Who is Meghan Markle? It’s a question we’ve all asked over the past year, since the relationship between Prince Harry and the US actress was made official.
The 36-year-old, born 4 August 1981, most definitely isn’t a ‘normal’ other half of a royal. She’s American, she’s an actress, she’s bi-racial and she’s divorced. All facts that a lot of monarchy-enthusiasts struggle to get on board with.
And now they have officially announced their engagement, here’s everything you need to know about the country’s newest royal.
Her acting career
Markle burst into our lives – and onto our TV screens – back in June 2011, when the first episode of ‘Suits’ was aired. In the drama series, Markle plays Rachel Zane – a lawyer and the love interest of the show’s male star, played by Patrick J. Adams.
Despite her on-screen success, it sounds like Markle’s acting career is on hold, now. In the past few weeks, rumours have circulated that the brunette has left the show – most likely to focus on charitable endeavors as her relationship with Prince Harry develops.
She also closed her lifestyle blog earlier this year and gradually decreased the amount she posts on Instagram before stopping entirely in April.
Markle’s rumoured to have moved into Kensington Palace, Prince Harry’s home, too.
The world’s been fairly starved of Meghan Markle news since the actress made her relationship public knowledge. She reportedly attended Pippa Middleton’s wedding reception, but there were no photos of her there.
In fact, very few photos of Markle and Prince Harry have been released, which is why snaps of the couple cosying up together at the Invictus Games in September were so widely shared.
She’s already something of a style icon, too, and appears to be giving the Duchess of Cambridge a run for her money in the sartorial stakes. The maroon dress Markle wore to the opening ceremony of the games spiked a search in frocks of the same colour and a £220 white shirt she wore on another occasion caused a mad rush of sales.
Meghan Markle’s family
The star’s private life remains fairly, well, private too. We know Markle lived in Toronto, Canada, until recently while filming ‘Suits’. We know she’s a dog lover. We know she was born in LA to dad Tom Markle, a director of photography, and mum Doria Radlan.
The biracial star has spoken out about the racism she’s faced throughout her career, telling Elle that her ‘ethnically ambiguous’ looks meant she “wasn’t black enough for the black roles, and I wasn’t white enough for the white ones, leaving me somewhere in the middle as the ethnic chameleon who couldn’t book a job.”
Meghan also has two siblings, Thomas Markle Jr and estranged half-sister Samantha Grant.
The latter caused something of a stir in April by announcing she’s writing a tell-all book about what life was like growing up with Markle.
In a series of tweets, Grant, who is wheelchair-bound due to suffering from multiple sclerosis, announced the working title of the tell-all memoir is ‘The Diary of Princess Pushy’s Sister’.
She’s also slammed Meghan for having no “basic human consideration.”
The biracial star has
According to The Sun, Markle was ‘discovered’ at a party but while her career was starting out she worked as a freelance calligrapher. She was also crowned prom queen during her school days at Immaculate Hearth High in Los Angeles.
We also know Markle’s previously been married. She wed production company owner Trevor Engelson on 10 September 2011, before separating from him in 2013. Friends say they split after Markle developed a ‘close friendship’ with Canadian ice hockey star Michael Del Zotto.
Meghan Markle’s charity work
The actress is a keen humanitarian, working on a number of political and social endeavours. She is the Global Ambassador for Canada’s World Vision Clean Water campaign and has travelled to places such as Rwanda and Afghanistan. “I’ve never wanted to be a lady who lunches – I’ve always wanted to be a woman who works,” she once wrote.
A proud feminist, Markle also campaigns for equality across genders around the world. She is a UN women’s advocate for Political Participation and Leadership and has given speeches to prominent members of the UN. Additionally, she was a public supporter of Emma Watson’s He For She campaign and has visited places including Rwanda to meet with women leaders.
An inspiring woman, don’t you agree?
Click below for a complete timeline of Harry and Meghan’s royal relationship:
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