Rachel Meghan Markle (born August 4, 1981) is an American actress and humanitarian who is set to become a member of the British royal family upon marriage to Prince Harry in May 2018.
Markle was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. From 2011 to 2017, she portrayed Rachel Zane on the legal drama series Suits for seven seasons. Markle's film credits include Remember Me and Horrible Bosses. In 2017, she became engaged to Prince Harry, and announced her retirement from acting and her intention to pursue humanitarian work.
Rachel Meghan Markle was born on August 4, 1981, in Los Angeles, California. Her mother, Doria Loyce Ragland, a social worker and yoga instructor, lives in View Park–Windsor Hills, California. Her father, Thomas Markle Sr., who lives in Mexico, is an Emmy Award-winning lighting director whose profession resulted in his young daughter often visiting the set of Married... with Children. Her parents divorced when Markle was six years old. She has two older paternal half-siblings, Thomas Markle Jr. and Samantha Grant.
Describing her ancestry, Markle said: "My dad is Caucasian and my mom is African American. I'm half black and half white. ... 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." Her mother is descended from Africans enslaved in Georgia, and her father from Dutch, English, and Irish settlers. Among her father's ancestors are Captain Christopher Hussey, Sir Philip Wentworth and his wife, Mary Clifford, a descendant of King Edward III of England.
Markle grew up in Hollywood. From age five, she was educated at private schools, beginning at Hollywood Little Red Schoolhouse. Although Markle attended Immaculate Heart High School, an all-girl Catholic private school in Los Angeles, she identifies as Protestant. 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 graduated in 2003 from Northwestern University, where she earned a bachelor's degree with a double major in theater and international studies. Speaking to Vogue in 2013, Markle told the magazine how at the age of 20, and reportedly short of credits to complete her junior year, she successfully applied for an internship at the US embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Markle began a relationship with actor and producer Trevor Engelson in 2004. They married in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, on September 10, 2011, and divorced in August 2013.
Since June 2016, she has been in a relationship with Prince Harry, who is fifth in line to the British throne. Prince Harry and Markle met on a blind date that a mutual friend set up. The press began to report the relationship in October 2016. On November 8, 2016, the British royal family's communications secretary released an official statement that addressed the "wave of abuse and harassment" directed toward Markle. The statement spoke to the sexism, racism and defamatory stories directed at Markle, including an unspecified "smear on the front page of a national newspaper". It urged the press to "pause and reflect" before driving these storylines.
During a September 2017 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." Later that month, they made their first public appearances together at an official royal engagement at the Invictus Games in Toronto.
Markle lived in a rented house at 10 Yarmouth Road in the Seaton Village neighbourhood of Toronto during her time working on Suits, which filmed in that city. She moved out in late November 2017 after work on the seventh season had been completed.
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".
Full Name at Birth
Rachel Meghan Markle
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex
Duchess of Sussex
Rachel Meghan Markle
Meghan Duchess of Sussex
Date of Birth
Actress, Socialite, Royalty
Claim to Fame
Rachel Zane in Suits, Marriage to Prince Harry
7.5 (US), 39.5 (EU), 6 (UK), 245 (J)
Dog named Bogart