciding not to announce Archie’s godparents.
Harry and Meghan Go Their Own Way
October 21st, 2019: In a documentary, Meghan discusses her struggles with royal life while Harry reveals he and brother William are on “different paths.”
November 14th, 2019: Harry and Meghan confirm they will not spend Christmas at Sandringham with the Royal Family. Instead, the couple take a six-week break and spend the holidays in Canada.
January 8th, 2020: In a statement released by Buckingham Palace, the duke and duchess announce they are stepping back as “senior” royals and are “working to become financially independent.”
January 19th, 2020: Buckingham Palace announces Prince Harry and Meghan will no longer use their HRH titles and will not receive public funds for royal duties.