14 candid photos of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry that show the couple's most affectionate moments in public

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on a tour of Australia in 2018.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on a tour of Australia in 2018.Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImage
  • Meghan Markle celebrates her 41st birthday on Thursday, likely alongside her husband Prince Harry.

  • From their wedding to leaving royal life behind, the couple has faced their share of ups and downs.

  • Candid photos over the years show the couple sharing affectionate moments and supporting each other.

Prince Harry leaned in toward Meghan Markle to tell her something during their first appearance as a couple in 2017.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at the 2017 Invictus Games.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at the 2017 Invictus Games.Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images

As Insider reports in the complete timeline of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's relationship, word about the pair becoming a couple surfaced in October 2016 when The Sunday Express spoke to an unnamed source who said the royal was "happier than he's been for many years" in his new relationship.

But it would be nearly a full year later until Markle, who at the time was starring in "Suits," was photographed alongside Harry. In September 2017, the couple attended a tennis event during the Invictus Games in Toronto where they were seen whispering to each other and smiling.

On the same day, the couple was seen holding hands, a form of PDA reportedly discouraged by Queen Elizabeth II.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in 2017.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in 2017.Rick Madonik/Toronto Star via Getty Images

Unlike Prince William and Kate Middleton, who married in 2011 and are rarely pictured holding hands, Markle and Harry set the precedent for the type of public displays of affections (or PDA) they'd engage in throughout their relationship earlier on.

At the Invictus Games in 2017, the pair were seen holding hands while walking. According to the Daily Mail, holding hands among royal couples is something that was seemingly discouraged as the Queen almost never did with Prince Philip.

Days after announcing their engagement in December 2017, the couple were pictured smiling ear-to-ear while greeting members of the public in Nottingham, UK.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in December, 2017.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in December 2017.Karwai Tang/WireImage

Harry and Markle announced their engagement on November 27, 2017.

Later the same week, the pair attended the Terrence Higgins Trust World AIDS Day charity fair at Nottingham Contemporary where they were pictured greeting some well-wishers.

The world tuned in to see Markle and Harry marry in 2018, during which this sweet moment was captured.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry on their wedding day in 2018.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry on their wedding day in 2018.Dominic Lipinski - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Markle and Harry said "I do" at their spring wedding held at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle.

During the fairy-tale wedding, Markle made her way up the aisle toward Harry with Prince Charles by her side. There, the couple shared what looked like a totally candid moment as they smiled at each other.

The newlyweds set off on their first royal tour months after the wedding. During a rainy stop in Australia, Markle and Harry were seen huddling up beneath an umbrella.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on a tour of Australia in 2018.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during a tour of Australia in 2018.Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImage

In 2018, Insider reported that the couple's first royal tour followed in the footsteps of the late Princess Diana, whose inaugural royal tour in 1983 had a similar itinerary.

Harry and Markle's trip included stops in Australia, Fiji, the Kingdom of Tonga, and New Zealand.

During their time in Australia, the pair visited Victoria Park in Western Australia on what appeared to be a very rainy day.

Later on the royal tour, the couple strolled through a national park in New Zealand where Markle was seen looping her arm around Harry's.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in New Zealand in 2018.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in New Zealand in 2018.Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImage

While visiting Abel Tasman National Park, Harry and Markle were seen strolling along the beach as they shared an umbrella.

Harry and Markle proved they can joke around during a visit to Morocco in 2019.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in Morocco in 2019.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in Morocco in 2019.Stephen Lock/Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImage

The couple were pictured sharing a playful moment during a cooking demonstration they attended in Rabat, Morocco, in 2019.

At the time, Markle was months away from giving birth to their son, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, who was born in May 2019.

Speaking of Archie, the young prince made an appearance alongside his parents in South Africa in 2019 – both Markle and Harry were all smiles.

Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, and their son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor in South Africa in 2019.
Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, and their son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor in South Africa in 2019.Toby Melville - Pool/Getty Images

Harry and Markle's first child made his first appearance at a royal engagement during their tour of South Africa in September 2019.

It was during that first public outing that the then 4-month-old met Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

As new parents, Markle and Harry couldn't seem to hold back their smiles.

On the same tour, Markle and Harry laughed in unison while out and about in Cape Town, South Africa.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in South Africa in 2019.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in South Africa in 2019.Chris Jackson/Getty Images

On a visit to the Nyanga township in Cape Town, South Africa, Harry and Markle met with a group of local women, gave speeches speaking out against gender-based violence, and danced, Vanity Fair reported at the time.

The couple seemed to be enjoying the company as they were also pictured laughing together.

In perhaps one of the couple's most iconic candid photos to date, Markle and Harry share an umbrella on a rainy evening in March 2020.

prince harry meghan markle rain
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in March 2020.Samir Hussein/WireImage/Getty Images

This image of Harry and Markle was taken at the Endeavour Fund Awards in London, marking their first official engagement since they announced they'd be stepping back from royal life.

Royal photographer Samir Hussein captured the couple smiling and staring into each other's eyes as they shared an umbrella.

Speaking to British GQ Magazine, Hussein described it as a "one in a million" shot because all the elements aligned, including "perfect timing, great lighting, strong symbolism, and amazing subjects."

Harry and Markle looped their arms around each other while attending the Global Citizen Live concert in New York City in 2021.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in New York City in 2021.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in New York City in 2021.Gotham/WireImage

Proving they aren't ones to shy away from a little PDA, Markle and Harry were seen walking arm-in-arm at the Global Citizen Live concert in New York City.

As Insider's Samantha Grindell previously reported, it was their first in-person engagement since the birth of their second child, Lilibet Diana, in June 2021. They attended the event to promote vaccine equality, according to Vanity Fair.

Harry raised his arms to cheer as he and Markle accompanied young children on mini-cars at the Invictus Games in April.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in the Netherlands in April.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in the Netherlands in April.Patrick van Katwijk/Getty Images

The couple, but particularly Harry, seemed to let loose while accompanying children in mini-Land Rover cars while at the Invictus Games in the Netherlands.

According to the official website, the games had been postponed two years in a row due to COVID-19. April marked the return of the sports competition started by Harry in 2014.

Later at the opening ceremony, Markle and Harry shared a kiss on-stage.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in the Netherlands in April.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in the Netherlands in April.Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

"Please welcome my incredible husband, Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex," Markle said while introducing him at the Invictus Games opening ceremony, Page Six reported.

While their kiss was visible for everyone to see, cameras managed to capture an adorable closeup of the couple moments before, smiling and looking at each other deeply.

During their first public engagement with the royal family in over two years this June, Harry was pictured looking at Markle as she smiled softly at him.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry attend the National Service of Thanksgiving for the Queen's platinum jubilee in June.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry attend the National Service of Thanksgiving for the Queen's platinum jubilee in June.AARON CHOWN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Alongside almost all of the royal family, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry arrived together for a service of thanksgiving in honor of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee in June.

During their appearance, the couple faced scrutiny from the public reminiscent of the relationship they had with the public and British tabloids before they stepped back from royal life, Insider's Mikhaila Friel reported.

Whether they were aware of any criticisms made towards them while attending the thanksgiving service, it did look like the couple appeared to be supporting each other.

Read the original article on Insider