She's an American actress and humanitarian, who is most famous for her performance in hot TV show Suits – and now capturing the world's most eligible bacheor, Prince Harry's heart. If you haven't watched Suits, she plays paralegal Rachel Zane, who becomes the girlfriend of one of the main characters, Mike Ross. But outside the Suits world there’s so much more to this brunette beauty than meets the eye.
Forget all the tabloid fodder, here’s five things you need to know about Harry’s new love.
1. She's a humanitarian.
Meghan is a Global Ambassador for World Vision Canada, and in 2014 she made a speech at UN Headquarters in support of Emma Watson's HeForShe campaign. Earlier this year she travelled to Rwanda with the organisation to see first-hand the importance of clean water. The actress visited a school where she taught students to paint with watercolours, the children painted pictures based on their hopes and dreams for the future. The painting were then brought back to Canada to help raise money and awareness.
“I think there’s a misconception that access to clean water is just about clean drinking water; which, of course, it is but it’s so much more than that. Access to clean water in a community keeps young girls in school, because they aren't walking hours each day to source water for their families. It allows women to invest in their own businesses and community. It promotes grassroots leadership, and, of course, it reinforces the health and wellness of children and adults. Every single piece of it is so interconnected, and clean water, this one life source, is the key to it all.”
“It was an amazing experience, taking water from one of the water sources in the community and using it with the children to paint pictures of what they dream to be when they grow up. I saw that water is not just a life source for a community, but it can really be a source for creative imagination, and how lucky I am to have been a part of that.”
2. More than just a pretty face.
Meghan graduated with a Bachelors in Communications from Northwestern University in 2003 and has recently expressed an interest in returning to school to complete a masters degree.
3. She has a lucrative side project if the acting thing doesn't work out.
As well as the acting, Meghan has her own lifestyle brand called The Tig which covers everything from food to fashion and beauty to interviews with inspirational women including Serena Williams and Cat Deeley.
“I wanted to create a space to share all of these loves, to invite friends to share theirs as well, and to be the breeding ground for ideas & excitement ... for an inspired lifestyle.”
The site is ad-free and aims to provide inspiration at affordable prices.
“On the show [Suits] people see me in $5000 Tom Ford skirts, but that’s not what I have in my closet at home,” she told Ebony. “I never want to lose touch with reality. I won’t push $100 candles just because. I realised that I could create a hub of positivity and affirmation.”
4. She's got a secret talent.
While Meghan spent years trying to crack Hollywood, she took a rather different route than others who waited tables. She worked as a freelance calligrapher and even counted Dolce & Gabbana and Robin Thicke and Paula Patton among her clients.
“I used to be a calligrapher for weddings and events — that was my side job while I was auditioning,” Markle revealed to Good Housekeeping.
“I used to do it for Dolce & Gabbana’s celebrity correspondence over the holidays. I would sit there with a little white tube sock on my hand so no hand oils got on the card, trying to pay my bills while auditioning.”
5. She learned to love her diverse background.
Meghan’s mother is African-American and her father if Dutch-Irish descent and they both have links to showbiz – meeting on the set of a soap opera in the 1970s. While her mother went on to become a yoga instructor her father worked behind the scenes on Married… With Chidlren.
“My mum is a yoga instructor, 100% Black with dreadlocks,” Markle said to Ebony. “And when people find out ‘that girl’ on Suits is her daughter, there is often this disconnect and sometimes disbelief. It took me a long time to find myself.”
The actress opened up about how being bi-racial has been both a blessing and a curse in Hollywood.
“I could get into twice as many rooms, but was turned down twice as often as many of my peers,” she said.
“It’s that dichotomy that we can go through: ‘What are you? Where do you fit in? I want to put you in this box and I want you to stay there.’ I never want to complain. I get that so many people have it worse than I do. But it took me deep into my twenties to come to the realisation that I am ‘enough’ exactly as I am, and I don’t have to be more or less of anything for other people.”