June 4, 2022, was a special day for the Sussex family as it was the first birthday of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s daughter Lilibet. The 12th great-grandchild of the late Queen Elizabeth was born on June 4, 2021, in Santa Monica, California. Before June 2022, Elizabeth had not met her youngest great-grandchild and had actually only seen Lilibet through virtual means of communication. However, luckily before her passing on Sept. 8, 2022, that changed at her Platinum Jubilee as Harry and Meghan were in attendance to celebrate Elizabeth’s incredible milestone.

Harry and Meghan had traveled to the UK for the first time since moving to the US in 2020 to celebrate the late queen’s jubilee, which was a four-day holiday weekend to mark Elizabeth’s incredible 70-year-reign. The couple’s first public appearance at a royal event in more than two years happened on June 3, 2022, when they attended a thanksgiving service for the queen which took place at the prestigious St. Paul’s Cathedral.

However, the Sussexes were not invited to join the queen and the rest of the royal family on the Buckingham Palace balcony for her iconic Trooping the Colour parade. But Washington Post reported that photographers caught a glimpse of Meghan playing with some of Elizabeth’s great-grandchildren in a window of Buckingham Palace while the parade took place.

While Harry and Meghan have faced a lot of criticism for their decision to leave their duties as royals to opt for a quieter life in the US, their attendance at the queen’s jubilee was appreciated, especially since it was her last big celebration before her death. More importantly, it gave Lilibet and her brother Archie a beautiful celebration of their great-grandmother. As the daughter of the royal couple just turned 1, the world is celebrating her growing up right before our eyes.

Harry was born on Sept. 15, 1984, in the Lindo Wing of St. Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, London to his mother, Princess Diana, and his father, King Charles III. While his childhood had its share of setbacks and difficulties, such as his parents splitting up, Harry was always known for his “happy-go-lucky” disposition. The tragic and untimely death of his mother in 1997 affected him deeply and left him with a lot of emotional scars, according to Biography.com.

As he grew up, his interest in military service matured and in 2005, he enrolled at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. He served for 10 years and officially ended his duties in May 2015. While he was no longer involved in active combat, Harry continued volunteering to assist wounded servicemen. The Duke of Sussex’s military duty included two tours in Afghanistan and he was eventually promoted to the rank of Lieutenant with The Household Cavalry, according to the Royal Website.

In 2017, Harry was made the Captain General of the Royal Marines, succeeding the late Prince Philip who had previously held the same position. However, Harry stepped back from all of his military duties when he chose to leave behind his title as a senior royal member of the family back in January 2020.

Harry and his wife Meghan were set up on a blind date in 2016 and hit it off instantly. Meghan likely knew she had finally met the love of her life, given that things progressed so quickly. It was likely the same for Harry, who revealed to Vogue: “I was beautifully surprised when I walked into that room and saw her. I was like, I’m really going to have to up my game here.

Truly a whirlwind romance, Harry would whisk Meghan off to Botswana just a few weeks later, according to Town & Country. The couple later described this trip as bringing them together and really starting their relationship. The country and their trip would become special to the couple over the years — so special that the center diamond of Meghan’s three-stone engagement ring would come from Botswana.

The trip was truly a time for the couple to connect without pressure or scrutiny. “We were really by ourselves, which was crucial to me to make sure we had a chance to get to know each other,” Harry told Vogue.

In the same Vogue interview, Meghan recalled how she felt when Harry proposed to her. She said,

“It was just an amazing surprise. It was so sweet and natural and very romantic; he got on one knee.”

Meghan and Harry even made their wedding in 2018 more of a private affair. In their interview with Oprah Winfrey, the couple talked about how they exchanged vows privately three days before their wedding day. The BBC reported that Meghan said:

“We called the archbishop and we just said, ‘look, this thing, this spectacle is for the world but we want our union between us … just the two of us in our backyard.’”

As an actress, Meghan had already made it big through her own hard work before ever laying eyes on Harry. Still, the fame she experienced as an actress could not possibly prepare her for the notoriety she would achieve after becoming the Duchess of Sussex.

However, no other royal family members apart from Philip and the queen’s parents reportedly called her “Lilibet,” which meant that the late queen’s sweet nickname was no longer used after Philip’s death. While it was only a prediction and not an assumption that the queen’s 12th great-grandchild would be called “Lily,” Harry and Meghan went one step further and gave their daughter a remarkable name.

Meghan and Harry had been extremely private about sharing pictures of their children, but fans were thrilled to know that the couple finally released a photograph of Lilibet! Posted by photographer Misan Harriman, the beautiful portrait caught the attention of royal enthusiasts around the world. The picture captured the hearts of people all over the world.

The post was captioned: “It was such a privilege to celebrate the 1st birthday of Lilibet with my family and hers! Joy and face painting all around ❤️🎂🎉”

Internet users were beyond happy to see an up-close and personal picture of the young princess. The picture on Instagram had over 75,000 likes and many comments.

One kind Instagram user said: “Wow what a beautiful girl Lili is.Thank you for sharing. Absolutely gorgeous. ❤️❤️❤️.” Another person commented on the picture and said, “Special memories and I always adore your photos of this family 🎂🎉✨.”

The photo featured a beaming Lilibet wearing a baby blue dress with a white bow in her hair. The photo quickly became an internet sensation and spread through many news outlets. Like her brother Archie, Lilibet inherited her father’s signature red hair! We hope that Lilibet had a wonderful first birthday and wish her the best.