Meghan, Duchess of Sussex: Wikipedia, History, Relationship

consort of Prince Harry

Meghan, duchess of Sussex
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, original name in full Rachel Meghan Markle, (born August 4, 1981, Los Angeles, California, U.S.), American British actress and consort (2018– ) of Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and sixth in line to the British throne.

Personal life

Markle and American film producer Trevor Engelson began dating in 2004. They were married in Ocho Rios, Jamaica on September 10, 2011 and concluded a no-fault divorce in August 2013, citing irreconcilable differences. Markle’s subsequent relationship with Canadian celebrity chef and restaurateur Cory Vitiello ended in May 2016 after almost two years.
In July 2016, Markle began a relationship with Prince Harry, a grandson of Queen Elizabeth II. In November, the prince directed his communications secretary to release a statement on his behalf to express personal concern about pejorative and false comments made about his girlfriend by mainstream media and internet trolls. In September 2017, Markle and Prince Harry first appeared together in public in Toronto at the Invictus Games, of which Harry is founding patron.

Markle was born to Doria Ragland, an African American former television studio intern who later became a social worker and yoga instructor, and her husband, Thomas Markle, a lighting director who was white; the couple met on the set of the soap opera General Hospital. Markle’s parents divorced when she was a young child, but both remained active in her life. In 1995 she had an uncredited role in the sitcom Married…with Children, for which her father served as director of lighting and of photography. After graduating from Immaculate Heart High School, an all-girls Roman Catholic school, in 1999, Markle studied theatre and international studies at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois (B.A., 2003).

Early life and education

Rachel Meghan Markle was born on August 4, 1981, at West Park Hospital in Canoga Park, Los Angeles, California, and identifies as being mixed race. Her parents separated when she was two years old and divorced four years later. Markle’s father, Thomas Markle Sr. (b. 1944), worked as a director of photography and lighting for Married… with Children, and Meghan frequently visited the set of the television series as a child, but she is now estranged from her father and paternal half-siblings, Samantha Markle and Thomas Markle Jr. She has a close relationship with her mother, Doria Ragland (b. 1956).

Growing up in Los Angeles, Markle attended Hollywood Little Red Schoolhouse. At age 11, she and her classmates wrote to Procter & Gamble to gender-neutralize a dishwashing soap commercial on national television. Three months later, P&G changed the commercial. She was raised as a Protestant, but she graduated from L.A.’s Immaculate Heart High School, an all-girl Catholic school. In 1999, Markle was admitted to Northwestern University (NU) in Evanston, Illinois, where she joined Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. After her junior year, she secured an internship as a junior press officer at the American embassy in Buenos Aires, reportedly with the help of her uncle Michael Markle, and considered a political career. However, she did not score high enough in the Foreign Service Officer Test to proceed further with the US State Department, and returned to NU. She also attended a study abroad program in Madrid. In 2003, Markle earned her bachelor’s degree with a double major in theater and international studies from Northwestern’s School of Communication. In her youth, she worked at a local frozen yogurt shop and later as a waitress and babysitter. She also volunteered for the Glass Slipper Project and at a soup kitchen in Skid Row, Los Angeles.

Acting career

Markle then returned to Los Angeles to embark on an acting career. She quickly began landing guest roles in TV shows, including CSI: NY, 90210, CSI: Miami, and Fringe, and she supplemented her income working as a freelance calligrapher. Her big break came when she was cast as paralegal Rachel Zane in the popular USA Network legal drama series Suits (2011–19). She also played leading roles in such movies as Random Encounters (2013) and Anti-Social (2015). In addition, she ran a lifestyle blog, The Tig (2014–17).

According to Markle, she had some difficulty getting roles early in her career due to being “ethnically ambiguous” because “I wasn’t black enough for the black roles and I wasn’t white enough for the white ones.” To support herself between acting jobs, she worked as a freelance calligrapher and taught bookbinding.Her first on-screen appearance was a small role as a nurse in an episode of the daytime soap opera General Hospital, a show for which her father served as a lighting director. Markle had small guest roles on the television shows Century City (2004), The War at Home (2006) and CSI: NY (2006). For her role in Century City, she initially told the casting directors that she was a SAG-AFTRA member, but after being cast as a non-union member the employers helped her join the union according to the Taft–Hartley Act. She also did several contract acting and modeling jobs, including a stint as a “briefcase girl” on the US-version of the game show Deal or No Deal. She appeared in Fox’s series Fringe as Junior Agent Amy Jessup in the first two episodes of its second season.

Markle appeared in small roles in the films Get Him to the Greek, Remember Me (produced by her then-partner Trevor Engelson) and The Candidate in 2010 and the film Horrible Bosses in 2011. She was paid $187,000 for her role in Remember Me and $171,429 for her role in the short film The Candidate. In July 2011, she joined the cast of the USA Network show Suits through to late 2017 and the seventh season. Her character, Rachel Zane, began as a paralegal and eventually became an attorney. While working on Suits, she lived for nine months each year in Toronto. Fortune magazine estimated that she was paid $50,000 per episode, amounting to an equivalent annual salary of $450,000.

Marriage to Prince Harry

Markle, who had briefly been married (2011–13) to producer Trevor Engelson, was introduced to Prince Harry by a mutual friend in 2016; Harry was the younger of the two sons of Prince Charles and Princess Diana. An early date was a camping trip to Botswana. The tabloid press quickly discovered the relationship, and its coverage of the couple was seen by many as salacious and often insulting and racist. Late in 2016 Harry made the relationship public while berating the British press for its treatment of Markle. The couple’s engagement was announced in November 2017. The wedding took place at Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018, and Meghan was given the title duchess of Sussex. Their first child, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, was born on May 6, 2019.

Though Meghan was often praised for her open and relaxed demeanour, the couple continued to be bedeviled by the tabloid press. In addition, a rift between Harry and Meghan and the other royals began to appear. In January 2020 the couple announced that they would retreat from their royal duties and planned to become financially independent of the royal family. It was later announced that they would, as of March 31, no longer be “working members” of the royal family. The couple subsequently relocated to Los Angeles, where they continued to support various charities. In addition, Meghan publicly discussed politics and personal subjects that were considered unsuitable topics for members of the royal family. Notably, in 2020 she revealed that she had experienced a miscarriage. On June 4, 2021, she gave birth to a daughter, Lilibet (“Lili”) Diana Mountbatten-Windsor; the name honored both Harry’s mother and his grandmother Elizabeth II, whose nickname was Lilibet. Shortly thereafter Meghan released the children’s book The Bench, about a father-son relationship.

Further information: Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle and Wedding dress of Meghan Markle
Meghan Markle’s engagement to Prince Harry was announced on November 27, 2017, by Harry’s father Charles, Prince of Wales. The announcement was greeted with enthusiasm by the British media, and prompted generally positive comments about having a mixed-race person as a member of the royal family, especially in regard to Commonwealth countries with populations of blended or native ancestry. Markle announced that she would retire from acting, and her intention to become a British citizen.

In preparation for the wedding, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, baptized Markle and confirmed her into the Church of England on March 6, 2018. The private ceremony, performed with water from the River Jordan, took place in the Chapel Royal at St James’s Palace. The marriage ceremony was held on May 19 at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle. Her wedding dress was designed by the British designer Clare Waight Keller. Markle later revealed that there was a private exchange of vows three days before with the Archbishop of Canterbury in the couple’s garden. However, this private exchange of vows was not an official legally recognised marriage.
It was reportedly agreed in advance that excess funds generated from the BBC broadcast of the wedding ceremony would go to a charity chosen by the newlywed couple. In April 2020, Feeding Britain (which provides food packages to families in food poverty) was nominated to receive £90,000 from the BBC.

After the wedding, the Duke and Duchess lived at Nottingham Cottage within the grounds of Kensington Palace in London. They later moved to Frogmore Cottage in the Home Park of Windsor Castle. The Crown Estate refurbished the cottage at a cost of £2.4 million, paid out of the Sovereign Grant, with the Duke later reimbursing expenses beyond restoration and ordinary maintenance. Meghan gave birth to a son, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, on May 6, 2019. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s office moved to Buckingham Palace and officially closed on March 31, 2020, when the Sussexes withdrew from undertaking official royal engagements. After some months in Canada and the United States, the couple bought a house in June 2020 on the former estate of Riven Rock in Montecito, California, where they own a chicken coop with hens rescued from a factory farm. The next month, Meghan suffered a miscarriage. She gave birth to a daughter, Lilibet Mountbatten-Windsor, on June 4, 2021.

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