Today marks the last day Meghan Markle and Prince Harry will work with the rest of the royal family in an official capacity before embarking on their new lives in Canada. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will take part in today’s Commonwealth Service to mark their official exit from royal life – and the UK.
The service, which is due to start at 3pm this afternoon, will see Harry and Meghan joined by the Queen, Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall as well as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
The ceremony will see Craig David and Alexandra Burke performing, as well as numerous heads of state across the Commonwealth who are also expected to attend.
Today’s event signifies the end of a tumultuous two-months following the couple’s shock announcement to step down as senior royals in January.
Express.co.uk looks back over Harry and Meghan’s royal life.
November 2017 – Royal engagement
The couple announced their engagement in November 2017 and were interviewed by the BBC at their home, Frogmore Cottage, Windsor.
Harry opened up about how much he enjoyed being with someone outside of the royal circle and described his relationship with Meghan as “hugely refreshing.”
He added: “To be able to start almost afresh right from the beginning in getting to know each other step by step and then taking that huge leap of only two dates and then going effectively on holiday together in the middle of nowhere and sharing a tent together and all that kind of stuff.
“It was absolutely amazing to get to know her as quickly as I did.”
Harry proposed to Meghan with a bespoke ring made by renowned jewellers Cleave and Company, who used a diamond from Botswana and two smaller stones from Princess Diana’s collection.
Today marks Harry and Meghan’s last royal commitment
May 2018 – Royal wedding
On May 19 2018, the couple married at St George’s Chapel on the grounds of Windsor Castle where they officially took up their roles as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
Meghan’s father, Thomas, was not there to walk her down the aisle so she instead walked herself before being guided by Prince Charles at the end.
The royal couple tied the knot in May 2018
October 2018 – Royal baby
The couple announced they were expecting their first child on October 15, 2018 as they were about to embark on their tour of Australasia.
The announcement was made through a statement released by Kensington Palace which read: “Their Royal Highness 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.
“Their Royal Highnesses have appreciated all of the support they have received from people around the world since their wedding in May and are delighted to be able to share this happy news with the public.”
Harry and Meghan announced the birth of Archie in St. George’s Hall, Windsor Castle
May 2019 – Baby Archie
Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor was born at London’s Portland Hospital on May 6, 2019.
Archie’s birth marked a significant change from royal tradition as previous family members, including the Duchess of Cambridge, have used the Lido Wing at St Mary’s Hospital, London, to give birth.
Meghan also chose to opt out of posing with the newborn on the hospital steps and instead, chose to introduce Archie to the world at a press conference in Windsor Castle’s St. George’s Hall.
June 2019 – Frogmore Cottage
The Duke and Duchess came under heavy fire after it was revealed they spent £2.4million of taxpayers’ money renovating their home, Frogmore Cottage.
The property, which used to be five separate homes, was turned into a single home for the couple’s personal use.
Frog more Cottage is owned by the Crown Estate and was a wedding gift to the couple from the Queen.
The Duke and Duchess came under fire after they spent £2.4million renovating Frogmore Cottage
July 2019 – Archie’s christening
Meghan and Harry chose to host Archie’s christening through an intimate private ceremony attended only by their close family.
While Royal christenings are traditionally private events, the couple went a step further by deciding to keep the names of Archie’s godparents hidden.
The Duke and Duchess’s decision sparked outrage on Twitter, with one social media user saying: “We are paying for them and it feels like they do not care about the public.”
The Duke and Duchess appeared on an ITV documentary titled Harry and Meghan: An African Journey
October 2019 – ITV documentary
The couple took part in a documentary entitled Harry & Meghan: An African Journey, which documented their tour of South Africa.
Meghan revealed she had been struggling with criticism in the press and told ITV interviewer Tom Bradby she was “not really OK.”
Bradby said the couple seemed “vulnerable” during the filming and revealed he know things were not “entirely rosy” for the duo.
Brady told Good Morning America: “The reality I found was just a couple that seemed a bit bruised and vulnerable.
“That was the story I found and it seemed the right journalistic thing to do, to try and tell that story as empathetically as I could.”
December 2019 – Christmas card
The couple released their first Christmas card which featured their son, Archie.
The black-and-white card features a then seven-month-old Archie who looks directly down the lens of the camera, with his parents laughing behind.
The Duke and Duchess enjoyed a six-week Christmas break with Meghan’s mum, Doria Ragland, in Canada.
Harry and Meghan’s Christmas card features baby Archie at the forefront
January 2020 – Shock announcement
On Wednesday January 8, at 6pm Meghan and Harry announced their decision to step down from their roles as senior royals via their Instagram page, SussexRoyal.
The couple said in a statement that they plan to divide their time between the UK and North America.
Following the announcement, it was revealed that the couple did not consult or inform any members of the royal family and that the mood in Buckingham Palace was one of “disappointment”.
The BBC reported that senior royals were “hurt” by the unexpected announcement.