Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, 1981

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Woman Category: Fashion & Beauty, Philanthropy, Politics & Leaders, and Theater & CinemaWoman Tags: Actress, African-American Women, and Royalty

  • HerStory

    A member of the British royal family; a former actress and fashion blogger.

    Born Rachel Meghan Markle in Los Angeles, California. Her mother is African-American, and her father is Caucasian. When she was 6 years old, her parents got divorced. Markle attended Hollywood Little Red Schoolhouse and then the all-girl Immaculate Heart High School. At 18, Markle began to study theatre and international studies at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. In 2002, at 21, after earning her bachelor’s degree, she returned to LA to develop her acting career. As a biracial actress, Markle had difficulties getting roles, not being black enough for black roles and not white enough for white ones. To support herself financially, she taught bookbinding and worked as a calligrapher.
     
    Markel’s first TV appearance was as a nurse in the soap opera General Hospital. Then she landed guest roles in various TV shows, such as 90210, CSI: NY, and CSI: Miami, as well as leading roles in movies, such as Random Encounters and Anti-Social. In 2011, at the age of 30, Markel had her big break in the TV show Suits, playing the role of Rachel Zane. At 33, Markle founded a lifestyle blog called The Tig, in which she wrote about fashion, food, traveling, beauty, and highlighting inspirational women. In 2016, at 35, Markle was appointed global ambassador for World Vision Canada. In this role, she traveled to Rwanda, promoting the Clean Water Campaign, and India, advocating for raising awareness for women’s issues, and debunking stigmatization regarding menstrual health.
     
    In June 2016, Markle was introduced to Prince Harry, a member of the British royal family, by a mutual friend, and soon they became a couple and got engaged in the following year. As a future member of the British royal family, Markle retired from acting and closed her blog. The wedding took place on May 19, 2018, at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle. Afterward, Markle was given the title Duchess of Sussex and took on various royal duties. She served as vice president of The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust and as the patron of numerous charities and organizations, including London’s National Theatre, The Royal Foundation, and the Association of Commonwealth Universities. Using her fashionista status, Markle collaborated with British stores and fashion houses to launch the Smart Set capsule collection to raise money for the Smart Works charity. Markle and Prince Harry also established the Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, which later was renamed Archewell Inc. On May 6, 2019, at the age of 38, Markle gave birth to her first son, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, the 7th in line of succession to the British throne.
     
    In January 2020, after years of suffering public pressure, endless tabloid rumors, and scrutinizing, in addition to race issues raised by the royal members about her and her son, and with no support or protection from the crown, Markle and Prince Harry announced of their retirement from their royal duties and of their plan to become financially independent. Within six months, they settled in LA, where they continue to support and advocate for charities and organizations that promote social issues, such as mental health, women’s rights, animal welfare, and education access.
     

    “Women don’t need to find a voice. They have a voice. They need to feel empowered to use it, and people need to be encouraged to listen.”

    “Women don’t need to find a voice. They have a voice. They need to feel empowered to use it, and people need to be encouraged to listen.”

     


    More Interesting Anecdotes:

    • As a child, she frequently visited the set of the TV show Married… with Children, where her father worked as a director of photography and lighting.
    • At 11, she wrote to Procter & Gamble to gender-neutralize a dishwashing soap commercial. Following her request, the company changed it.
    • She was married for two years to the film producer Trevor Engelson.
    • In 2015-2016, she released two fashion collections for Reitmans – a Canadian clothing company, based on her style and her character in Suits.
    • One of her and Prince Harry’s early dates was a camping trip to Botswana.
    • She was raised Protestant but confirmed into the Church of England in preparation for the wedding with Prince Harry.
    • At her wedding, she wore a dress designed by Clare Waight Keller and a diamond tiara that was belonged to Queen Mary. To the reception, she wore a dress designed by Stella McCartney.
    • In 2019, she was a contributor and guest editor for the September issue of British Vogue, in which she highlighted the works of 15 women who acted as “Forces for Change.” The issue was the “fastest-selling issue in the history of British Vogue.”
    • Many are comparing her to her late mother in law Diana, Princess of Wales.
    • After suffering a miscarriage in the summer of 2020, she announced that she is expecting a girl.
    • She is a good friend of Serena Williams.
    • Through their producing company, Archewell, the couple also signed a deal with Netflix and with Spotify.
    • More than 50 million people around the world have watched their two hours interview with Oprah in March 2021. It was one of the most-watched interviews in history.
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  • See Meghan Markle on ‘90s Nickelodeon Show After Protesting Commercial

    As a social studies assignment back in elementary school, Meghan Markle and her classmates watched some commercials to assess their messages. A commercial for Ivory Dishwashing Liquid really bothered Meghan because it used the word "her." Meghan took matters into her own hands by writing a letter to the soap manufacturer. The company changed the commercial. What Meghan did landed her on the cable show ‘Nick News’ in 1993.

  • Duchess of Sussex in 2018. Photo credit - Wikipedia

  • Citations and Additional References:
    The Duke and Duchess of Sussex website.
    Wikipedia page.


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