The lowdown on American star and soon-to-be royal Meghan Markle
Harry first met his future wife on a blind date when she was still appearing in the series Suits.
Prince Harry is getting married to Meghan Markle. But who is the bride-to-be?
Who is Meghan Markle?
Meghan Markle is a former American actress, best known for her role in the hit US legal drama series Suits, in which she played paralegal-turned-lawyer Rachel Zane.
What else has she appeared in?
Markle had parts in CSI: Miami, sci-fi show Fringe and movies such as Get Him To The Greek, Remember Me and Horrible Bosses. She was also a “briefcase girl” – one of the models who hold the suitcases full of cash – on the US version of Deal Or No Deal.
And her charity work?
As well as being a global ambassador for World Vision Canada, she was committed to gender equality through her work as a women’s advocate for the UN.
Meghan Markle: "Girls are being held back by the most natural thing in the world—their periods" https://t.co/7EMrMxn6CO— TIME (@TIME) March 8, 2017
What about her lifestyle blog?
Ms Markle ran her own blog – thetig.com – promoting self-empowerment and messages of positivity, in which she opened up about her life, loves, her favourite foods and places, and even her celebrity hairdresser.
But she closed the site down nine months after she started dating Harry, leaving fans the message: “Don’t ever forget your worth – as I’ve told you time and time again: you, my sweet friend, you are enough.”
Is she still acting?
No. Ms Markle will become a full-time royal after she marries. She left Suits and also deleted her Twitter and Instagram accounts in the run-up to the wedding.
She has also finished her philanthropic work in order to start her charitable interests afresh with Harry.
What is Ms Markle’s background?
She was born on August 4 1981, to clinical therapist mother Doria and TV lighting director Thomas Markle, and grew up in Los Angeles.
Her parents divorced when she was six, but she remained close to both of them.
Ms Markle has written about her mixed heritage – her father is Caucasian and of Dutch and Irish descent and her mother is African-American – and how it created “a grey area surrounding my self-identification” but how she has embraced it to become a “strong, confident mixed-race woman”.
When did she meet Harry?
They met on a blind date in London in the summer of 2016 and a few weeks later camped out under the stars in Botswana when Harry persuaded Ms Markle to join him on holiday.
Their whirlwind 16-month relationship was spent flying between the star’s former home in Toronto, Canada, where she filmed Suits, and Harry’s at Kensington Palace, London.
How did Harry propose?
The prince proposed during a cosy night in over a roast chicken.
Harry revealed: “She didn’t even let me finish, she said ‘Can I say yes, can I say yes?’ and then there were hugs.”
What have we learned about Ms Markle since the engagement?
The star has delighted royal fans by being open and tactile, and hugging youngsters during official engagements.
Caring Harry and Ms Markle have also asked well-wishers thinking of sending them wedding gifts to donate to one of the seven charities they personally selected instead.
What about her views on women’s rights?
During a Royal Foundation engagement with Harry and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Ms Markle acknowledged the global anti-sexual harassment movements MeToo and Time’s Up.
“There is no better time than now to really continue to shine a light on women feeling empowered,” she said.
She has spoken passionately about starting her life as a working royal, saying she wants to “hit the ground running”.
Will she become a British citizen?
Yes – Kensington Palace said Ms Markle will apply for citizenship, but it is not yet known whether she will hold dual American citizenship.
Will she become Princess Meghan?
No – she will not be a princess in her own right, only through marriage.
If Harry is given a dukedom by the Queen on his wedding day, she will become a duchess – most likely HRH the Duchess of Sussex – otherwise she will become HRH Princess Henry of Wales.
And she’s a divorcee?
Ms Markle married producer Trevor Engelson in September 2011 after dating him for six years. The couple split in May 2013.
Her first wedding took place in Jamaica and was celebrated with a barbecue on the beach.
Is the fact she has been married before a problem?
No. Much has changed since Edward VIII gave up the throne to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson, and since the Queen’s sister Princess Margaret chose duty over love instead of marrying divorcee Group Captain Peter Townsend.
Heir to the throne the Prince of Wales divorced Diana, Princess of Wales and in 2005 married divorcee Camilla Parker Bowles, now the Duchess of Cornwall.