It’s been a whirlwind! Meghan Markle and Prince Harry got married nearly three years ago on May 19, 2018, and so much has happened to the couple in that time period. They got new titles! They ditched those titles! They became parents! Plus, they’ve seemingly dealt with drama and haters around every corner. No one can say that these former royals haven’t kept busy since they were wed. Let’s take a quick look back at the first two years of their marriage.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Wedding, May 2018
Meghan and Prince Harry seemingly had a fairytale wedding. It was watched the world over and seemed to go off without a hitch. But behind the scenes, there was trouble.
Meghan’s dad, Thomas Markle, was supposed to walk her down the aisle on her big day. However, he admitted to staging paparazzi shots ahead of the big event, which caused quite the scandal. He later claimed to have suffered a heart attack and had to undergo surgery to repair the damage and wasn’t able to go to the wedding after all. “Sadly, my father will not be attending our wedding,” Meghan said in a statement. “I have always cared for my father and hope he can be given the space he needs to focus on his health. I would like to thank everyone who has offered generous messages of support.”
Meghan and Harry’s Pregnancy Announcement, October 2018
The couple wasted no time at all in trying to have their first child, and Meghan and Prince Harry announced that they were expecting in October 2018. “Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are very pleased to announce that The Duchess of Sussex is expecting a baby in the spring of 2019,” Kensington Palace announced. Most people were pleased by the news of her pregnancy, though there were stragglers who still weren’t happy with Meghan for one reason or another — like those who thought she held her belly too often or didn’t like that she had a baby shower.
Family Trouble, February 2019
Meghan dealing with family issues has actually been an ongoing problem throughout her marriage to Prince Harry, but it all came to a head when a private letter she wrote to her father was released in February 2019. “Your actions have broken my heart into a million pieces — not simply because you have manufactured such unnecessary and unwarranted pain, but by making the choice not to tell the truth as you are puppeteered in this,” Meghan wrote. “Something I will never understand.” By releasing the letter, Thomas appeared to lean into the bad behavior his daughter accused him of participating in in the first place.
Meghan and Harry Welcome Archie, May 2019
Meghan and Prince Harry welcomed their first child on May 6. “We are pleased to announce that Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Sussex welcomed their firstborn child in the early morning on May 6, 2019. Their Royal Highnesses’ son weighs 7 lbs. 3 oz,” their now-defunct official Instagram announcement read. They later revealed his name — Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor — along with a photo of Queen Elizabeth II meeting her eighth grandchild.
Sadly, even that joyous event was not without haters. A BBC radio broadcaster was fired on May 9 after he posted a picture of a baby chimpanzee holding hands with a couple when tweeting about the birth of Meghan and Prince Harry’s son. “Royal baby leaves hospital,” he captioned the photo that drew outcry for being racist.
Plus, Samantha Markle — Meghan’s half-sister — couldn’t help but get in on the action and try to draw attention to herself instead. She told DailyMail TV on May 7, “We’ve extended the olive branch and now it is Meghan’s turn … We’re all welcoming the baby — Markles, Raglands, Sussexes, Windsors. In terms of the gene pool, we’ve all made a contribution to this wonderful little boy who will probably grow up to be an exceptional man and we’d like to treat this as if we’re all a big family.”
Royal Distance, July 2019
The Markles aren’t the only family members the new parents were having problems with. After they welcomed their son, reports revealed Harry and his brother, Prince William, were drifting apart. “Their relationship isn’t back to how it used to be,” an insider close to the royals exclusively told In Touch. “There are still unresolved problems with Meghan — although William has accepted her into the family, her strong opinions have rubbed him and some of the other royals up the wrong way.”
Though Will and Duchess Kate (née Middleton) smiled for photos in honor of Archie’s christening, fans couldn’t help but notice the parents of three looked less than happy to be in attendance. “Did you see how the body language was in the pic? Huge space in between the two couples, and William looks so sour in the face!” one commenter wrote. “Kate doesn’t have a real smile on her face. She looks pained. William looks like he smelled something terrible. They don’t look thrilled to be there,” another agreed.
Documentary Drama, October 2019
The release of ITV’s emotional documentary, Harry & Meghan: An African Journey, sparked both concern for and backlash against the new mother. In the film, Meghan spoke out about the bullying she faced, admitting, “It’s hard. I don’t think anybody could understand that. … In all fairness, I had no idea, which probably sounds difficult to understand here, but when I first met my now-husband, my friends were really happy because I was so happy, but my British friend said to me, ‘I’m sure he’s great, but you shouldn’t do it because the British tabloids will destroy your life.’”
Though her husband stood by her side, celebrities like Wendy Williams were quick to call her out. “Meghan, nobody feels sorry for you. You knew what you were signing up for, girl!” the talk show host said. “Meghan, don’t be surprised [that] the paparazzi are everywhere. Of course, because you’re now a royal. They weren’t following you when you were on Suits, we didn’t even know who you were except when you came for employment here at Wendy and wanted to be one of our runway models.”
Big sister Samantha also had no sympathy. “I think it is really ludicrous that someone who is escorted around the world by millions of dollars worth of security on private jets as a millionaire could ever complain about anything,” she said on Inside Edition. “She knew exactly what she was doing, so, hey you got what you wanted.”
Christmas Abroad, December 2019
In November, the couple announced they were planning to “spend the holiday this year, as a new family, with the duchess’ mother, Doria Ragland.” They spent the previous two holidays at Sandringham with the royal family, but the move was still not well received. While Will and Kate were “secretly relieved,” a source told In Touch the queen was distraught. “She assumed everyone would be adult enough to put their differences aside and make an effort on her favorite day of the year, but now that it’s not going to happen,” they said. “Her Christmas is ruined.”
Stepping Back, January 2020
The true upset came just one month later when Meghan and Harry announced they intended to “step back as ‘senior’ members of the royal family and work to become financially independent.” With insiders revealing they were sick of all the royal rules and regulations, they decided to cut those obligations in half by “balancing” their time “between the United Kingdom and North America.”
The news took not only the public but the rest of the royal family by surprise. In a public statement, the queen herself even hinted she was disappointed. “My family and I are entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan’s desire to create a new life as a young family. Although we would have preferred them to remain full-time working members of the royal family, we respect and understand their wish to live a more independent life as a family while remaining a valued part of my family,” she said. “These are complex matters for my family to resolve, and there is some more work to be done, but I have asked for final decisions to be reached in the coming days.”
Honoring Archie, May 2020
Their son’s first birthday should’ve been a time of celebration, but once again Harry and Meghan found themselves mired in controversy after sharing a video of the mom reading Duck! Rabbit! to her little boy. The One and Only author Emily Giffin slammed the parents for sharing a photo of the whole royal family after they stepped back as royals, calling it a “pointed photo choice.” She also called Meghan a “phony” and “unmaternal,” questioning why Harry wasn’t the one on camera. “This is the Meghan show,” she told her followers. Though she later apologized, the incident was just one of many chaotic moments in Meghan and Harry’s first few years of marriage.
One for the Books, August 2020
In the tell-all book, Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of the Modern Royal Family, authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand detailed William’s concerns about Meghan.
“Don’t feel like you need to rush this,” William told Harry, according to sources. “Take as much time as you need to get to know this girl.”
While William was just looking out for his brother’s best interest, “Harry was pissed off,” another source shared. “Pissed off that his brother would ask such a thing. Some felt it was an overreaction. But then this totally sums them up as people — William the calm and rational one, and Harry who can’t help but take things far too personally.”
Meghan and Harry were not involved with the consulting or writing of the book.
Hopefully, 2021 will be a little better now that the parents have stepped out of the spotlight — but when you’re this famous, it doesn’t seem very likely.
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