When Meghan Markle took her seat at Wimbledon in July 2016, her fellow spectators could never have guessed that in less than two years’ time she would be walking up the aisle at Windsor Castle.
Yet seated just inches from Prince Harry’s new girlfriend on Centre Court was another society beauty inextricably linked to to the Royal family: the Duchess of Cambridge’s younger sister, Pippa Middleton.
As these extraordinary images show, the two women were sat within touching distance of each other during the Lawn Tennis Championships on 4 July 2016 – just three days after Meghan is believed to have met her Prince at Soho House.
Pippa was there to watch Swiss champion play Roger Federer play American Steve Johnson, just minutes before Meghan arrived to see close friend Serena Williams play Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova.
It is not clear whether the two women were formally introduced, but Meghan was later pictured at the Polo Ralph Lauren VIP Suite – where coincidentally, Harry’s ex Cressida Bonas was hanging out – and where Pippa will almost certainly have stopped for a refreshment.
Just days after sparking a royal romance, Meghan Markle was at Wimbledon to see to watch close friend Serena Williams play Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova
Touching distance: Pippa (back right) was there to watch Swiss champion play Roger Federer play American Steve Johnson and joined Anna Wintour (front left) on Centre Court
First meeting? Meghan, there as a Ralph Lauren ambassador, was later pictured at the Polo Ralph Lauren VIP Suite where Pippa will almost certainly have stopped for a refreshment
Prince Harry’s most recent ex, actress Cressida Bonas, was also spotted mingling with celebrities in the VIP Lounge the same afternoon as Meghan was there
Cressida, who split with the redhead royal in 2014, was also enjoying the action as she sat next to Dermot O’Leary on Centre Court
MailOnline has contacted Kensington Palace for comment.
Seated in between the two women was the formidable American Vogue editor Anna Wintour who, according to royal biographer Andrew Morton, lent the actress her cardigan to protect her black suede dress when it started to rain.
Princess Michael of Kent and the Duke of Kent were also spotted among the Centre Court spectators that afternoon.
Meghan, having recently returned from a hen party in Greece, was on a working trip to London and was invited to Wimbledon in her role as a Ralph Lauren ambassador – marking her second visit to the tennis championships in a week.
That afternoon, she was spotted chatting to fashion PR Violet von Westenholtz and stylist Olivia Buckingham off-court – and would have rubbed shoulders with Harry’s most recent ex, actress Cressida Bonas, who was also in the VIP lounge.
Awkward! Meghan and Pippa were sat mere feet away from each other on Centre Court last summer, although it is not known whether the two women spoke in person
Friend in need: American Vogue editor, Anna Wintour (right) who, according to Andrew Morton, lent Meghan her cardigan to protect her black suede dress when it started to rain
Anna cheers on Roger Federer on Centre Court. She was joined in the players’ box by a host of celebrities and royals including Princess Michael of Kent
Famous face: Pippa, a regular fixture at the tennis championships, put in a handful of typically glamorous appearances alongside now-husband James Matthews
The Vogue editor sat next to Mirka Federer (front centre) during the Swiss tennis ace’s clash agains American Steve Johnson on Centre Court
Meanwhile Pippa, a regular fixture at the tennis championships, put in a handful of headline-grabbing appearances that week alongside now-husband James Matthews.
Now, in a remarkable twist of fate, the two women are set to become family when Meghan marries Pippa’s brother-in-law, Prince Harry at Windsor Castle.
If Pippa has made the guest list on May 19 it will not be her first Royal wedding; she first shot to fame as maid of honour at the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge 2011 nuptials at Westminster Cathedral.