Meghan, (born Rachel Meghan Markle) is an US-born member of the British royal family and a former film and television actress.
Meghan Markle was born on August 4, 1981 and raised in Los Angeles, California and is of mixed-race heritage. During her studies at Northwestern University, she began to play small roles in television series and films. From 2011 to 2017, she played her best-known role, Rachel Zane, on the legal drama series Suits. As an outspoken feminist, Markle has addressed issues of gender inequality, and her lifestyle website, The Tig, featured a column profiling influential women. Her humanitarian work in the 2010s saw her represent international charity organizations. She has also received recognition for her fashion and style, releasing a clothing line in 2016.
From 2011 until their 2013 divorce, Markle was married to actor and producer Trevor Engelson. In 2017, she announced her engagement to Prince Harry, grandson of Queen Elizabeth II, and moved to London. She consequently retired from acting, closed her social-media accounts, and started undertaking public engagements on behalf of the British royal family. Following their wedding on May 19, 2018, Markle became known as the Duchess of Sussex. After her and Harry’s departure from the Royal family, their titles were forfeited and she is no longer known as the Duchess of Sussex.
Rachel Meghan Markle was born on August 4, 1981, in Los Angeles, California, at West Park Hospital in Canoga Park. Her mother, Doria Ragland, a social worker and yoga instructor, as of 2017 lives in View Park Windsor Hills, California. Markle has often described a very close friendship with her mother. Her father, Thomas Markle Sr., who lives in Rosarito, Mexico, is a retired television director of photography and lighting director, whose profession resulted in his young daughter often visiting the set of Married…with Children. Markle’s parents divorced when she was six years old. She has two older paternal half-siblings, Thomas Markle Jr. and Samantha Markle, from whom she is reportedly estranged.
Describing her heritage in a 2015 essay for Elle, Markle states that her “dad is Caucasian and my mom is African American. I’m half black and half white … While my mixed heritage may have created a gray area surrounding my self identification, keeping me with a foot on both sides of the fence, I have come to embrace that. To say who I am, to share where I’m from, to voice my pride in being a strong, confident mixed race woman.”
Markle grew up in Hollywood. She was educated at private schools, beginning at age two at Hollywood Little Red Schoolhouse. At age 11, her successful campaign to get a company to change a national television commercial she viewed as sexist was profiled by Linda Ellerbee on Nick News. Markle attended Immaculate Heart High School, an all girl Catholic private school in Los Angeles, but was raised as a Protestant. She then attended Northwestern University, where she joined Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority, and participated in community service and charity projects. Markle graduated from Northwestern’s School of Communication in 2003 with a bachelor’s degree and a double major in theater and international studies. She also served an internship at the American embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and studied for a semester in Madrid, Spain.
Markle worked as a freelance calligrapher to support herself between early acting jobs. Her first appearance on screen was a small role as a nurse in an episode of the daytime soap opera General Hospital (1963). Early in her career, Markle had small guest roles on the television shows Century City (2004), The War at Home (2005), and CSI: NY (2004). She also took on several contract acting and modeling jobs, including a stint as a “briefcase girl” on the US game show Deal or No Deal (2005). She appeared in Fox’s series Fringe (2008) as Junior Agent Amy Jessup in the first two episodes of its second season. Markle had some difficulty getting roles early in her career. In 2015, she wrote: “Being ‘ethnically ambiguous’, as I was pegged in the industry, meant I could audition for virtually any role. Sadly, it didn’t matter: I wasn’t black enough for the black roles and I wasn’t white enough for the white ones, leaving me somewhere in the middle as the ethnic chameleon who couldn’t book a job.”
In July 2011, Markle joined the cast of the USA Network show Suits (2011), playing Rachel Zane. The character began as a paralegal and eventually became an attorney. She completed work on the seventh season in late 2017. According to a critique in The Irish Times, Markle deftly and actively re-positioned her character from ingenue to moral conscience and gave viewers the unique portrayal of a daughter, whose African American father is in a position to help her career and advance her strong desire to break several racial and gender “glass ceilings”. She appeared in two 2010 films, Get Him to the Greek (2010) and Remember Me (2010), and one 2011 film, Horrible Bosses (2011). She also appeared in episodes of Cuts (2005); Love, Inc. (2005); 90210 (2008); Knight Rider (2008); Without a Trace (2002); The League (2009); and Castle (2009).
From 2014 to 2017, Markle was founder and editor in chief of lifestyle website The Tig. She derived the name from Tignanello red wine. One of The Tig’s features was Tig Talk, a column that profiled women including Jessica Alba, Gail Simmons, Ella Woodward, Daphne Oz, Elizabeth Hurley, Lauren Bush Lauren, Ivanka Trump, Dianna Agron and Jessica Stam. In April 2017, she closed The Tig. Markle developed an adept and polished social media presence at the time of its closing, her Instagram account had 1.9 million followers. In January 2018, Markle deleted her social media accounts and, in a statement issued by Kensington Palace, thanked “everyone who has followed her social media accounts over the years”.
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