The 35-year-old Markle is best known for playing Rachel Zane on USA Network’s Suits and has had various other roles on shows since 2002. On November 8, 2016, the Royal Family confirmed that Harry is in a relationship with Markle in a letter asking that online harassment of Markle stop.
Markle was previously married to Trevor Engelson from 2011 to 2013. Her relationship with Harry, who is three years younger than her, has blossomed over the past year or so.
Here is what you need to know:
1. She Said ‘Yes’ to Prince Harry’s Proposal in Early November
On Monday, November 27, the palace announced that Prince Harry had asked for Markle’s hand in marriage.
“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. Prince Harry has also sought and received the blessing of Ms. Markle’s parents. The couple will live in Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace,” Clarence House said in a statement.
Harry presented his lady love with a stunning engagement ring that includes a cushion cut center diamond with two smaller diamonds flanking it on either side. The main stone is from Botswana, while the two other stones belonged to Harry’s late mother, Princess Diana.
The couple will exchange vows in a televised ceremony set to take place at Windsor Castle in the spring. Early details about the wedding include that the couple wants a banana-flavored wedding cake and that Harry has asked his older brother, Prince William, to be his best man.
2. She Met Prince Harry in Canada
The Daily Star and Sunday Express broke the news of Harry’s relationship with Markle over Halloween weekend in 2016. The Star claimed that Harry was “besotted” by Markle.
It’s thought that the two first met in May when Harry was in Toronto to promote the 2017 Invictus Games. Markle would have been in Toronto at the time to film Suits, which is produced there. Around that time, Markle took a trip to London, as photos on her Instagram page reveal.
Us Weekly reports that Harry flew to Toronto with just a single protection officer to meet Markle at her house on October 28, 2016.
“He was buzzing with excitement when he arrived,” a source told the magazine, adding that a “car was waiting at the airport so he could be driven to Meghan’s house.” The source also called their relationship “very serious.”
“She’s met his closest circle of friends, and they all love her,” another source told Us Weekly. “It’s an exciting time.”
Us Weekly reports that Harry “started texting her regularly” in June. By the end of that month, she was following Harry’s private Instagram page. The magazine is also reporting that Harry already introduced the actress to his father, Prince Charles.
Although Kensington Palace doesn’t comment on “private matters,” the Royal Family broke that tradition by issuing a lengthy statement asking that online harassment of Markly stop. In the letter, they confirmed that Markle is Harry’s girlfriend. You can read a portion of that letter below.
“His girlfriend, Meghan Markle, has been subject to a wave of abuse and harassment. Some of this has been very public – the smear on the front page of a national newspaper; the racial undertones of comment pieces; and the outright sexism and racism of social media trolls and web article comments. Some of it has been hidden from the public – the nightly legal battles to keep defamatory stories out of papers; her mother having to struggle past photographers in order to get to her front door; the attempts of reporters and photographers to gain illegal entry to her home and the calls to police that followed; the substantial bribes offered by papers to her ex-boyfriend; the bombardment of nearly every friend, co-worker, and loved one in her life.”
“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. He knows commentators will say this is ‘the price she has to pay’ and that ‘this is all part of the game’. He strongly disagrees. This is not a game – it is her life and his.”
“He has asked for this statement to be issued in the hopes that those in the press who have been driving this story can pause and reflect before any further damage is done. He knows that it is unusual to issue a statement like this, but hopes that fair-minded people will understand why he has felt it necessary to speak publicly.”
3. She Was the Founder of Lifestyle Site The Tig
Like many other celebrities, Markle started her very own lifestyle site. Since she started getting serious with Prince Harry, The Tig has been shut down.
“After close to three beautiful years on this adventure with you, it’s time to say goodbye to The Tig. What began as a passion project (my little engine that could) evolved into an amazing community of inspiration, support, fun and frivolity. You’ve made my days brighter and filled this experience with so much joy. Keep finding those Tig moments of discovery, keep laughing and taking risks, and keep being ‘the change you wish to see in the world.’ Above all, don’t ever forget your worth – as I’ve told you time and time again: you, my sweet friend, you are enough,” Markle wrote in a farewell letter on the now-closed website.
Markle was inspired to start The Tig after having a sip of Tignanello wine, which is nicknamed “Tig.” Below is the site’s mission statement.
“The Tig is a hub for the discerning palate – those with a hunger for food, travel, fashion & beauty. Founded by Meghan Markle, a Los Angeles native, with a love of farm to table dining, off the beaten path travel, style and timeless allure.”
The site also included a shop selling Markle’s favorite books, fashion, and beauty products.
4. She Has Played Rachel Zane Since 2011 & Refused to Be Seen Undressed in Every Episode
Markle plays Rachel Zane on Suits, which debuted in 2011 and starts season seven next year. She’s had plenty of steamy moments on the show, but in 2014, she said during the One Young World Conference that her character was once written to appear undressed at least once in every episode.
“In the show, for example this season, every script seemed to begin with Rachel enters wearing a towel and I said ‘No, I’m not doing it anymore, I’m not doing it,'” she said. She said that she had to call creator Aaron Korsh to tell him that she thought it was gratuitous.
“So I think at a certain point you feel empowered enough to just say no. I think it’s a challenging thing to do if you don’t know your worth and your value for wanting to speak up,” she said. “When you’re an auditioning actress years ago, so hungry for work, of course you’re willing do things like that. For me, speaking up and being able to say I’m not going to do that anymore, has been a big shift for me personally.”
Rachel is Markle’s first starring role. Before that, she worked in episodes of CSI: NY, ‘Til Death, 90210, Without a Trace and Fringe. She also had a part in the movie Horrible Bosses.
Markle will be departing Suits after Season 7, according to Deadline.
5. She Worked as a Calligrapher for Dolce & Gabbana & Wrote Invitations for Robin Thicke & Paula Patton’s Wedding
Before finding fame as an actress, Markle did work as a model. But she also worked in a somewhat forgotten art: calligraphy. On her Instagram profile, she writes that she is a “lover of handwritten notes” and that’s because she loves to write them herself.
In an interview with Esquire, Markle said that she took handwriting class when she went to an all-girls Catholic school and she perfected cursive handwriting.
“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…”
“I used to do it for Dolce & Gabbana’s celebrity correspondence over the holidays. I would sit there with a little white tube sock on my hand so no hand oils got on the card, trying to pay my bills while auditioning. I’m glad that in the land of no one seeming to appreciate a handwritten note anymore that I can try to keep that alive.”
When asked if she had any advice for guys who wanted to send her handwritten notes, she said they have to take their time. “Just do fluid strokes, you don’t have to have a fancy pen by any means. And here’s the other thing, you have to write in a way that’s authentic to you,” she said.
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