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Stars were aligned when Harry and Meghan fell in love

The couple met on a blind date and married 16 months later after a whirlwind romance.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex kiss as they leave at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle after their wedding ceremony (Ben Stansall/PA)
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex kiss as they leave at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle after their wedding ceremony (Ben Stansall/PA)

For Prince Harry, the stars were aligned when he met and fell in love with American actress Meghan Markle after they were set up on a blind date.

Despite being from different backgrounds, the Queen’s grandson and the US star clicked and their romance quickly developed.

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Harry and Meghan watch Wheelchair Tennis at the 2017 Invictus Games in Toronto, Canada (Danny Lawson/PA)

When interviewed on the day of their engagement announcement, Harry described how destiny appeared to intervene in their lives: “So the fact that I fell in love with Meghan so incredibly quickly was sort of confirmation to me that everything – all the stars – were aligned. Everything was just perfect.

“It was this beautiful woman just sort of literally tripped and fell into my life, I fell into her life.”

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Harry and Meghan on the day their engagement was announced (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Harry had never heard of the actress before their date in London in the summer of 2016 and he quickly realised he had to make a memorable first impression: “I was beautifully surprised when I walked into that room and saw her.

“I was like ‘Okay, well, I’m going to have to up my game … sit down and make sure I’ve got good chat’.”

What cemented their tentative relationship was a short break to Botswana where they “camped out with each other under the stars”, getting to know each other over five days.

When news of their relationship broke several months later, smitten Harry was described as being happier than he had been in years.

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The prince and his fiancee met during a blind date (Joe Giddens/PA)

Theatre dates followed, along with romantic African holidays and expeditions to see the Northern Lights, and a shopping trip to buy a Christmas tree together for Harry’s Kensington Palace pad.

Being in a long-distance relationship meant plenty of jet-setting between Ms Markle’s home in Toronto, where she filmed the hit series Suits, and Harry’s London base.

There were reports that Meghan was staying so much at Harry’s home she had practically moved in.

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Harry and Meghan holding hands at the Invictus Games in 2017 (Danny Lawson/PA)

The pair shared a strong bond through their philanthropy, with Harry supporting military veterans and mental health organisations via his charity work, and Meghan pursuing her role as a humanitarian campaigner.

Even in its early days, their union appeared to be a serious one.

Six months in and just days after it became public they were dating, Harry took the unusual step of issuing a lengthy statement condemning media treatment of his girlfriend and criticising the “wave of abuse and harassment” she was facing.

“Prince Harry is worried about Ms Markle’s safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her,” his office said.

The statement added: “This is not a game, it is her life and his.”

It was Meghan who offered the biggest insight into their relationship when she was interviewed by Vanity Fair magazine in September 2017 after they had been dating for just over a year.

She revealed they were in love and declared: “I can tell you that at the end of the day I think it’s really simple: We’re two people who are really happy and in love.”

Harry proposed during a cosy night in over a roast chicken, and designed his future wife an engagement ring made using two diamonds from Diana, Princess of Wales’s personal collection and a central diamond sourced from Botswana.

The couple married in a glittering ceremony in St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, in May 2018.

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Harry places the wedding ring on Meghan’s finger in St George’s Chapel (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Harry was there to support Meghan in the difficult days ahead of the wedding when her father Thomas Markle was caught staging paparazzi photographs and then fell ill, and dropped out of walking Meghan up the aisle, and in the aftermath following the father and daughter’s estrangement.

The couple’s adoration for one another was clear to see in the months following their nuptials, as Meghan, now the Duchess of Sussex, quickly adapted to life as a full-time royal.

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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex kiss at the Sentebale ISPS Handa Polo Cup at the Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club in Windsor (Steve Parsons/PA)

From hand-holding on engagements to lingering looks of love, the royal pair have not shied away from public displays of affection.

In October 2018, just five months after their wedding, as their busy 16-day tour of Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga was about to begin, Kensington Palace announced the delighted couple were expecting a baby.

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Harry and heavily-pregnant Meghan attend a reception at Buckingham Palace in London to mark the 50th anniversary of the investiture of the Prince of Wales (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Now the Sussexes, who first set eyes on one another less than three years ago, are taking on their biggest adventure yet – becoming a family of three.

PA

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