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Meghan Markle, Duchess Of Sussex - Journey To Royalty

Discover the captivating journey of Meghan Markle, from Hollywood actress to the Duchess of Sussex. Explore her impact on modern royalty, commitment to social causes, and the challenges she faced in the public eye. Delve into the life of Meghan Markle, a name synonymous with grace, resilience, and a redefinition of tradition.

Author:Dexter Cooke
Reviewer:Elisa Mueller
Jan 17, 2024
Meghan Markle, a name that resonates with grace, resilience, and a commitment to social change, has left an indelible mark on the world's stage. Born in Los Angeles, she ventured from a successful acting career to become the Duchess of Sussex, making history and challenging the conventions of the British royal family.
As we delve into the life and impact of Meghan Markle, we uncover a story of modernity intersecting with tradition, of a woman who has gracefully navigated the complexities of public life, and who continues to influence perceptions of royalty in the 21st century.

Quick Facts About Meghan Markle

NameRachel Meghan Markle
BirthdayAugust 4, 1981
Royal StatusDuchess of Sussex
Net worth$60 million

Early Life Of Meghan Markle

Rachel Meghan Markle, born on August 4, 1981, in the vibrant city of Los Angeles, California, emerged from a background as diverse as her talents. Her parents, Doria, a clinical therapist and yoga instructor, and Thomas, a television lighting and photography director, laid the foundation for a life destined for greatness.
Even at the tender age of 11, Markle exhibited a keen sense of justice and a determination to challenge societal norms. Moved by a TV advertisement perpetuating gender stereotypes, she wrote letters to influential figures, including then-First Lady Hillary Clinton, urging change. Markle's early activism hinted at the strong-willed spirit that would later define her public life.
Her academic journey led her to Northwestern University School of Communication, where she pursued studies in theater and international relations, graduating with distinction in 2003. The educational path set the stage for her multifaceted career and her unwavering commitment to making a difference.

Meghan Markle Acting Career

Meghan Markle wearing a light blue polo
Meghan Markle wearing a light blue polo
Meghan Markle's journey in the entertainment industry is a testament to her resilience and determination. Before gracing the halls of Buckingham Palace, Markle faced the common struggles of aspiring actors, taking on freelance work as a calligrapher to make ends meet. Notably, her craftsmanship adorned wedding invitations, including those for high-profile couples like Paula Patton and Robin Thicke, showcasing her diverse talents.
Her first on-screen appearance was a modest role in the daytime soap opera "General Hospital," marking the humble beginnings of a career that would later blossom into prominence. Markle navigated the competitive industry with guest roles in series like "Century City" (2004), "The War at Home" (2006), "CSI: NY" (2006), and "Fringe," while also securing supporting or guest roles in films like "Get Him to the Greek" (2010), "Remember Me" (2010), and "Horrible Bosses" (2011).
The entertainment landscape, however, presented its own set of challenges for Markle, who candidly shared her experiences of being caught between racial expectations in Hollywood. As she revealed, she felt neither "black enough for the black roles" nor "white enough for the white ones," a struggle emblematic of an industry fixated on categorization.
Markle's career trajectory took a unique turn when she became a briefcase girl on the game show "Deal or No Deal," showcasing her versatility. However, it was in 2011 that she secured the pivotal role of Rachel Zane on the USA Network show "Suits." Her portrayal of Rachel Zane earned her recognition and financial success, reportedly making $50,000 per episode during her seven-season tenure on the show.

Other Projects Of Meghan Markle

Meghan Markle's venture into the digital realm showcased her entrepreneurial spirit and creative prowess. In 2014, she founded The Tig, a lifestyle website and blog that swiftly became a digital haven for enthusiasts of food, fashion, beauty, and travel. Markle, not confined to her acting talents, embraced the opportunity to share her passions and experiences, creating content that resonated with her fans and admirers of the hit show "Suits."
The Tig, a reflection of Markle's multifaceted interests, garnered immense success during its three-year run. Boasting a substantial readership composed of both her dedicated fan base and "Suits" enthusiasts, the social media accounts associated with The Tig amassed a remarkable following - 3 million on Instagram, 800,000 on Facebook, and 350,000 on Twitter.
Her foray into the digital landscape wasn't limited to the written word; it also paved the way for Markle to make a significant impact on the fashion industry. Leveraging her newfound recognition as a style influencer, Markle collaborated with Canadian clothing company Reitmans to release two fashion collections in 2015 and 2016. The collections, inspired by her style and the character Rachel from "Suits," showcased her keen fashion sense and resonated with enthusiasts eager to emulate her sophisticated yet accessible aesthetic.

Romance With Prince Harry And Wedding

Meghan Markle wearing a black coat and Prince Harry wearing a blue coat
Meghan Markle wearing a black coat and Prince Harry wearing a blue coat
Meghan Markle, previously celebrated for her role in the TV series Suits, catapulted to international fame when news of her romantic involvement with Prince Harry of Great Britain emerged in 2016. Their serendipitous encounter during the Invictus Games in Toronto, where Suits was filmed, sparked widespread speculation about the trajectory of their relationship.
Markle, named the most Googled actress of 2016, faced intense media scrutiny, prompting Kensington Palace to issue a statement, calling for privacy and condemning the toxic online trolling directed at her.
The couple's engagement, revealed on November 27, 2017, marked a joyous milestone, with Prince William and Catherine expressing their happiness for the pair.
The royal wedding announcement swiftly followed, setting the date for May 19, 2018, at the historic St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle. Markle, already topping Google's search rankings for the second consecutive year, further captivated fans with the release of their official portrait photographs on December 21.
In adherence to royal tradition, Markle bid farewell to her Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts in January 2018, expressing gratitude to her followers through Kensington Palace. As details about the royal wedding unfolded, including a carriage ride through Windsor Town and a private evening reception hosted by Prince Charles, Markle continued to make headlines.
On International Women's Day in March 2018, she charmed the public by breaking royal protocol with an endearing hug, a departure from the customary handshake-only rule.
The couple's decision not to sign a prenuptial agreement made waves, reflecting Prince Harry's confidence in the enduring nature of their union. Meanwhile, preparations for the wedding included the creation of a specially designed coat of arms for Markle and her family, symbolizing their connection to the Crown.
May 19, 2018, marked the grand culmination of their love story as the couple exchanged vows at St. George's Chapel. Markle, radiant in a gown by Clare Waight Keller for Givenchy, officially became Meghan, Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Sussex, as bestowed by Queen Elizabeth.
However, in a charming revelation, Markle shared that she and Harry had a private ceremony with the archbishop of Canterbury three days before the public spectacle, adding an intimate touch to their grand celebration. The union of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry not only captivated the world but also heralded a new chapter in the ever-evolving saga of the British royal family.

Pre-Wedding Family Drama

In the whirlwind leading up to Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's highly anticipated wedding, the Markle family took center stage in a tabloid drama that unfolded with gripping intensity.
The drama began with a handwritten letter penned by Markle's half-brother, Thomas Markle Jr., who unleashed a scathing warning to Prince Harry. In the letter, he portrayed Markle as a "jaded, shallow, conceited woman" and went on to predict that she would tarnish both Harry's image and the royal family heritage.
The offense seemed to stem from his lack of invitation to the wedding, with Thomas Jr. expressing incredulity over Markle not inviting her own family while extending invitations to strangers. The letter, published in In Touchon May 2nd, set the stage for a tumultuous prelude to the royal union.
Adding fuel to the familial fire, Markle's father, Thomas Sr., found himself at the center of controversy when he was caught allegedly staging photos of himself in preparation for the big day. This orchestrated incident, intended to present a favorable image, backfired spectacularly when the news broke, leading Thomas Sr. to publicly rescind his invitation to the wedding.
The embarrassment was compounded by Markle's half-sister, Samantha, who publicly asserted her role in orchestrating the staged photos in defense of their father. Samantha, not invited to the wedding, paradoxically claimed she intended to cast Thomas Sr. in a positive light. Despite reports suggesting a distant relationship between Samantha and Markle, the former continued to make media appearances and embarked on writing a book about her ties with her half-sister.
Amid the familial tumult, Thomas Sr. revealed he had suffered a heart attack, initially casting doubt on his attendance at the wedding. Expressing regret at the prospect of missing a historic moment, he told TMZ of his health concerns. Following a brief change of heart, he ultimately decided to forgo the wedding due to the necessity of heart surgery.
In response to this familial maelstrom, Meghan Markle, through a statement from Kensington Palace, publicly acknowledged her father's absence from the ceremony. Demonstrating empathy, she expressed concern for his health, requesting the space needed for him to focus on recovery.

Children Of Meghan Markle

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle holding their kids
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle holding their kids
The joyous news of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's expanding family was met with widespread excitement when, on October 15, 2018, the couple announced the impending arrival of their first child in spring 2019. A statement from Kensington Palace expressed the royal couple's gratitude for the support received since their wedding, and the announcement added another layer of joy to their growing legacy.
The much-anticipated moment arrived on May 6, 2019, when the couple welcomed their baby boy, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, into the world at 5:26 a.m. Seventh in line to the British throne, Archie was christened two months later in an intimate ceremony at Windsor Castle, surrounded by close family and friends.
In a poignant revelation in November 2020, Meghan Markle courageously shared that she had experienced a miscarriage in July of that year. Her openness about this deeply personal and often stigmatized topic brought attention to the emotional complexities that many individuals face.
Undeterred by challenges, the couple celebrated love anew on Valentine's Day 2021 by announcing the imminent arrival of their second child, this time a daughter. Lilibet "Lili" Diana Mountbatten-Windsor made her entrance into the world on June 4, 2021, at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara, California.

Meghan Markle Public Role In The Royal Family

Meghan Markle's introduction to the public role within the British royal family was marked by a poignant World AIDS Day walkabout event in Nottingham, just a few weeks after her engagement to Prince Harry was announced in December 2017.
This inaugural appearance set the stage for what would be a series of 26 public engagements during her tenure as Prince Harry's fiancée, providing a glimpse into the poised and philanthropic persona she would bring to the royal stage.
Following their much-celebrated wedding in May 2018, Meghan Markle assumed her official role as the Duchess of Sussex with an appearance that showcased her commitment to charitable causes. This particular engagement focused on celebrating the charity work of Prince Charles, hinting at the seamless integration of Markle into the royal family's philanthropic endeavors.
However, the couple's journey in the public eye was not without its challenges. The Sussexes faced an onslaught of negative media scrutiny and multiple breaches of privacy, highlighting the intrusive nature of public life within the royal family.
In a noteworthy move, it was revealed in late 2019 that Meghan Markle was taking legal action against The Mail on Sunday for publishing a private letter she had sent to her father, signaling her determination to protect her boundaries.

Stepping Back From Royal Duties

The seismic decision by Meghan Markle and Prince Harry to step back from their senior roles in the royal family announced on January 8, 2020, sent shockwaves through the monarchy and the public. Following a holiday season spent in Canada, the couple unveiled their intention to transition away from the spotlight, expressing a desire to become financially independent.
In a joint statement shared on Instagram, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex expressed gratitude for the encouragement received over the years, empowering them to embark on this significant adjustment. They outlined their plan to balance time between the United Kingdom and North America, emphasizing their commitment to honoring duties to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and their patronages.
Buckingham Palace swiftly responded with a statement, clarifying several details of the new arrangement. Notably, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex would no longer receive public funds for royal duties, and they relinquished the use of the His/Her Royal Highness styling. Despite these changes, The Queen expressed her support for the couple, commending Meghan's swift integration into the family.
Having relocated to Los Angeles, Markle and Harry marked the formal conclusion of their roles as senior royals on March 31, 2020, symbolically closing their @SussexRoyal Instagram account. The move marked a poignant farewell to their official royal duties.

Meghan Markle Charity Works

Meghan Markle wearing a blue collar dress
Meghan Markle wearing a blue collar dress
Markle's early involvement included serving as a counselor for the international charity One Young World, where she delivered a compelling address at the 2014 summit in Dublin. Her global perspective was further solidified through a tour of Afghanistan and Spain with the United Service Organizations in the same year, showcasing her hands-on approach to charitable work.
In 2016, Markle assumed the role of global ambassador for World Vision Canada, deepening her commitment to advocating for vulnerable communities. Notably, she aligned herself with the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, reflecting her dedication to gender equality on a global scale.
Upon joining forces with Prince Harry, the dynamic duo expanded their charitable footprint. Their collaboration with Elephants Without Borders, initiated in 2017, has endured and continued to raise awareness about the conservation of these majestic creatures.
Markle's compassionate endeavors expanded to include survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire in 2018, culminating in the creation of the inspiring charity cookbook "Together: Our Community Cookbook." This project, completed shortly after she transitioned into the role of the Duchess of Sussex, showcased her commitment to community resilience and empowerment.
In pursuit of a more substantial impact, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle established their charity foundation, initially named Sussex Royal The Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex. In April 2020, they rebranded the foundation as Archewell, embodying a broader vision for positive change.
Meghan Markle's profound dedication to philanthropy did not go unnoticed. In April 2023, she was honored with the Ms. Foundation for Women's Women of Vision Award, a testament to her unwavering commitment to uplifting and empowering women.

Meghan Markle Net Worth

Meghan Markle, an accomplished American humanitarian, philanthropist, and former actress boasts a noteworthy combined net worth of $60 million with her husband, Prince Harry. Before their union, Meghan held a separate net worth of $5 million, while Prince Harry brought a substantial net worth of $20 million to the marriage, primarily stemming from a trust fund established by his late mother, Princess Diana.
The union in 2018 elevated Meghan Markle to the esteemed position of a princess in the United Kingdom, accompanied by the distinguished titles of the Duchess of Sussex, Countess of Dumbarton, and Baroness Kilkeel. Beyond her royal affiliations, Meghan's net worth reflects not only her financial success but also her influential role as a global advocate for humanitarian and philanthropic causes.

Real Estate Properties Of Meghan Markle

Mehan Markle wearing a white coat
Mehan Markle wearing a white coat
Following their pivotal decision to step back from royal duties, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle embarked on a journey that took them from Canada to the sun-kissed landscapes of Southern California. During this transitional period, the couple resided in a home generously owned by Tyler Perry, offering them a haven to contemplate their next steps.
In August 2020, the world learned of their significant real estate acquisition in Montecito, California, a picturesque locale near Santa Barbara. The couple secured their new abode for an impressive $14.7 million, marking a strategic move in their pursuit of privacy and independence.
Notably, the purchase involved a $10 million mortgage, coupled with a substantial $5 million cash down payment, underscoring the financial acumen that accompanies their high-profile lifestyle.

Netflix And Spotify Deal

In a strategic move signaling their foray into the realm of entertainment, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, on September 2, 2020, unveiled a groundbreaking five-year, $100 million deal with Netflix. This visionary partnership extends beyond mere collaboration, as the couple is set to establish their own production company under this umbrella.
This production entity will serve as a creative hub, where Harry and Meghan will channel their talents into crafting a diverse array of content, spanning scripted productions, thought-provoking documentaries, and engaging children's programming. The deal, rich with potential, includes bonuses, incentives, and extensions that could elevate its overall value to an impressive $150 million.
Building on this momentum, the couple diversified their entertainment portfolio in December 2020 with the announcement of a three-year podcasting deal with Spotify. This new venture, valued at $18 million, not only showcases Harry and Meghan's commitment to exploring various forms of media but also positions them as influential voices in the evolving landscape of digital content creation.

Facts You Probably Didn't Know About Meghan Markle

Meghan Markle wearing a brown outfit
Meghan Markle wearing a brown outfit
  • Following her graduation, Meghan worked at the U.S. embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina, a period that not only highlighted her commitment to public service but also added an international dimension to her professional journey.
  • Born on August 4, 1981, Meghan shares her birthday with her "Suits" co-star Abigail Spencer, a charming coincidence that forged a special bond between the two actresses.
  • The engagement ring bestowed upon Meghan by Prince Harry is a masterpiece crafted by the esteemed jeweler "Cleave and Company," endorsed by Queen Elizabeth II. Featuring a main stone from Botswana on a yellow gold band, it is flanked by two diamonds sourced from the late Princess Diana's personal jewelry collection, infusing historical significance into this symbol of love.
  • Meghan learned to drive a stick shift just an hour before filming a scene in "A Lot Like Love" (2005), a testament to her dedication to her craft and ability to rise to challenges.
  • Prince Harry and Meghan's romantic journey began with a serendipitous introduction in May 2016, orchestrated by mutual friend Markus Anderson, a Toronto-based consultant for the exclusive members-only clubs of "Soho House."
  • Meghan's love for food extends beyond her on-screen character. An avid foodie, her culinary skills were seamlessly woven into the home life of her character, Rachel, in the television series "Suits" (2011).
  • Celebrating her 36th birthday in grand style, Meghan embarked on a three-week trip to Botswana with Prince Harry, revealing the couple's penchant for meaningful and adventurous experiences.
  • Meghan's upbringing in the View Park-Windsor Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles, often referred to as 'Black Beverly Hills,' underscores her diverse cultural background and roots in the vibrant city.
  • At the age of 36, Meghan made history by becoming the oldest royal bride for a first marriage in British royal family history, surpassing her sister-in-law Catherine, Princess of Wales.
  • Meghan's half-sister, Samantha Grant Markle, diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2008, is 16 years her senior, while her half-brother, Thomas Markle Jr., is 15 years older, highlighting the age diversity within her family.
  • Upon marrying Prince Harry, Meghan assumed the titles of "HRH Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Countess of Dumbarton, Baroness Kilkeel," reflecting her elevated status within the royal family.
  • Meghan's social circle includes notable figures like Priyanka Chopra Jonasand Serena Williams, showcasing her connections with influential personalities beyond the entertainment industry.

People Also Ask

What Is Meghan Markle's Ethnic Background?

Meghan Markle has a diverse ethnic background, with her mother, Doria Ragland, being African American, and her father, Thomas Markle, having Dutch and Irish roots.

How Did Meghan Markle And Prince Harry Meet?

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry were introduced by a mutual friend, Markus Anderson, a consultant for "Soho House," in May 2016.

Does Meghan Markle Have Siblings?

Yes, Meghan Markle has two paternal half-siblings - Samantha Grant Markle and Thomas Markle Jr.

How Did Prince Harry Propose To Meghan Markle?

Prince Harry proposed to Meghan Markle during a cozy night at their cottage in Kensington Palace. He designed a unique engagement ring with a central diamond from Botswana, flanked by diamonds from Princess Diana's collection.

Conclusion - Meghan Markle

In a world captivated by the enigmatic allure of royalty, Meghan Markle stands as a beacon of change and inspiration. From the glamour of Hollywood to the regal halls of Windsor, she has exemplified resilience, poise, and an unwavering commitment to social causes. Whether advocating for gender equality, mental health awareness, or navigating the intricacies of her public narrative, Meghan Markle has redefined what it means to be a modern duchess.
As her journey unfolds, the Duchess of Sussex continues to leave an enduring legacy, challenging the boundaries of tradition and influencing a new era of royalty. Meghan Markle's story is not just one of royalty; it is a narrative of empowerment, authenticity, and the enduring quest for positive change in an ever-evolving world.
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Dexter Cooke

Dexter Cooke

Dexter Cooke is an economist, marketing strategist, and orthopedic surgeon with over 20 years of experience crafting compelling narratives that resonate worldwide. He holds a Journalism degree from Columbia University, an Economics background from Yale University, and a medical degree with a postdoctoral fellowship in orthopedic medicine from the Medical University of South Carolina. Dexter’s insights into media, economics, and marketing shine through his prolific contributions to respected publications and advisory roles for influential organizations. As an orthopedic surgeon specializing in minimally invasive knee replacement surgery and laparoscopic procedures, Dexter prioritizes patient care above all. Outside his professional pursuits, Dexter enjoys collecting vintage watches, studying ancient civilizations, learning about astronomy, and participating in charity runs.
Elisa Mueller

Elisa Mueller

Elisa Mueller, a Kansas City native, grew up surrounded by the wonders of books and movies, inspired by her parents' passion for education and film. She earned bachelor's degrees in English and Journalism from the University of Kansas before moving to New York City, where she spent a decade at Entertainment Weekly, visiting film sets worldwide. With over 8 years in the entertainment industry, Elisa is a seasoned journalist and media analyst, holding a degree in Journalism from NYU. Her insightful critiques have been featured in prestigious publications, cementing her reputation for accuracy and depth. Outside of work, she enjoys attending film festivals, painting, writing fiction, and studying numerology.
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