Everything You Need To Know About Meghan Markle

Your 101 on the American who fell for a Prince.

Meghan Markle

by Katie Rosseinsky |

After the wedding of 2018 - and the birth of baby Archie in May 2019 - it's hard to imagine a time when Meghan Markle wasn't one of the most famous women in Britain.

It feels like yesterday when the former Suits star tied the knot with Prince Harry at St George’s Chapel in Windsor on 19th May, following an engagement announcement the previous November, and became HRH Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex.

But everything changed in early 2020, when it was announced that she would be stepping down from senior royal duties with Harry.

However, Meghan Markle's life was just a little bit different before she met Harry, let's take a look back at her journey...

When did Meghan and Harry first meet?

The couple are thought to have first met at a blind date in London, when they were set up by a mutual friend (side note: why does this never happen to us? And when it does, why are blind said dates always woefully unsuccessful?), thought to be fashion PR Violet von Westenholz (though neither Harry nor Meghan has ever confirmed their match-maker on the record.)

One of their earliest dates was - wait for it - a minibreak to Botswana, so it was clearly obvious to both from the start that something special was on the cards. The Prince is also thought to have met up with Meghan while promoting the Invictus Games in Toronto back in 2016 (Meghan, of course, was previously based in the Canadian city while filming Suits).

Want to watch a low-budget made-for-TV film that plays fast and loose with the details of the royal couple's early courtship? May we recommend the Lifetime movie Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance?

When was the relationship confirmed?

Harry confirmed his relationship with the actress in an unprecedented statement released through Kensington Palace, in which he criticised the 'wave of abuse and harassment' which his new girlfriend had been subjected to, both in the mainstream media and through online trolling. When the news broke, the couple ended up hiding from the paparazzi at the Toronto home of the Brian and Jessica Mulroney, Meghan's closest friends, to weather the media storm.

At around the same time, eagle-eyed fans noticed Meghan wearing a distinctive black-and-white beaded bracelet in her recent Instagram posts - identical to a bracelet which Harry had been photographed wearing at a royal engagement in Aberdeen. Coincidence, it was not.

Watch our video below for all the facts you need to know about Meghan, then read on for the full lowdown...

So, who is Meghan Markle?

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Meghan as Rachel Zane in Suits ©Getty Images

Prior to taking on her new royal role, Meghan worked as an actress and was best known for her role as paralegal Rachel Zane on the long-running US drama Suits (still streaming on Netflix, FYI).

Quite the Renaissance woman, Meghan also founder and curated her own lifestyle site, The Tig, which branded itself 'a hub for the discerning palate – those with a hunger for food, travel, fashion & beauty.' Sadly the Tig went offline at the start of 2017, around the same time that Meghan's social media profiles not-so-mysteriously disappeared from the Internet. If you're keen to channel Meghan over the festive season, you're in luck: way back in 2015, she wrote a guide on how to host the perfect 'fake' Christmas with your friends for Grazia.

Originally based in Los Angeles, she lived in Toronto (where Suits is filmed) with her two dogs, Bogart and Guy before relocating permanently to Kensington Palace.

How old is she?

Born in California on 4th August 1981, Meghan is 39 years old.

What else was she in?

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Meghan Markle ©Getty Images

Aside from her lead role in Suits, she also had brief turns in films like Get Him To The Greek, Horrible Bosses and Remember Me, as well as the obligatory appearances on CSI and General Hospital (or as we like to refer to it, the Casualty of America...)

What about her charity work?

Meghan is committed to an impressive number of charitable causes - something which she certainly has in common with Prince Harry. A former advocate for UN Women, she has previously presented at the organisation's headquarters as part of the HeForShe Gender Equality Campaign famously headed up by Emma Watson. In 2016, she became a global ambassador for World Vision Canada, and travelled to Rwanda for their Clean Water campaign.

In an old essay on The Tig, she expanded upon the two sides of her career, writing 'I am consistently asked how I keep a foot in two contrasting worlds – one in the entertainment industry, predicated on wealth and indulgence, and the other in humanitarian work.'

'To me, it’s less of a question of how can you do this, and more a question of how can you not?'

And her previous boyfriends?

Meghan tied the knot for the first time in 2011, to TV and film producer Trevor Engelson (who she'd been dating since 2004). However, the couple then separated and divorced in 2013, citing 'irreconcilable differences.' She was then linked to golfer Rory McIlroy, and at the start of 2016 was was reported to be dating Canadian celebrity chef Cory Vitiello.

What's her Instagram handle?

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@meghanmarkle ©@meghanmarkle

Funny you should ask. Until January 2017, you could follow Meghan on Instagram at @meghanmarkle for Suits behind-the-scenes snaps, pictures of her dogs and plenty of motivational quotes. But every single post has since been deleted. Such is the sacrifice of royal life, we guess.

But, now, you can follow Meghan and Harry together on @sussexroyal, an Instagram account created in April 2019. However, they no longer use it since stepping down from their royal duties.

When did Meghan Markle announce her pregnancy?

Kensington Palance announced the news in October 2018, with a spokesman saying, ‘Their Royal Highnesses are very pleased to announce that the Duchess of Sussex is expecting a baby in Spring 2019. Their Royal Highnesses very much appreciate all of the support they have received from people around the work since their wedding in May and are delighted to be able to share their happy news.

The Queen, Duke of Edinburgh, Prince of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall, and Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are delighted for the couple and were able to congratulated them in Friday at the wedding in person. Ms Doria Ragland is very happy about the lovely news and she looks forward to welcoming her first grandchild.'

When did Meghan Markle give birth?

Meghan Markle gave birth in the early hours of 6th May, 2019 weighing 7lbs, 3oz.

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What is Archie's full name?

Meghan and Harry's child is called Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. While there has been speculation surrounding baby Sussex's name; with some thinking Archie is an acronym of Meghan's real name Rachel, others believe Harrison means Harry's son - clever, right?

It is believed the royal couple named their child after an officer who saved Prince Harry's military career.

Harry served in the army with Major Tom Archer-Burton, and he was nicknamed Archie.

READ MORE: The Best Of Meghan Markle's Pregnancy Style

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Meghan Markle Pregnancy Style

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Her last public engagement before the royal baby is due was on Commonwealth Day, where she wore a Victoria Beckham ensemble. Her dress, coat, clutch and satin pumps were all from the designers A/W collection.

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On International Women's Day, Meghan attended a panel in a Reiss dress paired with an Alexander McQueen blazer. The Stella McCartney cross body bag also matched her Manolo Blahnik pumps.

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On a visit to Canada House, Meghan sported Canadian designer Erdem. The coat dress was a step away from her usual style.

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At the Wider Earth Gala, Meghan wore this beautiful Calvin Klein dress with Ralph Lauren 'Celia' pumps and an Amanda Wakeley coat.

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Sporting the 'Crombie' once more at a Palace reception earlier this month, Meghan's metallic floral dress was paired with a Wilbur & Gussie clutch.

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This stunning Valentino ensemble designed by Pierpaolo Piccioli. Her dress, cape and VRING bag were all a nod to the designer, while her nude gloves were Gianvito Rossi.

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Making a surprise appearance at the British Fashion Awards calls for a pretty spectacular outfit. Enter this timeless number, which has since set the bar high for one-shoulder gowns.

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Meghan visited Smart Works, which one of the four new patronages, wearing a simple maternity dress from Hatch. She paired this with a classic trench coat from Oscar de la Renta, and part-sheer printed heels by Gianvito Rossi. Understated yet elegant.

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Whilst attending a Royal Variety performance, Meghan dazzled in a sleek black skirt and monochrome top that featured a floral pattern. We love.

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When visiting Birkenhead with her beau Prince Harry, Meghan wore a bright purple dress under this striking red coat by fashion brand Sentaler. Her statement red shoes were from Stuart Weitzman, and we're pretty obsessed with them.

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During a visit to Brinsworth House (which is the Royal Variety Charity's residential nursing and care home), Meghan stepped out wearing a clean white floral dress by brand Brock Collection. To beat the chill, she threw on a long grey coat Soia and Kyo, before completing her look with a classic nude clutch and heels.

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Meghan wore a Roland Mouret sequin gown during a visit to watch a charity performance of Cirque du Soleil at Royal Albert Hall. Her sequined evening look was paired with black heels by Stuart Weitzman, and she donned a slicked back bun and bold lips.

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Drawing inspiration from her sister-in-law Kate Middleton, Meghan often to wear an affordable cream dress from H&M during a visit to Mayhew, one of her royal patronages. She covered the dress with a smart Armani coat and heels. Chic.

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Burgundy is definitely the Duchess' colour! This Club Monaco coat and her collared dress make for a match-made in heaven. And when paired with with black tights and chunky heeled boots, we have a winning winter outfit.

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For the final Armistice Day service at Westminster Abbey, Meghan wore an elegant navy skirt and boxed-style shoulder peplum top, complete with a headpiece and large poppy pin.

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Can we just take a moment for this custom Givenchy outfit? Created for her last royal engagement in New Zealand, Meghan married a classy navy sweater with a pleated maxi skirt which showcased different shades of blue.

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Attending a reception hosted by the British Ambassador to Morocco during her second day of the Morocco tour in February, Meghan wore this stunning Dior gown with diamond earrings and a matching satin clutch.

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The Duchess has opted to wear navy on several occasions during her pregnancy, including the time she wore this Antonio Berardi dress with a pair of Aquazzura heels.

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Yes, Meghan Markle is often spotted wearing heels and princess-worthy gowns, but she's also capable of rocking a more laid-back style with ease. Take this Karen Walker blazer, J.Crew skinny jeans, and practical rain boots as proof.

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In New Zealand, Meghan wore this gorgeous plaid trench by Karen Walker. She layered it over a black dress which was sold on ASOS, proving that designer and high-street go hand-in-hand.

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For her speech at the Invictus Games closing ceremony, Meghan donned a tailored, olive green dress by the designer Antonio Berardi. She completed her look with a poppy pin.

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Meghan accompanied Harry to watch the wheelchair basketball finals at Invictus Games, and donned a casual yet chic outfit. The Duchess proved that a simple pair of skinny jeans and a wrap top are in still very much in style.

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Meghan wowed the crowd at Australian Geographic Society Awards in this flowing Oscar de la Renta gown, which she styled with slingback heels.

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Have you ever seen a Veronica Beard Cary Dress and blue suede shoes look so chic together?

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What does one wear to dinner with the King and Queen of Tonga? Only a white gown by Theia, pumps by Aquazzura and earrings by Birks, of course!

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Whilst attended the unveiling of a statue in honour of a British-Fijan soldier, Meghan chose to wear Jason Wu green mid-length dress with pointed heels and an arm cuff.

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The Duchess's eye-catching blue gown by Safiyaa, married with a pair of diamond drop earrings, is one of our favourite Meghan Markle outfits of all-time.

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White 3/4 sleeve dress + matching Stephen Jones fascinator _ straw clutch = Heaven in an outfit.

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We're obsessed with this black Emilia Wickstead dress which features dainty buttons all the way down the middle. And it looks even better when paired with this Philip Treacy fascinator, don't you think?

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A striped Martin Grant dress is the only plausible outfit to wear on the beach, right? We certainly think so.

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See, we told you that Meghan is a fan of the colour navy. Lots of her dress choices - like this two-toned number by Roksanda - feature varying shades of blue.

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Let's face it: we can't blame Meghan for her love affair with navy - she really does know how to pull the colour off, and it's complementary against her dark hair colour.

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When we first saw Meghan wearing this forest green Brandon Maxwell dress, we fell hard in love, and in all honestly, we haven't stopped thinking about it since.

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This classy white dress by Australian designer Karen Gee was the first item that Meghan was spotted in after the news of her pregnancy was confirmed.

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Truly teaching us how to rock airport style, everyone was obsessed with this low-key look. Carrying the Le Sud leather weekender from Cuyana, she made leggings and trainers look chic by adding a camel coat.

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This all black look was part of her New York style revival when she visited the city for her baby shower back in February. Carrying a Caroline Herrera bag in nude and matching with nude heels, she looked VERY A-list and we were VERY here for it.

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A casual look for her Morocco tour, Meghan paired an Alice and Olivia Simpson jacket with a Babaton Roland blouse and her classic Manolo Blahnik Carolyne's.

When did Harry and Meghan decide to step down from their senior royal duties?

Ah, the statement that sent shockwaves around the world! In January 2020, the pair announced that they planned to step back from their senior royal duties, hoping to split their time between America and the UK and become financially independent. They officially step down on March 31, and will no longer use their titles.

READ MORE: How Did Meghan Markle Meet Kate Middleton?

READ MORE: Everything You Need To Know About Meghan Markle's Baby Shower

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