Culture November 27, 2017
Prince Harry's fiancée is more than just that.
It’s official. We’re finally being blessed with a second royal engagement. Prince Harry has finally proposed to girlfriend Meghan Markle.
But Markle is known for more than just her relationship to Prince Harry. As an actress and activist, she’s a powerful woman who has never needed a man to be thrown into the spotlight.
So, who is Meghan Markle? Here is everything you need to know about Prince Harry’s bride-to-be.
Most people know Markle as the intelligent and determined paralegal Rachel Zane in the show “Suits.” The actress has a leading role in the show since its premiere in 2011 but is leaving after season seven.
Bonnie Hammer, chairman of NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment Group, told Vanity Fair that when it came to casting the role of Rachel Zane they needed someone “that was absolutely engaging, relatable, young enough, who is beautiful in a non-traditional way, and who had an authenticity.” They knew Markle was the perfect fit because she “has the ability to be smart and sharp but without losing her sweetness.”
She also appeared in “90210,” “Without a Trace,” “Fringe,” “The League,” “CSI: Miami,” “Get Him to the Greek” and “Horrible Bosses.”
A source told E! Online that Markle is actually leaving Suits to focus on her philanthropy.
Markle constantly has one foot in the acting world and another foot in the philanthropy world. Most importantly, she’s a United Nations global ambassador. Markle is also an advocate for the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women.
But her work doesn’t stop there. She also became an ambassador for World Vision’s Clean Water Campaign in 2016. As an ambassador, she traveled to various communities in Rwanda to help build a well so young girls didn’t have to walk all day to gather water. This made them less susceptible to trafficking.
She also served as a counselor for the international charity One Young World in 2014, where she spoke about gender equality and modern-day slavery.
In a personal essay to Elle UK, she wrote, “With fame comes opportunity, but it also includes responsibility—to advocate and share, to focus less on glass slippers and more on pushing through glass ceilings. And, if I’m lucky enough, to inspire.”
Markle is the daughter of a Caucasian father and an African American mother. As a biracial woman, Markle has faced a lot of adversity.
In another Elle essay, she wrote “to describe something as being black and white means it is clearly defined. Yet when your ethnicity is black and white, the dichotomy is not that clear. In fact, it creates a grey area. Being biracial paints a blurred line that is equal parts staggering and illuminating.”
Markle first noticed this gray area when she had to fill out a mandatory census in her seventh grade English class. When she was asked to check a box for her ethnicity, the choices were “white, black, Hispanic and Asian.”
She was only left in absolute confusion because she didn’t fit in just one box. Later that day, her father told her to draw in her own box. Since then, Markle has learned to love and embrace her identity.
“While my mixed heritage may have created a grey area surrounding my self-identification, keeping me with a foot on both sides of the fence, I have come to embrace that,” Markle wrote to Elle, “To say who I am, to share where I’m from, to voice my pride in being a strong, confident mixed-race woman.”
She used to run a website called The Tig that she described as a hub of positivity and affirmation.
“On the show, people see me in $5,000 Tom Ford skirts, but that’s not what I have in my closet at home. I never want to lose touch with reality,” Merkle explains. “I want Tig to be like a friend that’s always there for you; a great place that makes you feel good.”
The blog gave viewers a deeper look into Markle’s life and her passions.
Meghan Markle has been using her voice to create equality before she was even a teenager. At the age of 11, she sent Hillary Clinton, who was First Lady at the time, a letter explaining how she was upset over an advertisement for a soap manufacturer that suggested women belong in the kitchen. Due to her letter, the company changed the ad.
She also visited Delhi, India as a World Vision ambassador where she learned more about women’s hygiene, healthcare and education in the country. This pushed her to write an open letter on TIME about the stigma against menstruation. In this letter, she encouraged others to help women in impoverished regions gain access to education.
“When we empower girls hungry for education, we cultivate women who are emboldened to effect change within their communities and globally. If that is our dream for them, then the promise of it must begin with us,” Markle wrote.
As excited as we are to watch a new royal wedding, we’re excited to see where Markle ends up next. Because she’s definitely destined for greatness.
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