Most girls across the world read about princesses and princes, or are told fairy tales about an ordinary girl who met a prince charming and became a princess. While such stories remain to be fairies for most girls, they became a reality for Meghan Markle who is now The Duchess of Sussex. Today, the former Hollywood actress is a member of the British royal family.
How old is Meghan Markle? Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex, is 38 years old. She was born on the 4th of August 1981 in Los Angeles, California, United States of America. Her birth name is Rachel Meghan Markle.
Meghan Markle father is Thomas Markle Sr. while her mother's name is Doria Ragland. The Duchess is of Caucasian-African-American descent, her nationality is American, and her Zodiac sign is Leo. She is also a British citizen now whose official residence is Frogmore Cottage, Windsor, Southeast England.
- Birth name: Rachel Meghan Markle
- Date of birth: 4th of August 1981
- Current age: 38 years
- Place of birth: Los Angeles, California, United States of America
- Current residence: Frogmore Cottage, Windsor, Southeast England
- Nationality: American-British
- Ancestry: Caucasian-African-American
- Zodiac sign: Leo
- Father: Thomas Markle Sr.
- Mother: Doria Ragland
- Siblings: Samantha Markle, Thomas Markle Jr. (half-siblings)
- Spouse: Trevor Engelson (2011-2013), Prince Harry (m. May 2018 to present)
- Children: 1 (Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor)
- Alma mater: Hollywood Little Red Schoolhouse, Immaculate Heart High School, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois
- Profession: Former actress, British royal duties
Meghan Markle family background
Meghan Markle was raised in Hollywood. Meghan Markle mother, Doria Ragland, was a social worker at the time. She is also a yoga instructor. Her father was a director of photography and a lighting director for television content. As a young girl, Meghan often accompanied her father to work. She was a regular visitor on the set of Married...with Children. The exposure she got inspired her to become an actress. Meghan Markle parents, Thomas Markle Sr. and Doria Ragland, got divorced when their daughter was only six years old.
Meghan's ancestry is mixed. Her father is a Caucasian while Doria has Black American ethnicity. The Ragland family were slaves in Georgia while the Markle family were European settlers. The Duchess of Sussex has two half-siblings from her father's side, both of whom are older and from his previous relationship. The two are Samantha Markle and Thomas Markle Jr.
The former actress identifies herself as a woman from a mixed background and is proud of her heritage. She was brought up as a protestant. Today, Doria resides in View Park–Windsor Hills, California. The Duchess and her mother have a very close relationship. Her father, who is now retired, lives in Rosarito, Mexico.
Meghan went to private schools in Hollywood. She went to Hollywood Little Red Schoolhouse from the age of two years until she was 11 years old. When she was only 11 years old, she started a campaign to change a television commercial by Procter & Gamble. The commercial, she argued, was sexist. She was successful in the campaign. For her high school education, she went to Immaculate Heart High School, which is a Los Angeles-based all-girls Catholic school.
After graduating from high school, the Duchess enrolled at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois. She graduated with a double major in International Relations and Theatre in 2003. While at the university, the former actress was actively involved in charitable activities and community service.
During her campus years, she completed an internship at the American Embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She learned how to speak Spanish while in Argentina. In addition to Spanish and English, she also speaks French, a language that she studied for six years.
Who is Meghan Markle? She is a former actress who started taking cameo roles in television shows and films while she was still a student at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois. Before her career took off, she worked as a freelance calligrapher to earn an income. She then got a small role in General Hospital, which was a soap opera. Since then, she featured in many other television shows and films.
The former actress admitted that she often faced difficulties getting acting roles. According to her, she was often classified as ethnically ambiguous. Although she could easily audition for any acting job, she was not black enough to take black roles. She was also not white enough to star in films and shows as a white person. As a result, she became an ethnic chameleon who missed out on acting opportunities for something she has no control over, that is, the colour of her skin.
Some of the television shows that the former actress starred in include;
- General Hospital (2002): Meghan featured as Jill in one episode of this soap opera. The episode aired on the 14th of November 2002.
- Century City (2004): She appeared on the fourth episode of season 1 as Natasha. The title of the episode was A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Lose.
- Cuts (2005): She starred as Cori on the fifth episode of the first season that was titled, My Boyfriend's Back.
- Love, Inc. (2005): She acted as Teresa Santos in the episode, One on One on the first season.
- 1 vs. 100 (2006): The actress featured as herself. She was the seventh mob member.
- The War at Home (2006): She featured on the seventeenth episode of the first season as Susan. The title was The Seventeen-Year Itch.
- CSI: NY (2006): She starred in the episode, Murder Sings the Blues, on the third season of the show as Veronica Perez.
- Deceit (2006): She portrayed the role of Gwen in this television film.
- Deal or No Deal: She appeared as herself as a holder of the case in 34 episodes.
- Good Behavior (2008): The former actress acted as Sadie Valencia in this television film.
- 90210: She featured as Wendy in the episode, We're Not in Kansas Anymore, in the first season. Later on, she appeared again in The Jet Set.
- 'Til Death (2008): She acted as Tara on the episode, Joy Ride, on the third season.
- The Apostles (2008): She acted as Kelly Calhoun in this television film.
- Knight Rider (2008): Meghan was Annie Ortiz in the episode, Fight Knight, on the first season.
- Without a Trace (2009): She acted as Holly Shepard in the episode, Chameleon, of the seventh season.
- Fringe (2009): She was Amy Jessup, a junior FBI agent, in two episodes. These were A New Day in the Old Town and Night of Desirable Objects.
- The League (2009): She acted as a random girl on the episode, The Bounce Test.
- CSI: Miami (2010): She was Officer Leah Montoya in the episode, Backfire.
- The Boys & Girls Guide to Getting Down (2010): She portrayed the role of Dana in this television movie.
- Suits (2011-2018): She acted as Rachel Zane, a series regular, from the first season to the seventh. She featured in over 100 episodes. The former actress joined this show in July 2011. She started as a paralegal who eventually graduated to an attorney. The former actress lived in a rented house near Toronto for about nine months every year as she filmed the episodes for this show. For this reason, she has a deep connection with Canada and considers the country a second home.
- Castle (2012): She acted as Charlotte Boyd/Sleeping Beauty in the episode, Once Upon a Crime, on the fourth season.
- When Sparks Fly (2014): She acted as Amy Peterson in this Hallmark Channel television movie.
- Dater's Handbook (2016): She featured as Cassandra Brand in this television film by Hallmark Channel.
During her acting career, Meghan featured in the following movies;
- A Lot like Love (2005): She acted as a passenger on the plane.
- Remember Me (2010): She featured as Megan.
- Get Him to the Greek (2010): She acted as Tatiana.
- The Candidate (2010): She featured in this short film as Kat.
- Horrible Bosses (2011): She portrayed the character of Jamie.
- Dysfunctional Friends (2011): She acted as Terry.
- Random Encounters (2013): She was Mindy in this film.
- Anti-Social (2015): She acted as Kirsten.
In 2014, Meghan became a blogger. She launched and ran a lifestyle blog which was known as The Tig. Fashion, food, beauty and travel were some of the topics on the website. She also did profiles of inspirational women. The blog was successful, and it grew with time. She, therefore, began seeking the assistance of professionals such as yoga and fitness instructors, makeup artists and dieticians. Majority of the blog's followers were her fans and fans of Suits.
An essential component of The Tig was its messages that reached at least 3 million followers and fans on social media. The words encouraged and promoted positivity, self-love and spirituality. The Tig closed down in April 2017. All of its articles were taken down and the social media pages where deleted in January 2018. To date, Meghan still advocates for self-love and positivity in life.
Meghan Markle net worth
Meghan made her money as an actress and blogger. Although she did not reveal the amount she made from each of her acting roles, it is known that she earned $187,000 for her work in the movie, Remember Me. She also made $171,429 for her acting role in The Candidate. According to Fortune Magazine, the former actress made about $50,000 for each Suits episode. Her annual salary, therefore, was estimated at $450,000 for featuring on Suits.
From her blog, it is estimated that she made about $80,000 each year from doing brand endorsements and sponsorships. Before Prince Harry and Meghan Markle got married, she had an estimated net worth of $5 million.
Currently, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are married. Prince Harry's net worth is estimated to be between $25 million and $40 million. Meghan Markle family joint net worth is yet to be determined. Nonetheless, it is apparent that the family is quite wealthy.
Relationships and marriage
In 2004, Meghan got into a romantic relationship with Trevor Engelson, who is an actor and producer. After years of dating, the couple got married on the 10th of September 2011 in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. In August 2013, the couple got divorced. They cited irreconcilable differences as the cause of the annulment of their marriage.
After her first marriage ended, the former actress got into a relationship with Cory Vitiello, who is a celebrity restaurateur and chef. The relationship lasted for about two years. The two ended their relationship in May 2016.
In June 2016, Harry and Meghan met for the first time on a blind date. A mutual friend had organised for them to meet. Soon after the first date, the couple started dating. The Prince Harry Meghan Markle relationship thrived. In September 2017, the couple made the first public appearance together. They attended an official royal assignation at the Invictus Games which were held in Toronto.
On the 27th of November 2017, Kensington Palace and Clarence House announced that Meghan and Harry were engaged. The engagement was received with a lot of love and support. She became the first mixed-race person in the royal family. Shortly after her engagement, the former actress announced that she was retiring from acting. She then commenced the process of attaining British citizenship.
Meghan Markle Prince Harry wedding
Prince Harry and Meghan got married in a beautiful wedding ceremony that was aired live across different parts of the world. The royal wedding was held in St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle on the 19th of May 2018. Meghan Markle age at the time of her marriage to Prince Harry was 36 years old. Prince Harry was 33 years old at the time.
Before the wedding, Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, baptised the former actress. She was also confirmed into the Church of England on the 6th of March 2018. During her private baptism at St James's Palace, water that was drawn from the River Jordan was used.
One of the most awaited details about the royal wedding was the bride's gown. Meghan chose a classic white gown that was designed by Clare Waight Keller, a British designer who is based in Paris. Her choice of dress was a tribute to the attire that Queen Elizabeth II adorned on the day of her coronation.
Meghan also wore a gorgeous 16 feet-long veil with embroidered flowers. The flowers represented all the 53 member states of the Commonwealth. Two other flowers were also embroidered on the veil. One was a Californian poppy that represented where she was from, and the other was a wintersweet. The latter was her way of thanking the Queen for her warm welcome into the royal family.
A small piece of blue fabric was also attached to the veil. The "something blue" was a piece of fabric from the dress she wore on her first date with Prince Harry. The veil was secured in place with Queen Mary's diamond bandeau tiara. On the other hand, Prince Harry wore the Blues and Royals military uniform for his wedding as per the tradition.
After their marriage, Prince Harry and his new wife, Meghan, started their life at the London based Nottingham Cottage which is on the Kensington Palace property. Later, the couple moved to Frogmore Cottage which is located in Windsor Castle. The cottage is more than two centuries old. Before the couple moved into the cottage, it was renovated for £2.4 million. The couple's office is at Buckingham Palace.
On the 15th of October 2018, Kensington Palace made the official announcement that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry were expecting a child. It was reported that the couple was delighted to share the news with the rest of the world. Meghan Markle pregnant look was still stylish and chic.
On the 6th of May 2019, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle baby was born. The child was named Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. Archie is seventh in line to the throne.
Royal titles and Coat of Arms
Following her marriage to Prince Harry, Meghan became a member of the British royal family. She was given the title of a princess of the United Kingdom. She is now addressed as Her Royal Highness. Her titles are Meghan, Duchess of Sussex; the Countess of Dumbarton; and Baroness Kilkeel. The official styling of her name is Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex. Together with her spouse, the couple holds the title of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
A few days after the big wedding, an announcement that The Duchess of Sussex had her own Coat of Arms was made. The design was approved both by The Queen and Mr. Thomas Woodcock, the Garter King of Arms. The Duchess contributed to the design which she and her husband jointly own. The features of this Coat of Arms are;
- Blue background of the shield: The background symbolises the Pacific Ocean that is off the coast of California, where the Duchess was raised.
- Gold rays across the shield: They represent the sunshine in California, the state where the Duchess was raised.
- Three quills: They symbolise the Duchess' communication skills and the compelling nature of words.
- Golden poppies: They symbolise the state flower of California.
- The wintersweet: It signifies the marriage between Prince Harry and the Duchess.
- The songbird: It signifies the power of excellent communication.
- The coronet: Around the bird's neck is a coronet that is symbolically assigned to the Duchess. The coronet is made of two strawberry leaves, two crosses patée and four fleurs-de-lys.
Shortly after becoming a member of the royal family, The Duchess of Sussex began her royal duties. Her duties are in support of The Queen. She has engagements both in the United Kingdom and abroad.
Public role and royal duties
Before getting married to Prince Harry, Meghan did not shy away from expressing her political views. She openly supported Hillary Clinton in her 2016 presidential bid. Later that year, she expressed her disappointment when 51.9% of voters were in favour of Brexit.
After getting engaged to Prince Harry, The Duchess started making public appearances with him. The couple's first public appearance was on the 1st of December 2017 on World AIDS Day in Nottingham. The couple later attended an event in Birmingham to commemorate International Women's Day. She also attended the Commonwealth Day service alongside other members of the royal family at Westminster Abbey on the 12th of March 2018. Before their royal wedding, Meghan and Prince Harry had made 26 public appearances.
After the wedding, the royal duties continued. On the 22nd of May 2018, the couple celebrated Prince Charles' charity work. Since then, she had had many other public engagements. She is actively engaged in her husband's work as the youth ambassador to the Commonwealth.
Works of charity
The Duchess started her charitable acts when she was still young. She has a profound awareness of various social issues. Between the ages of 13 and 17, she volunteered at a soup kitchen in Los Angeles. She would volunteer at the same place whenever she went back home until she was 22 years old.
The early experiences as a volunteer shaped the philanthropic person she is today. Some of the organisations she has worked with so far are;
One Young World
The Duchess first worked with this organisation in 2014. She joined in the capacity of a counsellor. The organisation is a global forum that assembles young leaders to come up with feasible solutions to the challenges that are experienced in present-day society. She participated in different One Young World panels that were held in Ottawa, Dublin and Ireland.
The Duchess became an advocate for Women's Political Participation and Leadership in UN Women in 2015. As an advocate, she gave a persuasive speech on the need for gender equality during the International Women's Day for UN Women. Before this event, which was held in New York, she spent time at the New York Office to gain an understanding of the role of UN Women. She met and interacted with female leaders from different parts of the world and even got a chance to visit the Gihembe refugee camp in Kigali, Rwanda.
The Duchess became World Vision's Global Ambassador in 2016. She visited Rwanda as part of her duties for a clean water campaign. Through the campaign, children were able to continue with their education. In 2017, she also visited India, where she learned more about the inaccessibility of education for young girls. As she toured the slums in Mumbai, she witnessed the contribution of the Myna Mahila Foundation, an organisation that empowered women by offering them job opportunities.
The organisation also assisted women to access products for menstrual hygiene. After the trip to India, The Duchess wrote an article for Time Magazine where she addressed the stigmatisation of menstrual health and how it barred many girls from accessing education. Myna Mahila Foundation was one of the charity organisations that was selected to benefit from the donations that the royal family received for Meghan's wedding to Prince Harry.
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Elephants Without Borders
In 2017, The Duchess joined her husband in working with this organisation. Elephants Without Borders is a Botswana-based organisation that assists with the conservation of elephants.
Hubb Community Kitchen
In early 2018, The Duchess gained interest in the Hubb Community Kitchen that is run by people who survived the Grenfell Tower fire. She would often visit the kitchen. She suggested that the women involved should publish a cookbook to get funds for the kitchen. As The Duchess of Sussex, she announced her first charity project in September that year. Together with the involved stakeholders, the group published the book, Together: Our Community Cookbook.
The Royal Foundation
The Duchess attended the annual The Royal Foundation forum in February 2018 for the first time. She became the fourth patron. The other three patrons are Prince Harry, Prince William and Catherine, The Duchess of Cambridge.
Sussex Royal The Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex
In June 2019, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced that they would split from The Royal Foundation to establish their own charity foundation. Despite the split, the couple would still work closely with The Royal Foundation. Sussex Royal The Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex is the name of the couple's charity organisation.
Royal National Theatre
The Duchess is a patron.
Association of Commonwealth Universities
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, is a patron in this organisation that assists people in getting access to education.
The Duchess is a patron in this organisation that is involved in the empowerment of women.
She is a patron in this organisation that is involved in animal welfare.
When the Duchess was still an actress, she had active social media accounts. However, the accounts were deleted as she got ready to join the royal family.
Meghan Markle is The Duchess of Sussex. The mother of one young son is married to Prince Harry and is a member of the British royal family. Before getting married, she was a famous actress who was best known for her role in the television series, Suits. The American born Duchess made history for being the first person of colour to become a member of the royal family. Presently, she engages in different royal duties and is actively involved in charitable works.
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