Meghan and Harry’s incredible love story

 

When Harry met Meghan, it was a love story almost too good to be true.

Hollywood script writers could only have dreamt of bringing together the knockabout Prince with a glamorous television star on a blind date in London.

Sparks fly, a romantic trip to Botswana ensues an engagement, a royal wedding watched by billions, and now a baby boy.

Like the 1989 film When Harry Met Sally, the real-life romance has had a happy ending too.

Prince Harry recalled he was nervous when he met Meghan Markle, now the Duchess of Sussex, for the first time.

"I was beautifully surprised when I walked into that room and saw her," he said in an interview with the BBC on their engagement.

"I was like, I'm really going to have to up my game here."

Meghan was also apprehensive, telling the friend who set them up that she hoped her royal date would be "kind".

 

Prince Harry and actress Meghan Markle during an official photocall to announce their engagement. Picture: Getty
Prince Harry and actress Meghan Markle during an official photocall to announce their engagement. Picture: Getty

"I didn't know much about him … I had one question. I said, 'Well is he nice?' 'Cause if he wasn't kind, it just didn't, it didn't seem like it would make sense," she said.

"We went and had a, met for a drink, and then I think very quickly into that we said, 'Well what are we doing tomorrow? We should meet again'."

The intoxication of the love at first sight moment came with baggage.

Just how do a royal prince and a famous television actress find the time to date, and without the prying eyes of the world.

The couple checked their diaries and found a window - they jetted off to Botswana for a week to get to know each other better.

Now the relationship was blossoming, the challenge to keep it secret became greater.

They had almost five months together before The Sunday Express, a London tabloid with an obsession with the royals broke the story that the pair was dating.

Prince Harry said he had no doubts.

"The fact that I fell in love with Meghan so incredibly quickly was a sort of confirmation to me that everything, all the stars were aligned. Everything was just perfect," he said.

Once the secret was out, the pair was almost like a normal new couple. They were pictured holding hands in London's West End on the way to a theatre, with just one security guard in tow.

 

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle walking along the runway at the airport in Africa.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle walking along the runway at the airport in Africa.

 

They celebrated New Year's Eve together in London and then attended one of the Duke's friend's weddings in Jamaica in March, 2017.

As the appearances grew, the suspense grew. Will this be the one for Harry?

The pressure grew as the Duchess attended Pippa Middleton's wedding in May, 2017, almost a year after the pair started dating.

 

Prince Harry in an Audi drives his girlfriend, the American actor Meghan Markle, to the wedding reception of Pippa Middleton and her husband James Matthews. Picture: News Group Newspapers Ltd.
Prince Harry in an Audi drives his girlfriend, the American actor Meghan Markle, to the wedding reception of Pippa Middleton and her husband James Matthews. Picture: News Group Newspapers Ltd.

But in a bid to keep the attention on Ms Middleton, the sister of Prince William's wife Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, Meghan only attended the wedding reception.

The engagement was announced in November 2017, after Prince Harry proposed following a home-cooked roast dinner at their then home in London.

 

Prince Harry had already introduced his new bride to the Queen several times, with the royal dogs taking a shine to her, despite their constant barking at him, he said.

And the most important person, who could not be there, the late Princess Diana, Harry's mother was also involved in the engagement.

 

Prince Harry and Meghan visit Nottingham. Picture: Getty
Prince Harry and Meghan visit Nottingham. Picture: Getty

Prince Harry gave the Duchess a stone from Botswana, where they first visited, and two diamonds from his mother's jewellery collection for her engagement ring.

"I think she (Princess Diana) would be over the moon, jumping up and down, you know so excited for me," he said.

"So it is days like - days like today when - when I really miss having her around and miss being able to share the happy news. But you know with the ring and with everything else that's going on I'm sure she's with us."

stephen.drill@news.com.au