- Meghan Markle rose to fame while playing Rachel Zane on USA's prime-time legal drama "Suits."
- She married Prince Harry in 2018 and resigned her royal titles in early 2020.
- Before her turn on "Suits," the star appeared on "General Hospital" and "Deal or No Deal."
Her first name is actually Rachel.
After working in the entertainment industry for several years, Markle landed the role of Rachel Zane on USA's "Suits," a character she said was a lot like her.
"... Rachel and I, very similar: ambitious, driven, and always trying to take the bull by its horns," Markle told Marie Claire in 2013.
Markle is a self-professed foodie.
Prince Harry famously proposed to Markle while they spent a cozy night in Nottingham Cottage preparing a roast chicken, one of Markle's go-to meals.
"There is nothing as delicious (or as impressive) as a perfectly roasted chicken. It's a game-changer," she told Good Housekeeping in 2017. "I bring that to dinner parties and make a lot of friends."
Her culinary skills and love of gastronomy was also a trait of her "Suits" character.
"I love food. Unapologetically so," she wrote for Today in 2012. "... Just like my character, Rachel Zane, I'm a foodie, so if I'm going to eat it, it has to be good."
She used to run a lifestyle blog.
Before marrying a member of the royal family, Markle ran a lifestyle blog, The Tig, named after Tignanello wine.
"I had a sip of it six years ago, and it was my first aha moment," she told Allure in 2014. "You spend years going, 'Oh, I'll just have red or white. I don't really know what the difference is.' But then one day you take a sip of something and you're like, I get it."
"So The Tig became this personal idea of getting it — fashion, travel, beauty, all of it," she added.
She said that tea-tree oil is one of her travel must-haves.
While on "Suits," Markle had to frequently fly between her native California and Toronto, where the show was filmed.
Markle told Allure in 2014 that tea-tree oil was the go-to travel hack she packed with her "all the time."
"The one thing that I cannot live without when I'm traveling is a small container of tea-tree oil," she said. "It's not the most glamorous thing, but if you get a cut, a mosquito bite, a small breakout, no matter what it is, it's my little cure-all."
She double majored at Northwestern University.
The self-avowed "theater nerd" said she found herself torn between politics and a life in the arts, so she decided to study both in college.
"I knew I wanted to do acting, but I hated the idea of being this cliché — a girl from LA who decides to be an actress," she said during her 2013 Marie Claire interview.
"I wanted more than that, and I had always loved politics, so I ended up changing my major completely, and double majoring in theater and international relations," she added.
She got involved in advocacy work at age 11.
During the UN Women's "20th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference of Women in Beijing" event in 2015, Markle spoke about "unknowingly and somehow accidentally" becoming a "female advocate" at 11 years old after seeing a Procter and Gamble commercial that suggested women were responsible for doing the dishes.
"... two boys from my class said, 'Yeah, that's where women belong, in the kitchen,'" she said. "I remember feeling shocked and angry and also just feeling so hurt — it just wasn't right and something needed to be done."
"So I went home and I told my dad what had happened, and he encouraged me to write letters, so I did," she continued.
Markle wrote to First Lady at the time Hillary Clinton, TV journalist Linda Ellerbee, attorney Gloria Allred, and Procter and Gamble. She received "letters of encouragement" from all the women, and the company amended the advertising language.
She once interned for the US Embassy in Argentina.
Markle once envisioned a career in politics and got her feet wet with a stint at the US Embassy in Argentina.
"By my junior year I had finished most of my credits, and I applied for an internship at the U.S. Embassy, so I ended up working in the embassy in Buenos Aires for a few months," she said in her 2013 Marie Claire interview.
"So I'm 20 years old, in Buenos Aires, in a motorcade, doing that whole thing," she added. "I thought for sure I would still have a career in politics."
She is a skilled calligrapher.
Markle is known to send out thank-you notes featuring her impeccable penmanship, which she said she learned in a handwriting class at an all-girls Catholic school.
She told Esquire in 2013 that she used her calligraphy skills as a "pseudo-waitressing job" while auditioning by creating invitations for events, like Robin Thicke and Paula Patton's wedding.
"I would sit there with a little white tube sock on my hand so no hand oils got on the card, trying to pay my bills while auditioning," she said. "I'm glad that in the land of no one seeming to appreciate a handwritten note anymore that I can try to keep that alive."
She was a briefcase model on NBC's "Deal or No Deal."
Before her big break on "Suits," Markle worked as a briefcase model on the game show "Deal or No Deal" between 2006 and 2007.
"I would put that in the category of things I was doing while I was auditioning to try to make ends meet," she said about the gig in her 2013 Esquire interview.
"I went from working in the US Embassy in Argentina to ending up on 'Deal.' It's run the gamut," she added. "Definitely working on 'Deal or No Deal' was a learning experience, and it helped me to understand what I would rather be doing."
She helped design a dress collection in 2016.
When Markle became the Duchess of Sussex, her sartorial selections created a frenzy across the globe, with several of her clothing choices selling out almost immediately or prompting extensive waitlists.
She had professionally dabbled in fashion before this, collaborating with Canadian retailer Reitmans on a 2016 dress collection.
"I conceived the dress capsule as four distinct pieces that you could have in your closet, or throw in your suitcase and be confident and covered for any event this spring," Markle wrote for The Tig, according to Meghan's Mirror, a website that chronicles the star's style.
Growing up, Markle was often on the set of Fox's "Married… With Children” with her dad.
Markle has spoken about her early connection to show business and her strained relationship with her father, Thomas Markle.
But in her 2013 Esquire interview, she also opened up about how her Emmy-nominated father shielded her from age-inappropriate content as the lighting and photography director on the "Married… With Children" set.
"Every day after school for 10 years, I was on the set of 'Married... With Children,' which is a really funny and perverse place for a little girl in a Catholic-school uniform to grow up," she said.
"There were a lot of times my dad would say, 'Meg, why don't you go and help with the craft services room over there? This is just a little off-color for your 11-year-old eyes,'" she added.
She wore her own jewelry on "Suits."
Markle felt a special kinship to her "Suits" character in terms of food, fashion, and even jewelry — the former actress said that she wore her own pieces to play the young attorney.
"All the jewelry that I wear on the show is my own personal jewelry and family heirlooms, like my grandma's charm bracelet and my signet ring," she told Marie Claire in 2013.
She is reportedly a pro at binding books.
During a royal tour of Africa in 2019, Markle reportedly shared that bookbinding is a hobby of hers.
The "Suits" star visited Victoria Yards, a platform for local craftspeople, and Cosmopolitan reported that Simon Sizwe Mayson, co-director of Maker's Valley, shared the tidbit after Markle left.
"She bought these three little notebooks and also mentioned that she used to do workshops in bookbinding herself," Mayson said. "She used to coach bookbinding."
According to Cosmopolitan UK, a royal aide later confirmed that Markle took bookbinding classes but didn't provide additional info.
Ellen DeGeneres convinced Markle to adopt her first dog.
In a 2016 interview with Best Health magazine, Markle shared that she ran into DeGeneres at an LA shelter and adopted Bogart, a Labrador-Shepherd mix and star's first dog ever, after "Ellen told me to."
"Now, I don't know her, but Ellen goes 'Is that your dog?'" Markle said. "And I said, 'No,' and she's like, 'You have to take that dog.' And I said, 'Well, I'm deciding.' And she's like, 'Rescue the dog!' It's sort of like if Oprah tells you to do something."
Markle also has a Beagle named Guy.
She started practicing yoga at 7 years old.
"Yoga is my thing," Markle told Best Health in 2016. "My mom is a yoga instructor, and I started doing mommy-and-me yoga with her when I was 7."
"I was very resistant as a kid, but she said, 'Flower, you will find your practice – just give it time,'" she added. "In college, I started doing it more regularly."
She reportedly is fluent in Spanish.
During a visit to LA social-justice organization Homeboy Industries in 2020, Meghan slipped into a Spanish conversation and surprised much of the room.
"She spoke Spanish perfectly with one young woman," Father Greg Boyle, the group's founder, told People. "She just went right into Spanish, which was a revelation — and it was very good."
Her first credited role was on ABC's "General Hospital."
Although Markle's acting career took off with her breakthrough role on "Suits," she made her small-screen debut as Nurse Jill on "General Hospital" in 2002.
To bring it all full circle, Markle's parents met on the set of the soap opera, where her dad worked as a lighting director and her mom subbed temporarily as an assistant makeup artist.
Markle shared fond memories of being on set as a youngster in a post on her now-defunct blog, according to the Toronto Sun.
"And there I was, behind the scenes of a glossy soap opera and a TV sitcom, surrounded by famous actors and their glam teams, multi-million-dollar budgets, and crew lunches that always included filet mignon and enough sweets to make you think you were at Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory," she wrote.
Early in their relationship, she and Prince Harry pretended to be strangers on a date.
Before they were a famous couple, Prince Harry and Markle tried to keep their relationship out of the public eye. The Duke of Sussex spoke about the lengths they went to do so on a 2021 episode of Dax Shepard's "Armchair Expert" podcast.
"The beauty of it is that the first time that Meghan and I met up for her to come and stay with me, we met up in a supermarket in London — pretending that we didn't know each other — so, texting from the other side of the aisle," Prince Harry said.
"I was there texting her saying, 'Is this the right one?' She goes, 'No, you want parchment paper.' I'm like, 'OK, [whispers] where's the parchment paper?'" he added.
Markle and Prince Harry have since been married for four years and have two kids together.