Social media keeps us clued into the latest hookups between — and seemingly immediate breakups of — the young and famous. There’s much less focus on the Hollywood love stories that quietly flourish and unfold over years of careful tending.

Long term relationships are rare and out of the ordinary in show business. But some couples have kept their love tanks full for decades. Some chose marriage, others never swapped rings, but all in all these 20 lovers discovered the secrets to making it work…

1. Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell: They’ve kept the spice alive since 1983, claiming the secret ingredient to their love is never getting married! Other than not tying the knot, the couple attributes a healthy intimate life to their long-lasting relationship.

Kiwi Report

2. David Furnish and Elton John: Laws prevented the longtime lovebirds from officially marrying until 2014, but David and Elton started their courtship way back in 1993. They devote much of their time to raising their tiny dancers, Zachary and Elijah.

David Furnish / Instagram

3. Denzel and Pauletta Washington: After 35 years of marriage, Denzel claims being friends with your partner is a key. He also boasted, “I married up!” Pauletta certainly has been a strong force in their marriage — and for their kids. Her son, actor John David Washington, credited his mother for teaching him “how to love.”

Black and Married With Kids

4. Felicity Huffman and William H. Macy: It took 15 years of on-and-off dating for Felicity to agree to marry her husband. Over 20 years later, the couple has relied on their love for acting to push each other creatively. Besides their shared careers, they bought and rebuilt Felicity’s childhood home, where, in 1997, they wed in the backyard.

People

5. Steve and Nancy Carell: As an improv student in Steve’s class at the Second City, Nancy must have made quite an impression. The couple has been married for 23 years, wedding the same year Nancy started on Saturday Night Live. Together, they briefly played a perfectly awkward pair on The Office, as Michael Scott and his real estate agent Carol Stills.

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6. Tina Fey and Jeff Richmond: Like the Carells, Tina and Jeff met at the Second City in Chicago back in 1994. Instead of competing for laughs, Jeff made sweet music to accompany every comedy project Tina has made.

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7. Julia Louis Dreyfus and Brad Hall: Julia “knew almost immediately” that her husband was the one. They met in at Northwestern University and went on to land roles on SNL together. Now the couple snuggles up at NU basketball games to watch their son Charlie play on the court.

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8. Snoop Dogg and Shante Broadus: Totally smitten since puppyhood, Snoop and Shante were textbook high school sweethearts. The late Tupac Shakur advised Snoop to put a ring on Shante’s finger. They divorced in 2004, but they rekindled their love, remarried, and became grandparents in 2015.

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9.Hugh Jackman and Deborra-Lee Furness: Few husbands are as openly smitten with their spouses as Hugh is for his wife Deb. The pair met on the set of the Australian TV show Corelli and married in 1996. Hugh attributed being madly in love with his wife, and their stability, for his career success.

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10. Kyra Sedgwick and Kevin Bacon: Married in 1988, Kyra and Kevin celebrated their 30th anniversary this year. Together they recorded and shared a precious duet of themselves crooning the Bee Gees hit “To Love Somebody.” There may be 6 degrees to Kevin Bacon, but Kyra will always be the closest.

Kevin Bacon / Instagram

11. Jeff Bridges and Susan Geston: Forty years of marriage is no small feat, but romantic Jeff Bridges said he loves his wife more each year. “If you change your partners every time, it gets tough or you get a little dissatisfied, then you don’t get the richness that’s available in a long term relationship.”

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12. Joel Cohen and Francis McDormand: In 1983, Francis auditioned for Joel’s film Blood Simple. Ever since they’ve been united in quirkiness — and matrimony. Throughout their marriage, they’ve kept a notoriously private life, focusing on their craft and adopted son, Pedro.

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13. Tina Turner and Erwin Bach: In her second marriage, The Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll found the man she deserved. Her relationship with Erwin has been going strong since ’85, though they waited until 2017 to tie the knot). Proving his love in the most tangible way, he donated a kidney to Tina shortly after their nuptials.

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14. Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos: Hot and heavy soap opera scenes between Kelly and Mark on All My Children blossomed into the real deal. The fun couple stayed true to their romantic playful side and eloped in Las Vegas back in 1996.

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15. Angela Bassett and Courtney B. Vance: Acting powerhouses Angela and Courtney had their meet-cute at the Yale School of Drama, where they both earned their MFAs. No doubt these brainy sweethearts were perfectly matched. They wed in 1997.

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16. Meryl Streep and Don Gummer: In 1978, Meryl’s boyfriend John Cazale died of cancer. Overcome with grief, Meryl’s brother came to help her move out of their shared apartment. Little did her brother know, the friend he dragged along to help, Don, would marry Meryl just six months later.

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17. Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson: “We learned the secret of happiness with each other a long time ago,” Tom said, “and that’s always telling the truth.” When they met on the set of Bosom Buddies, Tom was married, but he couldn’t deny the immediate connection he had with Rita. Tom and Rita have kept their marriage strong for 30 years!

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18. Kelly Preston and John Travolta: Love at first sight was real for Kelly and John when they met in the 1987 on the set of The Experts. The couple married in 1991 but had a second ceremony to make their union valid under the church of Scientology. Kelly tragically passed in 2020.

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19. Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick: Some couples just fit together, and like PB & J, SJP & MB are a classic combination. After over 20 years of marriage — and three kids — they’ve said time apart from each other due to their hectic schedules benefits their relationship and gives them independence.

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20. LL Cool J and Simone Smith: Happy couple LL and Simone swapped vows in 1995, but their love began back in the halls of their high school. Over the years, they’ve weathered storms, like Simone’s bone cancer diagnosis in 2005. During that time, LL put projects on hold to be by his wife’s side.

Simone I. Smith / Instagram

It may seem like the rich and famous are only interested in making romantic connections with other stars, but that’s not true. Celebrities, like the rest of us, fall in love in unexpected ways — and with unexpected people. These Hollywood couples have the best “how they met” stories.

1. Nicolas Cage and Alice Kim: Cage met his future wife when she was waitressing at a local restaurant and he was a big Hollywood star. The two exchanged phone numbers and were married in 2004. They have one son, Kal-El.

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2. Steve and Marjorie Harvey: At a Memphis comedy show, Steve Harvey noticed Marjorie and made a point of letting her know. “I don’t know who you are,” he said to his future wife, “but I’m going to marry you.” In 2007, the two wed, 17 years after their meeting.

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3. Corey and Susie Feldman: Susie, a former Playboy model, said she knew she’d marry Feldman when she saw him in Stand By Me. The two eventually met and tied the knot in 2002, though they filed for divorce seven years later.

celebrity-couples-3Digital Spy

4. Jamie Lee Curtis and Christopher Guest: After seeing a photo of Guest in Rolling Stone, Curtis made up her mind to marry him, despite never having met him before. Guest and Curtis were married months later, and they’ve been together for the past 30 years.

5. Reese Witherspoon and Jim Toth: When this couple met, Toth worked as co-head of motion picture talent at Witherspoon’s agency. It’s fair to say he once admired her from afar, but soon the feeling became mutual. They were married in 2014.

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6. Amber Rose and Wiz Khalifa: Though only married for a year, they got together in a very sweet way. When asked to describe his perfect woman in an interview, Wiz gave Rose’s name. She was flattered, and took to Twitter to thank him — the rest is history.

celebrity-couples-6Thy Black Man

7. Danny Bonaduce and Amy Railsback: Bonaduce reportedly met Railsback, his third wife, at a coffee shop. She was a fan, and the two exchanged information and began dating. They married in 2010 — and Railsback is now Bonaduce’s manager.

8. Julia Roberts and Danny Moder: Roberts met Moder while shooting The Mexican, where he was a cameraman and she was starring in the film. Although Moder was married at the time, the two quickly fell in love. Moder filed for divorce and a short time later, in 2002, married Roberts.

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9. Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon: Cannon revealed Carey was his dream girl for many years, as her posters hung on his wall when he was younger. After meeting and marrying in 2008, the couple had twins, but their happiness was short-lived. They filed for divorce in 2014.

10. Adam Sandler and Jackie Titone: Former model Titone was already a fan of Sandler when he offered her a role in his film, Big Daddy. It proved to be favorable move on the part of Sandler, as the two ended up marrying in 2003 and now have two daughters.

11. Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin: Martin reportedly admired Paltrow for some time before ever having met. He called her his “girlfriend” at a Coldplay gig, so his crush was not so secret. Although sparks flew and the two spent 11 years together, they announced the “conscious uncoupling” heard around the world when they split in 2014.

Just Jared

12. Jessica Alba and Cash Warren: In 2005, Alba was shooting the Fantastic Four movie that would lead her to her future husband. Working as a production assistant, Warren caught Alba’s eye and they got together. Married in 2008, they now have two young daughters.

13. Fergie and Josh Duhamel: In 2004, Duhamel told a magazine interviewer that he sometimes dreamt about the Black Eyed Peas singer. When the two actually met, she quipped, “How was I in your dream?” Duhamel regained his composure enough to ask her out. They wed in 2009 and have one son together.

14. Anne Hathaway and Adam Shulman: Dabbling in acting himself, Shulman had a huge crush on Hathaway, but didn’t want to ask her out because he assumed she was already dating someone else. Once he discovered she was available, they hit it off instantly.

15. David and Victoria Beckham: International soccer star and sex symbol Beckham admitted to being a fan of the Spice Girls in the 1990s — in particular, a fan of Posh Spice. Victoria later met him at a soccer match, and sparks flew right away.

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16. Ringo Starr and Maureen Cox: Chasing The Beatles with other girls, Cox faced stiff competition for Ringo’s attention. However, her persistence paid off when the drummer finally noticed her at a gig. They were married in 1967 and divorced eight years later.

17. Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes: The highly publicized divorce and custody battle shouldn’t overshadow TomKat’s origin story. Holmes, 16 years Cruise’s junior, had been a fan since she was a little girl. She dreamed of marrying Cruise, and it came true a few years after Dawson’s Creek wrapped up.

18. Kim Kardashian and Kanye West: Like many relationships, Kimye began with a crush — except it came to light during a tiff with Kanye’s then-girlfriend, Amber Rose. She accused West of trading explicit images with Kardashian, to which he replied, “I wish.”

19. John Travolta and Kelly Preston: After seeing the Grease star on a poster, Preston claims she had no doubt that she would “marry that man.” While it might sound strange, the two have been together for 25 years and welcomed three children into the world.

celebrity-couples-19Closer Weekly

20. Elvis and Priscilla Presley: Priscilla seemed like the luckiest girl in the world when the two met by chance in Berlin and developed a slow-burning romance. It resulted in a marriage when Priscilla was only 21, but, sadly, they divorced five years later.

celebrity-couples-20Wikipedia

21. Matt Damon: Damon had been shooting the movie Stuck On You in Miami, Florida, when he visited a local bar where Luciana Barroso was working behind the counter. They struck up a conversation, which led to a date, which led to a marriage. They’ve been together since 2005!

22. George Clooney: This notorious ladies man swore off marriage after getting divorced at a young age. He stayed true to his word… until he met renowned attorney and human rights activist Amal Alamuddin. The couple wed in 2014.

23. Tobey Maguire: Jennifer Meyer, Maguire’s wife since 2007, has been a constant fixture in the star’s life. That’s why fans were shocked to learn that the couple filed for divorce in 2017. However, that was a year ago, and neither has tried to move forward with filing. Maybe there’s still hope that normal love can conquer all?

24. Zoe Saldana: In 2013, Saldana married Marco Perego, and no one was surprised that she kept quiet about it. For Saldana, privacy is paramount. That’s why she doesn’t use any form of social media, and why she would rather be married to an average Joe—or in this case, an average Marco.

25. Lisa Kudrow: In 1995, this Friends star married her long-time boyfriend, Michael Stern, who was otherwise an outsider in the celebrity world. To Kudrow, it was more important to marry someone who knew her before she was famous than to bag a celebrity hottie spouse.

26. Britney Spears: Spears seemed to have learned her lesson about dating famous men after a rough breakup with Justin Timberlake. Unfortunately, her rebound marriage from 2004 to 2007 with Kevin Federline is widely rumored to have contributed to her mental breakdown in late 2007.

27. Jimmy Fallon: The really beautiful thing about Fallon’s marriage to Nancy Juvonen is that, while she’s not a household name, she’s still in the business as a film producer. Their shared background must contribute to their marriage lasting since 2007.

28. Kevin Jonas: In 2009, Jonas stunned the world when he married Danielle Deleasa. Why all the shock and cause for concern? Because instead of marrying a celebrity, Jonas wed a hairdresser. Two kids and many years later, Jonas wouldn’t change his choice for all the world.

29. James Corden: In 2012, when Julia Carey said “I do” to this British talk show host and comedian, she had no idea she would have to pack up her life and move from Great Britain to the U.S.A. Luckily, she was happy to do it!

30. Christian Bale: Sibi Blazic, Bale’s wife since 2000, was working as a stunt coordinator on a movie when they met. With her actor hubby raking in more than $20 million per picture, Blazic has long since waved goodbye to the stunt coordinator game!

31. Ja Rule: Though rumors have long swirled about Ja Rule having a romance with singer Ashanti, Aisha Atkins—his wife since 2001—is the woman who has always had his heart. It just goes to show you don’t have to be famous to catch a celeb’s eye!

32. Gal Gadot: The beautiful thing about Gadot’s marriage to real estate developer Yaron Varsano is that his job, like hers, often requires him to travel. This means he can often visit Gadot on set without having to worry about taking any pesky vacation days. He’s done just that since they tied the knot in 2008.

33. Gucci Mane: Though Mane has dated famous folks in the past, his name didn’t turn into a major million-dollar brand until his wife Keyshia Ka’oir came on board in 2017, managing his merchandising agreements and other parts of his business. Normal, yes, but also business-savvy!

34. Scarlett Johansson: When Johansson married French journalist Romain Dauriac in 2014, no one thought it would last… and they were right! The couple split in 2017. Some normal men just can’t handle being married to a celebrity lady!

35. David Schwimmer: Though Schwimmer and Zoe Buckman announced their split in 2017, the duo enjoyed seven years of marriage after a secret ceremony took place in 2010. It turns out that Schwimmer’s frantic schedule was just too much for this normal gal.

36. Prince William: When Prince William married “commoner” Kate Middleton in 2011, it was a fairy tale come true. No one could believe that this so-called normal girl was about to get a happy ending with a prince—and her own royal title of Duchess to boot!

Other royal couples, sometimes for no good reason, are subjects of scandal. Prince Harry & Meghan Markle has been mired in controversy from the start. Not only is Meghan a non-British “commoner,” but she was also a well-known actress and divorcee when she and Harry began dating.

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Royal purists were quick to condemn the relationship, going as far as harassing the American both in person and online. But love prevailed in the end, and the couple’s marriage in 2018 was well received by most Britons.

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2. King Edward VIII & Wallis Simpson: The reign of King Edward VIII was controversial from the beginning, but things grew even more complicated when he resolved to marry Wallis Simpson, an American divorcee. In the eyes of the Church of England, such a marriage would stain the monarchy.

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Unwilling to give up Simpson, and knowing the marriage would send the country into turmoil, Edward abdicated the throne in 1936 just 11 months into his reign. The couple was exiled to France, and relations with the Royal Family and Britain broke down shortly after.

Town & Country Magazine

3. Prince Charles & Princess Diana: Described as a “fairytale” by members of the British aristocracy, Prince Charles’ marriage to the late Princess Diana charmed the entire world. The couple was inseparable, and it appeared this royal relationship was one built to last.

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Alas, this was not the case, as below the surface things were anything but picturesque. Behind closed doors, the couple could barely stomach one another, and after just five years, the extramarital affairs had begun.

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Shortly after news of the couple’s difficulties broke, Charles was spotted with his former girlfriend, Camilla Parker Bowles, though he insisted they were just “great friends.” In response, The Mirror published the transcript from an intimate phone call between the two and exposed the affair.

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With the relationship out, Charles remained with Camilla, and the couple tied the knot in 2005. Though the Queen gave the marriage her blessing, she chose not to attend the ceremony.

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But Charles’ infidelity wasn’t the only strain on the couple’s marriage. Diana had relationships with other men, including a four-year fling with Captain James Hewitt – the family’s riding instructor – whom she reportedly fantasized about running away with.

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Diana also had an affair with Italian art dealer Oliver Hoare (right) and a man by the name of James Gilbey. In taped calls between the princess and Gilbey, he referred to Diana no less than 53 times by the pet-name “Squidgey.” The scandal was later dubbed “Squidgeygate.”

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4. Princess Anne & Timothy Laurence: Like her brother Prince Charles, Princess Anne is no stranger to divorce. In 1992, her marriage to Captain Mark Phillips ended after she began an affair with naval commander Timothy Laurence.

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The relationship became public when letters sent to Anne by Laurence were stolen from her briefcase and published by The Sun. They wed in Scotland in December of that year, as the Church of Scotland permits second marriages for divorcees.

5. Princess Margaret & Peter Townsend: A recent divorcee, employee of the crown, and 16 years Margaret’s senior, Captain Townsend made waves in the ’50s when his affair with Princess Margaret leaked to the public.

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The crown posted Townsend to Brussels in an attempt to calm the media frenzy, but word had already broke that Margaret planned to marry him. Ultimately, though, the princess decided against the marriage, unwilling to relinquish her claim to the throne.

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Five years later, Margaret wed photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones, and the two were granted the titles of Count and Countess of Snowdon. The marriage seemed idyllic, but after only a few years cracks began to show.

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Margaret was known to have engaged in a number of affairs by 1966, and by the early ’70s, the couple had irreparably drifted apart. The Snowdons split in 1978, making Margaret the first royal divorcee since Princess Victoria in 1901.

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6. Prince Andrew & Sarah Ferguson: After ten years of marriage, Prince Andrew and Sarah “Fergie” Ferguson divorced in 1996, citing strain from Andrew’s extensive military career. The divorce was amicable, but Fergie’s scandalous relationships that followed cast her in a negative light.

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The couple still maintains a close relationship, and as Duchess of York, Fergie still receives a certain level of royal treatment. She also hasn’t ruled out the possibility of one day remarrying Andrew: “He’s still my handsome prince,” she said.

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7. Prince William & Kate Middleton: Most people wouldn’t consider Prince William’s marriage to Kate Middleton scandalous, but the years before certainly were. Many speculate that William’s eight-year courtship of Kate was due in large part to her being a “commoner.”

Kiwi Report

Being that Kate doesn’t have royal blood, the Queen should’ve given her the title of Princess William as opposed to her current title of Catherine, Her Royal Highness the Dutchess of Cambridge. Lucky for her, the Queen isn’t too much of a stickler for the rules.

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8. Kate Middleton & Meghan Markle: While not entangled in a love affair, the two duchesses have possibly the most scrutinized relationship among England’s most famous family. Reporters can’t help but speculate — are they friends, rivals, or something else?

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Meghan and Kate made their first official appearance together on Christmas Day in 2017. Of course, they had very different paths in ingratiating themselves into the Windsors. They were almost from two separate worlds.

Even though she wasn’t a noble, Kate came from a privileged background. Her parents ran a successful party supply company, and she attended the prestigious University of St. Andrews. There, she befriended classmate Prince William.

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After years of dating, William and Kate decided to tie the knot in 2010. The following year, in what the press dubbed “The Wedding of the Century,” she became the Duchess of Cambridge. Similarly, Meghan got married in 2011.

However, she didn’t marry any prince! Then a Hollywood hopeful, the Los Angeles native got hitched with actor and producer Trevor Engelson. Their marriage dissolved two years later, as Meghan’s career really started to take off.

Meghan’s earlier career was defined by bit parts and a stint as a suitcase girl on Deal or No Deal. However, her name went up in lights when she nabbed the regular role of Rachel Zane on the USA legal drama Suits.

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As Meghan’s work prospects took off to new heights, her personal life did the same. In 2016, a mutual friend did her a royal favor by setting her up on a blind date with Prince Harry. Their relationship started heating up before long.

Soon, she scored an invitation to Kate’s 35th birthday party. We can only assume she made a strong first impression on the royal family, but the details are hazy. All we know for sure was that she gifted Kate a dream journal.

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And the two women would soon get to know each other even better. Not to be outdone by William and Kate, Harry and Meghan wed in lavish fashion in 2018. A foreigner — and a mixed-race one at that — had officially become a Windsor.

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With Kate and Meghan now firmly entrenched among the royals, there was the big question of how the sisters-in-law would get along. Insider accounts reported they got off to a bit of a bumpy start.

While pregnant with Prince Louis, Kate felt stress from both the physical toll and the public scrutiny. She didn’t necessarily have the time to properly welcome Meghan into the family, as she already had a ton on her plate.

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However, Meghan reached out to Kate during this trying time. She shared some dietary advice that helped the Duchess through the rest of her pregnancy. In turn, Kate lent a hand in Meghan’s big dilemma.

Naturally, Meghan found herself in a big adjustment as she shifted from Hollywood to Buckingham Palace. Her experienced sister-in-law helped her learn royal protocol — everything from proper wardrobe to how to stand at official events.

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From there, a close bond formed between them. When their busy schedules allowed, they spent time together one-on-one, such as a weekend visit to Wimbledon. They exchanged jokes and comments throughout the match.

The royal sisters-in-law grew closer on a personal level, but Kate also took Meghan under her wing on a professional level. She invited Meghan to join the Royal Foundation Forum, a charitable organization started by William and Harry.

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This was a huge step forward for Meghan. “She really admires how Kate has carved out her own space when it comes to humanitarian work alongside being an amazing mother,” said a source close to the royal family.

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When Meghan announced her pregnancy in late 2018, nobody celebrated more than Kate. She couldn’t wait for the two of them to experience motherhood together. But she didn’t foresee the other big change on the horizon.

Just months before the birth of their first child, Harry and Meghan decided to move out of Kensington Palace. They would take up residence at Frogmore Cottage, under a separate roof from the rest of the family for the first time.

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The move would mean that Meghan and Kate would see each other on a less regular basis. Still, there was no doubt they’d still make time for each other, especially once their children became friends.

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Though they may clash on occasion, the two women realize that they’re best off supporting each other. When it comes to marrying into the world’s most high-profile family, Kate and Meghan know they need to stick together.

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After all, it’s no walk in the park being a royal, especially with the world scrutinizing your every relationship. Meghan found this out when she first met Prince Harry…

Most famous love stories have fairytale-like beginnings, but the story of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle actually began on a blind date. In fact, Meghan knew very little about Harry and his royal bloodline.

Hello Magazine

“I didn’t know much about him,” Meghan told BBC, “so the only thing I asked… was, ‘Well is he nice?'” Harry was even more ill-prepared — he had never even heard of Meghan before that night. Talk about awkward!

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But, as luck would have it, the pair hit it off, and just a few weeks later Harry invited Meghan to a charity trip to Africa. “[It] was crucial to me to make sure that we had a chance to get to know each other,” the prince recalled.

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The couple managed to keep their relationship under wraps for several months, but in late October 2016, news of the courtship broke. Sources claimed that Harry had “been desperate to keep the relationship quiet.”

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Then Meghan posted a photo to Instagram that featured two bananas spooning on the day that the news of the relationship leaked. Was this Meghan’s coy way of confirming the rumor?

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The tabloids were quick to eat up every last bit of juicy gossip. Sure, Meghan was used to the spotlight, but the attention that came with being associated with the Royals proved to be an entirely different ballgame.

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“There was a misconception that this would be something I would be familiar with,” the actress told BBC. “But I’ve never been part of tabloid culture. I’ve lived a relatively quiet life.”

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The press grew relentless when it came to getting the scoop on the newest royal relationship, going as far as harassing Meghan’s mother to get the info they were after. Eventually, Harry had had enough.

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Through the Royal House, Harry issued a statement that called for an end to the harassment: “Prince Harry is worried about Ms. Markle’s safety. It is not right that Ms. Markle should be subjected to such a storm.”

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The statement worked to somewhat quell the media frenzy, though it wasn’t long before rumors began to circulate that Prince William was unhappy. This prompted the Duke of Cambridge to issue his own statement.

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“The Duke of Cambridge absolutely understands the situation concerning privacy and supports the need for Prince Harry to support those closest to him,” read part of the statement.

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Ultimately, it was made clear that while Harry’s call to the press was off-brand for a royal, the family had no issue with his defense of Meghan.

By the end of 2016, Harry’s press hiccup had all but been forgotten in the wake of the news that Queen Elizabeth herself had given Meghan her approval.

Celebrity Insider

The Queen isn’t just the ruler of the United Kingdom, but she’s also one of Harry’s biggest fans. A source close to the family told Us Weekly: “[The Queen is] delighted to see Harry in a loving relationship.”

Meghan had similarly good things to say about her time spent with the Queen: “It’s incredible, to be able to meet her through [Harry’s] lens,” she shared with BBC.

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“Not just with his honor and respect for her as the monarch, but the love that he has for her as his grandmother… She’s an incredible woman,” she added.

The couple spent Christmas apart in 2016, though they reunited for a romantic New Year’s holiday. Now that their secret was out, Harry and Meghan were free to travel to Norway without fear of spilling the beans.

Among the beautiful sights they took in during their excursion to the Arctic Circle were the Northern Lights, and by this time those close to the couple swore they could hear wedding bells on the horizon.

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Though Harry and Meghan were staying mum, their friends had things to say! “I can see them engaged by the spring,” a friend of Harry’s told Us Weekly. “He’s head over heels.”

Following their Norway trip, Harry began bringing Meghan around the family more often, introducing her to Kate Middleton and Princess Charlotte at Kensington in early 2017.

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Meghan also began spending more time with William, with whom sources claimed she got along very well. “Naturally, William is very happy for his brother,” one source relayed.

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When it came time for Harry to meet Meghan’s family, the actress flew her mother, Doria Ragland, out to London for a rendezvous with the prince himself. Serious stuff!

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Harry was no-doubt nervous about this meeting, but, like Meghan and the royals, he and Doria immediately hit it off — more proof that this pair was meant to be!

Doria was subsequently spotted with the couple on numerous occasions. But Harry hadn’t yet gotten the chance to meet Meghan’s father: “He’s talked to my dad a few times, [but] hasn’t been able to meet him yet.”

Yahoo!

Even though they were still living apart at this time, Harry and Meghan had grown closer than ever; when the actress wasn’t in Toronto filming Suits, she was “virtually living” with Harry at Kensington Palace.

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Their next big outing took place when Harry brought Meghan to Jamaica as his plus one for a friend’s wedding. Many took this as the official next step in their relationship, and photos from the event seemed to confirm this.

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The rumors about the couple only continued to grow after Meghan shut down her popular lifestyle website, The Tig. The actress insisted she did so to focus on her charity work, but by then the speculation had already begun.

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Things got even more buzzworthy when Meghan flew to London just before Pippa Middleton’s wedding. Apparently, Meghan was taken straight to the royal palace upon arriving at Heathrow International Airport.

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Meghan was present at Pippa’s wedding reception, which was the first time she’d been seen at a royal family event. She was also spotted at the Audi Polo Challenge in England cheering on Harry from the stands.

Then, the couple celebrated Meghan’s 36th birthday with another trip to Africa. The choice might’ve seemed strange, but many believe Harry and Meghan first bonded over their desire to help those in need.

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In fact, they visited the founding site of his charity, Sentebale. In the language of the Lesotho people, “sentebale” means “forget me not,” which Harry used as an homage to his late mother, Princess Diana.

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Meghan’s first major royal appearance came at the Invictus Games in September 2017. The event serves to honor wounded, injured, and sick military personnel through sports and other physical competitions.

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The games were being held in Toronto, and more than once the couple was spotted holding hands. Doria was also in attendance, furthering the notion that the two families were soon to become one.

People

Finally, after over a year, Meghan finally came clean. Gracing the cover of the October issue of Vanity Fair, the actress gave a tell-all interview about the truth behind her relationship with Harry.

Vanity Fair

“We’re a couple. We’re in love,” Meghan revealed. “I’m sure there will be a time when we will have to come forward and present ourselves and have stories to tell.”

“But,” she continued. “I hope what people will understand is that this is our time. This is for us. It’s part of what makes it so special, that’s just ours. But we’re happy. Personally, I love a great love story,”

InStyle

With the word finally out, there was only one thing left for Harry to do. So, in November 2017, the Prince of Wales popped the question that everyone was waiting for. And, wouldn’t you know it, she said yes!

Pinterest

News of the engagement traveled as Prince Charles issued his official statement: “His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales, is delighted to announce the engagement of Prince Harry to Ms. Meghan Markle.”

Yahoo!

On the same day that Prince Charles announced the engagement, the couple’s BBC interview was released to the public. In the video, Harry and Meghan recounted the fateful night they’d spent in their Kensington cottage.

Time Magazine

“It was just a standard typical night for us,” Harry said before Meghan chimed in: “Just a cozy night… trying to roast a chicken. It was just an amazing surprise, it was so sweet and natural and very romantic.”

Pinterest

Meghan was so excited about the proposal that she didn’t even let Harry finish the question before she said yes! “It was just the two of us and I think I managed to catch you by surprise as well,” Harry said to Meghan.

Hello Magazine

When asked when he realized that Meghan was “the one” during an engagement photo shoot, he didn’t hesitate in reply: “the very first time we met.”

Yahoo!

At last, on May 19, 2018, Harry and Meghan tied the knot at Windsor Castle in front of a crowd of guests. Tens of millions around the world also tuned in from home, making it one of the most watched events of the year.

OnNewsPaper

Meghan turned heads in a beautiful Givenchy gown and was given a diamond-platinum tiara from the Queen’s own collection. With Meghan’s father, Thomas, absent, it was Prince Charles who walked her down the aisle.

Medium

Now hailed as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, the couple announced on October 15th, 2018 that they were expecting their first child! The newest royal will join the family sometime in the spring of 2019.

The New York Times Post

When the next prince or princess does finally arrive, however, they’ll be disappointed to find that becoming the next King or Queen of England may not be in the cards.

Upon being born, the baby will be seventh in line for the throne, behind Prince Charles, Prince William, Prince Harry, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis.

ITV