MEGHAN MARKLE

WHY THERE’S MORE TO MEGHAN MARKLE THAN HER PRINCE CHARMING…

 

It’s hard to remember a time when Meghan Markle wasn’t in the news – when her latest hairstyle wasn’t scrutinised over being a ‘Kate copy’; when every day the headlines weren’t rife with royal engagement rumours. But, since it was revealed last November that Prince Harry was dating 35 year old American actress Meghan Markle, the star became a household name almost overnight. In fact, so intrigued were the public by the lady who’d captured the prince’s heart, she became the most googled actress of last year, beating the likes of Jennifer Lawrence in the process. But, who is the mysterious Ms Markle? We take a look at the life of the rising star, who could one day be a royal too…

THE ACTRESS

Having grown up around showbusiness (Meghan’s father was director of photography on American TV series Married with Children), it seemed fitting that Meghan would become an actress.

After studying theatre and international relations at Northwestern University School of Communication, she actually began working for the US Embassy in Buenos Aires. However, she was approached by someone who wanted to represent her as an actress, and feeling homesick she took the opportunity to move back to LA and explore her options. Her first role was in General Hospital, followed by parts in 90210, Fringe and Remember Me, starring Robert Pattinson.

Then, in 2011 she was cast as Rachel Zane in Suits – an American legal drama comedy series which is now in its seventh season. Megan has previously described landing the role in Suits as: “One of the best days of my life”, and although rumours have been rife that this will be her last series so she can relocate to London to be with Prince Harry, so far she’s remained tight-lipped on whether she’ll be hanging up her suit jacket.

THE ROYAL GIRLFRIEND

It’s understood that Prince Harry and Meghan met last May while he was in Toronto to promote the Invictus Games, an international athletic competition for wounded or sick military veterans, and she was filming Suits. The pair managed to keep their romance under wraps for several months, with Harry even being introduced to her father before their relationship was revealed.

In October 2016 the press began to speculate over their relationship, and in November, the palace took the unusual decision to release a royal statement confirming the pair were a couple, after Meghan began receiving abuse
and harassment.

“It is not right that a few months into a relationship with him that Ms Markle should be subjected to such a storm. He knows commentators will say this is ‘the price she has to pay’ and that ‘this is all part of the game’. He strongly disagrees. This is not a game – it is her life and his.”

Since the official confirmation, there has been intense public interest surrounding the pair, and speculation over whether Harry will be asking the star to marry him in the near future. Bookies recently suspended bets on a proposal and Meghan has notably begun to wind down her own commitments; previously an ambassador for Canadian clothing brand Reitmans, she’s stepped down, and she’s also called time on her lifestyle website The Tig.

Last month, Meghan accompanied Harry to Pippa Middleton’s wedding reception – their first official outing together since their relationship began a year ago.

THE HUMANITARIAN

From a young age, Meghan was aware of injustice and wanted to have a voice. At age 11, she wrote a letter to then First Lady Hillary Clinton and other high-profile figures complaining that a soap advertisement implied women belonged in the kitchen – the soap’s manufacturer was forced to alter the advertisement after her complaint.

After writing on The Tig about female empowerment, Meghan was approached by UN women, and subsequently became an official advocate for the UN’s Women’s Political Participation and Leadership programme. A role as a Global Ambassador for World Vision soon followed, under the One Young World initiative, which celebrates young adults speaking out against human rights violations, environmental crises, inequality and injustice.

“I’ve never wanted to be a lady who lunches – I’ve always wanted to be a woman who works,” she wrote on The Tig. “And this type of work is what feeds my soul and fuels my purpose. The degree to which I can do that both on and off camera is a direct perk of my job.”

THE WRITER

In 2014, Meghan founded lifestyle website The Tig – a blog dedicated to fashion, food, beauty and travel. It was a concept she came up with due to her love of travel. Explaining the concept behind the site, which she labelled her “passion project”, at the time she said: “I have always loved food and travel, especially with my mom being a travel agent. We would go to off-the-beaten path places (Oaxaca, before it was cool to take a molé cooking class there, small parishes in Jamaica, etc.). In the past few years, my access to fashion and beauty has broadened, and I have started to understand things in a different way. That feeling of ‘Oh…right, so clothes aren’t just fabric, they’re art.’ Or: ‘Right, I get it, that a finishing salt will brighten a dish better than Kosher salt.’ All of those aha moments came to me around the same time, and I felt an impulse to share them.”

For three years the site continued to be a source of inspiration for many, as Meghan shared hints and tips, as well as giving followers an insight into her life. However, in April this year she released a statement, thanking her followers for the past three years but explaining that she was calling it a day. Although no official reason for the sudden departure has been given, it’s been reported that this is something Meghan has done in order to prepare for life as a royal, where her private life will remain much more private.

Aside from her former “passion project,” Meghan has also written for other publications on topics she feels strongly on. She’s written for Elle UK about finding her voice as a mixed race woman and in March, she wrote a piece for Time about her travels to Delhi and Mumbai with World Vision where she met girls and women directly impacted by the stigmatisation of menstrual health and learned how it hinders girls’ education.

DID YOU KNOW?

  • Meghan’s real name is Rachel, Meghan is her middle name.
  • She’s been married before – in 2011 she married American film and television producer Trevor Engelson, whom she dated from 2004. The couple divorced in 2013.
  • Following the news that she and Prince Harry were an item, she became the most googled actress of 2016.
  • She used to be a freelance calligrapher, and even did the calligraphy on singer Robin Thicke’s wedding invitations.
  • She has two dogs, named Bogart and Guy.
  • Meghan was crowned homecoming queen during her time at high school.