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Posted: September 19, 2017

Royal wedding: Who is Meghan Markle?

Getting to Know Meghan Markle

By Kelcie Willis, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Here are five things to know about the actress, philanthropist, blogger and soon-to-be wife of Prince Harry:

She’s had smaller parts before her role on “Suits”

Markle is best known for her role as Rachel Zane in the USA series “Suits,” but she’s had smaller parts in movies and TV shows like “Horrible Bosses,” “Fringe,” “CSI” and “CSI: Miami.” 

She is a biracial woman

“My dad is Caucasian and my mom is African American. I'm half black and half white,” she wrote in a 2015 essay for Elle. She touched on the subject again in her 2017 profile in Vanity Fair, saying that her appearance led to conflict in seventh grade when she had to check one box for a mandatory census.

>> Read more trending news 

Markle, who has fair skin, loose curls and freckles, was told by a teacher to check the box for Caucasian based on her appearance.

“I didn't tick a box. I left my identity blank – a question mark, an absolute incomplete – much like how I felt,” she wrote.

Her background led to an onslaught of racist comments that were condemned in a statement from boyfriend Prince Harry in November 2016.

She’s a humanitarian

Over the years, the actress has held a number of roles for multiple organizations. She was a mentor to Crystal Valentine, one of the winners of Glamour’s 2016 College Women of the Year. That event recognized students for campus leadership, community involvement scholastic achievement and unique goals. That same year, she became a global ambassador for World Vision Canada, which included traveling to Rwanda for a clean water campaign.

She is also an advocate with United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women.

She’s a college grad and worked at a U.S. Embassy

A 2003 graduate of Northwestern University, Markle majored in international relations and theater. She was the first in her family to graduate from college. During her senior year, Markle worked at the U.S. Embassy in Argentina.

Before her big acting break, she’s had multiple jobs

Markle reportedly has beautiful handwriting that led to a lucrative freelance career as a calligrapher. In a 2013 interview with Esquire, she said she’s done work for Robin Thicke and Paula Patton’s wedding invite and for Dolce & Gabbana. 

She ran a lifestyle blog

Until April 2017, Markle ran TheTig.com, a lifestyle blog she began in 2014 that focused on food and travel and touched on politics.

“What began as a passion project (my little engine that could) evolved into an amazing community of inspiration, support, fun and frivolity. You've made my days brighter and filled this experience with so much joy,” she said in a message to readers.

She is a divorcee

Markle married producer Trevor Engelson in 2011 in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. They had been dating since 2004 and were engaged in 2010. Us Weekly reported that the couple quietly separated in August 2013. According to The Sun, they divorced later that year, citing “irreconcilable differences.”


Related

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle: A relationship timeline

Prince Harry dated actress Meghan Markle for more than two years before they announced an engagement in November 2017.

>> Read more trending news

Here is a timeline of the couple’s relationship:

July 2016

Markle would later reveal in an October 2017 interview Vanity Fair that she and Harry met in London in July 2016.

Nov. 8, 2016

Kensington Palace confirms Harry is dating Markle by issuing a statement calling for an end to sexist and racist harassment of Markle on social media. Markle is referred to as Harry’s girlfriend in the Nov. 8 statement from his communications secretary.

“His girlfriend, Meghan Markle, has been subject to a wave of abuse and harassment. Some of this has been very public—the smear on the front page of a national newspaper; the racial undertones of comment pieces; and the outright sexism and racism of social media trolls and web article comments,” part of the statement said. 

The statement went on to say Harry is worried about Markle’s safety and is “deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her.”

Nov. 26, 2016

Prince Harry’s brother, Prince William, issues a statement of his own supporting Harry and Markle.

“The Duke of Cambridge absolutely understands the situation concerning privacy and supports the need for Prince Harry to support those closest to him,” William said in a statement to The Daily Telegraph.

Dec. 14, 2016

The first photos emerge of Harry and Markle as a couple, according to a claim from British tabloid The Sun. Wearing winter coats and beanies, the couple was reportedly going to the Gielud Theatre in London. The day before, the tabloid said the two picked out a Christmas tree together. 

Jan. 15, 2017

The Sun reports that Markle has met Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton and Princess Charlotte.

“It went really well and Meghan was very excited about meeting her,” an unnamed friend told the paper.

Feb. 2, 2017

The Sun once again publishes photos of the couple together, this time after a dinner date at Soho House in London. An unnamed person who saw the two told the tabloid the couple “tried to keep as low-key as possible.”

Related: How did Prince Harry and Meghan Markle meet?

March 3, 2017

Harry and Markle were photographed in Montego Bay, Jamaica, for the wedding of one of Harry’s college friends, Tom “Skippy” Inskip.  The Telegraph reported that the two were affectionate during the three-day wedding event.

May 20, 2017

Markle accompanies Harry to Pippa Middleton’s wedding reception, according to UsWeekly. Earlier that month, on May 7, People reports that the two were photographed kissing in the Coworth Park Polo Club parking lot in Ascot, England. Markle had been cheering Harry on during a charity polo match with William.

August 2017

Markle and Harry are photographed at a Botswana airport in Africa for Markle’s 36th birthday. E! News reported they stayed with close friends of Harry, who met Markle for the first time. 

Sept. 5, 2017

Markle speaks publicly for the first time about her relationship with Harry in an interview with Vanity Fair. She expressed the support she has from her boyfriend after the media attention since they began dating.

“(T)he only thing that changed was people’s perception,” she told the publication. “Nothing about me changed. I’m still the same person that I am, and I’ve never defined myself by my relationship.”

Related: Prince Harry engaged to Meghan Markle

“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 will understand is that this is our time. This is for us. It’s part of what makes it so special, that it’s just ours. But we’re happy. Personally, I love a great love story.”

Sept. 13, 2017

UsWeekly reported that Merkle has met Prince Harry’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, Sept. 3.

“It went well. It’ll no doubt be the first of many encounters,” an unnamed source told the magazine.

The report comes as engagement rumors continue. UsWeekly claims Harry has already created an engagement ring.

November 2017

Harry proposes to Markle earlier in the month. Weeks later, on Nov. 27, the royal engagement is announced. At a photo call the same day, Markle debuts her three-diamond engagement ring, which includes two diamonds from Diana, Princess of Wales’s personal collection. When asked if the proposal was romantic, Harry responded, “Of course it was.”

May 19, 2018

Nearly two years after they first met, Harry and Markle marry at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle in London. Before the ceremony, Queen Elizabeth conferred the titles of Duke and Duchess of Sussex on Prince Harry and Markle.

Oct. 15, 2018

Less than five months after their May wedding, Markle and Harry announce they are expecting their first child. Kensington Palace announced that the baby is due in Spring 2019.

People reported that a Kensington Palace statement also included a reaction from Markle’s mother, Doria Ragland.

“Ms. Ragland is very happy about this lovely news and she looks forward to welcoming her first grandchild,” the statement read.

Prince Harry engaged to Meghan Markle

British royal family officials on Monday announced the engagement of Prince Harry of Wales and American actress Meghan Markle more than a year after the pair started dating.

>> Prince Harry and Meghan Markle: A relationship timeline

>> PHOTOS: Prince Harry through the years

>> PHOTOS: Meghan Markle through the years

>> Click here or scroll down for more

  Photos: Prince Harry through the years
  Royal wedding: Will nuptials make Meghan Markle a princess?
  Prince Harry's engagement ring for Meghan Markle will honor Princess Diana, report says
  Prince William, Kate Middleton expect 3rd child in spring
  Meghan Markle supports Prince Harry at Invictus Games
  Prince Harry visits girlfriend Meghan Markle on set of ‘Suits’

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