year in review 2018

A Look Back at Meghan Markle’s Very Royal Year

Meghan Markle, Meghan Markle, Meghan Markle, and Meghan Markle.
A year in Meghan Markle. Photo: Getty Images

Decades from now, if the world is still around, many of us will look back at 2018 and think two things: 1) what a horrible year for us all … and 2) … well, except for Meghan Markle, who had a truly exceptional 2018.

Over the last year, the Duchess of Sussex, former Suits star, and “I’m always going to be Meg” officially became royal when she married Prince Harry — and in the process made history as she is American, biracial, and divorced, three things that may have made the union unfathomable in previous generations of the British royal family. With her new power, Meghan embarked on the philanthropic work she was so eager to undertake and gave unprecedented speeches (well, for royals) about feminism and education. Oh yeah, she also got pregnant with her first royal baby, and one time she closed her own car door.

Here’s a look back at some of the best and most important moments in Meghan Markle’s (and our) 2018, in chronological order.

January: The Month of Messy Buns

• In January, she met her adoring fans (and future subjects) during her second official royal outing (to a radio station). Her reaction was quite humble for someone who now gets inundated with adoration all the time:

• It was during that first January outing that she introduced us all to her beloved messy bun — which also appeared again later that month and then pretty much constantly until her royal wedding.

Meghan’s messy bun. Photo: Karwai Tang/WireImage

February: Meghan Gets Political

• In February, the former Suits actress wore a suit to a royal event (where she also gave her first, albeit brief royal speech, though that part unfortunately ended up being a bit awkward).

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, both in suits. Photo: Beretta/Sims/REX/Shutterstock

• That month, she also made her first official visit to Scotland — where a pony tried to bite Prince Harry. He survived.

• Meghan has long been an outspoken feminist and philanthropist, but our first glimpse of (then soon-to-be) royal Meghan’s decision to stick with her political causes came in February during a Royal Foundation event with Prince William, Kate Middleton, and Prince Harry, where she voiced her support of the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements. This came after Kate Middleton had been criticized for not wearing black to the BAFTAs in support of the movement.

March and April: Gearing Up for the Big Day

• In March, Meghan attended her first royal event where Queen Elizabeth was present. That month, the queen also formally approved the marriage.

• That same month, Meghan’s final season of Suits premiered. One of her major plotlines that season (other than legal cases) was her character Rachel Zane’s wedding. How fitting.

Meghan’s Suits wedding. Photo: Ian Watson/USA Network

• By April, details about her May royal wedding started coming out. The photographer! The flowers! The two dresses! The extremely fancy portaloos! The celebrity guests being vague about it! We loved it, and couldn’t get enough.

May: Royal Wedding Fever

• Headlines in May were, of course, dominated by news about the royal wedding. It started out with the bad (her messy father Thomas Markle Sr.’s public back and forth with TMZ over whether he’d attend her wedding or not), but then moved to the good (Prince Charles said he’d walk her down the aisle, how sweet, and details about the bridesmaids).

• On May 19, 2018, one of the most important days in our lives finally occurred: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry were married in a very royal wedding. The event took place at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, and was both beautiful and incredibly moving, with a gospel choir, celebrity guests, her gorgeous Clare Waight Keller for Givenchy dress, and more.

• After the wedding, she changed into a stunning Stella McCartney gown for the private reception we rudely were not invited to. Oh, and she also formally became the Duchess of Sussex.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry en route to their private reception. Photo: WPA Pool/Getty Images

• Meghan made her first official post-wedding royal appearance mere days later, at a garden party for Prince Charles’s 70th birthday (that was held months early). Then she got a coat of arms, which paid tribute to both California and her blog.

Summer: Meghan on Duchess Duty

• After her mysterious honeymoon (where did they go????), she stepped out in June for the queen’s birthday in blush pink — a color she adorned for several of her first post-wedding royal appearances.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on the queen’s birthday. Photo: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

• Then, Meghan went on a road trip with Queen Elizabeth, how cute. The trip reportedly involved some hat drama we learned about later. It was also during that road trip that we learned she had developed a quasi-British accent … or rather, at least it sounded that way in one video that went viral.

• From there, Meghan kept on making appearance at royal events. She wore an extremely British hat (and no name tag) at the Royal Ascot and also attended the July baptism of her very elusive royal nephew, Prince Louis. Alongside Prince Harry, Kate Middleton, and Prince William, she stepped out in Dior for the 100th anniversary of the Royal Air Force. Then, she and Prince Harry did a tour of Ireland, where she wore a lot of nice, autumn outfits, and accidentally maybe voiced an opinion on abortion.

• Also in July, Meghan attended Wimbledon with Kate Middleton. This was before all the reports about the two possibly feuding (or not) emerged.

Meghan and Kate at Wimbledon. Photo: Clive Mason/Getty Images

• Meghan and Prince Harry wrapped up their summer the only way royals know how: vacationing with Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles in Scotland, and then visiting George and Amal Clooney in Lake Como, Italy. Of course.

September: Meghan’s First Royal Project Revealed

• In September, Meghan’s first solo philanthropic endeavor as a duchess was revealed: Together: Our Community Cookbook, which benefits victims of the devastating 2017 Grenfell Tower Fire. To complete this book, Meghan spent months secretly visiting with the women of Hubb Community Kitchen in London, who have been affected by the fire. The cookbook utilizes recipes from these women, and the proceeds will go toward helping the kitchen to stay open seven days a week to continue to feed affected communities.

It was later revealed that, in the U.K. alone, the cookbook sold 40,000 copies and raised $270,000 in its first seven weeks — and that’s on top of selling “tens of thousands” more copies internationally.

• Meghan followed up the successful launch of the Together cookbook in the most Meghan way possible: by closing a car door by herself. The bold move made international headlines. Brave!

October: A Royal Tour and Also Baby

• October was a particularly monumental month for Meghan: she went to Sussex, the place she is the duchess of, attended a royal wedding that wasn’t her own (Princess Eugenie’s), and then embarked on a 16-day royal tour of Australia, Tonga, Fiji, and New Zealand.

• But almost as soon as she and Prince Harry touched down … down under … some news broke: Meghan is PREGNANT!!!!!!!!!!!! With a royal baby!!!!!!! So, the royal tour involved a lot of great fashion, banana bread, baby-related talk, and some lower torso touching.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on the royal tour. Photo: Kirsty Wigglesworth/Getty Images

• But beyond that, Meghan also delivered two remarkable speeches during the royal tour. In Fiji, she gave a speech on the importance of education — and revealed that she worked her way through college, and that she had scholarships and financial aid, which is new to hear from a royal.

• And in New Zealand, she gave a speech about voting, the suffragette movement and feminism.

November and December: Working Through Drama

• Throughout much of November and December, Meghan and the rest of the millennial royals have had to deal with a ton of dramatic tabloid stories. This list isn’t about that, so we won’t get into it here. But one story stands out: The Daily Mail had an entire report about royal aides being upset about Meghan’s (good) work ethic — and the report ended up showing us all just how hard she works and how passionate she is about what she does. Not sure if that was the intention …

• After that, Meghan just kept on working. The day before Thanksgiving, she made a surprise appearance at Hubb Community Kitchen, and matched with Kate Middleton.

Meghan at Hubb Community Kitchen. Photo: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

• It was also revealed that Meghan and Prince Harry would be moving out of Kensington Palace and into a Frogmore Cottage at Windsor Castle.

• And in December, the duchess made another surprise appearance — but this time, at the British Fashion Awards, where she spoke on stage and presented an award to Claire Waight Keller of Givenchy.

We can’t wait to see what Meghan’s (and our) 2019 brings!

Meghan Markle’s Best and Most Important Moments of 2018