Two photos of Meghan Markle – taken 22 years apart – that prove dreams come true

Royal fans are sharing two powerful photos of Meghan Markle – taken 22 years apart – that prove "dreams do come true".

In the first, 15-year-old Meghan sits on black painted railings outside Buckingham Palace.

The grainy photograph shows Meghan in slip-on sandals and sunnies, smiling alongside a pal with her whole life ahead of her.

In the second, she is a 36-year-old bride – marrying a prince in front of the whole world.

"Life is full of surprises," one royal fan wrote on Twitter.

"One day you’re 15 and posing outside Buckingham Palace and 22 years later you’re marrying the prince."

"What a love story – a true princess in waiting," another said.

Prince Harry and Meghan got married in a dazzling ceremony that blended ancient English ritual with African-American culture yesterday.

The celebration, watched up close by royals and celebrities and from afar by a global TV audience of millions, has made history.

The two photographs placed side-by-side serve as a reminder of the vast opportunities that stretch out before you age 15.

And a love story is made all the better when it has a happy ending.

Harry and Meghan were first introduced in London in July 2016 through mutual friends, but they did not start dating straight away.

Meghan was still based in her adopted hometown of Toronto, where her US drama Suits is filmed.

They met while Harry was promoting the Invictus Games – an event he helped launch for disabled military personnel – in London, and Meghan shared a picture of herself visiting Buckingham Palace on July 5.

She had also been spotted in the royal box at Wimbledon in late June, prompting speculation she was already well acquainted with Harry’s family.

Then, in October 2016, the first rumours surrounding their relationship began swirling when the pair were seen at a halloween-party-ideas-budget-2017-9116382>Halloween party in Toronto.

It was first thought they pair had been dating for around a month, but Meghan later told Vanity Fair they had managed to keep their romance under wraps for an impressive six months.

"We were very quietly dating for about six months before it became news, and I was working during that whole time, and the only thing that changed was people’s perception," she said in October 2017.

"Nothing about me changed. I’m still the same person that I am, and I’ve never defined myself by my relationship."

Once the speculation started bubbling, it did not take long before their relationship was blown into the public sphere.

Just two weeks after the news broke, Harry took the unprecedented step of blasting the media for prying into Meghan’s private life – and even called out trolls for making racist comments about her.

The statement was the first time Harry called Meghan his girlfriend in public as he warned the media to steer clear.

"His girlfriend, Meghan Markle, has been subject to a wave of abuse and harassment," the statement read.

"Some of this has been very public – the smear on the front page of a national newspaper; the racial undertones of comment pieces; and the outright sexism and racism of social media trolls and web article comments."

It went on: "Prince Harry is worried about Ms. Markle’s safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her.

"It is not right that a few months into a relationship with him that Ms. Markle should be subjected to such a storm. He knows commentators will say this is ‘the price she has to pay’ and that ‘this is all part of the game’.

"He strongly disagrees. This is not a game – it is her life and his.

"He has asked for this statement to be issued in the hopes that those in the press who have been driving this story can pause and reflect before any further damage is done. He knows that it is unusual to issue a statement like this, but hopes that fair-minded people will understand why he has felt it necessary to speak publicly."

The pair fell love with Africa separately but it was their first trip together as a couple which sealed their romantic fate.

Even before the pair met, they were both involved in various charity projects which saw them visiting the sun-soaked continent.

Prince Harry often visited as part of his work for the royal’s charity Sentebale and his role as patron for Rhino Conservation Botswana, while Meghan headed to Rwanda when she was a global ambassador for World Vision.

However, it is Botswana that already sits at the forefront of their love story.

Prince Harry whisked Meghan away for a luxury safari break just four weeks after their first date.

Speaking to the BBC in their engagement interview, Harry said: "I managed to persuade her to come and join me in Botswana.

"We camped out with each other under the stars. She came and joined me for five days out there, which was absolutely fantastic."

Meghan did a glossy covershoot and interview with Vanity Fair in October 2017, in which she repeatedly called the royal her "boyfriend" and gushed about their relationship.

"We’re a couple. We’re in love," she 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. This is for us.

"It’s part of what makes it so special, that it’s just ours. But we’re happy. Personally, I love a great love story.

"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."

Just seven months after they met, Harry reportedly took Meghan to London to meet his brother Prince William and sister-in-law Kate Middleton – the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

He is also thought to have introduced his girlfriend to the Queen on Mother’s Day, Sunday March 26 2017.

She came with him to Kate’s sister Pippa Middleton’s wedding in May, carefully avoiding the cameras by getting Harry to pick her up after the church ceremony and just in time for the evening reception.

The two were seen together at the Invictus Games in Toronto on September 25 2017.

Dressed down in skinny ripped jeans, a white shirt and sunglasses, Meghan laughed and smiled as Harry whispered in her ear in full view of spectators.

They cosied up together with lots of affectionate touches – and were even spotted kissing inside their private box where Meghan’s mum Doria and her best friends Markus Anderson and Jessica Mulroney were given seats.

Kensington Palace announced the couple were engaged on November 27 2017 following weeks of speculation.

Later that day, they did an interview with BBC presenter Mishal Husain and revealed extra romantic details about the engagemet.

Meghan admitted it was "sweet, natural and very romantic" and just a "standard typical night in" for the pair.

The actress admitted she "barely" let her husband-to-be finish proposing before she said: "Can I say yes now?"

One of their first appearances was at Reprezent 107.3FM in Brixton, south London, in January.

The pair later made a trip to Cardiff where Meghan was asked by sisters Anne and Judy Daley – who brought a veil, plastic tiara and bridal sash gift for Meghan – to ask if she would hold her hen party in Cardiff.

The beaming actress told them: "I bet that would be a lot of fun," before being led away by Prince Harry.

In reality the star had a rather quieter hen do in the Cotswolds.

Days before the wedding, the pair’s plans were thrown into chaos after Meghan’s father, Thomas Markle, pulled out of the ceremony.

It came after claims he "set up" pictures of him gazing at his daughter and her fiance in a Mexican internet cafe, which is said to have incredibly hurt Meghan.

He later reportedly said he was naive and did not set up the shots to make money but to present himself in a more positive light.

Thomas was unable to attend the wedding due to ill health and so Prince Charles, Harry’s father, walked Meghan up the aisle.

Now the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, the couple will not immediately leave for their honeymoon but remain in the UK for a period before taking the traditional break.

Botswana could be top of the list.

But the couple may first spend a few days in Ireland, according to reports, making their inaugural overseas trip as a married couple to the Republic, while their honeymoon is put on hold.

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