Meghan Markle's ups and downs in 2018

Danielle Stacey
Royal Correspondent
It has been quite the year for Meghan Markle [Photos: Getty]

It has been a big year of change for Meghan Markle, going from life as a Hollywood actress to a fully-fledged royal.

After announcing her engagement to Prince Harry in November 2017, Meghan sold her Toronto home and moved to London.

In the midst of planning of a wedding, she was also learning the ropes and joined her husband-to-be on a number of engagements around the country to get to know her new home.

And then millions of people around the globe watched the couple as they tied the knot at St George’s Chapel in Windsor on May 19.

In October, Meghan successfully navigated her way through a 16-day tour of Australia, following the announcement that she and Harry are expecting their first baby in spring.

It hasn’t been all plain sailing for the Duchess of Sussex however, with family estrangements on her father’s side and rumours of a feud with the Cambridges.

Take a look back at Meghan’s ups and downs in 2018.

Meghan during a walkabout in Edinburgh in February [Photo: Getty]

Charming the nation

Before she was even given a royal title, Meghan threw herself into the role, accompanying Harry on engagements across the UK, including Birmingham, Cardiff and Edinburgh.

With a successful acting career under her belt and her feminist views, the public said California-born Meghan was a ‘breath of fresh air’ for the Royal Family.

And the nation wasn’t the only one charmed by her, during her first joint engagement with the Queen in Cheshire in June, the pair seemed to hit it off and were spotted laughing together.

The Fab Four

In February 2018, Meghan joined Harry, William and Kate’s Royal Foundation and used the forum to lay out their plans for their charity work.

It was their first official engagement together as a quartet, which led the media to dub them ‘the fab four.’

Harry, Meghan, Kate and William at the Royal Foundation Forum in February [Photo: Getty]

Meghan’s final season of Suits

Meghan retired from her acting career after becoming engaged to Prince Harry and her final scenes as paralegal Rachel Zane in US drama Suits aired in April.

Rachel finally walked down the aisle and married Mike Ross (Patrick J Adams) before the pair bid farewell to Harvey Specter, Donna Paulsen and Louis Litt. Their characters decided to move to Seattle to set up a law clinic.

Meghan’s Suits co-stars flew over to the UK in May to join her wedding celebrations.

Family drama

Since Meghan began dating Harry, her half siblings Samantha and Thomas Markle Jr. have spoken out against their sister, on Twitter and in media interviews.

But perhaps the most difficult issue for Meghan this year is her estrangement from her father Thomas Markle, who she has not spoken to since her wedding. 

He was caught staging paparazzi photos for money and subsequently pulled out of walking his daughter down the aisle, reportedly due to health problems

Since then, Mr Markle has conducted numerous interviews opening up about his relationship with his daughter and son-in-law and begging Meghan to reach out to him.

Royal wedding

After months of planning and secrecy surrounding her wedding dress designer, Meghan arrived with her mother Doria Ragland, at St George’s Chapel in Windsor wearing a bateau-neck gown, designed by Clare Waight Keller of Givenchy.

There were plenty of adorable moments from the day – from Prince Harry’s reaction to seeing his bride for the first time to Prince George and Princess Charlotte in their starring roles as page boy and bridesmaid.

The couple had their evening reception at Frogmore House in Windsor and Meghan changed into a second halter-neck dress by Stella McCartney.

Harry and Meghan leave St George’s Chapel after their wedding ceremony on May 19 [Photo: Getty]

First solo project

Less than five months after her nuptials, Meghan announced her first solo project with the women of the Hubb Community Kitchen, who provide meals for those affected by the Grenfell Tower fire in their local community.

The Duchess learned that the kitchen could only operate for two days and devised the idea of a cookbook with the women, so the proceeds could keep it open for longer.

Since the launch in September, Meghan has been back to visit the newly-renovated Hubb Community Kitchen.

Meghan provided the foreword for the Hubb Community Kitchen’s cookbook ‘Together’ [Photo: PA]

Pregnancy announcement

The Duchess sparked rumours she was expecting her first child at Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank’s wedding on October 12, when she wore an oversized Givenchy coat.

It was an unusual fashion choice for Meghan as figure-hugging dresses and slim-fitting trouser suits were her staple.

As the couple landed in Sydney for their royal tour 48 hours after the wedding, Kensington Palace announced that Meghan and Harry are expecting their first baby in spring 2019.

Although her due date is shrouded in secrecy, fans think the royal baby could arrive as early as March.

Meghan and Harry on the first day of their royal tour in Sydney, Australia [Photo: Getty]

First royal tour

Coping with her first trimester of pregnancy and jet-lag, Meghan’s first royal tour of Australia was a successful one.

The Duchess didn’t put a foot wrong as she fulfilled almost all 76 engagements on her schedule, which encompassed travelling to four different countries.

She also impressed in the fashion stakes, with an array of high-end outfits, from British, American and Australian designers.

Take a look back at Meghan’s style file:

Feud rumours

After Meghan and Harry returned from their tour came the announcement that the couple would be moving from Kensington Palace to Frogmore Cottage in Windsor, before their baby’s birth.

This sparked rumours of a feud between them and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, with reports that Meghan had made Kate cry during a bridesmaid fitting for Princess Charlotte and that she had been branded ‘difficult’ by her staff.

While the couples haven’t been seen in public altogether since the Remembrance Day services, Kensington Palace have declined to comment on any of the speculation so far.

What’s next?

It’s said that Meghan is keen to work up until her baby is born in spring 2019 and in January, it has been reported that she will announce her first patronages.

The Duchess has been meeting with various charities and organisations since marrying into the Royal Family, but she’s keen to ‘focus on women in the developing world.’ 

Meghan and Harry are also reportedly heading out on a US and Canada tour next autumn and want to take their newborn with them.

Watch this space.


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Meghan Markle’s style file: Every outfit the Duchess of Sussex has worn in public

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