Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are fast approaching their first wedding anniversary. And what a year it’s been.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are celebrating their first wedding anniversary [Photo: Getty]
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are celebrating their first wedding anniversary [Photo: Getty]

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are fast approaching their first wedding anniversary. And what a year it’s been.

Before they raising a glass on Sunday to toast twelve months of wedded bliss the royal couple will have travelled to the other side of the world, started a new Insta account, moved into their own pad, oh and welcomed a baby boy.

On the not-so-celebratory front, however, they’ve also had to cope with some rather difficult family drama, media scrutiny and some pretty unpleasant trolling.

The first year post-nuptials can be a special yet strenuous time for many newlyweds, but with the added busyness and prying eyes that come with being a royal couple Harry and Meghan have weathered more than most.

“The first year of a marriage can be an incredibly fun, yet testing time,” explains Anna Williamson, mind coach, relationship expert and author of How Not to Lose It: Mental Health Sorted.

“It’s a time for working out how you co-habit together, likes, dislikes, and absolute dealbreakers (loo seat left up anyone?)! It’s also often a time of compromise and self-discovery as you establish your new identity as a married person.”

But as Anna points out Meghan and Harry have not had your typical first year of marriage.

“Meghan giving up her previous career and joining such an institution as the royal family, would not have come with some hiccups at working out where she fits in – after all, she didn’t just marry Harry, she married the world’s most famous family too!”

So how have these added complications impacted the royal couple for the better or worse?

Welcoming baby Archie has topped off an eventful year Photo Getty
Welcoming baby Archie has topped off an eventful year Photo Getty

Surviving a year of Heaven and Hell

According to body language expert Judi James despite the chaos of their first year of marriage the Duke and Duchess still seem to be in the honeymoon period.

“It’s clear from their body language that Harry and Meghan are floating on a puffball of bliss just now thanks to their early-days intensity of love and sexually-charged passion for one another plus their beautiful new baby to create a strong family unit,” she explains.

For the Duke in particular, the past twelve months have represented a shift in responsibility, something he seems to be relishing.

“Harry has moved from the roles of younger brother and single son to husband of a beautiful, eloquent and confident US actress and father of one,” Judi continues.

“Throughout the year-long process he’s looked like a man who can’t quite believe his luck.

“Unlike his older brother who rather arrogantly kept his wife waiting on the hook until she acquired the nickname ‘Waity Katy’, Harry knew a good deal when he saw one and snaffled Meghan up, marrying her and starting a family in the space of the one year.”

The pressure of change

While marriage and babies tend to have their own impact on a relationship it’s important to note the massive additional pressures the royal couple have been under, especially Meghan.

“Change can cause pressure but that pressure often only converts to stress when the changes are out of your control,” explains Judi.

And with Meghan those changes were measured. In other words, she would have had some idea about what the first year of being a fully fledged royal might entail.

“Meghan appeared to cope with the change in culture from Hollywood to Windsor and the changes involved in what was her second marriage,” Judi explains.

“She left her career, her lifestyle, her dogs, her mother and her friends behind but threw herself into royal life with what looked like a positive, upbeat approach because all these changes had been her choice.”

But that isn’t to say that the Duchess wouldn’t have encountered any difficulties adapting to her new life.