Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have announced their engagement, and even though we’ve all had to put our own ambitions about marrying Prince Harry to bed, the silver lining is that we’ll be getting one badass, philanthropic American princess – and that has a lot of people psyched for various reasons. The main reason is that these two seem truly, deliriously happy and in love. The evidence: oh, just everything they’ve said about each other and how quickly – or efficiently – their relationship has moved. Here is a timeline of their relationship milestones that’ll make you believe in the adage of “when you know, you know.”
May 2016: The Prince and the Actress Meet
Harry and Meghan were set up by a mutual friend in May of 2016, in Toronto, the city where she filmed her series Suits and where Harry was launching the 2017 Invictus Games.
Summer to Fall 2016: Meeting the Parents
Though the biggest royal family meeting wouldn’t come for a while, Harry was introduced to the most important woman in Meghan’s life when he met her mom over the Summer, shortly after they started dating. Meghan reportedly met Prince Charles in September 2016, and soon after, she met Harry’s big brother, Prince William, in November.
November 2016: Harry Publicly Confirms Their Relationship
After news broke that Meghan and Harry were dating, Meghan was subjected to nasty attacks in the tabloids and on social media. Despite being quite private, Harry gallantly – and very publicly – defended Meghan in a statement on the Kensington Palace Twitter account, urging the media and public to respect his new girlfriend’s privacy. It just so happened to be the first time he publicly called her his girlfriend.
December 2016: Spotted!
Even though the general public had known about the relationship for months by then, it wasn’t until December 2016 that that the two were spotted together, out on a date in London. The two traveled back and forth between his home in London and hers in Toronto, nurturing their long-distance relationship. She also started wearing a necklace with his and her initials on it in the cutest (and most fashionable) subliminal declaration of love.
March 2017: Meghan Becomes Harry’s Plus One
Is there anything more official in a relationship than becoming your new BF’s wedding date? The couple hit that milestone in March, when Meghan came to a wedding of a friend of Harry’s in Jamaica. Two months later, she also attended an even bigger wedding when she came to Pippa Middleton’s wedding reception as Harry’s date.
September 2017: Their First Public Event as a Couple
Over a year after they started dating, Meghan and Harry attended their first public event together, the 2017 Invictus Games. They even showed a little PDA after the event.
Just after the Invictus Games, Meghan opened up to Vanity Fair about Harry, saying, “We’re two people who are really happy and in love,” marking the first time she spoke about him publicly. Meanwhile, rumors were beginning to spread that she would be leaving her TV series Suits.
October 2017: Meghan Meets the Queen!
Over a year after Meghan and Harry had met their other important family members, Meghan finally met the queen, and it happened in the most British, most royal way: they had tea together.
November 2017: They’re Engaged!
Which brings us to today: after that fortuitous meeting with the queen, Meghan and Harry announced their engagement, posing for fairy-tale-worthy engagement photos and giving an interview about their relationship. The romantic proposal was private and sweet and took place in early November.
2018: The Wedding!
Next up is Meghan and Harry’s wedding, which will take place in Spring 2018 (which is also when Prince William and Kate Middleton’s third child is due). Even though we know this royal wedding will be much more low-key than Prince William’s, it doesn’t make us any less excited about it.