Prince Harry, Meghan Markle: A detailed timeline of their relationship

Prince Harry, fifth in line to the British throne, will marry American actress Meghan Markle in the spring, royal officials announced Monday, confirming months of speculation.

The newly engaged couple dated for over one year before Harry popped the question.

Despite having their relationship under watch by the international press, the pair attempted to keep their romance as private as possible, only appearing in public together just a couple times together before confirming the engagement.

WATCH: Taking a look back in time at royal engagements

READ MORE: Prince Harry, Meghan Markle appear together for first time as engaged couple

While the newly engaged couple prepares for their royal wedding in spring 2018, here’s a look back at their relationship.

July 2016: They meet in London, U.K.

The couple met in London, U.K. last summer. A Vanity Fair interview with the 36-year-old actress revealed that they met through friends, but it hasn’t been confirmed as to when they officially began dating.

November 2016: Prince Harry releases official statement referring to Markle as his “girlfriend.”

On Nov. 8, 2016, the Royal Kensington Palace released a public statement in which Markle was referred to as Harry’s girlfriend for the first time.

READ MORE: Kensington Palace calls out media over treatment of Prince Harry’s girlfriend Meghan Markle

The official statement condemned the “wave of abuse and harassment” Markle had been subjected to. “Prince Harry is worried about Ms. Markle’s safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her,” it said. “It is not right that a few months into a relationship with him that Ms. Markle should be subjected to such a storm.”

December 2016: Christmas tree shopping together

Prince Harry and Markle were photographed in public together for the first time in December 2016, shopping for a Christmas tree. They were spotted at the Pines and Needles store in London, U.K.

READ MORE: First pictures of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle together in London emerge

A few days later, they were spotted while on a date to see the play, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time in London’s West End.

Also, after wrapping up his two-week tour of the Caribbean on Dec. 4, Prince Harry reportedly took a detour in order to spend time with Markle in Toronto before travelling home to the U.K.

March 2017: Vacation to Jamaica

Harry and Markle attended a friend’s wedding in Jamaica together. The couple was spotted leaving the church, before heading to the reception at a nearby hotel.

May 2017: Couple’s first public appearance and Pippa Middleton’s Wedding

Markle attended a high-profile polo match in Ascot, England, to watch Harry compete in May. She was photographed applauding Harry from the royal box at the Audi Polo Challenge.

Meghan Markle watches Prince Harry during the presentations at the Audi Polo Challenge.

Meghan Markle watches Prince Harry during the presentations at the Audi Polo Challenge.

DAVID HARTLEY/REX/Shutterstock

The couple was also seen sharing a kiss following the event.

READ MORE: Prince Harry sneaks Meghan Markle into Pippa Middleton wedding reception

Also in May, Markle joined Harry at the Middleton family home for the wedding reception of Kate Middleton’s younger sister, Pippa, who wed James Matthews.

She was photographed arriving with Harry for the reception, though she was not at the church.

August 2017: Markle’s 36th birthday

Prince Harry and Markle went to South Africa to celebrate her 36th birthday. They were photographed together walking from a plane with Harry placing his arm around Markle.

Harry reportedly took Markle to the Meno a Kwena camp in Botswana.

September 2017: Markle’s Vanity Fair interview and Invictus Games in Toronto

Markle spoke about her relationship with Harry for the first time in the October 2017 issue of Vanity Fair.

“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. We were very quietly dating for about six months before it became news,” she revealed.

Markle continued, “And I was working during that whole time, and the only thing that changed was people’s perception. Nothing about me changed. I’m still the same person that I am, and I’ve never defined myself by my relationship.”

“We’re a couple, we’re in love,” Markle said. “I’m sure there will be a time when we will have to come forward and present ourselves and have stories to tell, but I hope what people will understand is that this is our time.”

READ MORE: ‘He shook my hand!’: Prince Harry meets Trudeau, charms Torontonians as Invictus Games open

Prince Harry and Markle publicly debuted as a couple in September, as they walked hand-in-hand into the Toronto stadium to take in a tennis match.

Prince Harry and his girlfriend Meghan Markle arrive at a wheelchair tennis event at the Invictus Games in Toronto, on Monday, Sept.25. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Prince Harry and his girlfriend Meghan Markle arrive at a wheelchair tennis event at the Invictus Games in Toronto, on Monday, Sept.25. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

WATCH BELOW: Prince Harry and girlfriend holding hands at Invictus Games

The pair were also spotted getting cosy at the Invictus Games closing ceremony.

READ MORE: Meghan Markle cosies up to Prince Harry at Invictus Games closing ceremony

Prince Harry and the Suits star were photographed together while they were seated in a private box at the Air Canada Centre, watching Bruce Springsteen, Kelly Clarkson, Bryan Adams and others perform.

November 2017: Markle moves to U.K. and the engagement confirmation

Her future home is on the grounds of Kensington Palace, but Markle’s recent years have reportedly been spent living on a quiet, tree-lined street in Toronto with her two rescue dogs, Bogart and Guy.

Markle is reported to have started the sometimes time-consuming process of moving her dogs from Canada to Britain. She recently left her television show, a development that helped fuel engagement speculation. The couple plan to live in Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace.

Also, Kensington Palace confirmed the news on Nov. 27 that Markle and Harry had gotten engaged in early November.

(Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

(Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

The statement revealed that the pair plans to wed in spring 2018 and that Harry asked the permission of Markle’s parents prior to popping the question.

Congratulations came in from the Queen and her husband, Prince Philip, and from Prime Minister Theresa May. Markle’s parents also welcomed the news.

Thomas Markle and Doria Ragland said their daughter “has always been a kind and loving person. To see her union with Harry, who shares the same qualities, is a source of great joy for us as parents.”

The couple also appeared in their first interview since announcing their engagement on Nov. 27.

The interview saw the couple describe the moment when Harry proposed.

“He got on one knee,” Markle revealed, adding that she said “yes” instantly. “I could barely let him finish proposing.”

WATCH BELOW: How did Prince Harry pop the question to Meghan Markle?

— With files from the Associated Press

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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