Profile: So who is Meghan Markle?
PUBLISHED: 12:45 17 May 2018 | UPDATED: 14:15 17 May 2018
When Meghan Markle was 10 years old, her mother took her to visit the slums of Jamaica and to see poverty in Mexico.
“My mother raised me to be a global citizen, with eyes open to sometimes harsh realities,” Ms Markle later revealed.
She was born in Los Angeles on August 4, 1981 and grew up in Toronto.
MORE - Megan’s roots in sleepy Suffolk
Ms Markle’s parents divorced when she was just six. While she lived in Los Angeles, she spent a lot of time with her father.
“It’s safe to say I have always been a daddy’s girl,” she said. “He taught me how to fish, to appreciate Busby Berkeley films, write thank-you notes, and spend my weekends in Little Tokyo eating chicken teriyaki with vegetable tempura.”
In one interview, she recalled how one Christmas he created a Barbie family for her when they were only sold in sets of white dolls or black dolls.
Her new collection of dolls had “a black mom doll, a white dad doll, and a child in each colour. My dad had taken the sets apart and customised my family”.
When Ms Markle was confronted with a tick-box form to fill in at school about her ethnicity and found she did not fit into just one category, she revealed: “My dad said words that will stay with me forever: ‘Draw your own box.”
Ms Markle went to a private school, college and went on to graduate from the Northwestern University School of Communication.
Her first TV appearence was in an episode of American drama General Hospital, in 2002.
From there she landed roles in feature films Get Him to the Greek, Horrible Bosses and Remember Me.
She is best known for her role as Rachel Zane in the US legal drama suits, which has been shown on Dave and Netflix. She is rumoured to be quitting the show.
Ms Markle married film producer Trevor Engelson in September 2011 but the couple separated two years later, with their no-fault divorce citing irreconcilable differentces.
Her ex-husband is now producing a new TV show based on a man’s custody battle with his ex-wife after she marries a member of the Royal Family.
Ms Markle’s engagement to Prince Harry was announced in November after months of media speculation. The couple met on a blind date in London in July 2016.
One thing she shares with her husband-to-be is philanthropy, campaigning for women’s and humanitarian issues. She has also worked as global ambassador for charity World Vision Canada, visiting Rawnda to campaign for cleaner water.
The American star’s extended family has also hit the headlines since her engagement to Prince Harry was announced, with one newspaper describing it as a “motley collection of individuals who, between them, have a long record of boozing, bust-ups and bankruptcies”.
Meet the In-laws
Meghan Markle’s proud parents were both due to attend her wedding to Prince Harry tomorrow.
Her father Thomas Markle was due to walk her down the aisle at Windsor
But he was admitted to hospital to be treated for a heart problem and Ms Markle later issued a statement saying he would not be well enough to fly from Mexico to the UK to attend the wedding.
Here’s a look at Prince Harry’s future in-laws:
Mother - Doria Ragland
Meghan Markle has described her mother as a “free-spirited clinical therapist”.
Ms Ragland, who is African-American, met Thomas Markle on the set of the US soap General Hospital.
They divorced when Ms Markle was six. Although she lived with her mother in Los Angeles, Ms Markle also spent a great deal of time with her father.
Ms Ragland, who has worked at a day centre for adults with memory loss and as a yoga therapist, filed for bankruptcy in 2002.
Father - Thomas Markle
Thomas Markle worked on shows such as hit sitcom Married ... With Children and popular US drama General Hospital.
Ms Markle is his only child from his second marriage to Doria Ragland.
He lives a quiet life in Mexico and filed for bankruptcy in 2016.
Ms Markle is close to her father and has described him as hard-working and caring.
Half Sister - Samantha Markle
Samantha Grant - also known as Samantha Markle - has see-sawed between condemning and praising her relative.
She is Ms Markle’s half-sister from her father’s first marriage.
A one-time actress and model, she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2008 and uses a wheelchair.
Based in Florida, she is 17 years older than Ms Markle and sells jewellery. Twice-divorced, she has three children.
Like her father, she filed for bankruptcy and is estranged from her mother, Roslyn - Thomas Markle’s first wife - and brother, Thomas Jr.
Half Brother - Thomas Markle Junior
Thomas Markle Junior, 50, has been bankrupt once, divorced twice and faced trial on gun charges before the case was dropped. He lives in Grants Pass, Oregon, and works as a window fitter.
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