05/09/2017 14:23 BST | Updated 05/09/2017 17:21 BST

Meghan Markle Discusses Prince Harry Relationship For The First Time In Vanity Fair Interview

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

Meghan Markle has opened up about her relationship with Prince Harry for the first time, revealing how she’s coped with the increased levels of press attention she’s received during the past 11 months.

Meghan and Harry’s relationship was first reported on in the tabloid press back in October 2016.

The attention she then faced led Harry to make the unprecedented move of issuing a statement, via Kensington Palace, which said he was “worried about Ms Markle’s safety” and “deeply disappointed that he not been able to protect her”.

Meghan attended Pippa Middleton's recent wedding reception with her boyfriend 

Since then, Meghan has avoided discussing the relationship, elegantly sidestepping a question about it at a ‘Suits’ press conference in June, but she’s now praised her “supportive” boyfriend in an interview with Vanity Fair.

Addressing her new-found level of fame, she said: “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.”

The actress also indicated that, for the time being at least, she and Harry will not be making any joint statements or giving interviews together.

Meghan's Vanity Fair cover 

“We’re a couple,” she told the magazine. “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.

“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.”

The article also confirms previously unknown details of their relationship, revealing that the couple met “through mutual friends” in July 2016, three months before hitting headlines.

While she’s well-known to many TV fans thanks to her role in ‘Suits’, Meghan also unveiled her first ever fashion collection in January, designing pieces for Canadian retailer Reitmans.

Meghan also devotes a lot of her time to humanitarian work, participating in the annual One Young World conference and also serving as a United Nations ambassador.

Read Meghan’s full interview with Vanity Fair here