It’s a royal love story to be sure. However, the fairy tale story of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry sometimes seems more like a fairy tale with a twist. Perhaps, even a fairy tale in reverse. It involves a prince and a common everyday American girl turned princess. To be technical, they are Duke and Duchess, but that may be a minor detail in the story that didn’t end with living “happily ever after,” but rather with the two giving up their royal titles. Why would someone who lived a princess dream want to walk away from it all? This is the story of Prince Harry and his bride Meghan.
What’s Behind The Fairy Tale Wedding Of Harry And Meghan?
When Harry met Meghan, proposed and eventually married on May 19, 2018 at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, the two were embarking on the first day of the rest of their love story. This love story is very unique. It involves an American commoner who was united in marriage with a British royal. It sounds like something only Disney could come up with, but before the ceremony could take place, both Meghan and Harry had lived separate lives of their own that lead them to this very moment. What was behind the royal wedding? How did these two unlikely partners meet, fall in love, and become part of the royal fabric of society?
An Heir To Spare
When Harry was born, the press made the comment that as the second son to Prince Charles and Lady Di, they now had an heir and an “heir to spare.” Officially, his title was the heir apparent to the British throne. Prince Harry was born on September 15, 1984 at St. Mary’s Hospital, London, England. His full name is Henry Charles Albert David Mountbatten-Windsor. His mother, Lady Diana Spencer, was taken to the Lindo Wing of the hospital in Paddington and gave birth at 4:20 p.m. He was christened on December 21, 1984 at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Robert Runcie.
Meghan Markle’s Birth
As the world watched the Royal family welcome their second son, Harry, across the pond in America, a three-year-old American girl watched the coverage with her mother. Meghan had been born almost exactly three years earlier on August 4, 1981. She was born to mother Doria Ragland and father Thomas Markle in Los Angeles, California, USA. Her given name at birth was Rachel Meghan Markle. Her mother was of African American descent, and her father was an American of German, French, and Irish descent. He was a television director of photography and lighting, while Meghan’s mother was a makeup artist at a TV studio where the two met.
Dad Thomas Markle
Meghan’s dad was working as a lighting director and director of photography when Doria caught his eye. They were married in 1979 and had Meghan a couple years later. He received a Chicago Midwest Emmy Award for his work on the show Made in Chicago. He was also a co-recipient of two Daytime Emmy Awards for his work on the TV soap opera General Hospital. He and Doria, Meghan’s mother, were married until they divorced in 1987. A few years later, in 1990, he won $750,000 in the California State Lottery but ended up filing bankruptcy with more than $30,000 debt in 2016.
A Somewhat Typical American Upbringing
Meghan grew up in a fairly typical American home that was far from royal with the exception that she was launched into the spotlight with more ease than most. Her parents divorced by the time she was 6 years old. She grew up in Los Angeles with parents connected to Hollywood. Though, she admittedly had trouble getting roles since she was biracial. She has been heard saying, “I wasn’t black enough for the black roles and I wasn’t white enough for the white ones.” She attended Hollywood Little Red Schoolhouse. Meghan has half-siblings who are much older than she is, Samantha Markle, and Thomas Markle, Jr.
Prince Harry’s Somewhat Proper Royal Upbringing
Meanwhile, across the pond in England, Harry was being raised in proper royal fashion. That is, as proper as his mother Princess Diana would allow. Princess Diana deeply wanted her children to be part of the commoners as much as the Royal family would allow. She was a very hands-on mum who put her family above royal duties. She sent both boys to school instead of opting to have them educated at the palace. The boys became the first heirs to the throne to attend public school. Outside of school, she allowed the boys to wear baseball caps and jeans, took the boys to get McDonald’s hamburgers, stood in line at Disney along with everyone else, and rode the tube and the bus.
Meghan Markle’s High School Years
Meghan Markle grew up in Los Angeles in the shadow of Hollywood. She attended Hollywood Little Red Schoolhouse as a child and later attended and graduated from a private parochial school, Immaculate Heart High School. The high school is an all-girl Catholic school. After graduation, she was admitted to Northwestern University in Evanston. During her junior year, she interned at the American embassy in Buenos Aires and even considered a career in politics. Her ambitions for a political career was cut short when she didn’t score high enough in the Foreign Service Officer Test. She then attended a study abroad program in Madrid, Spain. Eventually, she graduated with a bachelor’s degree with a double major in theater and international studies.
Fighting For Women’s Rights At A Young Age
At a very young age of 11, Meghan was concerned after watching a television commercial. The commercial was for a dish washing soap product. She didn’t like that it seemed to put women down, so she wrote a very convincing letter to Procter & Gamble to encourage them to make their commercials more gender neutral. The commercial had said, “Women all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans.” Two male classmates joked that women “belong” in the kitchen. This didn’t set well with young Meghan. She not only wrote the company but also Hillary Clinton, Gloria Allred, and a journalist named Linda Ellerbee. In the end, the tagline was changed because of young Meghan.
Meghan Markle’s Early Years On The Screen
It’s no surprise that a girl from Los Angeles with a father and mother both working for television would have her time in the spotlight. Meghan is most recognized on the big screen as her role of Rachel Zane in the American legal drama Suits. Her first appearance on television was actually a small role that she had playing a nurse in an episode of the soap opera General Hospital. She also had a short stint as a briefcase girl on the game show Deal or No Deal. She had several other small roles from 2002 through 2016 when she appeared on Hallmark in When Sparks Fly, and Dater’s Handbook. In 2020, she was a narrator for the Disneynature film, Elephant.
Meghan Markle’s Private Education
While she often refers to her upbringing as “coming from little,” they weren’t exactly in poverty. At least they didn’t hold back when it came to providing her with an excellent education that would have not come cheap. Meghan was educated at private schools starting at the age of five. While her elementary school years were boys and girls, her high school education was an all-girl private Catholic school. Though, she was a child of divorce, and she did grow up receiving racial abuse from a very young age. Her mother was descended from African slaves, and her father was European.
Foretelling Of Her Future
When Meghan was 15 years old, and Harry would have been 12 at the time, a photograph seemed to foretell her future as Harry’s wife. She had visited London as just a regular, common tourist. She and a friend posed for a picture in front of Buckingham Palace. Little did she know that a pre-teen Harry was right behind her inside the Palace. She did not dream at the time that she would one day be marrying, living in, and starting a family behind those elaborate walls behind her in the photograph that was snapped that day during her trip.
Harry In William’s Shadow
From the first announcement that the Royal family now had an heir and an heir to spare, Harry grew up in his older brother, Prince William’s shadow. He would forever be the extra brother in the eyes of the world. This would actually prove to serve him well in that he was more free to do what he wanted to do and not expected to be quite as groomed to take the throne as his brother William was. The cameras were always focused on the young Prince-to-be William and often ignoring Harry. Harry once told reporters that he often felt abandoned in William’s shadow.
Mum Princess Di And Her Boys
Prince Harry liked to hang out with his mum and older brother William. She took him everywhere she could to mingle with ordinary, non-royal people. Harry started accompanying his parents on official visits at a very young age. His first visit out of the country was to Italy in 1985 when he was not even one-year old. Princess Diana also brought the boys with her when she visited Niagra Falls. He was a young lad of barely 7 years old when he saw the Canadian side of the Falls. He was that close to the country where he and his future bride would one day live.
Death of Princess Diana of Wales
Harry enjoyed spending time with his mum. The feelings were noticeably mutual. Princess Diana loved time spent with her boys. She wanted nothing more but for them to understand what life was like for most people outside of royalty. She did not want her children to be snobbish. She had them accompany her wherever she could, including a visit to the AIDS clinic where Princess Diana volunteered and was a voice for the sick. Tragically, Princess Diana was involved in a car accident where the Paparazzi ran her off of the road into a crash that ended her life on August 31, 1997. Harry was not yet 13 years of age when he buried his mum.
Prince Harry and Prince William At The Funeral Of Diana, Princess of Wales
Young Harry’s life had met tragedy face-to-face. When he was just 8 years old, his parents had separated. Now, he stared death in the face at the age of 12. His parent’s seemingly picture-perfect royal marriage officially ended in divorce just one year earlier. Eventually, his father would remarry Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, but that would not be for another 8 years. For now, he was saying goodbye to the woman who was his best advocate and whom he deeply loved. He was on the verge of growing up in a hurry with no time for a true adolescent transition.
Prince Harry Grew Up
By June, 2003, Harry had completed his formal education at Eton. He took a gap year and traveled to Australia to work on a cattle station as well as Lesotho to work with orphaned children. While he was there, he also produced a documentary film, The Forgotten Kingdom. When he returned, he entered the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and joined the Alamein Company. In 2007, he was deployed to Iraq. By 2008, he was flying helicopters like his brother, father, and uncle had done. In 2012, he arrived at Camp Bastion in southern Afghanistan as a co-pilot and gunner on an Apache helicopter. His life was threatened by the Taliban, but he continued to pursue his military career. On January 17, 2014, Harry had completed his attachment to 3 Regiment Army Air Corps and took up a staff officer role in a London district.
Meghan Markle Was Growing Up
With a three-year head start, Meghan Markle was also growing up with her own coming-of-age struggles. She had graduated from college, nailed several roles on screen, and had started a relationship with an American film producer, Trevor Engelson the same year Prince Harry was taking a gap year after high school. In 2011, Meghan was getting married in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. The marriage ended in a no-fault amicable divorce just two years later. She then dated Canadian celebrity chef Cory Vitello, but that relationship came to an end as well just one month after she met and began a relationship with Prince Harry.
Two Worlds Apart Come Together
Prince Harry and American Meghan Markle were worlds apart, but they were about to come together as one. This bi-racial divorcee from the United States was about to collide with the royal heir to spare from Wales. She was writing her own lifestyle blog called The Tig and trying to make her mark in the fashion world and as an actress. She released two fashion collections based on her own personal style, with a Canadian clothing company, Reitmans. She had grown up with a passion to change the world, yet it was her world that about to change in a very unexpected way.
The Invictus Games Started A Romance
Just a couple years before meeting Meghan, Prince Harry launched Invictus Games, a Paralympic-style sporting event for injured servicemen and women. Harry was an avid athlete, enjoying polo, skiing, and motocross. He also loves Rugby football. When he wasn’t playing or watching sporting events, he was known as a bit of a playboy and perpetual bachelor. So, no one predicted that a girl from America was about to catch his eye and change his life forever. Meghan and Harry met in June, 2016. By September 2017, the two made their first official royal public appearance at the Invictus Games in Toronto, Canada.
They Met On A Blind Date
Harry and Meghan first met when they were set up on a blind date in July, 2016. A mutual friend had introduced them and thought they would be perfect for each other. According to E! News, it was speculated that it was their friend Violet von Westenholz who introduced the two. However, experts didn’t agree on who the friend really was. Others had thought that the matchmaker was fashion designer Mischa Nonoo. Violet was a childhood friend of Harry’s and the daughter of a baron. Meghan had become friends with Violet through PR work with the fashion house Ralph Lauren. Meghan had already made her way into the London social scene.
The Matchmaker Revealed
In a BBC Interview, Harry almost gave away the name of the very special friend who set up the two for their first blind date. As it turned out, the matchmaker was Violet von Westenholz. Violet is the daughter of an important baron who is a friend of Prince Charles, Harry’s royal father. Violet has been part of Harry’s trusted very close inner circle of friends since he was young. To stir things up a bit, it turns out that Violet’s younger sister, Victoria, was once noted to be one of Prince Harry’s love interests during his ladies’ man, bachelor days.
Before they made their first official public appearance at the Invictus games, Meghan and Harry had their first meeting. It was a blind date that had been set up by a mutual friend, Violet. Violet knew Meghan since she had been dressing her with Ralph Lauren’s fashions for a promotional shoot for the show Suits. She immediately knew that Meghan would be the perfect match for her childhood friend, Harry. Violet had given Harry Meghan’s number. He trusted his friend and gave Meghan a call to see if anything could come of it. The two agreed to meet and go on their first date at London’s Soho House.
This Was The One
Harry had been a bit of a playboy and was slotted to be a potential lifelong bachelor, so it would come as a bit of a surprise that he had actually met the one girl who would make him want to marry and settle down. Harry knew immediately that he was smitten by this American who was lively, beautiful, and passionate. She was different than any other girl Harry had ever dated. There were a few obstacles to overcome, however. For instance, Harry had been secretly dating Sarah-Ann Macklin, a British model, earlier that same summer. But, for Harry he knew he had found his true love.
Prince Harry And Meghan Markle Engaged
On November 27, 2017, Meghan and Harry’s engagement was officially announced. Many were excited about the prospect of a mixed-race marriage. Others were critical that the new member of the royal family was from America, bi-racial, and previously divorced. The two were breaking a lot of tradition with one announcement. There was one thing that most of the tabloids agreed on, that his mother would have been proud of his choice in brides. She had raised him to embrace commoners and to respect everyone as a human being. Though, for Harry and Meghan, it was simply all about true love.
The Secret Relationship Of The Prince
Before the engagement, the two had managed to successfully keep their relationship secret. For four months, they saw each other under the radar. They spent several days at Soho Farmhouse in Oxfordshire, other days relaxing in Kensington Palace garden. Prince Harry even flew to Toronto to visit Meghan while she was filming the show Suits. The two were inseparable and never spent more than a couple weeks apart. She would travel to the UK to spend a few days and then take the red-eye back to Toronto. Astute Instagram followers may have guessed at a few subtle hints like a bouquet of peony flowers next to that hashtag of #London.
Tabloids Can’t Leave The Royal Family Alone
With tabloids and paparazzi that have been so obsessed with the Royal family, their intimate secret could not last forever. It didn’t take long before a British tabloid, the Express blew their cover in a big way to share the news with an awaiting public. On Halloween of 2016, the headline made the announcement, “His Majesty’s pleasure: Prince Harry secretly dating U.S. TV star Meghan Markle.” This headline was only the beginning of many to follow. Some were downright rude and pointed out how different Harry’s choice in women was from his brother William’s choice of Kate Middleton, who presents herself in more of a traditional princess-like manner.
Harry Enraged By Reporters
Prince Harry had a very tumultuous relationship with paparazzi, whom he blamed for the death of his mother. Now, they were coming after his girlfriend. By November, 2016, Harry had become enraged by the way reporters were painting the image of Meghan and their relationship. Some compared her to a gangster lifestyle from Los Angeles. The racial undertones and sexism made Harry speak out saying they had crossed a line and that he had become worried about Meghan’s safety. Prince Harry and Meghan later sued the parent company of the tabloid, The Mail on Sunday after saying, “I’ve seen what happens when someone I love is commoditized to the point that they are no longer treated or seen as a real person. I lost my mother, and now I watch my wife falling victim to the same powerful forces.”
Meghan’s Introduction To Royalty
Meghan Markle has admitted that before she met Harry, she did not have a lot of per-conceived notions about who he was. They grew up in different worlds and on different continents. She is from the States and did not grow up with the same outlook or understanding of the royal family. She really did not know much about him previously. After all, she was three years older and American. The main trait she was looking for in a potential mate was someone who is kind. When they had finally met, it was immediate love-at-first sight for both of them. During an interview about her charity work with World Vision, she said, “My cup runneth over and I’m the luckiest girl in the world!” Little did the world know that Harry had already introduced her to his father.
Tuning Out The World
As soon as news of their relationship hit the tabloids, the news and speculations were brutal. Harry admitted that the nightly legal battles to stop the media from printing such defamatory stories about their relationship and about Meghan individually was tiring. Many assumed that Meghan was used to tabloid stories printed about her since she was an actress. But, she had never seen such rumors. Even Harry’s brother, Prince William, announced that he supported his brother’s desire and need for privacy. The two made the decision to stop reading anything that was published, good or bad. Instead, they focused on building and nurturing their relationship.
More Hints At Romance
After their initial first date that had proven to be very successful, the two were able to keep their relationship private for about four months. By December, 2016, astute fans noticed that Meghan was wearing a gold necklace that featured the letters, “M” and “H”. Later the same month, the two were seen together picking out a 6-foot Christmas tree. They were observed walking through the Soho area looking at Christmas lights displayed throughout the Piccadilly Circus. They were also seen in London’s West End holding hands as they headed to watch the Tony award-winning show, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime.
Before They Say, “I Do”
Things were going very well for the pair, but before they could make the relationship official with marriage, they would need to make their way through some obstacles. For starters, Meghan had already met Harry’s father with approval. But, she would also need to meet the Queen. Receiving the Queen’s approval of their marriage could be a deal breaker if she said she did not approve. To their relief, the queen did grant her full support. Queen Elizabeth was delighted to see Harry in such a loving relationship. Meghan would later express how nice it was to meet her as Harry’s grandmother and not as intimidating as a monarch.
A New Year And The Northern Lights
After several months of dating, now publicly, Harry and Meghan spent New Year’s Eve in London. Harry followed up the start of the new year with planning a romantic trip to Norway. This would be the first time the two would vacation together as a couple. They stayed with a close friend of Harry’s, Inge Solheim, in his luxury property. Harry had put a lot of careful thought and planning into the trip. He wanted to make it as special and as romantic as he could. While there, the two caught glimpses of the Northern Lights. What could be more romantic than that?
Time To Meet The Rest Of the Royal Family
After an incredibly delightful and successful meeting with the Queen giving her full approval of their relationship and with the go-ahead from his father, Prince Charles, it was time to meet the rest of the Royal family. Harry introduced Meghan to his brother’s wife, Kate Middleton and Princess Charlotte. Kate reportedly found Meghan to be delightful. The two now had the official welcomed acceptance of the entire Royal crew. And, their relationship was only getting closer and more seriously romantic. They took another trip together. This time it was to the wedding of a childhood friend of Harry’s, Tom “Skippy” Inskip.
Transformation From An American Girl To A Princess
While the pair was rapidly moving toward a future together and husband and wife, before she could be dubbed as a Princess, Meghan would have to make many changes. First, she shut down her lifestyle website, The Tig. She also announced that she would be retiring from acting. She then began the very lengthy process of becoming a British citizen. She would also need to be baptized and confirmed into the Church of England. She proceeded to successfully check off every qualification. She was baptized in a private ceremony using water from the River Jordan. The ceremony took place in the Chapel Royal at St. James’ Palace.
Preparation For The Royal Wedding
Meghan and Harry were on their way to becoming married. She had swiftly succeeded to pass every demand that the Royal family had required of her. The next step was to plan the Royal Wedding. Her first wedding had been a destination wedding without a lot of grandeur. This one, however, would be watched by millions of viewers plus those in attendance at the church. She would need to make decisions based not only on what she wanted as a bride but what would be expected of her. Tabloids once again would go wild with speculation with some continuing to make defaming remarks, but most of the public was excited.
Meghan’s Mother Arrives
Like any bride-to-be, her mother would be a special part of her big day. Rumors flurried about whether or not her dad would be in attendance. In the end, he did not make the trip. But, her mother was her biggest source of support. She was treated as an honored guest. Doria Ragland had now worked her way through college and become a social worker and a yoga instructor. She had come a long way since her marriage to Meghan’s dad fell apart. Now, this African American woman whose family were once slaves, was about to become the mother of a Princess.
The Royal Wedding Day Arrives
The day had finally arrived. On May 19, 2018, not quite two years from the day they first met, the two were officially husband and wife. The event was televised around the world. The two were given their official title, though many still refer to them as Prince Harry or Princess Meghan. His official title would be His Royal Highness The Duke of Sussex. Meghan’s official title would be Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex. The two were embarking on a love story that had the substance of what fairy tales are made of, an American girl turned Princess.
Prince Harry Married At Last
Harry was 33, and Meghan was 36 when the two were wed at the Royal Wedding. The ceremony took place at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle. All eyes were on Meghan to see what her dress would look like. Other eyes were also hoping to catch a glimpse of how Harry would respond to seeing his bride coming down the aisle. The event was breathtakingly beautiful. Tens of millions of people all around the world tuned in to watch the couple wed. Many famous guests were in attendance. Oprah, David and Victoria Beckham, and the Royal family were all there.
Meghan Markle’s Wedding Dress
With all eyes on her, she knew she had to look her best. With a history in fashion and acting, she knew how to walk down an aisle with elegance and grace. She chose to wear a stunning Givenchy gown with a long somewhat traditional veil. The ceremony was filled with tradition and poetic love. She held a simple white bouquet. Before the wedding, they had custom rings made. Harry had designed Meghan’s using two small stones from his mother’s collection. Her ring was made out of Welsh Gold and his out of platinum. The two took part in a carriage processing through Windsor as well.
A Second Wedding Dress For The Reception
As is tradition for many Royal brides, Meghan had more than one dress that she wore throughout the day. After donning her official wedding gown, she changed for the reception. This dress was a chic halter long gown designed by Stella McCartney. Harry also changed out of his Royal military attire into a tuxedo with a bow tie. The reception took place at the Frogmore House. Throughout the day, the two paid tribute to Princess Diana. All three of Diana’s siblings were in attendance. One sister gave a reading at the wedding. Her bouquet was hand-picked by Harry to include Forget-Me-Nots, Princess Diana’s favorite flower.
The Wedding Party
Meghan chose to have ten bridal attendants as part of the wedding party. She included Prince George and Princess Charlotte, who are now her niece and nephew. Their nuptials included the omission of the promise “to obey.” After the Westminster Abbey ceremony, they greeted thousands of people who were gathered to wish them well as they passed by in a carriage procession back to Buckingham Palace where the Queen hosted lunch for several hundred guests at St. George’s Hall, and Elton John entertained. Finally, an evening reception took place at the Frogmore House where about 200 guests were invited. Her cake broke away from the traditional fruit cake. It was a lemon elder flower cake instead.
Harry And Meghan’s First Home
Prior to their marriage, Meghan moved into Harry’s former bachelor pad in the palace grounds. He had lived in the residence for several years before meeting Meghan. The newlyweds initially lived in Nottingham Cottage in London on the grounds of Kensington Palace. From there they moved into Frogmore Cottage in the Home park of Windsor Castle. They had the cottage refurbished by the Crown Estate. The money came from the Sovereign Grant. The Duke eventually reimbursed the restoration expenses. They were now enjoying living in their newly refurbished home. Before they moved into the Frogmore Cottage, the two lived in a five-bedroom Windsor home.
Meghan’s First Public Appearance
Even before she was officially part of the Royal family, Meghan went to work as if she was already welcomed. Before they were even married, she attended 26 public events. After the official announcement of her engagement to Harry, Meghan made her first official public appearance by his side. The two were part of World AIDS Day walkabout in Nottingham on December 1, 2017. She fit in quite nicely, and moved on to her first royal event that she attended with the Queen on Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey in March of the following year. Later that same month, she and Harry made a surprise visit to Northern Ireland.
First Married Public Royal Event
After the Royal wedding, the first public event that the two attended together was only a few days later. On May 22, Meghan and Harry attended a garden party to celebrate charity work of the Prince of Wales. A couple of months later, she and Harry made their way to Dublin, Ireland. By October of the same year, the two were traveling to Sydney, Australia for the Invictus Games. It was here where they chose to announce her first pregnancy. A few months later, they traveled to Morocco where they centered their attention on empowering women through educating girls and encouraging female entrepreneurship.
High Profile Instagram Account
In breaking with tradition, the couple made their own decisions on many things. They frequently broke the mold of what was expected of them. In fitting with this trend, the two created an Instagram social media account in 2019. Their account broke a record for reaching one million followers in lightning speed time. Instagram was a social media account which Meghan had previously enjoyed as part of her way to get the word out about her fashion blog and to share personal pictures of life events. She had raised eyebrows and stirred controversy when she posted a picture of two bananas spooning following a tabloid outing their relationship.
Raised As A Gentleman, Married To A Feminist
These two have caused quite the murmurings on many occasions. While Harry was raised with a great deal of tradition and proper upbringing to treat women with respect, Meghan was raised with a strong passion for woman’s rights and feminism. One photographer captured her female empowerment in one quick shot. During the rain, instead of Harry holding an umbrella to protect his wife, it was Meghan who grabbed the umbrella to shelter him. Meghan has worked tirelessly throughout her lifetime to empower women. She has been a vocal feminist and had every intention to use her role as a member of the royal family to continue to support women’s rights and social justice.
Splitting From The Royal Foundation
Before they were married, Meghan had attended the first annual forum of The Royal Foundation alongside Harry. After the two were married, she became the foundation’s fourth patron with her husband, his brother, and Kate Middleton. By June, 2019, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced that they would be splitting from The Royal Foundation charity in an effort to establish their own charity foundation. They agreed to collaborate on mutual projects, like Heads Together which is a mental health initiative. This separation from The Royal Foundation charity would be among the first moves the two would make to split from their royal obligations.
Time Magazine Most Influential
Even though tabloids continue to offer rumors and less-than-flattering stories about the couple, overall Harry and Meghan have been well received worldwide. She is staying true to her promise to use her position to help empower women. In 2018, Time Magazine listed Meghan as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. She was also put on their shortlist for their Person of the Year. Additionally, she was chosen by the British Vogue magazine in the UK as one of the most influential women. Powerlist also included her on their list of 100 most influential Britons of African and Afro-Caribbean descent.
Additional Royal Titles
In addition to the titles given to them by the Queen on their wedding day, the pair have other lengthy extensions to their names. Meghan became a princess of the United Kingdom when she married Prince Harry. She had also been dubbed in the style of Royal Highness. The full official title she had received was Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex, and he The Duke of Sussex. She was the first person to hold the title Duchess of Sussex. Meghan also holds the titles of Countess of Dumbarton and Baroness Kilkeel. Prior to marriage, he was His Royal Highness Prince Henry of Wales, and The Earl of Dumbarton as well as Baron Kilkeel.
First American Royalty Since 1936
When Meghan married Harry, she became the first American to marry a British royal since Wallis Simpson married Edward VIII in 1936. Unlike Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson, Harry did not need to abdicate the throne to marry his bride from across the pond. Wallis Simpson was an American socialite. She became the wife of the Duke of Windsor who was the former British king Edward VIII. She, like Meghan, had previously been divorced. Unlike Meghan, she had been married and divorced twice before marrying into royalty. This American from the history books was the first to became the Duchess of Windsor.
Chicken To Say Will You Marry Me?
Meghan Markle loves to cook. She is a self-confessed foodie. One of her favorite go-to dishes to prepare for any special meal is a roasted chicken. She cooks and brings this chicken dish to dinner parties whenever she can. She has dubbed the chicken a “game changer”. She has explained that the food has made a lot of friends for her over the years. In a candid interview, she divulged that the special chicken dish was involved in the night when Prince Harry proposed to her. So, it looks like the chicken dish is here to stay for future parties as well.
The night Harry proposed to Meghan was very special. As you already know, it involved her specialty chicken dish. But, that was not all that took place that evening. The two were roasting her famous chicken preparing to eat dinner together when all of a sudden the prince got down on one knee. Meghan became so excited that she didn’t even let him finish the question before answering, “Can I say yes now?” It was such a spontaneous proposal that Harry even forgot about the ring. Of course, later Harry did not disappoint with a specially designed ring that also honored his late mother.
Poppies Have Meaning
To these two, poppies have deep sentimental meaning. She even included the flower in her wedding veil. Meghan’s bridal veil was packed with symbolism. The fabric she chose included 55 embroidered flowers. Each flower represented the 53 Commonwealth countries and also included blooms of wintersweet and the California poppy. She chose these flowers to reflect the symbolism of Harry and Meghan’s marriage. Wintersweet grows outside of Nottingham cottage where they first lived after the wedding, and the poppy is the state flower of California where Meghan is from. Her ring also held symbolism with a diamond connection to Botswana Africa.
Who Would Walk The Bride Down The Aisle?
Meghan had intended to have her father walk her down the aisle. But, when the time drew closer to the big day, her dad turned on her in a very hurtful way. The exact happenings are left somewhat unclear as tabloids printed one story while Meghan denied most of the rumors in part or entirely. In the end, Thomas Markle was unable to attend the Royal wedding. This left Meghan in a conundrum. She was left wondering who would walk her down the aisle? As it turned out, Prince Charles stepped up to the plate for the honorable task. He walked with Meghan part way down the aisle. When father and son eyes met, Harry mouthed, “Thank you!” to his dad.
The Markle Effect
Meghan Markle not only had experience being in front of the camera during her acting career, but she was quite adept at fashion as well. This carried over in her relationship with Harry. She made herself very visible in her duties as part of the Royal family even before she was officially a member. Her fashion know-how was highly photographed wherever she and Harry would go. They have become a worldwide phenomena. Whatever she wore seemed to take off as soon as she was seen wearing it. When she announced that she was pregnant with Archie, she was wearing a white Karen Gee sheath dress. Later that day, the Karen Gee website crashed as buyers rushed to purchase one for themselves.
The Royal Couple Gave Low-Key Gifts
As is custom, the Royal couple prepared gifts to give out the day of their wedding. You might expect that a Royal couple would provide lavish gifts. This was not the case with Meghan and Harry. They chose to give out gift bags that were full of low-key swag. Each gift bag contained a simple chocolate gold coin, a refrigerator magnet, a bottle of water, and some shortbread. They also included a 20% off coupon to be used at the Windsor Castle gift shop. Still, even with the inexpensive gifts, their wedding cost was about 32 million British pounds which Harry’s family paid for.
Expecting Baby Royalty
Starting even on the actual wedding day in May, 2018, rumors began to fly that the two were expecting a baby. As the public kept waiting to see a baby bump, none was revealed until months later. The official confirmation came on October 15, 2018. The announcement said that the two were going to have a baby in the spring of the following year. The official Kensington Palace announcement said that, “Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are very pleased to announce that The Duchess of Sussex is expecting a baby in the Spring of 2019.” It went on to express that the newlyweds were “very pleased”.
The Pregnant Duchess
Like many expectant mothers, Meghan would often cradle her baby bump by placing her hand on her stomach during public events. She was pictured often showing off her baby bump. She was also criticized with accusations that she was merely doing so for the photo opportunity. Others began to spread rumors that she was not really pregnant. Some used hashtags on social media like #Megxit or #DuchessofDeception to share their opinion that she was strapping a pregnancy pillow to her belly pretending to carry the royal baby. Still others claimed that the couple was insensitive for announcing their happy expectant news during Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness week.
Meghan has always been a lover of animals. Both Harry and she had pets growing up. Harry had several puppies that he loved to cuddle up to and play with. A few other animals appeared in royal family photographs. Meghan had two rescue dogs when she lived in Toronto. The younger dog, named Guy, accompanied her to England when she moved. Sadly, she had to leave the other dog, Bogart, behind in Canada. He was aging and could not make the flight. Of course, that would mean that the couple have taken in Guy as their own. They also adopted another dog, a black Labrador Retriever, in 2018.
Charity Work Bonds Them Together
It would seem that these two have a well-rounded background from high fashion and royalty to many hours spent serving those in need. From the start the two have bonded over their heart for charity work. They have been a major part of several charities around the world. She was the Global Ambassador for World Vision Canada and has visited Rwanda to promote a Clean Water Campaign. They also launched a nonprofit organization named Archewell. This would be their first charity endeavor without the backing of the royal title or funding. They continue to pursue helping others wherever their hearts lead them.
The List Of Exes
While Meghan was actually married before and has an ex-husband, Harry lived as a bachelor for the years prior to meeting her. His list of exes are quite a lot longer than his bride’s. Among his list of exes is a Burberry model, a Strictly Come Dancing starlet, and an X-Factor singer. He has also been seen with the likes of Ellie Goulding, Camilla Thurlow, Cressida Bonas, Florence Brudenell-Bruce, Caroline Flack, Mollie King, and Chelsy Davy. Of course, there was also Sarah Ann Macklin who had been in a relationship with Harry just prior to him meeting Meghan. They both admit, though, that it was not as serious as tabloids would have us believe.
Baby Archie Is Born
On May 6, 2019, the couple had some big news to share. Meghan had reportedly gone into labor early in the morning. She was taken to Portland Hospital in London where the new royal heir was born. The pair later announced the birth of Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. Her choice of birthing locations was a break from the traditional Lindo Wing at St. Mary’s Hospital in London. Meghan also refused to be photographed posing on the steps of the hospital moments after giving birth. Instead, the proud parents presented their newborn Archie during a press briefing at St. George’s Hall at Windsor Castle.
Archie Is Christened
Harry and Meghan had more surprising announcements. The two revealed that they preferred not to use the title Earl Dumbarton for Archie. They also chose not to style him Lord Archie Mountbatten-Windsor. Instead, they opted to call him Master Archie. The Royal couple decided to have Archie christened at an intimate ceremony with only close family members in attendance. They also did not announce who the godparents would be. The couple had made several decisions from the moment they met to keep certain parts of their lives private. The people they named for their son’s godparents was going to remain a secret as well.
So Far Archie Is An Only Child
The two are such proud parents. Meghan enjoys showing off Archie every chance she gets on her Instagram account. She often compares pictures of Archie, her and Harry side-by-side at the same age to see how much he looks like each parent. Recently, Meghan has announced that over the summer of 2020 she experienced a miscarriage. The pregnancy loss would have been the couple’s second child. 39-year old Meghan suffered the miscarriage in July, 2020. She described the loss as painful and that as she reached out for Harry’s hand, it was wet with tears as she remained in the hospital bed next to him. Especially upsetting was watching her husband process the news of the loss.
Archie’s First Christmas Card
For Archie’s first Christmas, Meghan, Harry, and their son got together for an official photo shoot. A chosen picture would be used as their holiday greeting cards. After the pictures were taken, the two knew exactly which photo they would choose. They chose a picture of the seven-month old taking center stage as he investigated the camera with a close-up of his face and mom and dad in the background seated by festive greenery of a Christmas tree. Archie Harrison Mountbatten Windsor in the forefront made many fans smile. Others blamed Meghan of using Photoshop to make her own face stand out.
Leaving Royalty Behind
On Wednesday, January 8, 2020, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle made an announcement on Instagram that indicated they had made the decision to relinquish their duties as senior members of the royal family. This came as a shock to a world who loved their fairy tale story. They announced that they would be stepping back from the Royal Family and working to become financially independent while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen. They went on to thank fans for encouragement. Their announcement left many disappointed. The two began their move away from official Royal duties and into their new more independent lifestyle.
A Change Of Titles
Prince Harry has never truly been an official prince. He and Meghan had been officially given the titles of His Royal Highness The Duke of Sussex and Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex. When they announced that they would be relinquishing their royal duties, they were asked to also give up the HRH, His and Her Royal Highness part of their titles. They did, however, retain the Duke and Duchess of Sussex official titles. They have made it clear that they still support the Queen. They have merely chosen to make a living apart from their roles in the Royal Family.
Meghan’s First Post-Royal Project
After they had announced their separation and forfeiture of royal titles, the two moved to Canada. In March, 2020, Meghan had announced that she would be taking part in her first post-royal project. It would be to narrate Disneynature’s documentary, Elephant. The documentary was released on April 3, 2020 and was intended to support elephants through donations funded by Disneynature and the Disney Conservation Fund. The donations would be given to Elephants Without Borders in Botswana. Additionally, the two delivered food through Project Angel Food for residents of Los Angeles during the pandemic. She has also been vocally in support of the BLM Black Lives Matter movement.
A New Life Outside Of Royalty
After they left royalty, the two moved to Canada. Of course, their future plans were hampered a bit due to an unexpected pandemic, but they continue their pursuit to be independent. Since the two walked away from their Royal titles, they also gave up the salaries that they received as part of their senior working royal duties. The two are now referred to as Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Their immigration, work, and tax status will officially be Britain and Canada. Meghan moved first with Archie to the Vancouver area. In July, 2020, they settled into a Santa Barbara home. The two signed a multi-year mega-deal with Netflix among other planned endeavors.