Meghan Markle was a firm fixture on Suits at the time she started dating Prince Harry. When the pair announced their engagement, the future Duchess of Sussex left the long-running TV series to embark upon a career as a full-time working royal. But if she hadn't have been set up on a date with Harry, that fateful night in July 2016, it seems there could have change on the horizon anyway for Meghan.
According to a new book all about the couple's decision to step away from their senior royal roles, Finding Freedom, the actress and her team of publicists were planning something of a career change for her. Meghan Markle famously ran a lifestyle blog called The Tig, which was initially a "passion project", but later evolved for Meghan into "an amazing community of inspiration, support, fun and frivolity" where she shared an insight into her biggest loves - food, fashion and travel.
The plan, according to the new biography (which hasn't officially been authorised by anybody in the royal camp, it's worth noting, but was based upon interviews from sources very close to the couple) was to "develop her career as a lifestyle influencer" based on The Tig.
Just imagine all the [AD] posts and tagged clothes we'd have been getting from Meghan in another life!
The man hired to carve out this new Goop-esque empire for Meghan was a certain Jonathan Shalit, who's responsible for making the likes of Simon Cowell and Mel B household names. As part of the lifestyle path for Meghan, he hoped to help her "enter a new space, perhaps hosting a food-centric TV show." Bake Off, anyone?
"Jonathan's interest in the American actress for some kind of food, travel and culture show stemmed from The Tig, which was exactly the kind of future Meghan hoped would blossom out of her website," reads Finding Freedom. There were also reportedly plans in the works for the blog to be "[spun] into a cookbook" and that, we now know, is a dream that the Duchess ended up realising in a different kind of way.
For her first solo project as royal, Meghan Markle conceived the idea of - and later helped to launch - a cookbook titled Together, along with a West London community kitchen. The Hubb Community Kitchen comprised of families caught up in the Grenfell Tower tragedy, after women from the local neighbourhood gathered at the nearby Al Manaar Muslim Cultural Heritage Centre to prepare fresh food for their families, friends and neighbours who lacked the necessary facilities in their temporary accommodation.
All profits from the sales of Together have enabled the Hubb Community Kitchen to stay open for up to seven days a week, to widen its reach to others in the community.
Now that Meghan and Harry aren't frontline working royals, the Duchess will no longer be carrying out projects such as these as part of her duties. But with a continued interest in lifestyle - and a desire to help where it's needed - we may still see more philanthropic ventures in this area in future.
It's funny to see that in a weird way, Meghan's two paths (cookbook/royalty) eventually ended up crossing in the end anyway. We can't wait to see what else she goes on to do next...
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