Meghan Markle

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Meghan Markle
Meghan Markle 3441.jpg
Markle at Paley Center in January 2013
Born Rachel Meghan Markle
(1981-08-04) August 4, 1981 (age 36)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Alma mater Northwestern University
Years active 2002–present
Spouse(s) Trevor Engelson (m. 2011; div. 2013)

Rachel Meghan Markle[1][2] (born August 4, 1981) is an American actress, model, and humanitarian.[3][4][5] Since 2011 Markle has portrayed Rachel Zane on the legal drama series Suits and is also known for her role as special agent Amy Jessup in the sci-fi thriller Fringe. She has been in a relationship with Prince Harry since June 2016.[6]

Early life

Markle was born on August 4, 1981, in Los Angeles.[7] Of her parents she has said, "my dad is Caucasian and my mom is African-American ... I have come to embrace [this and] say who I am, to share where I'm from, to voice my pride in being a strong, confident, mixed-race woman."[8] Her mother, Doria Ragland, has a master's degree in social work from the University of Southern California and works as a psychotherapist and yoga instructor.[7][9] Her father, of Dutch and Irish descent,[10][11] is Emmy award-winning lighting director Thomas W. Markle, whose profession resulted in his young daughter often visiting the set of Married … with Children.[12][13][14]


Markle grew up in the Hollywood area of Los Angeles[15] where, from age five, she was educated at private schools; first at Hollywood Little Red Schoolhouse[16] and later at Immaculate Heart High School, an all-girl, private Catholic school in Los Angeles.[17] She graduated in 2003 from Northwestern University, near Chicago, where she took theater studies before completing her bachelor's degree in theater and international studies; coursework included an internship at the U.S. embassy in Buenos Aires.[18][19][20][21][22]



To support herself between early acting jobs, Markle worked as a freelance calligrapher and took on several contract acting and modeling jobs including a stint as a 'briefcase girl' on Deal or No Deal.[23][12] In 2002, Markle appeared in an episode of the daytime soap opera, General Hospital. She appeared in Fox's series Fringe as Junior Agent Amy Jessup in the first two episodes of its second season.[24] Since July 2011 she has played the paralegal Rachel Zane, on the USA Network show Suits. Markle has appeared in two 2010 films, Get Him to the Greek and Remember Me, and one 2011 film, Horrible Bosses.[25] She appeared in the short film The Candidate (seen on the KQED public television show ImageMakers: the Company of Men) as a secretary in 2012. She has also appeared in episodes of Century City, Cuts, Love, Inc., The War at Home, 90210, Knight Rider, Without a Trace, The Apostles, CSI: NY, The League and Castle.

Other work

Markle was founder and editor-in-chief of lifestyle website The Tig.[26] which closed in April 2017.[27] In November 2016 Markle and Canadian clothing company Reitmans released a line of women's fashion workwear.[28] In 2016, Markle became a global ambassador for World Vision Canada, traveling to Rwanda for the Clean Water Campaign.[4][29] She has also worked with the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women as an Advocate.[4][30] Markle was a counsellor for international charity One Young World, speaking at the 2014 annual summit in Dublin[31] on the topics of gender equality and modern-day slavery. She also attended the 2016 summit in Ottawa.[32]

Personal life

Markle was in a relationship with actor and producer Trevor Engelson between 2004 and 2013, marrying on September 10, 2011[33] and divorcing in August 2013.[34] Since June 2016, she has been in a relationship with Prince Harry.[6]

On November 8, 2016, an official statement was released from the Royal Family's communications secretary addressing the "wave of abuse and harassment" directed toward Markle that followed the announcement of her relationship with Prince Harry.[35] The statement spoke to the sexism, racism and defamatory stories directed at Markle and urged the press to "pause and reflect" before driving these storylines.[35]

In September 2017, during an interview with Vanity Fair, Markle spoke in public for the first time about her love for Prince Harry saying, "We're two people who are really happy and in love. We were very quietly dating for about six months before it became news, and I was working during that whole time, and the only thing that changed was people's perception."[36] Later that month, they made their first public appearances together at an official royal engagement - the wheelchair tennis event, and the closing ceremony of the Invictus Games in Toronto.[37][38]

Markle is a self-proclaimed foodie, which was incorporated into her Suits character Rachel Zane.[12] Markle is friends with a number of celebrities including Serena Williams,[39] Jessica Mulroney,[40] and Ben Mulroney.[41]


Markle's direct ancestor, Lord Hussey - a descendant of King John
Markle's great-great-great-grandmother, landowner Mary Hussey Smith (d. 1908)

Research compiled twenty years ago by historians including Markle's great uncle, Mike Markle, revealed that her paternal great-great-great-grandmother was New Hampshire landowner Mary Hussey Smith (d.1908), a direct descendant of nobleman John Hussey, 1st Baron Hussey of Sleaford, who was beheaded in 1537 at the order of King Henry VIII. Through Lord Hussey, Markle is a direct descendant of King John.[42] Markle is also a direct descendant of Captain Christopher Hussey, Esquire (d.1686) who was appointed in 1679 by King Charles II to govern the Royal Province of Hampton, New Hampshire. He was a founding father of Nantucket.[43][44][45][46]

Markle is a distant cousin of Prince Harry. Their common ancestors are Elizabeth Aske (1505 – c.1572) and her husband, Richard Bowes, son of Sir Ralph Bowes of Streatlam Castle and High Sheriff of County Durham - ancestors of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.[47][48][49][50]

Markle's maternal great-great-great maternal grandfather was the son of a slave who was forced to work on the Georgia plantations before being emancipated with the abolition of slavery in 1865.[51]



Year Title Role Notes
2002 General Hospital Jill 1 episode
2004 Century City Natasha "A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Lose" (season 1: episode 4)
2005 Cuts Cori "My Boyfriend's Back" (season 1: episode 5)
2005 Love, Inc. Teresa Santos "One on One" (season 1: episode 9)
2006 1 vs. 100 Herself Mob member number 7
2006 The War at Home Susan "The Seventeen-Year Itch" (season 1: episode 17)
2006 CSI: NY Veronica Perez "Murder Sings the Blues" (season 3: episode 7)
2006 Deceit Gwen TV film
2007 Deal or No Deal Herself Holder of Case #24; 4 episodes
2008 90210 Wendy "We're Not in Kansas Anymore" (season 1: episode 1)
"The Jet Set" (season 1: episode 2)
2008 'Til Death Tara "Joy Ride" (season 3: episode 2)
2009 Knight Rider Annie Ortiz "Fight Knight" (season 1: episode 14)
2009 Without a Trace Holly Shepard "Chameleon" (season 7: episode 15)
2009 Fringe Junior FBI Agent Amy Jessup "A New Day in the Old Town" (season 2: episode 1)
"Night of Desirable Objects" (season 2: episode 2)
2009 The League Random Girl "The Bounce Test" (season 1: episode 2)
2010 CSI: Miami Officer Leah Montoya "Backfire" (season 8: episode 20)
2010 The Boys and Girls Guide to Getting Down Dana TV film
2011–present Suits Rachel Zane Main Character; Series Regular
2012 Castle Charlotte Boyd/Sleeping Beauty "Once Upon a Crime" (season 4: episode 17)
2014 Extant Girl at Table[citation needed] "Extinct" (season 1: episode 2)
2014 When Sparks Fly Amy Peterson Hallmark Channel television movie
2016 Dater's Handbook Cassandra Brand Hallmark Channel television movie


Year Title Role Notes
2005 A Lot like Love Passenger on plane
2010 Get Him to the Greek Tatiana Uncredited
2010 Remember Me Megan
2011 Horrible Bosses Jamie
2015 Anti-Social Kirsten


  1. ^ Griffiths, Emmy. "Will Meghan Markle use her first name Rachel if she marries Prince Harry?". Hello!. Retrieved September 8, 2017. 
  2. ^ UKTV (February 21, 2016). "Meghan Markle Rapid Fire Questions | Suits Season 5 | Dave". YouTube. Retrieved September 15, 2017. 
  3. ^ "Meet Meghan Markle: Prince Harry's Feminist, Philanthropist, Actress Girlfriend". Vogue. November 18, 2016. Retrieved September 15, 2017. 
  4. ^ a b c Blair, Olivia (October 31, 2016). "Who is Meghan Markle: The 'Suits' actress, humanitarian, activist and gender equality campaigner". The Independent. Retrieved September 15, 2017. 
  5. ^ Willgress, Lydia. "Who is Meghan Markle and how long has she been Prince Harry's girlfriend? Everything we know about the royal relationship". The Telegraph. Retrieved October 21, 2017. 
  6. ^ a b "The Duke of Cambridge approved Prince Harry's plea to trolls to leave Meghan Markle alone". The Telegraph. Retrieved September 5, 2017. 
  7. ^ a b Boyle, Danny (November 8, 2016). "Who is Meghan Markle? Everything we know about Prince Harry's girlfriend". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved November 12, 2016. 
  8. ^ Markle, Meghan (August 17, 2015). "I'm More Than An 'Other'". Elle UK. Retrieved November 4, 2016. 
  9. ^ Melas, Chloe (November 3, 2016). "Meghan Markle: 5 things to know Prince Harry's rumored love interest". CNN. Retrieved November 3, 2016. This is when (my mother) graduated from USC with a masters in social work.... 
  10. ^ "Meghan Markle: Six things you didn't know about Prince Harry's girlfriend". The Week. November 8, 2016. 
  11. ^ Dewan, Angela; Isaac, Lindsay (November 8, 2016). "Meghan Markle: Prince Harry warns press about harassing girlfriend". CNN. 
  12. ^ a b c Goulet, Matt (July 13, 2013). "Q&A:The Beautiful Meghan Markle on Suits, Canada Day, and Handwriting". Esquire. Retrieved January 14, 2014. 
  13. ^ Hicks, Tony (November 1, 2016). "Prince Harry ready to meet Meghan Markle's father". Mercury News. Retrieved November 12, 2016. Her father, Thomas W. Markle, is an Emmy Award-winning cinematographer. 
  14. ^ Goulet, Matt (July 13, 2013). "Q&A: The Beautiful Meghan Markle on Suits, Canada Day, and Handwriting". Esquire. Hearst Communications, Inc. Retrieved November 12, 2016. She (Markle) spent time growing up on the set of Married... with Children 
  15. ^ Morris, Regan (September 27, 2017). "'Meghan who?' LA shrugs over Harry's hometown girlfriend". BBC. Retrieved October 26, 2017. Her childhood in Los Angeles was more centred in Hollywood, where she attended a private primary school known for having a fabulous swimming pool as well as a playground....Markle attended a private, all-girls Catholic high school on a beautiful campus in the Hollywood Hills. The school requires public service to graduate and the actress credits her parents and the school with starting her commitment to humanitarian work. 
  16. ^ Woustra, Kristy. "Who Is Meghan Markle: The Actress Was Changing The World At Age 11". Huffington Post. Canada. Retrieved November 8, 2016. I was just 11 years old when I was in my classroom at Hollywood Little Red Schoolhouse ... 
  17. ^ Hodgkin, Emily (September 23, 2017). "Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton's path to royalty REVEALED - from Hollywood to Kensington". Daily Express. UK. Retrieved September 26, 2017. Both girls (i.e., Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle) were educated at private schools. Meghan attended Hollywood Little Red Schoolhouse and then later Immaculate Heart High School, an all-girls, independent Roman Catholic high school in LA. Alumni includes super model Tyra Banks and actress Mary Tyler Moore. 
  18. ^ "Dialogue - 2013" (PDF). School of Communication at Northwestern. p. 24. Retrieved April 19, 2017. spring 2013... Meghan Markle (C 2003) is a cast member of the USA show Suits... 
  19. ^ Midgley, Dominic (November 5, 2016). "Meghan Markle: The actress who made her mark on Harry". Daily Express. Retrieved May 20, 2017. 
  20. ^ Willgress, Lydia; Boyle, Danny (September 21, 2017). "Who is Meghan Markle? Everything we know about Prince Harry's girlfriend". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved April 22, 2017. She studied at a girls' Roman Catholic college before graduating from Northwestern University School of Communication in 2003 - where she double-majored in theatre and international relations - just as her acting career was beginning 
  21. ^ Kim, Jae-Ha (February 12, 2013). "Celebrity travel with Meghan Markle". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved May 23, 2017. 
  22. ^ "EXCLUSIVE: Harry's girl is (almost) straight outta Compton". Daily Mail. Australia. Retrieved November 2, 2016. 
  23. ^ Goulet, Matt (July 13, 2013). "Q&A: The Beautiful Meghan Markle on Suits, Canada Day, and Handwriting". Esquire. Hearst Communications, Inc. Retrieved November 12, 2016. What's funny is I (Markle) probably still have some calligraphy business cards floating out in the world.... 
  24. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (June 23, 2009). "Meghan Markle joins 'Fringe'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 24, 2009. 
  25. ^ Hibberd, James (August 24, 2010). "Meghan Markle books lead role on 'Legal Mind'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 16, 2016. 
  26. ^ "Experience the World of Suits Star Meghan Markle's New Lifestyle Site, The Tig". InStyle. 
  27. ^ "As Meghan Markle Shuts Down Her Lifestyle Site, Source Says Speculation It's Related to Prince Harry Is 'False'". People. April 7, 2017. Retrieved April 20, 2017. 
  28. ^ Delap, Leanne (November 5, 2016). "Suits star Meghan Markle launches 'accessible' clothing line at Reitmans". Toronto Star.  In April 2017, she closed The Tig and quit Reitmans.
  29. ^ Watkins, Janelle (February 29, 2016). "Meghan Markle 'Suits' Up for Success". Eabony. Retrieved June 29, 2016. 
  30. ^ Singh, Harmeet (August 7, 2015). "UN Women turn on the light". Strategy Online. Brunico Communications Ltd. Archived from the original on August 17, 2015. Retrieved November 28, 2016. 
  31. ^ "Meghan Markle: I had to refuse being filmed in just a towel every day". The Irish Independent. 
  32. ^ "Justin Trudeau welcomes Emma Watson, Bob Geldoff, and other star activists to Parliament Hill". Retrieved May 23, 2017. 
  33. ^ "Hitched, Hatched, Hired". The Hollywood Reporter. September 27, 2011. Retrieved February 2, 2013. 
  34. ^ "36 things we've learnt about Meghan Markle in the past year". 
  35. ^ a b Vallance, Adam (November 8, 2016). "A Statement by the Communications Secretary to Prince Harry". The Royal Family. Retrieved September 26, 2017. 
  36. ^ "Meghan Markle, Wild About Harry!". Vanity Fair. Retrieved September 5, 2017. 
  37. ^ "Meghan Markle attends Invictus Games". BBC News. September 24, 2017. Retrieved September 26, 2017. 
  38. ^ "Prince Harry, Meghan Markle make first official public appearance". ABC News. September 26, 2017. Retrieved September 26, 2017. 
  39. ^ "Inside Meghan Markle and Serena Williams' Friendship: Why She Credits the Tennis Star as Her Closest Friend and Confidante". E! News. Retrieved April 20, 2017. 
  40. ^ "How Meghan Markle and Princess Kate's Styles Differ — and How to Get Meghan's Best Looks". People. April 1, 2017. Retrieved April 20, 2017. 
  41. ^ "EXCLUSIVE: Inside Meghan Markle's Life in Toronto: From Prince Harry's Low-Key Visits to Cozy Yoga Classes". December 15, 2016. Retrieved May 23, 2017. 
  42. ^ Furness, Hannah (19 November 2017). "King Henry VIII ordered for Meghan Markle's ancestor to be beheaded". Daily Telegraph. UK. Retrieved 19 November 2017. Meghan Markle ancestral path to royalty - John Plantagenet, King of England (mistress) Adela de Warenne... 
  43. ^ Furness, Hannah (19 November 2017). "King Henry VIII ordered for Meghan Markle's ancestor to be beheaded". Daily Telegraph. UK. Retrieved 19 November 2017. Curiously, he believes the Markle family may already be aware of the connections, after coming across independent research by a Mike Markle, understood to be the actress’ great-uncle, online from 20 years ago. 
  44. ^ Robertson, William (1834). A General History of North and South America: Including the Celebrated Work by Robertson. Mayhew, Isaac, and Company. p. 424. Retrieved 6 November 2017. 18th September 1679....The king was represented by a president and council of his own govern the provence of New Hampshire.....Christopher Hussey of Hampton, be of the council... 
  45. ^ Huffman, J. (2017). Starbuck, Waldschmidt, & Huffman Family of Bangor, Michigan. p. 61. ISBN 1387103202. Retrieved 20 November 2017. The Founder's Burial Ground commemorates the other Founding Fathers of Nantucket... 
  46. ^ Furness, Hannah (19 November 2017). "King Henry VIII ordered for Meghan Markle's ancestor to be beheaded". Daily Telegraph. UK. Retrieved 19 November 2017. ...he (Captain Christopher Hussey, Esquire) left England in the 1630s to become a Founding Father of Nantucket. 
  47. ^ Furness, Hannah (19 November 2017). "King Henry VIII ordered for Meghan Markle's ancestor to be beheaded". Daily Telegraph. UK. Retrieved 19 November 2017. Ms Markle and the Prince are, it is claimed, distant cousins through a mutual ancestor: High Sheriff of County Durham Ralph Bowes... 
  48. ^ "Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are actually cousins". Metro UK. 30 October 2017. Retrieved 20 November 2017. Despite growing up on different sides of the Atlantic, a study has found they are distantly related thanks to a 15th century ancestor of the Queen Mother Ralph was a High Sheriff of County Durham whose family seat was Streatlam Castle... 
  49. ^ "Prince William Ancestry". 2017. Retrieved 20 November 2017. 15th Generation — 12th Great-grandmother of Prince William - Elizabeth Bowes (nee Aske) - wife of Richard Bowes 
  50. ^ Magna Carta Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families, 2nd Edition. Douglas Richardson. 2011. p. 447. ISBN 9781461045205. Retrieved 20 November 2017. Richard Bowes, Esq. (who was son of Sir Ralph Bowes of Streatlam Castle who was high sheriff of Durham) married Elizabeth Aske after 8 July, 1571...they had five sons (including) George (Knighted)....and seven daughters (including) Bridget, wife of Thomas Hussey, Esq. 
  51. ^ Furness, Hannah (19 November 2017). "King Henry VIII ordered for Meghan Markle's ancestor to be beheaded". Daily Telegraph. UK. Retrieved 19 November 2017. Her (Markle's) mother’s forebears were traced to a slave forced to work on the Georgia plantations before being emancipated with the abolition of slavery in 1865....Markle's great-great-great maternal grandfather was a slave 

External links

  • Meghan Markle on IMDb
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