Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's relationship timeline, as they celebrate their fifth wedding anniversary
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are celebrating their fifth wedding anniversary. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex married on Saturday May 19, 2018 at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle in front of 600 guests.
In the five years since, they have welcomed two children, stepped down as senior members of the royal family, and moved to California.
The past year has seen the couple release a fly-on-the-wall Netflix documentary about their relationship, aptly titled Harry & Meghan, Meghan also released a 12-episode podcast series called Archetypes and Harry's scathing memoir about growing up in the Royal Family topped the bestseller lists.
Read more: What Meghan Markle was like on her wedding day, from those who were there
Most recently, Harry returned to the UK to attend his father, King Charles III's coronation in early May. The coronation was held on May 6, the same day as his son Archie's fourth birthday, and Harry was pictured at Heathrow returning to LA less than an hour after the coronation ceremony ended.
As Harry and Meghan celebrate five years together, we take a look back at Harry and Meghan’s relationship timeline so far.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's relationship timeline
In May this year Harry attended his father's coronation without his wife and children. He was sat in the third row next to cousins Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice and uncle Prince Andrew, and did not appear to interact with his father or brother.
Harry was pictured at Heathrow less than an hour after the coronation finished to get on a flight back to LA so he could make it home for the evening to celebrate his son Archie's fourth birthday.
Meghan and Harry were spotted later in May having dinner with Cameron Diaz and her husband Benji Madden, and Gwyneth Paltrow and her husband Brad Falchuck.
Harry's memoir Spare was released on January 10 this year and included claims that his stepmother, Queen Camilla, had been leaking stories about Harry and Meghan to the press. Harry also said that he and William had asked Charles not to marry Camilla after the death of their mother, Princess Diana.
Harry also claimed that Meghan was not invited to Balmoral when the late Queen died in September last year, and said that his brother 'attacked' him by ripping off his necklace.
The six-part Netflix series, titled Harry & Meghan, was released and took a behind-the-scenes look at their love story, relationship with the press and the 'full truth' behind what led them to step back as senior members of the Royal Family.
Some of the biggest revelations from the series included Harry commenting on a rift between himself and his brother William.
"It was terrifying to have my brother screaming and shouting at me, and my father say things that simply weren't true, and my grandmother quietly sit there and take it all in," Harry said of the 'round table' meeting he had with senior royals after he and Meghan announced they were stepping down from the Royal Family.
"The saddest part of it was this wedge created between me and my brother, so that he's now on the institution side. And part of that I get — I understand that's his inheritance and its already engrained in him that part of his responsibility is the survival of this institution."
Harry and Meghan were in Germany, attending events in the lead-up to the 2023 Invictus Games, then after the death of Queen Elizabeth, they flew to the UK to be with the Royal Family.
The couple attended the late monarch's funeral on September 19 along with the extended Royal Family, however Harry was unable to wear his military uniform for the sombre occasion.
Read more: 'Diana was at fault, too': Queen's former adviser's warning to Harry and Meghan
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex returned to the UK for the first time since stepping back as senior working members of the Royal Family to attend Queen Elizabeth's Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
They attended the Trooping the Colour parade but did not appear alongside other members of the royal family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace. They also attended the Service of Thanksgiving at St. Paul's Cathedral alongside other members of the Royal Family.
Meghan and Harry took the opportunity to introduce Lilibet to her namesake and great-grandmother, the Queen, at her intimate first birthday party in the garden of Frogmore Cottage
Read more: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle release rare photo of Lilibet on her first birthday
June 8, 2021
Meghan released her first children's book, The Bench, based on a poem she originally wrote for Prince Harry on Fathers' Day.
June 4, 2021
Meghan and Harry welcomed their daughter, Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor, named after her maternal grandmother, the late Princess Diana, and the nickname of her great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth.
Read more: Keeping it in the family: How the Sussexes have followed tradition with Lilibet's name
Read more: Echoes of Diana's death in Meghan and Harry's Netflix docuseries as car followed in unseen footage
Prince Harry attended the funeral of his grandfather, Prince Philip, whilst Meghan stayed in California, reportedly too far along in her pregnancy to fly.
"My grandfather was a man of service, honour and great humour," Prince Harry said in a statement. "He was authentically himself, with a seriously sharp wit, and could hold the attention of any room due to his charm—and also because you never knew what he might say next."
He added that the Duke of Edinburgh was a "master of the barbecue, legend of banter and cheeky right 'til the end."
Read more: Harry hints he and Meghan will tell all in unseen footage from new Netflix trailer: 'No-one knows the full truth'
Harry and Meghan's first sit-down interview since leaving the Royal Family with Oprah Winfrey was aired on CBS in the US on 7 March and in the UK the following day.
The couple opened up about leaving the Royal Family, speaking about both their mental health and how one member of the Royal Family had "concerns" about "how dark [Archie's] skin might be" in the special interview.
The pair also revealed they were expecting a baby girl.
February 19, 2021
Buckingham Palace confirmed that Harry and Meghan would no longer work on behalf of the Royal Family going forward, and would step back from all royal patronages. Prince Harry also lost all of his honorary military appointments with The Royal Marines, the RAF Honington, and the Royal Navy Small Ships and Diving.
In a statement released by Prince Harry and Markle, the couple said they "remain committed to their duty and service to the U.K. and around the world, and have offered their continued support to the organizations [sic] they have represented regardless of official role."
Read more: Royals on magazine covers: Meghan is the latest to flex her modelling muscles
February 14, 2021
Meghan and Harry announced they were expecting a child with a series of black and white photos taken in their back garden.
"We can confirm that Archie is going to be a big brother. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are overjoyed to be expecting their second child," said a spokesperson for the couple.
The couple later revealed they were expecting a girl, due in the summer, in their interview with Oprah Winfrey.
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Meghan revealed that she had suffered a miscarriage in July 2020, opening up about the "unbearable grief, experienced by many, but talked about by few" in an op-ed essay for the New York Times called The Losses We Share.
Meghan and Harry announced that they had founded their own production company under the Archewell umbrella, and signed a deal with Netflix.
"Our focus will be on creating content that informs but also gives hope," Harry and Meghan told the New York Times. "As new parents, making inspirational family programming is also important to us."
Read more: Meghan Markle's new look: The duchess' sartorial evolution since stepping down as a senior royal
Meghan, Harry and Archie moved into their new home in Montecito, Californina, according to Vogue.
Meghan and Harry announced they intend to launch a non-profit organisation called Archewell named after their son, Archie.
The couple returned to the UK for their final engagements as senior royals, attending the 2020 Endeavour Fund Awards and Commonwealth Day Service in London.
After a six-week break from royal duties and spending the holidays in Canada with Meghan's mother, the couple announced their decision to "step back" as senior members of the Royal Family and split their time between Canada and the UK.
"We intend to step back as 'senior' members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen," the statement read. "We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honor [sic] our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages.
"This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity."
Read more: 'History repeating itself': The striking similarities between Meghan and Diana
It was revealed that Meghan and Harry were suing Associated Newspapers after a private letter sent by Markle to her father before their wedding was published in the Daily Mail.
"Unfortunately, my wife has become one of the latest victims of a British tabloid press that wages campaigns against individuals with no thought to the consequences – a ruthless campaign that has escalated over the past year, throughout her pregnancy and while raising our newborn son," Harry wrote in a statement.
Read more: Meghan Markle reveals she and Harry 'had to leave' Archie during South Africa tour following nursery fire
The royal couple toured Malawi, Angola and South Africa with a six-month-old Archie, making him the youngest royal to go on an official tour.
Meghan later revealed in her podcast in 2022 that there had been a fire in Archie's nursery whilst they were on the trip, but they "had to leave" him behind with a nanny for another engagement.
May 6, 2019
Meghan gave birth to royal the couple’s first child, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, at the Portland Hospital in London. “I have the two best guys in the world,” she later tells reporters, “so I’m really happy.”
Archie wasn't given any royal titles – a choice that Meghan told Oprah Winfrey in 2021 "wasn't their own" – and the details of his godparents and christening weren't released to the public.
Read more: 'Spare’ heir Harry’s achieved his dream life - and proved his palace critics wrong
April 10, 2019
In a break from royal tradition, Buckingham Palace announced the Duke and Duchess of Sussex had decided to “keep the plans around the arrival of their baby private.”
Meghan and Harry went on to share the news once they’d had time to celebrate with their newborn and family privately.
April 4, 2019
Meghan and Harry moved into Frogmore Cottage, ahead of the baby’s birth. The Grade-II listed property underwent renovations to turn it from staff accommodation to a 10-bedroom family home.
April 2, 2019
The couple launched their own official Instagram account, SussexRoyal, which broke a world record by gaining one million followers in just six hours.
March 14, 2019
It was announced that the Sussexes would have their own separate royal household at Buckingham Palace, formally splitting from their joint office with the Cambridges.
Meghan revealed to well-wishers in Birkenhead that their baby was due end of April, beginning of May.
Kensington Palace announced the couple would be moving from Nottingham Cottage in London to Frogmore Cottage in Windsor before the baby’s birth.
October 15, 2018
Ahead of their 16-day royal tour of Australia, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand, the couple announced they were expecting a baby in spring 2019.
May 19, 2018
The couple married at St George’s Chapel in Windsor and were given the titles the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
Meghan wore a bateau-neck, three-quarter-length sleeve wedding dress, designed by Clare Waight Keller for Givenchy.
The bride’s five-metre veil was embroidered with the flora of every Commonwealth nation and she borrowed the Queen Mary Diamond Bandeau tiara, from the royal jewellery collection.
The nuptials were attended by members of the Royal Family and a host of A-list celebrities.
Meghan and Harry joined Kate and William for their first formal engagement as a foursome at the inaugural Royal Foundation Forum. They took part in a discussion about their charity work and future plans, and the media dubbed them the ‘fab four’ thereafter.
December 25, 2017
Meghan spent her first Christmas at Sandringham with the Royal Family and it was the first time she and Harry were pictured with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, as they walked to church together.
Fiancées are typically not invited to join the royal Christmas activities but Queen Elizabeth invited Meghan to join the family at her Sandringham estate.
November 27, 2017
Harry and Meghan announced their engagement and posed for a photocall in Kensington gardens.
During a BBC interview, they revealed that Harry proposed while they were cooking roast chicken at their home, Nottingham Cottage.
Meghan’s three-stone engagement ring contained two diamonds from Princess Diana’s personal collection and one from Botswana.
The couple made their first official public appearance at the Invictus Games in Toronto. They arrived to watch wheelchair tennis, holding hands and Meghan added more fuel to engagement rumours by wearing a Misha Nonoo design, called the ‘Husband shirt.’
May 20, 2017
Harry attended Pippa Middleton and James Matthews’ wedding in Bucklebury, with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. He reportedly drove back to London to collect Meghan from Kensington Palace and the two were spotted arriving at the evening celebrations.
May 6, 2017
Meghan cheered Harry on at the Audi Polo Challenge in Ascot. She wore an Antonio Berardi dress and white jacket for her debut at the annual match.
Watch: Full trailer for Harry & Meghan Netflix documentary
November 8, 2016
Harry released an unprecedented statement asking the press and online trolls to stop the “wave of abuse and harassment” that had been directed at his then girlfriend Meghan.
He said at the time that he was “worried about Ms. Markle’s safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her.”
He added: “It is not right that a few months into a relationship with him that Ms. Markle should be subjected to such a storm.”
Read more: What did Meghan Markle really know about the Royal Family before meeting Harry?
The couple kept their relationship private for four or five months, until royal correspondent Camilla Tominey broke the story in The Sunday Express.
Harry and then Suits actor Meghan met on a blind date in London in the summer of 2016, reportedly set up by a mutual friend. Neither have confirmed who said friend was, but suggestions have included fashion designer Misha Nonoo, Soho House consultant Markus Anderson and fashion PR Violet von Westenholz.