Harry and Meghan celebrate five years of marriage after ‘near catastrophic’ car chase

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are celebrating their fifth anniversary today (Friday 19 May).

This year’s anniversary is perhaps overshadowed by a recent incident with the paparazzi, where an alleged car chase involving the royal couple is said to have lasted two hours through the streets of New York City on Tuesday night (16 May).

While contrasting accounts of the events are still being unearthed, representatives of the Sussexes have said the incident was “near catastrophic” and that members of the paparazzi involved were “highly aggressive”.

As the pair mark five years of marriage, we take a look back at the beginnings of their relationship and wedding day.

The first date

Meghan and Harry met through mutual friends in London in July 2016, and went on their first date to the private member’s club Soho House.

In the first episode of their Netflix documentary series, Harry & Meghan, the couple recalled their first date, with Meghan revealing that Harry was late.

“We met at 76 Dean Street. You were late!” Meghan recalled to Harry as they were interviewed side-by-side on a sofa. “And I couldn’t understand why he would be late.”

The former Suits star then revealed Harry’s tardiness almost put her off him, because she did not want to date “one of those guys who have so much of an ego that any girl would sit waiting for a half hour for you”.

A black and white selfie the pair took on their first date (Netflix)
A black and white selfie the pair took on their first date (Netflix)

Harry, who told Meghan at the time that he was stuck in traffic, admitted: “I was panicking, I was freaking out. I was sweating.”

He said he arrived as a “hot, sweaty red ball of mess”, and Meghan realised he was “genuinely so embarrassed [to be] late”.

The couple announced their engagement in November 2017 and were interviewed by the BBC’s Mishal Hussain at their home, Frogmore Cottage, in Windsor, about the news.

Harry proposed to Meghan with a custom ring made by court jewellers Cleave and Company using one diamond sourced from Botswana and two smaller stones from Princess Diana’s collection.

The big day

At their wedding on 19 May 2018, the bride and groom continued to defy convention at the wedding by putting a modern spin on everything from the cake to the ceremony itself.

Harry and Meghan leaving their wedding in 2018 (Aaron Chown - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Harry and Meghan leaving their wedding in 2018 (Aaron Chown - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

The couple also chose Reverend Michael Curry, the first black presiding bishop and primate of the Episcopal Church, to deliver a powerful sermon about love during the wedding.

The service was held at St George’s Chapel in Windsor and welcomed guests including David and Victoria Beckham, Oprah Winfrey, George and Amal Clooney and Serena Williams.

Overall, there were 800 people in attendance at the chapel.

The joyous day was somewhat dampened after it was revealed that Thomas Markle Sr, Meghan’s father, would not be there to walk her down the aisle. Instead, Meghan walked herself down the aisle until she was joined by the then-Prince Charles, who gave her away.

Meghan wore a simple boat-neck gown with bracelet-length sleeves and an abbey-length train, designed by Clare Waight Keller of the house of Givenchy in Paris.

In 2020, after two years married, the pair decided to step back from royal duties and relocate to America. The pair now live in Montecito, California with their two children; Archie, four and Lilbet, one.