- Meghan Markle, who turns 41 on August 4, was an actress before she married into royalty.
- She held a number of odd jobs before getting her big break on the TV show "Suits."
- Kate Middleton earned a degree in art history from St. Andrews, where she met Prince William.
Kate Middleton graduated from the University of St. Andrews in 2005 with a degree in art history.
Prince William studied geography and graduated at the same ceremony. The pair met during their first year at the university and started dating in 2002.
She's part of that history now with her own portrait at the National Portrait Gallery.
The director of the National Portrait Gallery showed Middleton her portrait at the National Portrait Gallery.
She drove herself to her 25th birthday party.
Middleton was photographed pulling out of her driveway in 2007.
Now she's chauffeured everywhere she goes.
Middleton gets driven to royal engagements.
As a commoner, she carried her own bags.
Middleton was photographed walking home in London in 2007.
Her assistant and stylist handle that now.
In 2016, her then assistant, private secretary Sophie Agnew, and stylist, Natasha Archer, were pictured carrying luggage for her.
She used to attend red carpet parties as a guest.
She attended the WTA Tour Players Party in 2006.
Now, she's the guest of honor at charity galas.
Middleton spoke at the annual Place2Be School Leaders Forum in 2017.
Middleton used to wear cowboy hats.
She chose a brown cowboy hat with braid detail to wear to the Gatcombe Park Festival of British Eventing in 2005.
They've since been replaced with fascinators.
She's undergone a hat style evolution.
She still wears a slightly more regal version of the same look.
At a wine tasting during a visit to New Zealand in 2014, she wore a blue checkered shirt with a crisp navy blazer.
She was a fan of wearing bold animal prints when going out and about.
Back when she could attend events like a circus show at the O2 Arena in 2008, she could wear funkier clothes.
She can get away with more muted versions.
She wore a less shiny animal print dress to visit Resort Studios in Cliftonville in 2015.
Meghan Markle held a number of odd jobs before getting her big break on the TV show "Suits."
She was a briefcase model on "Deal or No Deal," a freelance calligrapher, a restaurant hostess, and more.
After becoming a royal, butlers and staff did jobs for her, and the fact that she closed her own car door made headlines.
Markle was spotted several times closing her own car door instead of having a member of her staff do it for her. It's not a breach of royal protocol — Middleton has also shut her own car door on occasion — but the move was widely scrutinized nonetheless.
She used to go shopping for knick knacks.
Markle attended the Some Kind-a Gorgeous Style and Beauty Lounge at the Chateau Marmont in 2010.
Now her face is on them.
Merchandise and souvenirs featuring images of the happy couple were sold before the royal wedding.
As a commoner, Markle wore casual baseball caps.
She sported a ZegnaSi baseball cap while out and about in Los Angeles in 2005.
For royal events, fascinators are a must.
She wore a green fascinator to a Commonwealth Day Service in London in 2020.
Before royal life, she could sip a cocktail without thinking twice.
Markle attended the DirecTV Beach Bowl 2014 at the Gansevoort Hotel in New York City in 2014, and sampled a pink cocktail.
But her royal life involved lots of formal toasts with dignitaries.
No pink cocktails to be found at a reception at the residence of the British Ambassador to Ireland during her visit to Ireland.
Markle gave enthusiastic hugs as a commoner.
Meghan Markle participated in the DirecTV Beach Bowl at Pier 40 in New York City in 2014 and hugged her teammates.
Hugging a royal wasn't considered appropriate according to royal protocol, so she opted for handshakes.
She shook hands on a walkabout at Cardiff Castle in Wales.
Markle used to be able to cross her legs like anyone else.
Markle attended a fashion show with her "Suits" costars in 2012.
As the Duchess of Sussex, she was expected to sit with a "duchess slant."
Coined by Beaumont Etiquette, the term "duchess slant" refers to the way Kate Middleton sits, keeping her ankles and knees together while slanting her legs to either side. It's a move Markle has adopted, as well.
She once gave out autographs as an actress.
She signed her name on a board at a charity event in 2013.
As a duchess, autographs are against royal protocol — but she was known to bend the rules on royal engagements.
Royals aren't allowed to sign autographs for security reasons to prevent their signatures from being forged. That didn't stop Markle from signing 10-year-old Caitlin Clarke's autograph book with a heart and smiley face.
Markle used to be able to wear whatever shade of nail polish happened to match her outfit.
At an InStyle party in Toronto, she wore grey nail polish to match her dress.
The Queen reportedly only allows neutral nail colors.
Royals are expected to adhere to an unspoken rule of wearing only neutral nail colors.
Markle was an actress starring on "Suits."
She played the character Rachel Zane.
But being the Duchess of Sussex became a full-time job until she and Prince Harry gave up their royal roles.
The couple now lives in Montecito, California, and are working on a slew of projects through their non-profit, Archewell.