Image Credits: Christopher Furlong / Getty Images

On November 27th, 2017, it was officially announced that Prince Harry was engaged to American actress Meghan Markle. It fulfilled months of speculation and rumors and sent people worldwide into a frenzy over the impending royal wedding, which is set to take place on May 19th, 2018.

While lots of information about Meghan Markle has come out in recent days and weeks, it’s been pretty sporadic and spread out, with articles focusing on one tiny aspect of her life. To make it easier for you to get your Royal fix and get the basic 411 on Markle, we’ve put together the top seven things you need to know about her.

You’ve probably seen some of her acting and modeling work

Meghan Markle is most famous for her role on Suits, a show that she has recently left to move in with Harry and become a royal, but that isn’t her only role. She’s also been featured in movies like Horrible Bosses, Remember Me and TV shows such as 90210, Fringe, CSI: Miami, and General Hospital. On the modeling front, she was also a briefcase girl for the game show Deal or No Deal.

She knows the art of the side hustle

We all know the stereotype of the starving artist, or the wannabe actress who is really just a waitress, but Meghan Markle avoided that stereotype while climbing her way up the ladder. She engaged in the fine art of the side hustle. Apparently, Meghan Markle has amazing handwriting and is skilled in calligraphy, so she sold her skills that way to help pay the rent. She even did the wedding invitations for Robin Thicke and Paula Patton. Markle’s skills came from her all-girl Catholic School’s handwriting class.

She is actually older than Prince Harry, Prince William, and Kate Middleton

Rachel Meghan Markle was born on August 4, 1981, making her 36-years-old as of the writing of this article. Her betrothed, Prince Harry, is 33, born in September of 1984. Her future brother-in-law, and the future King of England, Prince William is 35, born in June 1982, and his wife Catherine is also 35, born in January 1982. While we all know that age is just a number these days, it will be interesting to see how Markle’s age affects her decision to have children, her wedding dress and how she dresses as a public figure, and her influence on Prince Harry, who is known for being a rebellious royal.

She is biracial: her father is Caucasian and her mother is African-American

The internet was pretty excited when it was announced that Markle would be joining the royal family, seeing it as a huge step for a biracial woman. The British Royal Family isn’t exactly known for being diverse. Markle’s heritage does make her unique among them. Her mother, Doria, is an African-American social worker and yoga instructor. Her father Thomas is of Dutch-Irish heritage.  

On the topic of her race, Markle previously said, “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

Her relationship with Prince Harry was first revealed in October of 2016

While their engagement was announced on November 27th, 2017, rumors of Markle’s and Prince Harry’s relationship first filtered out in October of 2016. A “royal” insider” told people that the Prince and Markle had been seeing each other for a few months. In November of 2016, Prince Harry took an unexpected and unprecedented step and publicly announced his relationship over concerns about Markle’s safety and treatment. The statement said, “Prince Harry is worried about Ms. Markle’s safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her. It is not right that a few months into a relationship with him that Ms. Markle should be subjected to such a storm.” That was when we knew it was serious between them. They were photographed together at their first public event in May of 2017.

She won’t be Princess Meghan

When the engagement was announced, everyone started screaming about “Princess Meghan” but experts on the royal family stepped in to tamper that excitement. Like Kate Middleton isn’t Princess Kate, Meghan Markle won’t be Princess Meghan. Yes, she will be a princess, as she is married to a prince, but that won’t be her title. Likely, she’ll become a Duchess when Queen Elizabeth II bestows a new title upon Harry in regard to his wedding. It is anticipated that they will be made the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

It seems that Markle’s official title with be Her Royal Highness (HRH) the Duchess of Sussex. Princess by marriage is her rank.

She was previously married to Trevor Engelson

Part of the uniqueness of Markle’s engagement to Harry is the fact that she is a divorcee. While this is accepted by the royal family now, and society as a whole, Queen Elizabeth II’s uncle, Edward VIII, abdicated the throne in 1936 in order to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson. Laws of the time prevented the marriage while he sat on the throne. It is unlikely that Harry will ever sit on the throne, and times have also changed, so his engagement with Markle will not be such a crisis. Markle was married to producer Trevor Engelson from 2011-2013. Engelson is 41-years-old and also worked on Remember Me, which Markle acted in. They were together for six years before getting engaged in 2010. The couple married in 2011, and divorced in 2013. They divorced citing “irreconcilable differences.”

Aryssa D
FFL Cabinet Member