Meghan Markle: From actress to royalty

Belinda Tasker
Already known for supporting a variety of causes, Meghan Markle is used to championing charities




Rachel Meghan Markle was born in Los Angeles on August 4, 1981. It's unclear when or why Markle started going by her middle name.



- Mum is Doria Ragland, an African-American social worker and yoga instructor.

- Dad is Emmy Award winner Thomas Markle, a lighting director who has Dutch and Irish heritage.

- They met in the late 70s when Markle was a lighting director on a TV soap and Ragland was working as a temp at the studio. They split when Meghan was six.



- Meghan has two older half-siblings, Samantha Grant and Thomas Markle Junior, who were born when Thomas Markle was with his first wife Roslyn.

- Grant, 52, is a former actress and model, who lives in Florida and has multiple sclerosis. She reportedly hasn't spoken to Meghan since 2008.



- Two rescue dogs, Bogart, a labrador/shepherd cross, and Guy, a beagle.



- The Hollywood Little Red Schoolhouse and the Immaculate Heart High School, a private Catholic school for girls in LA.

- Graduated in 2003 from the Northwestern University School of Communication, Illinois, where she studied theatre and international relations.



- In September 2011, Meghan married movie producer and manager Trevor Engelson in Jamaica after a seven-year romance. The couple divorced in August 2013, citing irreconcilable differences.



- Cooking, writing, travel, yoga, politics, social issues.



- Best known as Rachel Zane in US TV drama Suits.

- Markle got her break on US soap General Hospital in 2002.

- Minor TV roles followed on shows including CSI New York, Knight Rider, 90210, and Without A Trace.

- Her movie credits include British thriller Anti-Social and the comedy romance Random Encounters.

- Before breaking into acting, Markle worked as a freelance calligrapher.

- She also ran a lifestyle blog, The Tig, as a "hub for the discerning palate - those with a hunger for food, travel, fashion & beauty", but brought it to a close in April 2017 as things began getting serious with Harry.



- Markle is a global ambassador for World Vision Canada, an ambassador for UN Women, and an advocate for gender equality.

- She told Vanity Fair her social awareness began during the Los Angeles riots sparked by the police beating of Rodney King, in 1991.

- As an 11-year-old she was also enraged by a TV ad suggesting women belong in the kitchen washing up.