Why The Timing Of Meghan And Harry's Relationship Is Suddenly Raising Eyebrows

According to published reports, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry started dating in July of 2016 and went public with their relationship in October of the same year (via Town & Country).

The reason the couple's romance was able to stay under wraps at first was due to how their early dates played out, according to the Duke of Sussex. "Dating with me, or with any member of the royal family I guess, is kind of flipped upside down," he confided to James Corden in 2021. "All the dates become dinners or watching the TV or chatting at home. And then eventually, once you become a couple you venture out to dinners, to the cinema, and everything else. So, everything was done back to front with us" (via Insider).

Of course, Meghan and Harry would go on to get engaged in November of 2017 and then say "I do" in May of the following year. And no one has really questioned the timeline of any of this — until now.

A new book claims that Meghan Markle was angling for a set up with Prince Harry

Tom Bower really has it out for the Duchess of Sussex with the publication of his new book, "Revenge: Meghan, Harry and the war between the Windsors." Indeed, the British journalist has not been kind to Meghan Markle in the biography that is making waves with accounts of the royal that do her no favors.

Consider that the author writes about how Prince Harry's friends did not get a good first impression of his new girlfriend when they first got together, going so far as to tell him he was crazy for seeing Meghan. Bower has also claimed that it was Meghan who made Kate Middleton break down in tears before her nuptials, and not the other way around, as the Duchess of Sussex has contended.

The biographer is also calling the timing of the beginning of Harry and Meghan's relationship into question within the pages of his book.

First, it's worth noting that although it's been widely reported that the Sussexes met on a blind date, the identity of the mutual friend who set them up has never been confirmed. Some sources say it was fashion designer Misha Nonoo (via Brides). Others, including Bower, say publicist and childhood friend of Harry, Violet von Westenholz, was actually the mastermind behind the most famous couple on Earth (via Page Six).

But that has nothing to do with the more shocking claim Bower makes in his book.

Meghan Markle was fresh off of another relationship... or was she?

If Tom Bower's account of events which he lays out in his book, "Revenge: Meghan, Harry and the war between the Windsors," are to be believed, Meghan Markle convinced Violet von Westenholz to set her up with Prince Harry back in 2016 when the actress met the royal's friend at Wimbledon (via Page Six).

Although Bower interestingly writes that the Duchess of Sussex was intent on finding a husband at the time she asked von Westenholz to arrange a meeting with Harry, the eyebrow-raising aspect of his version of events is that Meghan may still have been living with her boyfriend, chef Cory Vitiello, when she first went out with her now-husband.

According to Cheat Sheet, Meghan and Cory dated for a few years after meeting in 2014. The relationship was fairly serious, with the "Suits" actress spending the 2015 holidays with the Canadian restaurant owner's family. By all accounts, the couple broke up at some point in 2016, with another book about the Duchess of Sussex making a very deliberate demarcation between when she lived with Cory, and when she went on her first date with Harry.

But is this the truth?

Another book about Meghan Markle has a different timeline of events

Royal experts Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand's book, "Finding Freedom," states that Meghan Markle and Cory Vitiello were planning to break up before she met and started dating Prince Harry, a claim Tom Bower does not dispute, incidentally.

"By the start of 2016, Meghan was confessing to friends that she regretted how quickly things had progressed with him," the book contends (via Cheat Sheet). In a direct contradiction of the claims made in "Revenge," the authors of "Finding Freedom"  write, "That was already obvious to some of her closest pals by the fact that she hadn't moved in with the chef, Meghan had held on to her rental home."

Meanwhile, "Finding Freedom" pinpoints the end of their romance as early May of 2016. Remember, Meghan reportedly didn't go out on her first date with Harry until July of that year.

But according to Bower, Cory and Meghan still lived together when she agreed to meet up with her future husband (via Page Six).

When Meghan Markle broke up with her boyfriend is unclear

The controversial claim in Tom Bower's new book — that the now-Duchess of Sussex was shacked up with her boyfriend Cory Vitiello when she started seeing Prince Harry — is not the only jaw-dropping aspect of the author's account of the timing of when Meghan Markle and the royal got together.

In the tome, the biographer goes on to state that Harry flew to Canada to see Meghan early on in their relationship, while she was still living with Cory (via Page Six). "He stayed for about one week in the house of a friend of Meghan's, probably Jessica Mulroney," Bower writes, adding that "the situation for Meghan was tricky but manageable."

It was only after that visit that according to Bower, Meghan called things off with Cory, with the biographer penning, "At the end of the week, after he returned to London, Meghan was convinced that her spell was cast and the relationship with Harry would be sealed. She told Cory that their affair was over."