Meeting Meghan Markle
In November, Meghan Markle became the most talked-about woman on the planet. Since then we have seen her photographed at every opportunity, and speculation over her future title and her royal credentials (her father is reputedly a descendent of King Edward III). Rumoured to become Duchess of Sussex once she is married to Prince Harry, we discover more about Meghan as the big day approaches.
IN THE BEGINNING
Rachel Meghan Markle was born on 4 August 1981 in Los Angeles to Doria Radlan and Thomas Markle. She spent her childhood in California, where she managed to get a soap manufacturer to change its advert after she appeared on a news channel in 1993, accusing the company of sexism – not bad for an 11-year-old.
After graduating from Chicago’s Northwestern University in 2003 with a double major in theatre and international studies, she appeared in movies including Horrible Bosses, 90210 and, most famously, US TV show Suits as lawyer Rachel Zane.
When she wasn’t learning lines, she became an ambassador for World Vision Canada – Meghan travelled to Rwanda as a Global Ambassador for World Vision in 2016.
‘Even though I’d been on my show for six years at that point, I’ve never really been part of tabloid culture,’ she told the BBC in November. ‘I’ve never been in pop culture to that degree and had lived a relatively quiet life. So that was a really stark difference.’
More has changed for Meghan than just the press attention: she also deleted her social media accounts and quit acting in Suits. Was she prepared for how much her life would change? In November, Meghan confessed that 'as naive as it sounds now, I think I can safely say that I did not have any understanding of just what the past year-and-a-half would be like.'
CROSSING THE POND
What can we expect from the future? 'Once they’re married, Harry and Meghan will have an absolutely crucial role to play in the success, or otherwise, of Prince Charles becoming King Charles', says award-winning British journalist Duncan Larcombe, who spent a decade reporting on the royal family for The Sun newspaper. 'It is Harry, Meghan, William and Kate who make the royal family relevant to a younger audience. Harry and Meghan will go on two official royal tours a year – they’ll be globetrotters'.
Meghan’s look, just like Kate Middleton’s, will no doubt shape the image of a modern royal family. Stylist and fashion editor Thea Lewis-Yates views Meghan’s embracement of British fashion as a show of patriotism. ‘Her recent wardrobe additions include pieces from Burberry, Joseph, Mulberry and Amanda Wakeley,’ she points out.
In her BBC interview, Meghan added that she'll ‘focus even more energy on the causes that have been very important to me [...] once you realise that you have a voice that people are willing to listen to, you’re in possession of a lot of responsibility'. We can't wait to see what the future has in store for Harry and Meghan.
From top image: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle © Alexi Lubomirski via Getty Images; Meghan Markle in Suits © 2014 NBC Universal Media, LLC; photographic collages © iStock; Meghan Markle in Rwanda © World Vision Canada; official royal wedding china © Royal Collection Shop