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Meghan
Duchess of Sussex

5D6D333C-B4E4-4AF2-BFA0-651462C20222.jpeg
Full name
Rachel Meghan
Born 4 August 1981 (age 39)
West Park Hospital, Los Angeles, California, U.S
Spouse Trevor Engelson
(m. 2011; div. 2013)
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex
(m. 2018)
Issue
Archie Mountbatten-Windsor
House Windsor (by marriage)
Father Thomas Markle
Mother Doria Ragland
Occupation Actress (2002-2017)
Religion Church of England
The Royal Family of the
United Kingdom
and the
other Commonwealth realms
Badge of the House of Windsor.svg

HM The Queen
HRH The Duke of Edinburgh


v · d · e

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex (born Rachel Meghan Markle; 4 August 1981), is an American-born member of the British royal family and a former film and television actress.

Meghan was raised in Los Angeles, California and has a mixed ethnic heritage. During her studies at Northwestern University, she began playing small roles in television series and films. From 2011 to 2017, she played Rachel Zane on the American legal drama Suits. She is an outspoken feminist and has addressed issues of gender inequality, and her lifestyle website The Tig featured a column profiling influential women. She represented international charity organizations and received recognition for her fashion and style, releasing a line of clothing in 2016.

Meghan was married to actor and producer Trevor Engelson from 2011 until their divorce in 2013. In 2017, she announced her engagement to Prince Harry, grandson of Queen Elizabeth II, and she moved to London. She retired from acting, closed her related social media accounts, and started undertaking public engagements as part of the British royal family. She became Duchess of Sussex upon her marriage to Prince Harry in 2018. They have a son, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor.

Early life and education Edit

Rachel Meghan Markle was born on 4 August 1981 in Los Angeles, California at West Park Hospital in Canoga Park. Her mother, Doria Ragland, a social worker and yoga instructor. Markle has often described a very close friendship with her mother. Her father, Thomas Markle Sr., who lives in Rosarito, Mexico, is a retired television director of photography and lighting director. Markle's parents divorced when she was six years old. She has two older paternal half-siblings, Thomas Markle Jr. and Samantha Markle, from whom she is reportedly estranged.

Markle grew up in Hollywood. She was educated at private schools, beginning at age two at Hollywood Little Red Schoolhouse. At age 11, her successful campaign to get a company to change a national television commercial she viewed as sexist was profiled by Linda Ellerbee on Nick News. Markle attended Immaculate Heart High School, an all-girl Catholic private school in Los Angeles, but was raised as a Protestant. She then attended Northwestern University, where she joined Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority, and participated in community service and charity projects. She graduated from Northwestern's School of Communication in 2003 with a bachelor's degree and a double major in theater and international studies. She also served an internship at the American embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina and studied for a semester in Madrid, Spain.

Acting career Edit

Markle worked as a freelance calligrapher to support herself between early acting jobs. Her first appearance on screen was a small role as a nurse in an episode of the daytime soap opera General Hospital. Early in her career, Markle had small guest roles on the television shows Century City (2004), The War at Home (2006), and CSI: NY (2006). She also took on several contract acting and modeling jobs, including a stint as a "briefcase girl" on the US game show Deal or No Deal. She appeared in Fox's series Fringe as Junior Agent Amy Jessup in the first two episodes of its second season. Markle had some difficulty getting roles early in her career. In 2015, she wrote: "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."

In July 2011, Markle joined the cast of the USA Network show Suits, playing Rachel Zane. The character began as a paralegal and eventually became an attorney. She completed work on the seventh season in late 2017. According to a critique in The Irish Times, Markle deftly and actively re-positioned her character from ingenue to moral conscience and gave viewers the unique portrayal of a daughter, whose African American father is in a position to help her career and advance her strong desire to break several racial and gender "glass ceilings". She appeared in two 2010 films, Get Him to the Greek and Remember Me, and one 2011 film, Horrible Bosses. She also appeared in episodes of Cuts; Love, Inc.; 90210; Knight Rider; Without a Trace; The League; and Castle.

From 2014 to 2017, Markle was founder and editor-in-chief of lifestyle website The Tig. She derived the name from Tignanello red wine. One of The Tig's features was Tig Talk, a column that profiled women including Jessica Alba, Gail Simmons, Ella Woodward, Daphne Oz, Elizabeth Hurley, Lauren Bush Lauren, Ivanka Trump, Dianna Agron and Jessica Stam. In April 2017, she closed The Tig. Markle developed an adept and polished social media presence − at the time of its closing, her Instagram account had 1.9 million followers. In January 2018, Markle deleted her social media accounts and, in a statement issued by Kensington Palace, thanked "everyone who has followed her social media accounts over the years".

In November 2016, Markle and Canadian clothing company Reitmans released lines of women's fashion work wear and casual-wear. The lines, based on her personal style, described as "aspirational girl next door", and that of her Suits character, quickly sold out. In 2010, Markle was paid $187,000 for her role in Remember Me and $171,429 for her role in the short film The Candidate. For her role on Suits, Fortune magazine estimated that Markle was paid $50,000 per episode, amounting to an annual income of about $450,000. In addition, it was estimated that, as a lifestyle blogger, she earned about $80,000 annually from endorsements and sponsorship's. In 2017, her total net worth was estimated at $5 million. In 2018, she was among the nominees for the 2018 Teen Choice Awards in the category "Choice Style Icon".

Personal life Edit

First marriageEdit

Markle began a relationship with actor and producer Trevor Engelson in 2004. They married in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, on September 10, 2011, and divorced in August 2013.

Dating Prince HarryEdit

In June 2016, Markle began a relationship with Prince Harry, who was then fifth in line to the British throne. Markle and Prince Harry met on a blind date that a mutual friend set up. The press began to report the relationship in October 2016. On November 8, 2016, the British royal family's communications secretary released an official statement that addressed a "wave of abuse and harassment" directed toward Markle. The statement described sexism, racism and defamatory stories directed at her. During a September 2017, interview with Vanity Fair, Markle spoke in public for the first time about her love for Prince Harry. Later that month, they made their first public appearances together at an official royal engagement at the Invictus Games in Toronto.

While working on Suits, Markle lived in a rented house in the Seaton Village neighborhood of Toronto, Canada, where the show is filmed. She lived in Canada for nine months each year, making a few close friends. She moved out in late November 2017 after work on the seventh season had been completed.

Engagement Edit

Main article: Engagement of Prince Harry of Wales and Meghan Markle

Meghan's engagement to Prince Harry was announced on November 27, 2017. By then, she had met Elizabeth II, Harry's paternal grandmother, several times. The engagement announcement prompted generally positive comment about the possible social significance of a mixed-race member of the royal family. The ring Harry gave Markle consists of a large central diamond from Botswana, with two smaller diamonds from the jewellery collection of his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales. Following the engagement, Markle announced she would retire from acting. After becoming engaged, Meghan began the years-long process of becoming a British citizen.

Wedding Edit

Main article: Wedding of Prince Harry of Wales and Meghan Markle

In preparation for the wedding, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, baptised Markle and confirmed her into the Church of England on March 6, 2018. The private ceremony, performed with water from the River Jordan, took place in the Chapel Royal at St James's Palace. The marriage ceremony was held on May 19, 2018, at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle.

The Duke and Duchess lived at Nottingham Cottage in London, in the grounds of Kensington Palace. The couple later moved to Frogmore Cottage in the Home Park of Windsor Castle. Their office was moved to Buckingham Palace.

Issue Edit

On October 15, 2018, Kensington Palace announced in a statement that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were expecting their first child, due in Spring 2019. On 6 May 2019, the couple welcomed their first child, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor; he is seventh in line to the throne.

Public life Edit

Markle's first official public appearance with Harry after their engagement was a walkabout in Nottingham on December 1, 2017, in connection with World AIDS Day. They were invited to celebrate Christmas 2017 with the royal family at the Queen's Sandringham estate. In early 2018, Markle accompanied Harry on his engagements in Brixton, Cardiff, Goldsmiths' Hall and Edinburgh. On February 28, 2018, Markle made her first joint official engagement with Harry at the first annual forum of The Royal Foundation, "Making a Difference Together". She became the fourth patron, alongside Harry and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, after her marriage into the royal family. Markle and Harry marked International Women's Day by attending an event in Birmingham hosted by the Stemettes. Along with the Queen and other members of the royal family, she attended the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey on March 12, 2018. The couple made their first visit to Northern Ireland on March 23, 2018. Markle carried out a total number of 26 public engagements prior to the wedding.

The Duchess's first official engagement after the wedding came on May 22 when she and her husband celebrated the charity work of his father, Prince Charles. Her first trip abroad at the request of the British government was to Dublin, Ireland, in July 2018. The Duchess takes part in her husband's work as youth ambassador to the Commonwealth, which includes overseas tours. The first such trip was to Australia, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand in October 2018. Despite the dwindling support for the monarchy in Australia, the couple were greeted by crowds in Sydney, and the announcement of the Duchess's pregnancy hours after their arrival was received enthusiastically by the public and media. During their visit to Morocco in February 2019, the Duke and Duchess focused on projects centered on "women's empowerment, girls' education, inclusivity and encouragement of social entrepreneurship".

In 2018, Time magazine included Markle on its list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World, and placed her on its shortlist for Person of the Year. She was also chosen as one of the most influential women in the United Kingdom by Vogue magazine. As part of setting up their separate office or 'court' in 2019, the Duke and Duchess created an Instagram social media account, which broke the record for fastest account to reach 1,000,000 followers.

Fashion and style Edit

Markle cited Emmanuelle Alt as her style inspiration in 2017. In an interview with Glamour, the Duchess said that she favored "that French way of styling, where if your outfit is pulled together, then something's got to be dishevelled – your hair, your make-up." In her youth, Markle's "sensibility had always been relaxed California girl style" consisting of jeans, cut-offs and flip-flops. She usually prefers "streamlined dresses" with "neutral colors" and boat-neck necklines, and likes "monochromatic and tonal dressing". She has worn outfits and ensembles by Tory Burch, Roland Mouret, Misha Nonoo, Erdem Moralıoğlu, Marc Jacobs, Philip Treacy, Stella McCartney, Jimmy Choo, Amanda Wakeley, Ralph Lauren, Brandon Maxwell, and many other fashion designers; Givenchy, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Theory, Ralph & Russo, Hervé Leger, Burberry, and Hugo Boss, are among the brands that she favors.

In December 2017, Markle caused a surge in interest in Scottish retailer Strathberry, after carrying one of their handbags to a public event shortly after her engagement. This was reported as an indication that her fashion choices would produce her own version of the Kate effect. It has been speculated that Markle's effect would be greater, as she has a strong appeal in America. After Markle and Prince Harry's first appearance as a couple, brands Mackage, Birks, R&R Jewelers, Crown Jewelers and Everlane noted an upswing in their website hits and sales.

In 2018, Tatler named the Duchess on its list of Britain's best dressed people, praising her for redefining "modern royal style with every subsequent appearance". Following the announcement of her pregnancy, the Duchess appeared in a Karen Gee dress which resulted in the breakdown of the designer's website. She was ranked one of the best dressed women in 2018 by fashion website Net-a-Porter, and was nominated for the 2018 Teen Choice Awards in the category Choice Style Icon.

Charity work Edit

Markle and sportsmen Brian Urlacher and Doug Fister address the audience during a USO show at Naval Station Rota, Spain, December 6, 2014.

Markle was a counselor for international charity One Young World. She attended its 2014 and 2016 summits. At the 2014 summit in Dublin, she spoke on the topics of gender equality and modern day slavery. Also in 2014, she traveled to Afghanistan and Spain as part of the United Service Organizations Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Holiday Tour.

In 2016, Markle became a global ambassador for World Vision Canada, traveling to Rwanda for the Clean Water Campaign, the agency's campaign to provide safe, clean drinking water, and she traveled to India to raise awareness of issues concerning women. Upon returning from India, she penned an op-ed for Time magazine concerning stigmatization of women in regard to menstrual health. She has also worked with the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women as an Advocate. She identifies as a feminist.

Markle became interested in the Hubb Community Kitchen, run by the survivors of Grenfell Tower fire, in January 2018. She visited the kitchen regularly throughout 2018, and suggested that the displaced women publish a cookbook to obtain funding for it. Together: Our Community Cookbook, her first charity project as Duchess of Sussex, was announced in September. Her patronage of the Royal National Theatre, the Association of Commonwealth Universities, Smart Works, and Mayhew reflects her earlier interests in the arts, access to education, women's empowerment, and animal well-being, respectively. The Duchess was appointed the vice president of the Queen's Commonwealth Trust, which focuses on projects involving children and welfare of prisoners, in March 2019.

Titles and stylesEdit

Upon her marriage to Prince Harry, Meghan Markle became a princess of the United Kingdom entitled to the style of Royal Highness, as well as Duchess of Sussex, Countess of Dumbarton and Baroness Kilkeel. She is styled as "Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex", and she is the first person to hold that title.

GalleryEdit

  • Meghan during remembrance 2018
  • Meghan on Remembrance Day 2019
  • Meghan during Trooping the Colors 2018
  • Meghan at Trooping the Colors 2019
  • Meghan at Wimbledon 2018
  • Meghan at Wimbledon in 2019
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