Many young girls hope that, when they grow up, a handsome prince will whisk them away and make them a princess.
That’s exactly what happened to Meghan Markle, but the situation got a bit more complicated along the way.
It’s been a wild ride for Markle, 38, and her husband, Prince Harry, and there are no signs that things will settle down for them any time soon.
From their meeting in 2016 to renouncing senior royal duties, here’s a look back at their romantic history.
The royal duo met in July 2016 in Toronto, where “Suits” — the television show Markle was starring in at the time — was filming. Harry, now 35, told BBC that they were introduced by a mutual friend, but didn’t reveal exactly who it was.
They met for a simple drink, and the whirlwind began.
After a few weeks of dating, Harry invited Markle to visit Africa with him, where they went camping.
“I managed to persuade her to come and join me in Botswana and we camped out with each other under the stars,” said Harry. “Then we were really by ourselves, which was crucial to me to make sure that we had a chance to get to know each other.”
On Oct. 31, 2016, after a few months of dating quietly, a source leaked to the Sunday Express that the two were an item and that Harry was “happier than he’s been for many years.”
In November 2016, Harry made an official statement confirming the relationship and pleading for a reprieve from the negative press the relationship was receiving. Even Prince William chimed in, offering support to Harry and Markle during the trying time.
A year after visiting Africa, the couple returned to Botswana to celebrate Markle’s birthday in August 2017.
Markle also spoke about the relationship publicly for the first time in 2017, revealing to Vanity Fair that she and Harry were “in love.”
Then came the big day. On Nov. 27, Harry announced that he popped the question and Markle had said yes.
In May, they wed. Variety reported that 29.2 million people tuned in to watch the couple tie the knot on television. On the wedding day, Kensington Palace confirmed that they would be known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
In October, Harry and Markle announced that they were expecting their first child, and the Palace confirmed that Markle was due in the spring.
About a year after their wedding, the royal couple welcomed their first child, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.
In the fall, Harry and Markle formally parted ways with the Royal Foundation, the charity run by William and Middleton, to pursue their own charitable endeavors.
In late October, a documentary titled “Harry & Meghan: An African Journey” aired, following their royal tour of Africa. Harry and Markle both made headlines for things they spoke about in the doc, including a rumored rift between Harry and William and Meghan claiming she’s rarely asked about her well-being.
In December, Harry and Meghan chose to take “private time” away from the royal family, opting for a six-week hiatus in Canada.
Just days into 2020, Harry and Markle announced via Instagram that they will “step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family” but will still support the crown. They also announced that they’d split time between London and North America.
The earth-shattering announcement was quickly followed by one from Kensington Palace saying that discussions with Harry were in early stages.