Despite being an established actress, entrepreneur and humanitarian in her own right, there’s no doubt Meghan Markle’s relationship status has catapulted her into the global spotlight.
The Suits actress, who is dating Prince Harry, says she finds her life “surreal” and sometimes struggles with the balance between the glamour of Hollywood and the real world.
Penning a powerful essay for ELLE UK from her trailer on the set of the hit show, the star recalls her 2015 trip to Rwanda as an advocate for UN Women just days before she was scheduled to appear at the BAFTAs as a guest of a high-end jewellery brand.
“My brain, heart and spirit couldn't shift gears that quickly, from the purpose-driven work I had been doing all week in Rwanda to the polished glamour of an awards show. 'No,' my heart said. And it wasn't a soft whisper; it was a lion's roar.
“My gut said no because while my two worlds can coexist, I've learned that being able to keep a foot in both is a delicate balance. No, they are not mutually exclusive but guiding my heart through the swinging pendulum from Hollywood fantasy to third-world reality is challenging in its own way.
The actress opened up about her humble beginnings and how her mother raised her to keep her eyes open to the harsh realities of the world.
“My mum raised me to be a global citizen, with eyes open to sometimes harsh realities. We spent time travelling to remote places, taking trips to Oaxaca in southern Mexico where I saw children peddling Chiclets candy for a few extra pesos to bring home.
Meghan says that her platform thanks to Suits – and undoubtedly now with the eyes of the world on her thanks to her high-profile relationship - she feels the power and responsibility to say something of value.
“The moment Suits became successful and I realised people (especially young girls) were listening to what I had to say, I knew I needed to be saying something of value.
“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.