As actress Meghan Markle said “I do” with the United Kingdom’s Prince Harry, much was made of the fact that she was previously married.
Markle married Trevor Engelson back in September 2011, the couple having been together for seven years at the time. Engelson, a producer known for License to Wed, All About Steve, and Remember Me, met Markle in 2004. She, of course, was an actress at the time. She landed her role in Suits in 2011, just before she and Engelson exchanged vows.
The two went their separate ways in 2013, their busy scheduled blamed for their split. Markle and Engelson did not have any children together.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Their Wedding Could Have Prohibited Markle From Marrying Prince Harry, But the Laws Have Changed Over the Years
According to an archaic piece of British law, the Royal Marriages Act of 1772, grants the sitting monarch the right to prevent any member of his or her family from getting married and requires his or her consent. That’s why Queen Elizabeth II’s formal proclamation of consent in March 2018 was made into such a big deal; by letter of law, she could have forbidden Prince Harry from marrying Markle.
“The fact that Meghan is a divorcée — she was married to Trevor Engelson from 2011 to 2013 — had been widely speculated to hurt her chances, but it actually wouldn’t have (and obviously didn’t). Not only have modern royal marriage rules become more lax than in previous years, but the queen has technically dealt with that kind of drama before,” PopSugar reported, referencing the marriage of Prince Charles — Harry’s dad — to Camilla Parker Bowles.
While the consensus is that the Queen never would have forbidden Harry to marry, the fact that she could have, under a law that existed before Markle’s home country even existed, was a source of intrigue for many. Even after the law was essentially replaced in 2013 by the Succession to the Crown Act, Harry, as one of the six closest to the throne, still required the sovereign’s consent.
Markle’s previous marriage was seemingly referenced in the official invitations. As Cosmopolitan points out, she is referenced as “Ms Meghan Markle.”
“Where Kate Middleton was referred to as “Miss Catherine Middleton” in the invitations that were sent out ahead of her April 2011 wedding to Prince William, you’ll notice that Meghan is described as ‘Ms Meghan Markle.’ The use of the title ‘Ms’ might be a first for the Royals, but it is, of course, the correct way to describe a female divorcee,” the outlet reports.
2. Their Busy Careers Were Blamed for Their Split & Markle Mailed Her Rings Back to Engelson
Nearly two years after they married, Markle and Engelson divorced, citing irreconcilable differences. Among those differences were their respective careers. Just months before they were married, Markle landed the role of Rachel Zane on the hit show Suits on the USA network.
“Meghan landed her role in Suits just a few months before they married. And despite being together for six years before getting hitched, things started to fall apart not long after the wedding. They really battled with long distances. Trevor was based in LA while Meghan was in Toronto, a five-hour flight away. It was a very difficult way to start married life. Meghan also got close to her Suits co-stars quickly, which fueled a string of jealous rows with Trevor. As his work commitments grew, his visits became less frequent,” an insider told Woman’s Day.
Morton also noted that the end of their union seemingly came “out of the blue.”
3. They Began Dating in 2004 When Markle Was 22 & They Had a Destination Wedding
Markle and Engelson first got together in 2004 and dated for six years before getting engaged. Her wedding to Prince Harry stood in stark contrast to the casual setting in which she first took her vows.
“Trevor Engelson, owner of management/production company Underground, married Suits actress Meghan Markle on Sept. 10. The barefoot wedding took place in front of 102 guests at the Jamaica Inn in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. The couple dated six years before getting engaged in 2010,” reads a September 2011 story from The Hollywood Reporter.
The wedding was a four-day affair, with plenty of dancing and partying.
“After partying the night away surrounded by wine, the newlyweds climbed up on chairs to perform the traditional Jewish horah,” according to the Mirror.
4. He Went on to Date Charlotte Mckinney & Is Currently Single
According to the popular celebrity relationship database, Who’s Dated Who, Engelson was linked to model Charlotte McKinney after his divorce from Markle. McKinney, also an actress, is known for her role as Julia in the Baywatch movie.
Engelson and McKinney were linked in 2014, according to the Daily Star. He reportedly showed off pictures of the two on social media, captioning one “Way out my league here, but loving it.”
It is unknown how long the two were together, as no acknowledgment of them splitting was ever made public. However, another well-known TV personality has said she’s been with Engelson in the time since.
Bethenny Frankel, known for her time on The Real Housewives of New York City, told an Australian radio show that she had “met this guy as a romantic interest. His name is Trevor,” according to Us Weekly.
“I met him in Chicago and we were supposed to go out, and I ended up seeing him one time and he’d been texting me. He’s a producer in L.A. He told me that he was married before. He’s divorced [now]. He was married to this girl named Meghan Markle from the TV show Suits,” Frankel explained.
5. He Was Working on a Show About a Divorced Woman Marrying a Prince
Engelson’s latest project is a comedic venture about divorce. While divorce may not always be the best fodder for laughs, it gets even more interesting: the show was about divorce and the royal family.
“Divorce is hard. Sharing custody is harder. Sharing custody with the British Royal family when your wife marries a prince, in the unforgiving spotlight of London’s tabloid media, is next level,” reads the premise, as reported by Deadline in September 2017.
Deadline reported Fox has ordered a pilot of the as-yet unnamed project. Some outlets have been less than kind in their coverage of the story.
“Meghan Markle’s ex Trevor Engelson is making a petty tv show,” reads an article from Vulture. Despite headlines alleging dirty laundry, Deadline points out that the premise is not autobiographical.
“It should be noted that the comedy is fictional, the lead characters are not based on Markle or Engelson, who have no kids together, and she has had no involvement in the project. Still, it is fair to say that the show was inspired by real-life events,” the report reads.
Any adverse reactions to the show were rendered for naught when Engelson announced he was putting the project on pause out of respect for Markle, and at her request.