Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s relationship began with an unassuming, one-hour date in London.
In 2016, when Harry and Meghan first began dating, the press were quick to publish stories about the two. Buckingham Palace soon realized they had to intervene in some way.
But what the Palace did to introduce Harry and Meghan’s relationship to the public had a very negative effect on one person. According to two royal experts, then-Prince Charles was ‘crushed’ by the shocking news.
It didn’t take long for the couple to start dating properly, and in 2018 the two tied the knot in St. George’s Chapel at Windsor. At that stage, many believed the couple to be the future of the British Royal Family. Of course, we all know by now how wrong those predictions were.
Harry and Meghan’s relationship has been anything but peaceful and private. Since the day the paparazzi found out about their dating, the couple has been firmly in the spotlight. Of course, the press played its part, but Harry and Meghan have been open about their story. They’ve spoken candidly to the world via interviews, podcasts, a Netflix documentary series, and Harry’s memoir, Spare.
The beginning of Harry and Meghan’s relationship was, as is usually the case, a period of unbroken bliss. Yet though they have created a wonderful family of four since, there have also been many ups and downs. In the very beginning of their relationship, they seem to have kept things extremely private. In fact, not even now-King Charles knew about it.
In December last year, Harry & Meghan released their Netflix documentary series. Through that, the Prince told the story of how the couple met in full, revealing that Meghan first caught his eye on Instagram when she appeared in a mutual friend’s video. In said video, Meghan wore a filter that gave her dog ears. It was apparently enough to pique Harry’s interest.
“I was like, who is that?” Harry said in the documentary.
After that, one of their mutual friends introduced Meghan to Harry – and the rest, as they say, is history. Meghan described how she was in London for the Wimbledon tennis tournament in 2016 when she and Harry made plans to meet.
They scheduled a dinner, though things could have gotten off to a better start. Harry and Meghan were to meet at the Soho House in London, but the actress was forced to wait on her date for 30 minutes as Harry was running late.
“I couldn’t understand why he would be late,” Meghan said in the series. “But he kept texting. He was like, ‘I’m in traffic. I’m so sorry.’” “I was panicking, I was freaking out,” Harry added. “I was, like, sweatin’.”
Meghan explained that because she didn’t know Harry, she wondered if he was usually late.
“I was like, ‘Oh, is this what he does?’ Got it. Like this, I’m not doing. I’m not gonna sit…..” “What’s that supposed to mean?” Harry interfered. “Like you’re one of those guys who have so much of an ego that any girl would sit waiting for a half hour for you,” Meghan continued. “I was just not interested in that.”
Once Harry walked into the restaurant, though, Meghan quickly realized his being late wasn’t part of any tactic or plan.
“I was a hot, sweaty, red ball of mess,” Harry recalled. “You were just so sweet,” Meghan added. “You were genuinely so embarrassed and late.”
The relationship between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle was a whirlwind romance that captivated the world, with their first date being “refreshingly fun,” according to Meghan. The couple’s first date lasted about an hour, and the next day, Meghan arrived five minutes late for their second date. Harry, smitten by Meghan, told her that she could be as late as she wanted because he was not going anywhere. This was when he realized that Meghan was the one he had been looking for all along.
Harry was elated with his relationship with Meghan, with one of his friends recounting that Harry had exclaimed, “Guys, I met a girl. We just met, but I think she’s the one.” Meghan felt a special connection with Harry from the beginning, even though they had a long-distance relationship that was kept a secret from the world. Despite the distance, the couple spoke for hours on FaceTime and texted each other frequently, and it felt relaxed and easy.
On May 19, 2018, Harry and Meghan tied the knot in a grand wedding ceremony at St. George’s Chapel. However, in the year following their exit from the royal family, the couple began to verbally attack the royals, with Meghan stating in the infamous Oprah Winfrey interview that she had been treated badly by the Royal Family, even saying that they did not help her when she was experiencing mental health problems.
It was a surprise for King Charles and his staff at Clarence House to learn about Harry and Meghan’s relationship. According to royal experts Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand in their book, Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of the Modern Royal Family, Charles had no idea that Harry was dating Meghan. He only heard about their relationship 20 minutes before it was made public, and this left him and his team crushed because the announcement was made when he was about to embark on a sensitive tour to the Middle East that had been planned for months.
Although Charles was disappointed with the timing of the announcement, he understood that Harry and Meghan needed to share the news about their relationship. The couple faced media scrutiny that took a toll on their relationship, just like it did for William and Kate. In a 2019 ITV interview, Meghan admitted that some of her friends had warned her not to marry Harry because of the media scrutiny she would face.
Despite the challenges they faced, Harry and Meghan fell deeply in love, with Harry quick to cut ties with anyone who criticized their relationship. Buckingham Palace even had to issue a statement on behalf of Harry over the wave of “abuse and harassment” that Meghan received. Although their relationship with the royals soured after their exit, their love story will always be remembered as a whirlwind romance that took the world by storm.