Meghan Markle’s marriage to Prince Harry transformed her life. She went from being an actress on Suits to being Her Royal Highness, Duchess of Sussex. Since her royal wedding, Meghan’s life has taken some interesting twists and turns, including the birth of her son Archie. She and Harry have even stepped down from their royal duties and moved into Tyler Perry’s mansion in Beverly Hills!
Becoming a princess made Meghan a worldwide household name. Nonetheless, she led a very interesting life before she ever took a crown or title. And the story of what Meghan Markle was like before becoming royalty will give you a new respect for her transformation into a princess.
Meghan’s college days
During her time at Northwestern University, Meghan majored in both theater and international relations. While that kept her pretty busy, she still found time to join the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority.
The sorority was delighted that she married Prince Henry. They even wrote on their Facebook page in 2017, “We hope Meghan remembers her something blue (and blue) on her special day,” referring to the sorority’s official colors: light blue and dark blue.
As for Meghan, we can’t help but feel like her time at a popular sorority made for good practice for both life as a celebrity and life as a princess!
Meghan nearly went into politics
We’ve seen Meghan the actress. And we’ve seen Meghan the princess. But would you believe we nearly saw Meghan the politician?
She told Marie Claire in 2013 that she had reservations about being another “girl from L.A. who decides to be an actress.” She continued, “I wanted more than that, and I had always loved politics… 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.”
What kept Meghan from a political career? Her talent manager at the time watched one of her student films and convinced her she had potential as a professional actress. She stuck it out and soon begin landing many different roles.
Meghan had a stint on ‘Deal or No Deal’
As an actress, Meghan Markle is most famous for her role on Suits. However, she had plenty of other roles before that, and most of them were far less glamorous.
These roles ranged from minor to notorious to downright bizarre. When she wasn’t in the background of General Hospital or random episodes of CSI: NY and 90210, she was a suitcase girl on the game show Deal or No Deal.
She told Esquire in 2013 that the latter was a deeply unpleasant experience. “”I would end up standing up there forever in these terribly uncomfortable and inexpensive five-inch heels just waiting for someone to pick my number so I could go and sit down.”
Fortunately, she’s come a long way: from suitcase girl to princess!
Meghan’s first marriage was a disaster
By all accounts, Meghan is happier than ever with her marriage to Prince Harry. And he truly loves her, despite those initial warnings. However, before this, Meghan wasn’t exactly lucky in love.
Back in 2004, she began dating Trevor Engelson. He was an actor and producer, and it seemed like they were a natural fit. The two married in 2011, but the marriage didn’t even last two years.
While their split and divorce sound messy, the worst thing is that Meghan may be forced to relive it. Back in 2017, Fox greenlit a TV production with Engelson that would allegedly recreate the story of a man whose ex became a princess.
That sounds mortifying, but Meghan can possibly rest easy. After all these years, the project may simply be dead in the water.
Meghan had trouble in Hollywood because she is biracial
During her acting days, Meghan had a very complex relationship with race. She is the daughter of a white father and a black mother. And as she wrote for ELLE in 2015, this made her “ethnically ambiguous” in the eyes of Hollywood.
She could be “Latina when I was dressed in red” to “African American when in mustard yellow.” Rather than open more doors for her, though, this actually limited her opportunities. “I wasn’t black enough for the black roles and I wasn’t white enough for the white ones, leaving me somewhere in the middle as the ethnic chameleon who couldn’t book a job.”
As she became more famous, Markle noticed that magazines would digitally cover her freckles in an attempt to eliminate racial confusion. However, this was also eliminating a major part of who she is simply to accomodate other people.
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Meghan “Suits” up
In 2011, Meghan began playing Rachel Zane on USA’s Suits. And this ended up being her major breakout role after years of struggling to be noticed.
And she knows exactly how lucky this gig was. In 2013, she told Esquire that “for our show, we’ve been really lucky that not only have we had a strong following from the beginning, but USA is the number-one (cable) network, and we’re one of their number-one shows.”
She starred in seven seasons of the show before it wrapped up. The timing was perfect: after the show made her a household name, she married Prince Harry and became genuine royalty!
Meghan ran a lifestyle website
What would have happened if Meghan Markle never married Prince Harry? It’s possible she would have simply moved on to other acting projects. But for a hot minute, it looked like she was becoming an actress-turned-lifestyle guru (à la Gwyneth Paltrow).
Back in 2014, Markle launched a lifestyle website called The Tig. The site offered a little of everything, including posts about style, books, travel, fashion, and more. She also leveraged her connections to other famous people to interview big names like Serena Williams.
She segued her popular site into social media sponsorships and international fame. But before she could make this her full-time gig, she became engaged to Prince Harry. She shut everything down after that, but longtime fans are wondering if The Tig could come back in a post “Megxit” world.
Meghan dreamed of being a movie star
Before she met Harry, what was Meghan’s main goal? Like many TV actresses, she wanted to make a name for herself on the big screen.
She landed a handful of movie roles, including films like Get Him to the Greek, Remember Me, and Horrible Bosses. But her roles were generally lightweight and minor. She later told Marie Claire in 2013 that she wanted to be in “a really gritty, interesting, indie-type film, (and) commercial, bigger stuff.”
Marriage to Harry put those film dreams on hold. But now that she is free of royal duties and back in L.A., it’s entirely possible those dreams will come true someday.