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Meghan Markle was best known for her role as Rachel Zane on the legal drama Suits, but these days, she’s making headlines for other reasons like her relationship with the world’s former hottest bachelor, Prince Harry. Now that they are officially engaged, people are dying to know more about her. We have 10 things you didn’t know about the actress to help satisfy the public’s curiosity:
Meghan Markle was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. Her mother was a yoga instructor of African American descent and her father was a photography director who was of Dutch and Irish descent. She attended Immaculate Heart Convent, an all-girls independent Roman Catholic college in Los Angeles, and Northwestern University where she graduated with a degree in theatre and international relations in 2003.
The television actress’ acting career began unexpectedly when she was discovered at a party. One of her friend’s gave a manager a copy of one of Markle’s college films to review and he was impressed with her and told her to stay in L.A. and pursue an acting career. She booked her first audition, which was a guest part in General Hospital in 2002.
Before Markle landed her role on Suits, she was just another struggling actor trying to make ends meet. One of the ways she did this was by being a briefcase model on the show Deal or No Deal. “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,” she told Esquire. “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.”
Before she launched her acting career, she used to be a freelance calligrapher. “I used to be a calligrapher for weddings and events – that was my side job while I was auditioning. I think handwritten notes are a lost art form. When I booked my first pilot, my dad wrote me a letter that I still have. The idea of someone taking the time to put pen to paper is really special,” she told Good Housekeeping. In fact, she did the invitations for Robin Thicke and Paula Patton’s wedding!
The Suits star was married to film producer Trevor Engelson from 2011 until 2013 when they separated and filed for divorce. The former couple had been dating since 2004 and got engaged in 2010. After their breakup, she was linked to golfer Rory McIlroy and Canadian celebrity chef Cory Vitiell. Now she’s with Prince Harry after they met at the Invictus Games and were set up by a mutual friend.
Before Markle got into acting, she was seriously considering a career in politics. She was so committed to that idea that, after her junior year, she got a job at the U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires. “By my junior year I had finished most of my credits, and so I applied for an internship at the U.S. Embassy, so I ended up working in the embassy in Buenos Aires for a few months. It was their economic devaluation and our Secretary of the Treasury at the time, Paul O’Neill, was there, so I’m 20 years old, in Buenos Aires, in a motorcade, doing that whole thing. I thought for sure I would still have a career in politics,” she told Marie Claire.
Before she landed her role as Rachel Zane on Suits, she was just another struggling actress trying to make it in Hollywood – and so was Patrick J. Adams, her co-star and love interest on Suits. According to her, Suits wasn’t the first pilot she did with Adams. In a 2013 interview with Marie Claire, she said that she did a pilot where she and Adams played love interests six years earlier, but it was never picked up.
The brunette beauty loves to cook and she also loves to travel. “My most recent trips in the past year and a half have been biking through Vietnam, campervanning through New Zealand, and touring the whole coast of Croatia and the islands there. I always want off the beaten path, Anthony Bourdain-inspired travel,” she told Marie Claire.
She is the founder of TIG, a lifestyle site where she shares stories and articles about food, travel, fashion and beauty. “I see The Tig as a conversation between girlfriends. I love connecting with the fan base and sharing my experiences. There’s so much snarky stuff on the Internet these days, so I’ve tried to create a space that’s really positive and hopefully inspires you to do something that’s uplifting and empowering,” she told Good Housekeeping. Markle has since shutdown the website since beginning her relationship with Prince Harry.
The actress is also a humanitarian. In 2016, she became the Global Ambassador for World Vision Canada and traveled to Rwanda for the Clean Water Campaign. She has also worked as an advocate for United Nations Women, presenting at the UN Headquarters for the HeforShe Gender Equality Campaign in September 2014 and that same year she traveled to Afghanistan with the Chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff on a USO tour. In addition, she is also a counselor for the international charity One Young World. She gave speeches on gender equality and modern day slavery at the annual Summits in Dublin in 2014 and Ottawa in 2016.