It’s difficult to imagine a time when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were living their separate lives across the pond, unbeknownst they were going to become one of the most iconic royal couples in the world. Fast forward to today on the day of their third wedding anniversary on May 19 and it’s hard to believe it’s only been a few years since this modern-day fairytale began. Starting with a mostly private courtship and highly-anticipated Windsor Castle wedding that’s led to the present-day move to Los Angeles after stepping down as senior members of the royal family and welcoming their second child, it’s been a whirlwind journey—to say the least.
Read on for the 10 most unforgettable moments in the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s relationship.
The photo that started it all
After months of hushed speculation, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle made their first public appearance together at the Invictus Games, a sporting tournament launched by the Duke of Sussex himself in 2014, and this candid capture became the first official photograph of the couple to be posted on the Kensington Royal Instagram account in order to publicly announce their engagement a few months later in November 2017.
An engagement photoshoot that broke the internet
The countryside lawns of Frogmore House became the picturesque destination of choice for the royal couple dressed in their finest to take a series of official engagement portraits which seemingly emulate their blossoming romance better than the last.
A history-making royal wedding
From the first grand entrance as a wedded couple through a flowered archway to the romantic carriage ride past crowds of well-wishers on the way to a private evening reception, the day the Duke and Duchess of Sussex pledged their love to one another and said “I do” is a magical one to remember.
A classically British celebration
As members of the British royal family, Prince Harry and Markle are no strangers to making glamorous appearances at traditions meaningful to the monarchy. One of the biggest events is the Trooping the Color, the Queen’s annual birthday parade in June, and this quintessential celebration that ends on the iconic balcony of Buckingham Palace became one of the first official engagements the newlyweds attended as husband and wife.
A shared passion for compassion
Prince Harry and Markle hold many philanthropic initiatives dear to their heart, from women empowerment and mental health awareness to wounded veterans’ assistance and wildlife protection and their mutual compassion for the world and those who live in it are reflected in the way they happily engage in charitable acts of service together.
Their first royal tour beginning with major news
While jetting off to their first royal tour overseas together in October was major news in itself, the 16-day journey to Australia, Fiji, the Kingdom of Tonga, and New Zealand kickstarted with the exciting announcement that the pair were expecting their first child that coming spring. This infamous walk down the staircase of the Sydney Opera House hand-in-hand was the first sighting of Prince Harry and Markle a mere hours after the unexpected news broke.
An inspiring visit to the region
The royal couple touched down into the MENA region for the first time together in February last year to champion the awe-inspiring women and youth in Morocco who are transforming the nation and making a difference in redefining the gender roles and educational standards of modern-day society.
A sentimental baby shower
While the royal parents-to-be received an incredible outpouring of love and support as the world waited in bated anticipation for the birth of their first child, the couple encouraged well-wishers to donate to one of their selected charities for children and parents in need instead of sending physical gifts for their baby shower in hopes of paying tribute to families less fortunate who are also experiencing newfound parenthood.
That picture-perfect moment in the rain
There was one moment during the couple’s hundreds of last appearances in the week before they officially left their place as senior royal family members that has arisen above the rest to become legendary. Although rain in England is as common as sun in the UAE, there was something special about this evening as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle strolled arm in arm towards the Endeavor Awards with matching smiles, as if they knew they were paving the path toward their new (and hopefully even happier) future together with each step they took.
Their family begins to grow
On May 6, 2019, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex welcomed a baby boy into their small but growing family, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, sharing this intimate portrait from his christening soon after. On June 4, 2021, the couple welcomed their second child, a daughter named Lilibet “Lili” Diana Mountbatten-Windsor, to the world. “She is more than we could have ever imagined, and we remain grateful for the love and prayers we’ve felt from across the globe. Thank you for your continued kindness and support during this very special time for our family,” said the message of thanks from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
Although these were our pick of the 10 sweetest relationship-defining moments in the duo’s lives with one another, scroll through the gallery below for even more historic memories of the happy couple.