Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s long-impending engagement was officially announced on Monday. With the wedding dates set around spring 2018, fans are confused on whether to be excited or sad as one of the world’s most eligible bachelors is now officially off the market. But before you make up your mind on that, here’s a quick introduction of Meghan Markle, the actress turning princess.
Meghan, 36 years old, a mixed-race American raised in California, an outspoken full-time actor, and a divorcee — makes a surprising addition to Britain’s monarchy. But she is not one who is new to the spotlight. The actor’s most successful role is the feisty Rachel Zane, an ambitious paralegal in the hit US legal drama show Suits, which is now in its seventh season. Her career has also included small parts on TV series including Fringe, CSI: Miami, Knight Rider and Castle, as well as movies such as Horrible Bosses. Markle has also long championed charitable causes and is an advocate for UN Women, the United Nations office for gender equality and the empowerment of women. She has also written from Time magazine about girls’ education and the stigma surrounding menstruation, and has traveled to Rwanda as global ambassador for the charity World Vision Canada.
Outside of acting, Markle founded a lifestyle blog called TheTig.com (which closed down in April without explanation), and has lent her celebrity status to various humanitarian causes.
But as is unusual for a royal love interest to speak so publicly and even candidly, before becoming engaged, Meghan’s Vanity Fair interview broke new ground. Describing Harry as her “boyfriend,” Markle said that while she expected that she and Harry would have to “come forward” about their relationship at some point, the two were just a couple enjoying time spent with each other. Harry and Markle held hands for their first official appearance together in September in Toronto at the Invictus Games, a sporting event for wounded service personnel that Harry spearheaded.
Some tabloids had alluded to Markle’s mixed-race heritage, pointing out that she has an African-American mother and a white father. Markle herself has spoken out about coming to terms with being biracial — both growing up, and in her Hollywood career.
Born on Aug 4, 1981, to a clinical therapist mother and television lighting director father, Meghan grew up in Los Angeles, and now lives in Toronto. She has studied at a girls’ Roman Catholic high school before attending Northwestern University in Illinois, where she studied theater and international relations. Markle married film producer Trevor Engelson in 2011, but the pair divorced two years later.
(with inputs from AP)