For some, Meghan Markle might just be a former royal who left the British monarch to form a new life “back home” in the US. While the Duchess of Cambridge and Harry had a couple of successful years working within The Firm, the California native had a pretty lucrative career as an actress before she took on the Duchess title and all that came with it.
Meghan became a star through her role as Rachel in the hit series Suits. She pretty much grew up in show business, and while her celebrity status went up, she also had some side gigs, including a blog and charity work.
But Meghan Markle had been on her way to follow a different path before she met Harry. In fact, she and her friend were set to embark on their dream – opening a very special store.
Meghan Markle was born in Los Angeles, California, on August 4, 1981.
At a young age, she was welcomed into the world of show business thanks to her father, Thomas Markle, an Emmy award-winning lighting director. On many occasions, Meghan was able to join her father on set.
Meghan Markle – early life
She attended the all-girls Immaculate Heart High School in Los Angeles, which greatly contrasted being on 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,” Meghan recalled.
“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.'”
As a child, Meghan showed a strong will to make the world a better place. But, by age 11, she saw a commercial for a dishwashing soap only aimed at women, which upset her.
“I don’t think it’s right for kids to grow up thinking these things, that just Mom does everything,” she said.
Her father supported his daughter’s will to change things and aided her in writing to high-profile people, including Hillary Clinton, hoping they could help. A few days later, the soap company changed its slogan from “Women All Over America” to “People All Over America.”
Since Meghan Markle was very interested in show business, she studied communication at Northwestern University. She says she always wanted to act but “hated the idea of being this cliché girl from LA who decides to be an actress.”
Later, she moved to Illinois to double-major in theater and international relations at the prestigious Evanston school.
Work on ‘Deal or No Deal’
Following her internship at the US Embassy in Argentina, Markle thought she might head into a political career. However, the theater was always her biggest dream, even if her first job in show business wasn’t all that great.
Markle auditioned for shows simultaneously as she studied, but her first role was as a briefcase girl on the game show Deal or No Deal.
“I was the ill-fated number 26, which for some reason no one would ever choose,” Meghan Markle told Esquire. “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.”
Soon after, she started appearing in productions, landing more minor roles in films such as Get Him to the Greek and Remember Me, as well as the television series General Hospital. However, everything changed in 2011 when she landed the part of paralegal Rachel Zane on USA’s monster hit Suits.
“I’ve done so many pilots that have never saw the light of day, and we didn’t know what Suits was going to become at the time. So it’s been such a good transition! The first year, we were in such a bubble – the show wasn’t airing in Canada, and now, there’s security and police and fans and tears when we’re filming so it’s been such a wild ride for all of us! They’ve asked us for seven seasons, so we’re going to be there for at least a couple more years. Toronto has been really good to us,” Meghan told Glamour in 2017.
Meghan played the part of Rachel Zane on Suits until 2018. That was the year her life would again change forever when she married Prince Harry.
Meghan Markle was written off ‘Suits’ because of marriage to Harry
At the time, it was thought that it would forever change Meghan Markle’s life as she was embarking on a journey that included full-time work as a senior royal family member.
Therefore, Suits creator Arron Koorsh decided to write Meghan off the show as a precaution before she decided to move to the UK with Harry.
“What we decided to do [was to] say, ‘Look, I would rather have good things happen to Meghan in her life,’ which would likely mean her leaving the show. So let’s plan on that and it’s much easier to undo that, if it came to it, than to just plan on her staying forever and then finding out she’s going to go. And the only way to write a character out like that would be if they got hit by a bus or something,” Korsh explained.
Besides her stint as a royal family member, Meghan Markle has been working in the entertainment industry for most of her life – and she has recently spoken about how even she has noticed the way media and technology have changed the industry.
Speaking to Variety, just weeks after Queen Elizabeth II’s passing, Meghan Markle described how the industry has shifted “quite a bit” since she left it. At first, she never saw herself ever returning to show business, but it’s safe to say new media has changed this perspective.
“But the entire culture has changed; streamers have changed things. The ability to create zeitgeist moments like we had in the ’90s — where everyone would tune in at the same time for a show or gather for one moment — that doesn’t happen anymore. When I was doing Suits, that character, Rachel Zane, was in your living room with you while you were in your pajamas eating Chinese takeout. That’s how connected the experience felt then,” she said.
Meghan Markle’s blog
“But to create a cultural moment or conversation requires something different today. Podcasting has been really interesting in that way. It might be one of the only remaining forums where people are alone to listen. Where else do you have that opportunity?” Meghan continued, adding that she would never return to acting.
Meghan Markle became a famous celebrity through Suits, and acting was her main occupation through many milestones in her life. However, in the past the now-mother-of-two has had several other projects running simultaneously. Her dream job almost happened, but it was very, very far from any film studio or stage.
Meghan Markle ran her lifestyle blog, The Tig, for three years before she shut it down in 2017. It was an intimate blog where the now-Duchess wrote about all different subjects and revealed things about her that probably would never have been disclosed. For example, she does not enjoy fictional romance novels and absolutely loves hot sauce. Moreover, in a post in 2014, Meghan Markle gave readers a look into her private life as the actress wrote that her 20s had been a “brutal” nightmare regarding her self-doubt.
“A constant battle with myself, judging my weight, my style, my desire to be as cool/as hip/as smart/as ‘whatever’ as everyone else,” Meghan wrote.
“My teens were even worse – grappling with how to fit in, and what that even meant. My high school had cliques: the Black girls and white girls, the Filipino and the Latina girls. Being biracial, I fell somewhere in between.”
Meghan Markle dreamt of opening up a candy shop
The Duchess added, “I must have been about 24 when a casting director looked at me during an audition and said, ‘You need to know that you’re enough. Less makeup, more Meghan. You need to know that you’re enough.’ A mantra that has now engrained itself so deeply within me that not a day goes by without hearing it chime in my head.”
In 2012, before she even began writing at The Tig, Meghan Marle had another idea. According to legal documents obtained by TMZ, Meghan attempted to file a trademark registration for a company idea called Lali, which would sell lollipops and drops. The possible candy shop sadly didn’t happen as they scrapped the idea two years later.
The Duchess is known for her considerable interest in food, and even though her candy-making dreams came crashing down, maybe something will change in the future.
Speaking with Good Housekeeping, Meghan opened up about her love of food and hosting dinner parties.
She claimed the roasted chicken she and Harry cooked when he proposed to her was a “game changer.”
She said: “There is honestly nothing as delicious or as impressive, in my opinion, as a perfectly roasted chicken. It’s a game-changer. I bring that to dinner parties and make a lot of friends.” Meghan said, adding that her fridge is constantly stacked with hummus and carrots.
“I love them and so does my dog, Bogart, strangely – a green juice, almond milk, for sure, and a chia seed pudding I make every single week. So easy, so good. I really love to cook.”
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