Early Rare Photos Of Meghan Markle, Now The Duchess Of Sussex
Ever since Prince Harry and Meghan Markle officially announced their relationship, it seems as though everyone began clamoring for new information about the Suits star and that curiosity hasn't let up since. Although she got there quickly, Meghan didn't always live in the spotlight.
At one point she was just a regular kid, eating popcorn and watching The Simpsons in the 1990s like everyone else. In these rare photos of Meghan through the years, it's so much fun to witness her journey from child to real-life royal family member.
Baby Meghan With Her Dad
It seems that Meghan and her father, Tom Markle, have always been close — and this photo of the two of them together is too cute for words. These days, he lives a rather private life in Baja, California, but he used to be part of the entertainment industry, just like his daughter.
You might be surprised to learn that he's actually won Emmy awards for his work as a lighting director, so maybe that's where his daughter realized that she belonged on screen? He's worked on shows like The Facts of Life and General Hospital, although he's no longer in that field. Impressive though, right?
She's Always Been Close With Her Family
How adorable is this group photo, including Meghan in overalls?! As a kid, it seems she was always very close with her family... so it makes sense that they'd be a little wary of the fact that she was marrying into the British royal family.
"I'm sure at the onset, both my parents and my close friends were concerned because we got very quickly swept up in a media storm that was not part of my life before that, but they also had never seen me so happy," Meghan said in her first post-engagement interview in November. We wonder how many of them we'll spot at the wedding next May?
She Was On TV Fighting For Her Beliefs At A Young Age
This photo is a screenshot from when tiny Meghan made one of her earliest TV appearances, fighting for social justice. As an 11-year-old, she heard an Ivory dishwashing soap commercial claim that "women all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans" with their product, and knew she had to speak out against the sexist message.
So that's how Meghan ended up on Nick News with Linda Ellerbee — after her letter-writing campaign led to Ivory changing the phrasing of their commercial. Even as a kid, Meghan was already changing the world. Not that we didn't see it coming, of course. She's always been this cool.
Her Homecoming Photo Is Beautiful
Most of us have to deal with our embarrassing school dance photos, but apparently not Meghan, if this photo from her homecoming dance in high school is any indication of how pretty she was in her teenage years. And since she was voted queen, she's already used to living the royal life and wearing a crown.
According to friends who went to school with her, this was taken at a dance held at her all girls' school, Immaculate High School, although boys were obviously allowed to accompany them at the dance. How does this photo look so 1990s but also not at all awkward, at the same time?
This Glimpse Into Her Childhood
Yep, that's baby Meghan — right there with her dad, Tom, again... who, by the way, seems to have lived a very extraordinary life. As Meghan's half-brother (also named Tom), told the Daily Mail, their father actually won the lottery when they were kids. "If Meg marries Harry she'll have won the lottery of life but dad winning the lottery helped us all," Meghan's brother said.
"That money allowed Meg to go to the best schools and get the best training. Meg is someone who has always had laser focus. She knows what she wants and she doesn't stop until she gets it." And what were his winnings? A cool $750,000. Jealous!
Meghan Hanging Out At Home
This photo of a very tiny Meghan is just way too cute — and according to what we know about her childhood, at this age, she would have been living a very charmed life at this age. Although her parents divorced when she was six years old, she went to a very cool elementary school to get her education.
The Daily Mail reports that she followed in the footsteps of stars like Judy Garland and Elizabeth Taylor by attending Hollywood Little Red Schoolhouse... which also feeds students vegetables that are grown at the school itself. That is a pretty cool experience to have.
Baby Meghan In Her Sister's Lap
Look at that face! This 1982 photo shows Meghan being held by her half-sister. Samantha Grant, who lives in Ocala, Florida, is also Tom Markle's daughter. The two have a 17-year age difference so they were reportedly never very close, but it certainly appears in this photo that there was some genuine love shared between the half-siblings.
Samantha has even reported that she taught little Meghan to walk! However, current reports indicate that Meghan and Samantha have not kept in touch and aren't too friendly with each other these days. In fact, Samantha has said she's working on a book about Meghan, which will be titled The Diary of Princess Pushy's Sister.
Happy Young Meghan
That precious face is too much — and it sounds like Meghan as a child was just as kind as the adult she's become today. Meghan has revealed in the past that her parents used to take her to visit hospice patients and deliver meals to them, as well as donating food on Thanksgiving.
Meghan's also traveled to Jamaica and remote parts of the world with her mom to see how other people live, and it sounds like making these things a normal part of her upbringing have helped make her into a very compassionate person with a love for helping others — something that will certainly serve her well once she's officially part of the royal family.
This Cute Shot Of Her & Her Dad
So many photos that have surfaced of Meghan and her father when she was little, but this one shows them together when she was a bit older — and it seems her dad is rooting for her now just as much as he always has been. When her engagement to Harry was officially announced in November, he and Meghan's mother released the following joint statement: "We are incredibly happy for Meghan and Harry. Our daughter has always been a kind and loving person.
To see her union with Harry, who shares the same qualities, is a source of great joy and passion for us parents. We wish them a lifetime of happiness and are very excited for their future together." Such a sweet family!
This Photo Of Meghan & Her Nephew
Meghan seems close with her extended family, not just her parents, and this cute photo of Meghan as an aunt with her nephew is proof. Meghan has two half siblings, Thomas Markle Jr. and Samantha Grant, but as close as she is to her brother, it sounds like her older sister isn't a fan.
According to Town & Country, Samantha describes Meghan as a social climber who has always had her sights set on becoming a princess. In fact, reportedly, Samantha's even going to write a tell-all book about growing up with Meghan. Watch out, guys... definite drama is ahead.
Meghan Enjoying Some Popcorn
Well, here's the evidence, everyone: even actresses turned members of the royal family enjoy a good snack every now and then, especially when it comes to popcorn. So many photos of Meghan are super glam, even for a young kid or teenager, but this one grounds her in real life, making it obvious that she's just like the rest of us... except maybe she's a lot luckier than the rest of us, because it's not like we all get to meet Prince Harry or anything.
We wonder if the little girl in this photo had any idea what the future held for her? Whatever comes next for her, we hope that Harry makes sure the royal staff keeps some popcorn in the kitchen for her.
She Was Gorgeous In College
Knowing how drop-dead gorgeous Meghan is today, it's not a shock that she was total knockout in her college days. She attended Northwestern University, where she studied hard enough to graduate in 2003 with a double major in theater and international studies. She was also in a sorority — Kappa Kappa Gamma — and seemed very involved with her school in other ways, too, like with their theater program.
Makes sense for an aspiring actress... even though she wanted to learn other things, too. "I had always loved politics, so I ended up changing my major completely, and double-majoring in theater and international relations," she told Marie Claire in a 2013 interview.
Posing With A Friend
How cute is this?! And by the way, there were plenty of people who loved Meghan in high school — so many that a few more of them even spoke with People to talk about how much they adored going to school with her.
Apparently, Meghan was nominated for prom queen but didn't win — not that it matters now.... and it's something that her classmates think will be an asset to her now that she's joining the royal family. "She was a role model and was inspiring," a former friend said. "With her [work with] the UN and philanthropic interests, their goals and ideals are in alignment."
Baby Meghan & Her Mom On A Picnic
Even though the rest of the world didn't know that Harry and Meghan were engaged until weeks later when they decided to make the good news public, Meghan's mom was in on it the whole time. In fact, after he had the chance to get to know her, Harry reportedly asked her for permission to propose to her daughter.
"The royal, who announced his engagement to Meghan Markle on Monday, asked for her mother, Doria Ragland's permission before popping the question," a source close to the couple told People. That's such a sweet gesture! And of course, Meghan's mom said yes. Who would say no to a prince?!
Girls Just Want to Have Fun
Afte graduating from Northwestern University in 2003, Meghan celebrated her accomplishment with a cross-country road trip with her friend Ninaki Priddy. The two girls set out on their road trip from Chicago, Illinois and headed west to California.
This photo of the girls smiling was snapped in Las Vegas, where they enjoyed a night out on the strip. Looking stylish in feminine dresses, they made sure to take advantage of the photo op!
This Group Sorority Photo
Just as beloved as Meghan was in high school, it sounds like everyone adored her in college, too. One of her former professors, Harvey Young, spoke with ABC about what it was like to have Meghan in his class, and just like everyone else, he had only positive things to share — and he loved her so much that he now uses her as an example of what you can accomplish with hard work.
"I taught her in a small, advanced undergraduate seminar," he said. "There were only eight students in the class. We sat in a circle. It was on contemporary black theater. She was one of those people that I would highlight for students. I would say. 'This is a possibility. This is a path you can pursue if you work hard.'"
And Another College Photo
Meghan must have loved her sorority sisters... and we don't doubt that they loved her too, since it seems like everyone who knew her back then did — and those days are also the time when she realized her passion for activism.
"In my memories of Meghan at Northwestern, she was very clear about the need to think about the experiences of people who are not only biracial but of people of color," Professor Young added in the same interview with ABC. "She was mindful of the need for gender equality and the importance of championing for women's rights." Sounds like the Meghan we know and love today!
SO Involved In Her Beloved Sorority
Meghan attended college at Northwestern University in Chicago where she was a member of the sorority Kappa Kappa Gamma. This photo was from 2003, and demonstrates that she was always a beauty! It was taken in her senior year at the school when she was twenty-one years old. Meghan graduated with a double major in theatre and international relations.
It has been alleged that much like her future husband-to-be, Meghan enjoyed a good party or two in her college days. Allegedly, she even used a fake ID to get into various clubs in the area! One of her former classmates said, "Meghan had a fake ID during her time at university and told us about it when she visited the campus in 2014. She said she used it to drink at The Keg, which was a popular student bar for years, and she also got a job at a club in the city."
A Brash American
While Meghan is proud of being a self-proclaimed "brash American," this could be a source of friction among the royal family. Prince Harry will likely never become king as he is fifth in line to the throne, but historically speaking, Meghan Markle is the sort of ruler the British people do not want.
Added to the fact that Meghan is an American is the fact that she was also previously married. Many thought that her divorcee status might have counted against her if Prince Harry hoped to add Meghan to the royal family. But that has not proven to be the case.
Meghan Smiling With a Mystery Man Long Before Her Suits Days
Although it's not entirely known when this photo was taken, it was surely before Meghan's Suits days. Here, the now-royal is cozying up with someone who is thought to be a lead waiter at a restaurant where she and her friends were celebrating their college graduation. Meghan studied at Northwestern University and graduate from the School of Communication in 2003.
It was during her time as an undergrad that she began taking small acting roles here and there — although she wouldn't get her big break in Suits until 2011.
An Early Glimpse Into The Future
When Meghan was just 15 years old, she went to Europe with a friend. The two teenagers made an obligatory stop in front of a building that would later play an enormous role in Meghan's life – Buckingham Palace. This photo shows the friends sitting on a railing just in front of the royal palace during the summer of 1996.
The friend, Ninaki Priddy, told the Daily Mail that she's "not shocked at all. It's like she has been planning this all her life." Meghan's first official trip to the palace was in December 2017, for a pre-Christmas dinner.
She's Been Practicing For Years
This photo shows that Meghan has been practicing for her royal wedding for much of her life! In this adorable shot, we see Meghan acting as a flower girl in her aunt's 1986 wedding. She's all dolled up in a lacy pastel pink dress and a strand of pearls, with her outfit topped off by a bow in her hair.
She is carrying a small bouquet of flowers. And of course she's flashing that trademark smile of hers! We might guess from her expression that she enjoys weddings, which is a very good thing considering the one she'll be in soon.
Another Shot With Dad
Here's another candid snapshot showing Meghan with her father Thomas Markle Sr. Also pictured is Meghan's brother Thomas Markle Jr. In an interview shortly after the world learned of the royal engagement, brother Tom told the Daily Mail that their father was pleased about the relationship and said that the couple was "very much in love."
Tom Jr. continued, "My dad knew about [the relationship] from the start. He first met Prince Harry about six months ago out in Toronto. He goes once every couple of months – they are very close and they stay in close contact. He's pretty happy about Harry and he's extremely proud of her. They have an amazing relationship, they're very close and they always have been."
Clearly Her Daddy's Girl
Although they had a close relationship while Meghan was growing up, they apparently had a rift when she was about 18 years old. A friend shared a home video of Meghan, shot while the two were driving around Los Angeles. When they approached the area where Meghan's dad lived, she says "We aren't going to go there.
We're about four minutes from my dad's house...you can see the Hollywood sign. But we aren't going to go there because my dad and I aren't on the best of terms." We're glad to learn that they've improved their relationship since then.
Rubbing Elbows With The Stars
Meghan is pictured here with her friends as a young girl where she was able to meet actor Ted McGinley. Ted is probably most famous for his role on the show "Married With Children" where he played the neighbor Jefferson D'Arcy. Meghan and friends look pretty excited to meet a famous actor.
Married With Children starred Ed O'Neill and Katey Segal and the rest of their semi-dysfunctional family. Meghan has also spoken about the importance of family saying, "His family has been so welcoming. I have [met several family members] on his mother's side it's been really important to me too. The family has been great and in the past year and a half, they've made me feel a part of, not just the institution, but of a part of the family."
Always Loved The Arts
It's obvious that Meghan has always had the love of the arts ingrained in her from a very early age. Pictured here is Meghan (far right) with the rest of her classmates performing in a school production. Just like the rest of us, she went through the typically cheesy school programs.
Unlike many of us, however, Meghan stuck with her love of acting and became truly successful at her craft. Meghan will soon leave behind her first love of acting and devote her time to charity while embarking on her new life with Prince Harry.
Deal Or No Deal Beauty
In her early days in Hollywood, Meghan worked as a "Deal or No Deal" beauty and briefcase model. "Deal or No Deal" was a show where contestants attempted to select the best "deal" from a series of briefcases offered up by models like Meghan. Meghan would be the one to reveal the amount of money in the briefcase that was selected. She appeared in 34 episodes in several years of the show.
In an interview with Esquire she discussed the gig saying, "I would put that in the category of things I was doing while I was auditioning to try to make ends meet. I went from working in the U.S. Embassy in Argentina to ending up on 'Deal.' It's run the gamut. Definitely working on 'Deal or No Deal' was a learning experience, and it helped me to understand what I would rather be doing."
Meghan is pictured here in a theater production from her college days where one of her majors was in theater. While in school, she also cultivated another skill which she later used to her advantage while working as a struggling actress. Meghan also happens to be a very talented calligrapher. In some of her early days in Hollywood, she also worked as a freelancer in the handwriting craft.
Meghan said, "I've always had a propensity for getting the cursive down pretty well. What it evolved into was my pseudo-waitressing job when I was auditioning. I didn't wait tables. I did calligraphy for the invitations, for, like, Robin Thicke and Paula Patton's wedding."
A Lot Like Love
One of the early acting gigs that Meghan scored was in 2005's "A Lot Like Love" which starred Ashton Kutcher and Amanda Peet. She even shared the screen with Ashton briefly in a scene on board an airplane which is how the main characters ultimately meet in the film. Although her role was brief, she was definitely a shining star in her moments on the screen.
After her engagement to Prince Harry was revealed, Meghan announced that she would be retiring from acting. Meghan said, "I think what's been so exciting [transitioning] out of my career and into, as you said, the causes I can focus even more energy on, very early out of the gate, [is that you] have a voice that people listen to, a lot of responsibility."
A Multiracial Beauty
The stunning star's distinct appearance can be attributed to her mixed race ancestry. Her father, Thomas W. Markle, is of Irish descent and her mother, Doria Radlan, is African American. Meghan says that she is proud of her heritage and proudly professes her multiculturalism.
"I have come to embrace [my heritage]," said Markle, "to say who I am, to share where I'm from, to voice my pride in being a strong, confident mixed-race woman." Meghan Markle is definitely the kind of woman who does not back down from her convictions!
She's An Advocate For Equality
Not only does Meghan proudly embrace her heritage, but she has also become an advocate for equality. She has talked quite openly about her frustration at how her more ethnic-looking features are retouched in pictures to make her look less noticeably African-American.
"To this day, my pet peeve is when my skin tone is changed and my freckles are airbrushed out of a photoshoot," said Meghan. "For all my freckle-faced friends out there, I will share with you something my dad told me when I was younger: 'A face without freckles is a night without stars.'"
Beauty and Brains
Like her mother, Meghanvalues her education. Her mom Doria Radlan finished college and then went on to graduate school, earning a master's degree in social work. The well-educated Radlan now works as a therapist and yoga instructor.
Meghan's parents made sure that she followed in her mother's footsteps in the pursuit of knowledge, sending her to a series of private schools. She then went on to attend college at Northwestern University where she double majored in theatre and international studies. Meghan even completed an internship in Buenos Aires, Argentina at the United States embassy.
She's Internationally Known
That degree in international relations really prepared Meghan for her future as a member of the royal family, although she couldn't possibly have known back then that she might one day become a duchess! Instead of preparing for a royal lifestyle, Meghan worked to break into the acting industry.
While some people trying to make it in Hollywood serve tables or work as bartenders, Meghan utilized a surprising skill. To help support herself while she waited for her big acting break, she did some freelance calligraphy. Her penmanship could come in handy in the future as she signs royal missives!
Staying Stylish on a Budget
Meghan's talents don't end there, however. The actress and model has also launched her own fashion line with prices that don't break the bank. She spoke of her own struggles to make it in Hollywood saying that she wants stylish clothing to be affordable.
"I was not a girl who grew up buying $100 candles," said Meghan. "I was the girl who ran out of gas on her way to an audition."The actress and fashion icon added, "I'm deeply and passionately involved in the design process. I'm a brash American and if my name is going to be on something, I'm going to have my say."
Meghan Is A Feminist
It should come as no surprise that Meghan is a very strong feminist. She has spoken at length about feminism and has defended those who criticize her for being a model and an actress.
"You can be a woman who wants to look good and still stand up for the equality of women," said Meghan, proving that she has both beauty and brains. You would think that such a woman would be an asset to the royal family, but some people have other ideas. It is rumored that the Royals are not fans of some of the racier work that Meghan has done on camera.
She Believes Women Belong In Politics
Meghan has been very vocal about women needing to have a stronger presence in politics. "Women need a seat at the table," said Meghan. "They need an invitation to be seated there, and in some cases, where this is not available, they need to create their own table. We need a global understanding that we cannot implement change effectively without women's political participation."
She added that "Women make up more than half of the world's population and potential, so it is neither just nor practical for their voices, for OUR voices, to go unheard at the highest levels of decision-making."
An American Duchess?
Meghan is not the first American actress to become a royal when she married Prince Harry. In the 1950s, Grace Kelly, a Hollywood superstar, became the princess of Monaco after marrying Prince Rainer. Grace Kelly's beauty and, well, grace, captured the heart of a prince just as Meghan has done.
Sadly, Princess Grace retired from acting after becoming a royal, and Meghan was guided to delete her blog, social media, and retire from acting as well.
With Fame Comes Responsibility
It's possible that Meghan will turn towards more philanthropic pursuits in her role. She has already used her status as a celebrity icon to advocate for many causes and has been quite outspoken in doing so. According to Meghan herself, she views it as her responsibility to use her fame to do some good in the world.
"With fame comes opportunity, but it also includes responsibility—to advocate and share, to focus less on glass slippers and more on pushing through the glass ceiling," said Meghan, adding, "and, if I'm lucky enough, to inspire."
Rachel Meghan Markle
Meghan Markle's name rolls off of the tongue, but her real first name does not flow quite so easily. Meghan was born Rachel Meghan Markle but chose to drop her true first name for the alliterative combination of Meghan Markle.
Her Irish-American father, Thomas W. Markle, has a long history in show business himself. Thanks to her dad's job as a lighting director, young Meghan spent a lot of time as a kid on the set of Married...With Children, inspiring her to enter the world of show business herself. She had some big shoes to fill; Meghan's dad won an Emmy Award for his work.
Her Controversial Family
Meghan's family has also been caught up in some controversy. Her older half-brother, Thomas Markle Jr., has gotten into some trouble with the law. Her brother, who is in his fifties, reportedly got into a drunken altercation. He was charged with "menacing, pointing a [...] and unlawful use of a weapon."
His ex-wife, Tracy Dooley, said that her former husband supports Meghan Markle. "I don't want this to be embarrassing for Meghan. Tom has had a little fame and publicity since Meghan started dating Prince Harry. He wants what's best for her. He is so happy and proud of her."
More Family Drama
Meghan reportedly has a bit of a strained relationship with her father's family, although many of them seem to be supportive of her. "I think it is wonderful," said Thomas Markle Jr. about his little sister's relationship with Prince Harry. "As long as he takes care of and loves Meg, he doesn't have to do anything else - although I would like to shake his hand."
Not everyone in the family is so supportive, however. Meghan's estranged half-sister, Samantha Grant, suffers from multiple sclerosis and claims that Meghan has distanced herself from her ever since her illness forced her into a wheelchair.
The Evil Sister
Rumors are swirling that she is writing a tell-all book that will put the kibosh on the growing relationship between Meghan and Prince Harry. Grant referred to her little sister as a "shallow social climber" who has her eye on becoming a princess and meet him."
He also said that their father, Thomas Markle Sr., is proud of his daughter and that he has already met the young royal proving that the relationship is pretty serious. Grant has attacked her sister on Twitter and accused her of pretending to care about women in poverty as a publicity stunt.
Could Meghan's Niece Ruin Things?
Meghan Markle was hiding something super detrimental from the royal family. She has a niece that is a Satanist and Nazi sympathizer. That isn't even it, she changed her name to Hitler! She has a hand-written letter where she declared herself the leader of the Nazi organization and selling her soul to the devil.
"This could be the breaking point for Harry," a royal source told Radar. "There's absolutely no way he can associate himself with Meghan's family after this. It's extremely troubling and puts their whole relationship in Jeopardy!" That would be troubling for any relationship honestly.
Another Thing To Worry About
While showering at a campground, Meghan Markle's clothes were taken and she had to chase the culprit in the buff! How ridiculous is that? It is especially worse for a woman but for anybody to have their clothes stolen while they are showering is not the best feeling in the world.
"I was at a campground when this teenage boy thought it'd be funny to steal my clothes while I was taking a shower," she said. "I had to chase him practically naked. It occurred to me that if Suits ever ended up playing there, he'd have a pretty embarrassing story to tell." Luckily for her, no one had a camera ready to snap that we know of yet.
History Is Not In Her Favor
In fact, the only reason that Prince Harry is so close to the throne is that his great-grandfather, King George VI became the king after his brother, King Edward VIII, abdicated so that he could marry Wallis Simpson who was also an American divorcee.
People were very much against this match, saying that a divorced woman (and an American at that) would not make a suitable queen consort. While Meghan Markle most likely would not become queen even when she and Prince Harry marry, the historical precedent is against her. Fortunately, Prince Harry is the younger son and his older brother, Prince William, has a couple of heirs to the throne.
Engaged! It's Official!
On November 27, 2017, the world woke up to the news that Prince Harry and Megan Markle had become engaged. A statement from the Clarence House announced the engagement. "His Royal Highness and Ms. Markle became engaged in London earlier this month. Prince Harry has informed Her Majesty the Queen and other close members of his family." The wedding will take place in the spring.
In a public appearance made shortly after the engagement was announced, Harry was asked when he knew that she was "the one." His response? "When did I know she was the one? Very first time we met." Prince Harry designed Markle's diamond engagement ring himself.
The Engagement Ring Included Princess Diana's Diamonds
In true royal fashion, Prince Harry presented Meghan Markle with an enormous diamond engagement ring. When choosing the bride-to-be's ring, Prince Harry went for a different look than Prince William's ring for Kate Middleton, designing the ring himself. Already, the engagement ring has started a huge trend.
Prince Harry chose a trilogy ring, which is said to sport what looks like a or 2.5-carat cushion cut diamond with the stones set in gold. Grant Mobley, a gemologist and director of one of the world's leading diamantaires estimates the ring is worth approximately £122,500 or $164,000 U.S. dollars. However, the gorgeous engagement ring has some of Princess Diana's diamonds incorporated in it, making it priceless.
She's been living in Los Angeles in her years before meeting Prince Harry. Meghan has been working as a lead actress steadily for years on the hit USA show "Suits". Before her lucky break, Meghan also did her fair share of small film roles.
However, she always had a love for the arts and even studied the craft in college and appeared in a wide range of theater productions. Perhaps, her love and training of acting will give her the ability she needs to put on a brave face in all of her future appearances as part of the British royal family.
Must Love Dogs
Meghan has two dogs, a Beagle named Guy and a Labrador-Shepherd mix named Bogart. She is a huge proponent of "adopt don't shop" which is how she came into possession of her beloved pups. The first dog she adopted was Bogart. While Guy has joined her in London, sadly Bogart was too old to make the trip.
Prince Harry's Communications Secretary, Jason Knauf, said in a statement: 'Bogart is now living with very good friends and Guy is now in the UK. Bogart is not coming.' Apparently due to Bogart's old age and health he was unable to make the trip which is sure to be a very sad occasion for Meghan.
A Tennis BFF
Throughout her time in Hollywood, Meghan cultivated some great friendships with fellow celebrities like actress Priyanka Chopra. She is also close with tennis star Serena Williams. The two are pictured here in a celebrity sports match.
Serena just welcomed a daughter with her new husband and Reddit co-founder Alex Ohanian. Prince Harry also announced that he and Meghan hope to start a family quickly. In their first joint interview, Harry said, "But I think eventually one step at a time and we'll start a family in the near future." It looks like Princess Charlotte and Prince George will be welcoming some new cousins very soon!
Speaking of family, Meghan is pictured here with her beautiful mother Doria Ragland. Doria works as both a yoga instructor and a social worker. Meghan has spoken out about being bi-racial and having an African American mother. She has spoken out about injustices her mother has suffered due to her skin color. She said, "I was home in LA on a college break when my mom was called the 'N' word.
We were leaving a concert and she wasn't pulling out of a parking space quickly enough for another driver." Meghan has also discussed how important embracing both sides of heritage is saying, "While my mixed heritage may have created a grey 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."
Silliness For Days
Although she will soon become royalty, that doesn't mean Meghan doesn't have a silly side. She posted this silly photo on her Instagram on her birthday in 2016 with friend Markus Anderson. Markus Anderson is the director of The Soho House which is an elite member club group.
Although it has been speculated that it was a woman that introduced Prince Harry and Meghan, it looks like it might have actually been their friend Markus. Markus and Meghan have been friends for years and it is said that he introduced her to her future royal husband at his Invictus Games.
Since Meghan's mother has been a yoga instructor, it's no surprise that Meghan herself has taken up the practice. In an interview with Best Health, Meghan discussed what she does to stay fit and said, "Yoga is my thing". She gives credit to her Mom saying that she was introduced to the practice as a child and has continued throughout her life.
She has also commented to Women's Health Uk, "that practice is in my blood". Meghan also commented on all the amazing outcomes she finds in her own life from yoga practice saying, "There are so many benefits that come with the practice of yoga... increased flexibility and muscle strength, greater happiness, increased mental focus, a greater ability to relax, decreased anxiety and better sleep."
Maid Of Honor Beauty
Meghan posted this photo on her Instagram back in 2016 where she was the maid-of-honor for her friend Lindsay's wedding. Although Meghan has been married before to Trevor Engelson from 2011 to 2013, the marriage didn't work out. Now Meghan gets to experience the magic of a wedding, for another round. Yet this time it will likely be all the more magical now that she is marrying a real-life Prince.
Meghan's story is similar to Wallis Simpson a twice divorcee who married King Edward in 1937, although in Edward's case he abdicated the throne for Wallis. Wallis and Edward remained married until his death in 1972 and surely Prince Harry and Meghan's love story will be the same.
A Charitable Royal
Even before her relationship with Harry was made public, Meghan was already involved in charity work. She traveled to the country of Rwanda with the group World Vision which works to eradicate poverty and injustice for children around the world.
Since Meghan will be retiring from the acting world after her marriage to Prince Harry, we are sure to see her involved in even more charity work. Prince Harry is also known to have followed in the charitable footsteps of his late mother Princess Diana. Surely, there mutual love of helping others was something that drew them together in their love for one another.
Meghan is pictured here with her close friend and fellow actress Priyanka Chopra. In the most recent interview after the proposal announcement, both Prince Harry and Meghan said they were introduced by a mutual friend. Although they declined to say who the mystery friend is, they did reveal that is a "she".
Perhaps, Priyanka is the mystery friend? There are rumors that Priyanka will serve as Meghan's maid-of-honor in her upcoming Spring 2018 wedding, so the two are clearly very close. The two women have likely bonded over the struggles faced by women of color in the difficult industry that is Hollywood.
She's Always Been Adorable!
Here's a young Meghan posing for a school photo. What a sweetie! You wouldn't guess from this innocent classroom portrait that one day she'd domineer over her future prince husband.
This claim comes from a supposed "palm reading expert" who told Express in February 2018 that Meghan has a rare line in the palm of her hand which indicates that she is intensely ambitious and will do whatever it takes to get her way. "She will be terrified of failure, very bossy and dominating by using charm, wit and drama to get what she wants" from Prince Harry, the "psychic" claimed.
Her Independence Went Down The Drain
As if she wasn't already popular enough, now that she’s married to someone so high-profile, Meghan basically can’t go anywhere in public without being noticed. Although she seems to be wanting to keep her private life private, like Princess Diana, it’s likely most of her attempts will be futile.
She is also escorted almost everywhere for her own safety which could easily blow her cover. But hey — you need that security team when you're famous.
Her Acting Career Is No More
Her acting career also came to a screeching halt when she became involved with Prince Harry. Although she had established herself as a well-known actress, she has to put that all aside for her new royal career.
No one in the royal family holds a paid job outside of their royal philanthropic duties which would have made her acting career impossible. Some people speculate this could be part of the reason she and Harry stepped away from their royal duties.
A Personal Social Media Account Is A Thing Of The Past
For the most part, members of the royal family do not have personal social media accounts of any kind. However, Markle voluntarily deleted her Instagram and her blog, The Tig. She figured that they wouldn't do anything but lead to problems in the future. It’s not like she needs to share more than will already be known.
Today, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have a joint Instagram account that the couple shares occasional updates through.
Her Personal Wardrobe Changed
Although she certainly isn't told what to wear every day, there are strict guidelines as to what is okay for royals to wear and what’s not. There are colors that they are to avoid, pants are out of the question, and they favor certain designers. Although Markle hasn’t fully adhered to these rules, she didn’t have much of a choice when it comes to some styles.
We’ll take a closer look at Meghan’s wardrobe restrictions later.
Her Privacy Is A Thing Of The Past
After marrying into the royal family, everything about her life both past and present is at the will of the press. She isn't able to keep any secrets and she’ll constantly be in the public eye.
She’ll be subjected to either constant ridicule or endless praise depending on her actions. If the Sussex family thought that their move to Los Angeles would help them lead more private lives, they might have been mistaken.
Freedom From Comparison
Whether she likes it or not, Markle has some big shoes to fill regarding current and former princesses such as Kate Middleton and Princess Diana. Her every move will be compared to others to see how she's doing in her new position.
As we’ve seen repeatedly, anything said about Markle is typically followed up with something about Princess Diana or Kate Middleton. Even after leaving official royal duties behind, this still seems to be the case.
She Retained Her United States Citizenship
After she said "I do," Meghan had planned to give up her United States citizenship. It would be a bit twisted if a member of the royal family was a citizen of another country. Although she'd be able to apply for dual citizenship, she was going to become a full United Kingdom citizen.
Since Harry and Meghan moved to California, she remained a United States citizen and her time in the UK was possible because of a visa.
Her Clothing Line Ceased Production
If you were unaware, at one point, Meghan Markle teamed up to do a clothing line with Reitmans. However, this partnership ended now that she's assumed her new role in the royal family. There’s little chance any more of these clothes will be released so hold onto anything of hers if you were fortunate enough to get it in the first place!
However, in 2019 she unveiled a new charity clothing collection as part of her official duties as a royal.
She Couldn't Voice Her Political Opinions
In the past, Meghan was vocal about things such as social issues and other activism. After marrying, she was much less outspoken about her beliefs because royals aren't allowed to express their political beliefs to the public. Not only is it inappropriate, but it can be contradictory to Britain’s ideals.
After stepping back from official duties, Meghan has given speeches encouraging people to vote in the 2020 election, some of her most political activity since leaving her former life as "a commoner" behind.
She Wouldn't Have Custody Of Her Child
Can you imagine not having custody of the child you just gave birth to? Well technically, that was the case for Meghan and Harry. Since Archie was born into the royal family, Queen Elizabeth II has custody of him, as well as the rest of her great-grandchildren.
British Royal Family Expert Marlene Koenig says, "The sovereign has legal custody of the minor grandchildren," a rule that's been instated since the early 1700s when King George I held the throne.
Being A Duchess Meant Giving Up Garlic And Onions
Being a duchess means giving up the garlic — oh, and onions while we're at it. Queen Elizabeth II has such a disdain for garlic and onions that she mandates the entire family to forgo the ingredients.
The royal matriarch is known to hate garlic and onions because they cause bad breath, which is something no royal can risk having when talking to another dignitary. Fortunately, Meghan can probably eat whatever she likes now.
No More Personal Space
As a senior member of the royal family, Meghan had to get used to having personal bodyguards following her every move. She already experienced quite a decrease in personal space since first becoming engaged, and it didn't get any better even after she and Harry departed their royal duties and moved.
The media continue to hound the couple and their son, so they’re still surrounded by bodyguards wherever they go.
New Husband, New Title
For the most part, when she joined the royal family Meghan had to say goodbye to her Christian name along with all of her other nicknames that she's acquired over the years. Rather than causal introductions, she went by Her Royal Highness (HRH), the Duchess of Sussex.
Today, she goes by Rachel Meghan Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Sussex. Many people are not aware that her birth name was Rachel Meghan Markle!
She Said Goodbye To Her House In Toronto
After scoring her role in the show Suits in 2011, she made her house in Toronto, Canada her new home. It's luxurious and comfortable, and a home anyone would be happy to call their own. After their marriage, Meghan and Prince Harry moved into a royal cottage.
Today, their home is in Montecito, California. They also lived in Tyler Perry’s Beverly Hills estate for a while when they first arrived in the Golden State in 2020.
She Left One Of Her Dogs Behind
Meghan Markle loves Bogart, her dog, and previous roommate at her Canadian home. While most assumed that Bogart was going to get an upgrade to Nottingham Cottage, they were sadly mistaken. Bogart was now too old to make the trip and she has to regretfully leave him behind.
She did, however, bring her other dog named Guy with her. While in the UK, Guy sure loved getting spoiled with rides with the Queen!
Stepping Back In Their Duties
In January of 2020, Harry and Meghan made a surprising announcement on their official Instagram account: that they'd be pulling back from their activities as senior members of the royal family and instead pursuing the goal of becoming "financially independent" from the family.
“After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year” the caption read, adding that they planned to “carve out a progressive new role within this institution.” This is the photo they posted when they made the life-changing announcement.
The Queen's Initial Reaction To Harry And Meghan’s Withdrawal
In an announcement issued shortly after Harry and Meghan's Instagram post outlining their new roles in the family, the Queen’s office of Buckingham Palace released its own statement, somewhat discrediting what the new parents had said.
"Discussions with The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are at an early stage. We understand their desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that will take time to work through," it read. It seems that some of the issues are still being worked through.
She Had To Present Her Newborn To The World
When Princess Diana and Duchess Catherine had their children, they both presented the newborns publicly within hours of their birth, and Meghan was expected to do the same. However, she opted to buck tradition somewhat when it came time to become a mother herself.
Instead of a same-day debut, Prince Harry and Meghan instead waited two days before introducing their son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor to the world on May 8, 2019.
No More Selfies With Fans
Back when she was an actress, Meghan could take selfies with as many fans as she pleased. However, after her engagement to Prince Harry, this was forbidden. She has let the public know as to not seem rude when she denies them. She said that "The Crown doesn't let me."
Surely, this was a hard pill to swallow to her many fans. But they were probably able to understand the change.
Not Supposed To Cross Her Legs
This may not seem like a big trade-off to become royalty, but you cross your legs more than you think while sitting. When you're a royal, there’s a certain way for women to sit: Legs and knees together, although she the ankles may be crossed.
There’s even a name for this seating style. It’s called the Duchess Slant! Although Meghan was spotted with her legs crossed on at least one occasion, but she quickly corrected her "mistake."
No More Colored Nail Polish
Although from a style standpoint it might not have been preferred, it might have made Meghan Markle's life easier knowing she wouldn’t have to concern herself with choosing polish colors anymore.
Much like clothing, there are strict rules for a royal’s nails as well. A member of the royal family is limited to neutral shades ranging from baby pinks to nudes. What’s the point of flashy nail colors when you’re wearing royal bling anyway?
No More Casual Cups Of Tea
Tea is already a big part of living in the United Kingdom. Yet, when you're a royal, it’s an even bigger deal. Before having tea with the Queen, Markle was coached on the new way she was to hold her tea from now on.
However, Meghan did express her preferences in tea. In a special feature in Vogue, she revealed that she favors herbal infusions, such as mint, over the traditional English breakfast tea.
She Was Given A New Bedtime
Although it is not a law, the Windsors have established a precedent that Queen Elizabeth II determines the bedtime not just for herself, but for everybody. It doesn't seem right to go to bed before Her Majesty.
Princess Diana was known to break this unspoken rule, which was considered in bad taste. Bedtime restrictions are probably not such an issue for Meghan anymore, as she and her family are in a completely different time zone than the Queen!