When the news of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s relationship broke back in 2016, the actress found herself at the centre of ongoing rumours as to her commitment to Suits, the show she’d starred in as Rachel Zane since 2013. As we now know, Meghan eventually made the decision to step back from her acting career, with Suits’ soon-to-air seventh season set to be her last. But how did the will-she, won’t-she narrative impact upon the Suits writing team? In a new interview with Variety, the show’s creator Aaron Korsh has revealed how he used his awareness of Meghan’s royal romance to shape an exit strategy for her character early on.
‘I made a decision early on – I don’t remember exactly when in the season, but Meghan’s relationship looked like it was going well,’ he told the magazine. ‘And if that was the case, I guessed that if she married a prince that she wasn’t going to stay on the show.’
‘So we decided, in our own hearts, to bank on her finding love and kind of having a fairy tale ending in her own life and assuming that good things were going to happen for her,’ he said, adding that it would be better from a writing perspective to decide how to close Rachel’s narrative properly, rather than having a well-loved character leave after some freak accident or unbelievable plot twist.
‘It would be easier to undo a decision to write her off than it would be to at the last minute have to make her leave,’ he said. ‘She would have to get hit by a bus or something, and I didn’t want to do that. So, as the year progressed we were assuming that Meghan was going to go.’
Korsh has previously described choosing to play the long game as a ‘gamble,’ telling Radio 4’s Today show that he and the rest of the Suits team decided to bet on real-life happiness for their star… which is either sweet, or slightly bizarre, when you consider a boardroom full of writers leafing through the British tabloids.
‘What we decided to do [was to] say, “Look, I would rather have good things happen to Meghan in her life,” which would likely mean her leaving the show. So let’s plan on that and it’s much easier to undo that, if it came to it, than to just plan on her staying forever and then finding out she’s going to go.'
NOW READ: Prince Harry And Meghan Markle's Relationship Timeline
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle met in London in July 2016.
They were introduced by mutual friend Markus Anderson, who is the director of Soho House.
In October 2016, the Express became the first newspaper to publish news that Prince Harry had a new girlfriend.
On November 8th 2016, Kensington Palace released an unprecedented statement which referring to Markle as Harry's girlfriend for the first time.
In the statement, Prince Harry condemned the 'wave of abuse and harrassment' faced by Markle, saying that he was 'worried about Ms. Markle's safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her.'
'It is not right that a few months into a relationship with him that Ms. Markle should be subjected to such a storm,' the statement continued.
The couple were papped together for the first time in December 2016, shopping for a Christmas tree in London at the Pines and Needles store.
Later that week, they were seen on London's West End, catching a performance of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
In February, Prince Harry wore a his 'n' hers bracelet on the cover of Town & Country magazine, just weeks after Markle was pictured wearing the same one on Instagram.
In March 2017, Meghan joined Prince Harry in the Caribbean for the wedding of his friend's Tom 'Skippy' Inskip and Lara Hughes-Young.
It was the first time that Markle accompanied Harry to a wedding, marking another milestone occasion for the couple.
The first public event attended by the couple was the polo at Coworth Park in May 2017.
Later in May, Markle attended the party portion of Pippa Middleton's wedding to James Middelton.
Prince Harry was seen driving her to the event after the church ceremony.
The couple made their first official public appearance in September, when Markle attended the opening of Prince Harry's Invictus Games.
Meghan wore a maroon midi dress with a pleated chiffon skirt by one of her favourite Canadian brands Aritzia.
She teamed it with a matching burgundy biker jacket by Mackage.
Although Prince Harry was sat next to First Lady Melania Trump at the event, rather than his girlfriend, she was only seated a few rows behind him.
The couple were photographed together the following day at the wheelchair tennis.
Much was made of Markle's choice of outfit: ripped jeans and a white blouse called 'The Husband'.
The couple 'broke with royal protocol' by holding hands and appearing affectionate while at the Invictus Games.
Prince Harry reportedly spent time with Meghan's mother Doria while at the Games too.
The couple indulged in some PDA at the closing ceremony.
Prince Harry was photographed kissing Meghan.
In an interview with Vanity Fair, Meghan referred to Harry as her boyfriend numerous times, saying: 'We're a couple. We're in love. I'm sure there will be a time when we will have to come forward and present ourselves and have stories to tell, but I hope what people understand is that this is our time.'
In late September 2017, it was reported that Meghan had met the Queen, prompting speculation that the relationship was getting serious.
In early November 2017, it was reported that Meghan Markle was leaving Suits after seven series.
In mid-November 2017, bookies suspending betting on an impending royal engagement, as speculation grew that an announcement was about to be made.
On November 27th 2017, Prince Charles announced the engagement of his younger son Prince Harry and Meghan Markle after 15 months of dating.
The couple later appeared at a photocall, with Markle wearing a white dress coat by Canadian brand Line The Label. The website has subsequently crashed.
The engagement ring, by Cleave and Company, was reportedly designed by Prince Harry himself, using two stones that belonged to Princess Diana.
When asked by waiting photographers if the proposal was romantic, Harry joked 'of course!'