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Harry and Meghan reminisce on early romance after meeting on Instagram

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (Aaron Chown/PA)
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (Aaron Chown/PA)

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have shared the first messages they exchanged ahead of their first date in their tell-all Netflix series.

The first episode of Harry & Meghan cuts to London in July 2016, documenting when the Duke first met former American actress Meghan, best known for her role in the hit US legal drama series Suits in which she played paralegal-turned-lawyer Rachel Zane.

The Duchess said before meeting her future husband, another season of Suits had been confirmed and she had plans to travel with friends having been “single for a couple of months”.

Meghan playing Rachel Zane in season six of Suits (Shane Mahood/USA Network/PA)

“I was really intent on being single and just have fun girl-time. I had a career. I had my life. I had my path… and then came H. I mean, he literally, talk about a plot twist,” she said.

The first episode of the series sees Harry reveal that the couple first met on Instagram.

He said: “I was scrolling through my feed and someone who was a friend had this video of the two of them, it was like a Snapchat.”

An image of Meghan with the popular dog ears filter is then shown.

The Duke said: “That was the first thing. I was like ‘who is that?’”

Meghan said the friend then sent her an email, the words of which are typed out on the screen, saying: “Between you and I thought you might want to know this being newly single and all. I put our Snapchat on Instagram and Prince Haz follows me (he’s a friend) he called me last night dying to meet you. hehehe. I might just have to set you up” (sic).

The Duchess’s reply, which was typed out on the screen, read: “Who is prince haz?????” before asking to see his social media feed.

In the episode, Meghan said: “That’s the thing. People say ‘did you Google him?’ No. That’s your homework… you’re like ‘let me see what they’re about in their feed’, not what someone else says about them, but what they are putting out about themselves.

“That, to me, was the best barometer. So I went through and it was just like beautiful photography and all these environmental shots and this time he was spending in Africa.”

Harry and Meghan watch Wheelchair Tennis at the 2017 Invictus Games in Toronto, Canada (Danny Lawson/PA)

Harry said they then got each others numbers, adding: “We were just constantly in touch.”

The episode also shares the first messages between Harry and Meghan ahead of their first date.

The Duke writes: “So come on – what u doing tomorrow night? Hope you’re Having fun over there!”

Meghan replies: “Heading back to soho. I have a dinner tomorrow at 8 but can do drinks tomorrow night. Would that work? Maybe 6?”

Harry writes back: “You’re ON!”

Invictus Games Reception – The Hague
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex attending a reception hosted by the City of The Hague and the Dutch Ministry of Defence, celebrating the forthcoming Invictus Games in April 2022 (Aaron Chown/PA)

The royal couple, who married in May 2018 but quit as senior working royals and moved to the US in January 2020, revealed they had their first date at 76 Dean Street – and Harry was late.

The Duchess said he kept texting to apologise and to explain he was stuck in traffic but she “couldn’t understand why he would be late”.

Harry said: “I was panicking. I was freaking out. I was, like, sweating.”

Meghan explained she feared Harry may be a guy with an ego who would make a woman sit waiting, but when he arrived she could see he was genuinely embarrassed about being late.

“He was just so fun, just so refreshingly fun, and that was the thing, we were like child-like together,” she said.

Archetypes podcast
Harry and Meghan after the announcement of their engagement (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

The couple’s first date lasted an hour and they had a “great chat”, viewers of the first Netflix episode learned.

Meghan said: “I called him that evening and I was like ‘I’m leaving the day after tomorrow, do you want to grab dinner tomorrow night?’

“And I’m sure he thought it was so forward and American. I’m sure he told me it was so forward and American.”

They had dinner at the same place as they had their first date.

A picture is shown of Meghan nuzzling into Harry as Meghan tells the documentary: “There was one photo. We just wanted to capture the feeling of just sitting in that little restaurant and going ‘Oh my gosh. We were going to give it a go’.”

Harry said: “That was when it just hit me. I was like, OK, this girl, this woman, is amazing, is everything that I’ve been looking for. And she’s so comfortable and so relaxed in my company.”

Meghan added: “He had a list apparently of what he was looking for.”

She said it was an “extensive” list, and Harry said: “Let’s not go there.” He declined to share the list on the Netflix show.