Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Were 'Dating for 6 Months Before It Became News'
Peter Lindbergh/Vanity Fair
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Editor's Note: In light of the couple's engagement in November 2017, take a look back at what Markle said about her royal beau in Vanity Fair earlier this year.

Meghan Markle's fairytale relationship with Prince Harry started long before the media caught wind of the royal romance.

"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," the "Suits" star told Vanity Fair while discussing her relationship Britain's red-headed prince charming. "Nothing about me changed I'm still the same person that I am, and I've never defined myself by my relationship."

While Markle's personality remains unchanged, her fame only continues to grow thanks to the world's fascination with the Royal Family. When the tabloid media did take notice to the couple's relationship nearly a year ago, the coverage became so intrusive that Kensington Palace issued a rare (and lengthy) statement about Harry's personal life, scolding the media for "a line crossed."

"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. Some of it has been hidden from the public - the nightly legal battles to keep defamatory stories out of papers; her mother having to struggle past photographers in order to get to her front door; the attempts of reporters and photographers to gain illegal entry to her home and the calls to police that followed; the substantial bribes offered by papers to her ex-boyfriend; the bombardment of nearly every friend, co-worker, and loved one in her life."

The statement continued, "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."

Markle, however, endured the media bombardment, and gushed about Harry's support to Vanity Fair.

"It has its challenges, and it comes in waves; some days it can feel more challenging than others and right out of the gate it was surprising the way things changed. But I still have this support system all around me, and, of course, my boyfriend's support."

Markle acknowledged their relationship will eventually become more public, but as of right now they're doing everything they can do to stay private.

"We're a couple. We're in love. 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."

Markle added, "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."

Markle's Vanity Fair issue hits newsstands in New York and Los Angeles on Sept. 7, then rolls out nationally on Sept. 12.

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