Ever since they started dating and officially announced their engagement, 33-year-old Prince Harry, and 36-year-old Meghan Markel are constantly in the media. The actress and the Prince announced their engagement on 27 November, but the media can’t get enough of the details. The Suits actress’s past life seems to be on the radar all the time. Until she got engaged, she managed to keep her life private, but now, a lot of things are out in the open. Here are some amazing facts about the actress’s life, brought to you by Ranker.
1. She was a suitcase model on Deal Or No Deal.
Before she landed the popular show Suits, Markle appeared in 34 episodes of the US game show Deal or No Deal. She was a “briefcase girl”, which means she had the task of standing on stage and opening a briefcase to reveal an unknown amount of money.
2. She has been divorced once.
Markle was previously married to producer Trevor Engelson, but the pair divorced in 2013. In 2002, the Church of England adjusted its stance on divorced couples which made her eligible to marry Prince Harry. Previously, the Church viewed marriage as a lifelong commitment.
Queen Elizabeth has a complicated personal relationship with divorce as well as with remarriage. As a matter of fact, she forbid her sister Princess Margaret from marrying the divorced Peter Townsend in 1953. Also, her own father ascended the throne after his brother abdicated to marry divorcee Wallis Simpson.
3 She speaks openly and frankly about being mixed race.
In an article she wrote for Elle in 2016, Markle spoke about the ignorance and isolation she felt growing up as a mixed-race child. Even though she was loved by her white father and black mother, she always felt different.
4. She has Catholic ties.
Markle is reportedly Protestant, but she attended Catholic school as a child. The passage of the Succession to the Crown Act of 2013 came just in time. Before that, the family had to follow the 1701 Act of Settlement, which banned Catholics or royalty who married Catholics from succession to the throne.
It’s not a big deal, even though the Protestant-Catholic divide is part of Britain’s fraught history. Queen Elizabeth still takes her role as the head of the Anglican Church very seriously.
5. She had a lifestyle blog.
Markle wrote and produced a lifestyle blog named The Tig for about three years. She focused on food, fashion, travel, beauty, and inspirational people, among many other things. The Tig also promoted charity. Once Markle and Prince Harry went public with their relationship, she closed down the blog.
6. She was a professional calligrapher
While Markle was a struggling actress, she was doing calligraphy for weddings and events for extra money.
“The idea of someone taking the time to put pen to paper is really special,” she says for the media.
7. She struggled before becoming famous and successful.
Markle’s first appearance onscreen was in the background of an episode of General Hospital. From there, she appeared in CSI: NY and Fringe. She claimed it was hard to find work:
“I 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.”
That changed when she auditioned for the role of Rachel Zane on the USA Network show Suits. Producers were looking for somebody “engaging, relatable, young enough, who is beautiful in a non-traditional way.” Markle won their hearts. Sadly, she will retire from acting once she marries Prince Harry.
8. She has an estranged half-sister
Photo: Samantha Markle/US Magazine
Samantha Markle, who has the same father as Meghan, hasn’t seen her since 2008. She is currently writing a memoir titled The Diary of Princess Pushy’s Sister. However, Samantha seems to claim it’s not about Meghan at all.
“Everyone assumes my book is a slamming tell-all, which it is not. Now it can be egg in their faces and everyone can say what they think. My book is not a small piece and it is important historically. I wasn’t in a position to release what it was about. They assumed the worst and I think that’s unfair and our family members who spoke about my book shouldn’t be doing so.”
Despite their estranged relationship, Samantha hopes that she’ll receive an invitation to the wedding: “I would certainly go. It would be challenging in a wheelchair, but I would love to go and show her how much I love her and how happy I am about this and for her.”
9. Meghan’s “boys” also include her two rescue dogs, Guy and Bogart.
Markle has two rescue dogs: Guy, a beagle, and Bogart, a lab mix. Ellen DeGeneres apparently convinced Markle to adopt Bogart when she went to the shelter in LA. In a BBC interview, Markle said DeGeneres tapped on the window and yelled, “Take the dog!” When Meghan lived in Toronto, she adopted another dog.
10. She wrote to Hillary Clinton about sexism in advertising when she was only 11.
At the age of 11, in 1993, Markle saw a sexist TV dish soap ad with the tagline: “Women all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans.” She felt angry and frustrated and wrote to then-First Lady Hillary Clinton about the ad. Luckily, she got the advertising company to change the tagline from “women” to “people.” She also appeared on Nick News to speak about questionable advertising.
11. She loves to do humanitarian work.
One of the bonds Prince Harry and Markle share is their philanthropy. In 2017, Meghan traveled to Delhi, India for World Vision to bring attention to the lack of education and hygiene among women. In 2016, she went to Rwanda to see the impact that clean water has had on the lives of African children and communities.
A spokeswoman for World Vision said, “[Markle’s] passion for global issues, and making a difference in the lives of children and women, is inspirational.”
12. Her education was impressive.
— Chicago Sun-Times (@Suntimes) November 27, 2017
From age 11 to 18, Markle was a student at the Immaculate Heart girls’ school in the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles. Then, she attended the prestigious Northwestern University. Although she wanted to be an actress, she hated being the cliché of the girl from LA who wants to be a movie star. That’s why she double majored in international relations and theater.
13. Her father worked in the entertainment industry.
Happy Father’s Day, daddy. I’m still your buckaroo, and to this day your hugs are still the very best in the whole wide world. Thanks for my work ethic, my love of Busby Berkeley films & club sandwiches, for teaching me the importance of handwritten thank you notes, and for giving me that signature Markle nose. I love you xo -Bean
Markle’s parents split up when she was a child, but remained close friends. When her dad dropped her off on Sundays at her mom’s house, they would all sit together and watch Jeopardy.
Markle’s father, Thomas W. Markle, is a retired TV lighting director. He worked for shows like Married With Children.
14. She was raised by her mother to be aware of the world
Always proud of this beautiful woman. This was when she graduated from USC with a masters in social work. Honoring my mom, Doria, and all the amazing mamas in our lives. Special thanks to my girls @serenawilliams @oliviapalermo @piamiller @mishanonoo @priyankachopra @iamsarahgrafferty for sharing the best advice their moms ever gave them on my site @_thetig ✨ read all the pearls of wisdom here: http://thetig.com/mother-knows-best/ #mothersday #TheTig ❤️❤️❤️
Her mother Doria Radlan is a therapist and yoga instructor. Markle speaks about how inspiring her mother is to her.
Here are some more facts about her.