Harry and Meghan’s busy first year as a married couple

By Press Association Reporters

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have had a busy first year of marriage, embarking on a major overseas tour, moving house and welcoming their first child.

Meghan threw herself into royal life and was at work with Harry just days after their wedding last May as they joined the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall at a garden party celebrating the prince’s charity work.

It was a year of firsts for newbie royal Meghan, and the party marked the newlyweds’ first official engagement as a married couple.

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall with the Duchess of Sussex at a garden party at Buckingham Palace (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

The duchess undertook her first joint engagement with the Queen on a day trip to Cheshire, and body language experts said the pair got on famously.

In July, Harry and Meghan headed to Dublin – their first official overseas trip as a married couple – and visited Croke Park stadium, the scene of the Bloody Sunday atrocity committed by British troops against civilians in 1920.

Personal celebrations included Meghan’s 37th birthday in August which was spent at the wedding of Harry’s society friends Charlie van Straubenzee and Daisy Jenks, Harry’s 34th birthday in September, and a holiday with George and Amal Clooney in Italy.

The Duchess of Sussex turns around in surprise after Walter Kieran, 3, reached out to touch her hair during her visit with the Duke of Sussex to Croke Park in Dublin (Brian Lawless/PA)

In the autumn, Meghan brought her mother Doria Ragland to the launch of the Grenfell community cookbook she championed – and helped prepare lunch for the guests at the Hubb Community Kitchen in London.

Ms Ragland’s last memorable appearance was on the steps of St George’s Chapel following the royal wedding in May, watching her daughter begin her new life as a member of the monarchy.

Meghan was the driving force behind the book, suggesting the idea to a group of women who came together to cook at a Muslim cultural centre in North Kensington in the aftermath of the Grenfell tragedy.

Ms Ragland introduced herself to guests as “Meg’s mom” when she arrived at the marquee with the duke and duchess, and said she was “head over heels” with pride.

The Duchess of Sussex, accompanied by the Duke of Sussex, and her mother, Doria Ragland , welcomes the women behind the cookbook she has championed to Kensington Palace in London (Ben Stansall/PA)

The Sussexes were back in St George’s Chapel in October where they were guests at Princess Eugenie’s wedding.

It was on this day they shared the news with their family that they were expecting a baby.

The pregnancy was announced publicly just three days later when Harry and Meghan were starting their official tour to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga.

A delighted Harry called the baby “our little bump” and Meghan repeatedly cradled her stomach as the pair continued with their marathon 16-day trip, which featured more than 70 engagements.

The Queen speaks with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex outside St George’s Chapel following the wedding of Princess Eugenie to Jack Brooksbank (Aaron Chown/PA)

Highlights included a trip to Bondi beach in Sydney, the 2018 Invictus Games, and a Maori welcome in Rotorua, New Zealand.

Back in the UK, the duchess joined the royals for the first time at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday, which this year fell on the centenary of Armistice Day.

And the family came together again for Charles’ 70th birthday for official photographs, and then a party hosted by the Queen.

Harry and Meghan during a visit to South Bondi beach in Sydney (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

The Royal Variety Performance is a staple of the royal calendar and Meghan had her first introduction to the annual event, joining Harry in meeting Take That at the charity show.

As it emerged that the couple had chosen Frogmore Cottage on the Windsor Estate as the home where they will raise their family, rumours abounded as to the reason for their move away from Kensington Palace, amid speculation over Meghan and Kate’s relationship.

There were also reports of tension between William and Harry, with Harry reportedly accusing his older brother of trying to wreck his relationship with Meghan when he initially voiced concerns.

The Duke of Cambridge, the Duchess of Cambridge, the Duchess of Sussex and the Duke of Sussex arriving to attend the Christmas Day morning church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk (Joe Giddens/PA)

But the two couples appeared the best of friends when they led the royal family to church on Christmas Day at Sandringham.

Meghan and Kate were all smiles as they walked side by side, just as they had done the previous Christmas with Harry and William, past hundreds of royal fans.

In February, Meghan enjoyed a baby shower get together with friends in New York.

Amal Clooney and Jessica Mulroney were among the guests who made an appearance at the lavish five-star Mark Hotel.

In March it was announced that Harry and Meghan were to have their own household based at Buckingham Palace, separate to William and Kate, to take forward their growing roles as senior members of the royal family.

Harry and Meghan kissing on the steps of St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, following their wedding (Danny Lawson/PA)

Harry and Meghan then moved out of Kensington Palace and into Frogmore Cottage, having carried out extensive renovations to the house at an estimated cost to the taxpayer of £3 million.

Work on the listed property in Berkshire – including changing it from staff apartments into one mansion – overran and it was reported that the Sussexes made constant design changes, meaning the builders fell behind schedule.

The duke and duchess, who were footing the bill for furnishings, are said to have hired former Soho House interior designer Vicky Charles to transform their new pad.

They had lived at Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace since their engagement.

With a new home, all that was left was for Meghan to give birth to the couple’s first child.

Harry and Meghan with their son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor was born on Monday May 6 at the private Portland Hospital in London.

He was born in a maternity unit renowned for its quality of service, akin to a five-star hotel where parents can spend tens of thousands to ensure a safe and happy arrival for their baby.

Archie, who is the seventh in line to the throne and an eighth great-grandchild for the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh, is believed to be the first mixed-race child born to a senior member of the royal family in centuries, and is a reflection of modern Britain with its culturally diverse population.

When Harry announced to the world his wife had given birth to a boy he could not hide his happiness at becoming a father for the first time, to a baby he said was “absolutely to-die-for”.