Meghan Markle: 10 Things to Know About the Future Princess
On Monday, we learned that Prince Harry had proposed to Meghan Markle and the two will wed in spring 2018. Though most know Prince Harry’s new fiancée as the actress who plays paralegal Rachel Zane on the USA drama Suits, the princess-to-be has a résumé that includes experience in everything from blogging to game-show modeling.
So what was her road to royalty like? From starring in Hallmark Channel original movies to traveling the world as a global citizen, we’ve rounded up 10 interesting facts to know about the future princess and her life before Prince Harry.
1. Meghan is not her first name. Like many actors and entertainers, Markle opted to go by her middle name instead of her first. Her full name is actually Rachel Meghan Markle.
2. She has a communications degree. She attended Northwestern University and obtained a degree in communications in 2003. The actress joined the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority during her schooling.
3. She worked as a professional calligrapher. Who knew? The future princess is skilled in fancy penmanship. “I used to be a calligrapher for weddings and events -- that was my side job while I was auditioning,” she told Good Housekeeping, adding, "I think handwritten notes are a lost art form.”
4. She’s biracial. Her African-American mother met her Dutch-Irish father on the set of a TV show where they both worked. “Being biracial paints a blurred line that is equal parts staggering and illuminating,” she penned in an Elle UK article. “While my mixed heritage may have created a gray area surrounding my self-identification, keeping me with a foot on both sides of the fence, I have come to embrace that. To say who I am, to share where I’m from, to voice my pride in being a strong, confident mixed-race woman,” she added.
5. Ellen DeGeneres convinced her to adopt one of her dogs. To Best Health, Markle recounted running into Ellen and her wife at the dog shelter. Though they’d never met, DeGeneres insisted on her taking home a pooch named Bogart. "I said, 'Well, I'm deciding,' and she's like, 'Rescue the dog!'" she remembers. "It’s sort of like if Oprah tells you to do something. I’m sitting there holding him, and she’s like, ‘You’re taking the dog home.’ And she walks outside to get into her car, but instead of getting in, she turns around and comes and taps on the window glass and she yells, ‘Take the dog!’ And so I brought him home because Ellen told me to.”
6. She used to run a lifestyle website. Markle blogged on a lifestyle website called The Tig. She launched the food, travel, fashion and beauty digital publication in 2014, ending earlier this year while leaving this note to her supporters: “After close to three beautiful years on this adventure with you, it’s time to say goodbye to The Tig,” she wrote. “What began as a passion project (my little engine that could) evolved into an amazing community of inspiration, support, fun and frivolity. You’ve made my days brighter and filled this experience with so much joy. Keep finding those Tig moments of discovery, keep laughing and taking risks, and keep being ‘the change you wish to see in the world.’ Above all, don’t ever forget your worth -- as I’ve told you time and time again: you, my sweet friend, you are enough. Thank you for everything.”
7. This won’t be her first marriage. In 2011, Markle and film producer Trevor Engelson wed in Jamaica, but the duo quietly split two years later.
8. She worked as a briefcase model on Deal or No Deal. In 2006, she worked on the Howie Mandel-hosted TV game show. "I would put that in the category of things I was doing while I was auditioning to try to make ends meet," she told Esquire in 2013. "I would end up standing up there forever in these terribly uncomfortable and inexpensive 5-inch heels just waiting for someone to pick my number so I could go and sit down.”
9. She’s a humanitarian and philanthropist. From a young age, Markle says her mother opened her eyes to poverty by taking her traveling to remote places around the world. “My mother raised me to be a global citizen, with eyes open to sometimes harsh realities,” she wrote in a post on The Tig. Becoming the Global Ambassador for World Vision Canada in 2016, she traveled to Rwanda for the Clean Water Campaign and also presented at United Nations Headquarters for the HeForShe Gender Equality Campaign in 2014. Earlier this year, she spent a week in slum communities of Delhi and Mumbai, India, to learn about issues and challenges facing women and girls there. “I’ve never wanted to be a lady who lunches -- I’ve always wanted to be a woman who works,” she wrote. “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.”
10. She's related to Shakespeare. MyHeritage.com looked into Markle's family tree following news of the engagement. According to results, she is related to Shakespeare on her father’s side and Shakespeare’s mother’s side. "We are not sure if Ms. Markle is aware of her connection to such eminent Britons, however, it seems that she was always destined to be a Brit,” a spokesperson for MyHeritage.com tells Newsweek.