The biggest commonality between Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle is that they both fell in love with a prince. Aside from both marrying into the British royal family, the two Duchesses don't have very much in common. Kate was born into a wealthy family in England while Meghan grew up in Los Angeles and became an actress before meeting her prince. When you take a closer look at these two ladies, it's surprising that they'd have anything in common to talk about.
Kate Is Very Close With Her Siblings
Kate Middleton's two siblings have become recognizable as the duchess is very close with her brother and sister. Kate's younger sister Pippa was her maid of honor at her and Prince William's wedding, and in turn, Kate was Pippa's maid of honor at her wedding.
Kate is also close with her younger brother, James Middleton, who is often spotted at royal family outings and read a bible verse at Kate and William's wedding.
Meghan Doesn't Keep In Touch With Her Siblings
While Meghan is close with her mother Doria, the same can't be said about her relationship with her siblings. Meghan has two half-siblings from her father's side, Samantha Markle and Thomas Markle, Jr.
Her sister has bashed Meghan in interviews, while her brother has had a bit of trouble with the law. Although they spent time together growing up, Meghan has no real relationship with her siblings as an adult, and her mother Doria was the only family member to attend Meghan's wedding.
Kate's Fashion Is Traditional English And Extremely Popular
When things got serious between Kate Middleton and Prince William, Kate's fashion style made a noticeable shift to be more conservative and traditional. After getting engaged, and then married, the Duchess became a fashion icon and "the Kate effect" was set in motion.
Her fashionable hats, coats, and conservative style of dressing is similar to Queen Elizabeth II. The two women also share a love of bold colors and extravagant jewelry pieces. Often times, labels that Kate is seen wearing sell out in a matter of minutes. After Kate was photographed wearing a polka dot maternity dress in 2015, it sold out in all sizes within 30 minutes.
Meghan's Style Is More Modern
Meghan was born in Los Angeles and raised in Hollywood, so her style is much different than Kate's, who grew up across the pond in an upper-middle-class family. The Duchess of Sussex prefers tailored shorts and pants suits as opposed to traditional dresses.
She's also known to don sports jackets and loose-fitting collared shirts paired with heels. Meghan's wardrobe includes lots of moody blues that she accessorizes with stacked rings and small, simple earrings, opposed to the royal jewels and tiaras that Kate is often seen wearing.
Kate Is An Authentic Brit
While there were, of course, some critics of Kate Middleton when it was announced that she was dating Prince William, the couple seemed to be a perfect fit. Kate grew up in a wealthy family in Berkshire, England and followed a proper path of education, attending St. Andrew's School, Downe House School, Marlborough College, and the University of St Andrews, where she met her future husband.
Kate's family has plenty of elite social ties; her father was born into wealth and also has ties to the British aristocracy, making it likely that Kate and William would meet.
Meghan's LA Background
While Kate was born into wealth and set on a path of proper education and finding a suitor, Meghan took an interest in acting and pursued her career. She attended an all-girls Catholic private school in Los Angeles and went on to double major is theater and international studies at Northwestern University.
Meghan's father worked in television, as a director of photography and lighting, while her mother was a social worker and yoga instructor.
Kate Has Led A Life Of Privilege
Even prior to getting married to Prince William, Kate Middleton lived a life of luxury. Her father was born into wealth and started an online party gift company that raked in millions. While Kate was attending school at the prestigious St. Andrews private school, she lived in her parents' apartment that's estimated to be worth between $1.3 and $1.8 million.
While she's put in the work for her education, Kate has never had to worry about money or being taken care of.
Meghan Was Given Lots Of Opportunities, But Not Like Kate
Meghan's father made a good living in Hollywood, which allowed him to send his daughter to a private school. However, Meghan's lifestyle was nothing like Kate's extravagant upbringing.
After Meghan's parents divorced when she was six years old, Meghan was primarily raised by her mother. After college, between acting jobs, Meghan worked odd jobs like teaching calligraphy and bookbinding to make ends meet. She didn't have the luxury of being put-up in a million-dollar apartment like Kate.
Kate Keeps Distance Between Her Fans
In photographs, Kate can be seen keeping a distance between herself and the public when she's greeting people who attend the events. Oftentimes, she's seen holding her purse in front of her, a body language signal that she's not open to handshaking or hugs.
On occasion, she'll reach out and shake hands or accept flowers, but not every time. This is in part because she would be breaking royal protocol to have others touch her or snap a photo with the duchess.
Meghan Embraces Her Fans
Much different than the Duchess of Cambridge, Meghan is quick to offer a hug to children and others that turn out to see the British royal family. Her warm personality is welcoming to fans, and they feel comfortable reaching out to her and asking for a hug or a photo.
When preparing to announce she was dating Prince Harry, Meghan deleted her popular blog and all of her social media accounts, but you can't blame her for still wanting to connect with fans.
Kate Keeps Her Opinions To Herself
One of the protocols for being a member of the British royal family includes staying neutral on political topics and social issues. Royals are not to comment on their opinion on matters, nor are they allowed to support a candidate or a cause that has two sides to it.
Since stepping into the spotlight dating Prince William, Kate as done an exemplary job of staying neutral on all topics and keeping her opinions to herself.
Meghan Has Always Been Outspoken
Since she was a young girl, Meghan has always been outspoken about her opinions and has taken a stance on social issues. In fact, when Meghan was just 11 years old, she was featured on Nick News with Linda Ellerbee for her campaign to have a Proctor and Gamble television commercial removed that she deemed sexist.
She also brought light to social issues including gender inequality on her popular blog The Tig before shutting it down. She can't undo the past, but the duchess has kept quiet since her engagement to Prince Harry.
Kate's Past Is A Clean Slate
Try as they might, media hasn't been able to get any dirt on Kate Middleton prior to her life as a royal married to Prince William. There may be a few photos of Kate from her college days where she isn't dressed as sophisticated as she does now, but that's to be expected.
It was an easy choice for Queen Elizabeth II to welcome Kate into the family, as she had no qualms about the duchess' past.
Meghan Wasn't A Perfect Fit, But The Queen Warmed Up To Her
On paper, Meghan Markle wasn't the perfect fit to wed Prince Harry and join the royal family. Not only was she an American, but she was also a celebrity due to her acting career, and she had previously been married and divorced.
The Queen certainly took these into account when considering whether to give her approval to Prince Harry. In all fairness, Meghan was 34 years old when she met Harry, and had more life experiences than Kate when she met her prince at the young age of 19.
Kate Loves Playing Sports
In her leisure time, Kate Middleton enjoys being active and playing sports. She always joins in when the royal couple makes appearances at sporting events or with children. She's been spotted playing tennis, volleyball, rowing, and skiing, as her family takes trips to Switzerland.
While in boarding school, Kate ran cross country, was on the rowing team, the swim team, and played tennis and field hockey. She's quite the athlete!
Meghan Enjoys Yoga
When it comes to being active, Meghan prefers to get on a yoga mat, like her mom. Meghan's mother Doria is a yoga instructor in Los Angeles, and Meghan has reportedly done yoga since the age of seven.
While living in Toronto, Meghan was seen carrying her yoga mat often. After marrying Prince Harry, Meghan was spotted going into a hot yoga class at Modo Yoga in NYC. A source told People, "She has been going to Modo yoga for many years and tries to do so whenever she is in New York. It was the perfect remedy for jet lag."
Kate And Prince William Rekindled Their Relationship
Sparks flew when Kate and Prince William first met in college at St. Andrew's in 2001. They started dating in 2002 and formally announced their relationship in 2004 as they attended some family events together. Then in 2007, the couple split. Kate and William explained they both needed some space and time to themselves which makes sense, as both were graduated from college and finding their footing.
By 2008, they were back together. The Queen had always approved of their relationship, and in 2010, Prince William proposed during a trip to Kenya. The couple was married on April 29, 2011.
Meghan Has To Deal With The Ruthless Paparazzi
Many will remember the day Princess Diana passed away following a horrific car crash while her driver was trying to get away from the paparazzi. Sadly, her son, Prince Harry, his wife, Meghan Markle, and his mother-in-law, Doria, experienced a similar incident in May 2023.
A spokesperson for the couple said, "Last night, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex and Ms. Ragland were involved in a near catastrophic car chase at the hands of a ring of highly aggressive paparazzi. This relentless pursuit, lasting over two hours, resulted in multiple near collisions involving other drivers on the road, pedestrians, and two NYPD officers." Needless to say, Kate has never had to deal with a car chase.
Meghan And Harry Moved At A Faster Pace
While Kate and Prince William were together for nine years before they were married, Meghan and Prince Harry's relationship moved at a much quicker pace. The couple met in 2016 when they were set up on a blind date. Feeling instant chemistry, they went on their first trip together, to Botswana, just a few weeks after first meeting.
The Clarence House and Kensington Palace announced the couple's engagement on November 27, 2017 and they were married the following year on May 19, 2018.
The Importance Of Kate's Children
The Duchess of Cambridge has quite a bit riding on her public image and royal duties. Not only is she expected to become the Queen consort, but she is the mother of Prince George, who is third in line for the British throne.
Being the mother to the future king is quite a big deal! Kate gave birth to Prince George in 2013, and has since welcomed Princess Charlotte in 2015 and Prince Louis in 2018.
It's Hard For Kate To Find Any Privacy
The British royal family receives a lot of attention, and the media is always looking to get photos and a new story about Kate and Prince William. Because of this, they find it hard to escape the paparazzi, even with all of their security.
In 2012, Kate was particularly upset when photos of the duchess on vacation were published in a magazine. She was sunning herself and not fully clothed when the photographer captured the photos. The royal family took the paparazzi to court over the incident.
What This Means For Meghan's Children
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have a different family situation than Kate and William because it's highly unlikely that their children would take the throne. Their first child, Archie, is a member of the royal family, but isn't given the title of His Royal Highness or Prince.
This gives Meghan and Harry a bit more leeway when it comes to how they plan to raise their son and any other children they may have.
Kate Is Set To Become The Queen Consort
The line of succession to the throne is very important within any royal family, especially in the highly regarded British royal family. Prince William is currently second in line to the throne, following his father Prince Charles.
When it's time for Prince William to take the throne, Kate will become the Queen consort, which is a very big deal. This is why it is of utmost importance that Kate closely follows royal protocol. This also makes their first son, Prince George of Cambridge, third in line of succession to the British throne.
How Meghan Fits Into The Royal Family
With Prince Harry being sixth in line of succession to the British throne, there's a very little chance that he will ever have to step up to the challenge. Because of this, he and Meghan are given a little more slack when it comes to scrutiny and expectations of royal duties.
Meghan's royal title will always be Duchess, and Harry's will always be Prince. Their son Archie does not hold a title of "Royal Highness" nor is he a British prince. So instead, Meghan and Harry chose their son to be recognized as Master Archie Mountbatten-Windsor.
Meghan Has Been Harassed, Too
While she didn't have any risque photos of her published, the Duchess of Sussex has had her own problems when it comes to privacy and protecting herself from the press. When word spread that Prince Harry and Meghan were dating, people attacked Meghan with vicious comments online.
Prince Harry came to her defense and demanded that people stop harassing her and making offensive comments on the internet. Kensington Palace staff were also quick to delete negative commentary online surrounding the announcement of the couple's pregnancy.
Kate's Incredible Engagement Ring
The engagement ring that Prince William presented Kate Middleton with is unmatched. William proposed with a 12-carat diamond and sapphire made by the royal family's jeweler, Gerrard, which belonged to his late mother, Princess Diana.
In fact, it was Diana's engagement ring as well. She returned it to the royal family when she and Prince Charles divorced in 1996. The Queen allowed Prince William to present Kate with the ring, along with the support of his brother Harry.
Meghan's Engagement Ring Is Simple And Elegant
While Kate Middleton was given Princess Diana's prized diamond and sapphire ring, Prince Harry wouldn't be able to match it when it came to proposing to Meghan. Harry went to Cleave and Company jewelers to have the perfect ring made for his future wife.
He chose a large diamond from Botswana, where the couple took their first trip together, framed with two smaller diamonds, one on each side, that belonged to a tiara worn by his mother, Princess Diana. The ring isn't as grandiose as Kate's, but it better matches Meghan's personal style.
23 Million People Watched Kate And Prince William's Wedding
On April 29, 2011, Kate Middleton and Prince William were married at Westminster Abbey in London as 23 million viewers tuned in to watch on television in Britain alone. The royal wedding was a huge ordeal, as the couple is expected to become the future King and Queen consort.
The British royal family pulled out all the stops for the wedding and officials from around the world attended the important event. Kate's father, Michael Middleton, walked her down the aisle. The wedding officially made Kate "Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge."
Meghan And Harry's Wedding Was More About Them
While Kate and Prince William's wedding was hugely important not just for them, but for the future of the United Kingdom, Meghan and Prince Harry's wedding was more about their union and welcoming Meghan into the royal family as a duchess.
Wedding guests included Oprah, Serena Williams, and stars of Hollywood, and since Meghan's father didn't attend the wedding, Meghan chose to walk down the aisle alone. Following Princess Diana, she also excluded the promise to "obey" her husband in her wedding vow.
Why Kate and William Don't Engage in PDA
As mentioned, Kate is extremely vigilant when it comes to following royal protocol. Part of it is making sure not to display too much affection with her husband! As old fashioned and stuffy as it may seem, it's true that Kate abstains from kissing and even holding hands with her husband, Prince William, as its considered bad form for the royal family.
You'll notice that Prince William will place his hand on her back properly and delicately, and the couple will share lovingly glances, but they won't show affection as most couples in love might.
Meghan Breaks Some Of The Rules
It was easy to see that Meghan and Prince Harry were falling fast for each other when they first met. The couple was often spotted holding hands, looking at each other lovingly, and plenty of other gestures of love and companionship.
Yes, they were bending the rules, but because Prince Harry isn't expected to take the throne, again, their slightly "inappropriate" behavior has been overlooked. Their public affection also makes Meghan and Harry a bit more relateable and down to earth, even they are apart of the British royal family.
Meghan's Wedding Dress
While it's safe to say that both Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton looked stunning on their big days, the two amazed in different ways. The artistic director of Givenchy, Clare Waight Keller, had the honor of designing Meghan's dress.
It was a minimalist silk cady design that featured a boat neckline and floating triple organza skirt. It was a classic and simple surprise, nothing like what Kate pulled off on her day. Let's see that now...
Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen did the honors of dressing Kate Middleton for her special day, and she did an outstanding job at it. The designer focused on femininity and elegance, just the way Kate likes it.
The gown featured intricate lace with satin details that helped make the royal appear even more eye-catching. Some finer details included the symbols of the four nations of the United Kingdom on her tulle petticoat. Kate went for the lace, while Meghan kept it smooth.
The Evening Dresses
After saying "I do," the happy couples change into something more comfortable so they can finish the rest of the festivities. These dresses are their evening gowns, and both of them went in different directions again.
Kate stuck with the same designer who fashioned her wedding gown, Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen. This was an ivory silk number, belted at the waist with jewels. On top, she wore a gorgeous and warm wool cardigan.
Meghan's Evening Dress
Meghan Markle almost had the same exact style for evening dress as she did with her wedding gown. This time, instead of going with a French house, she opted for a British designer.
Meghan had Stella McCartney to thank for this version of a minimalist, backless gown in ivory silk crepe. Meghan stayed on the "less is more" side of things. While Kate joined that train as well with her evening dress, hers had a few more extras than Meghan's.
Meghan Markle paid homage to the great Princess Diana with her bouquet, thanks to the features. Hers had forget-me-nots (Diana's favorite flower), lilies, jasmine, myrtle, and astrantia. Prince Harry even picked some of them himself!
As for Kate Middleton, she also had myrtle and lilies, but with hyacinth and Sweet Williams. They almost looked similar, but with a closer look, you can see they weren't. The tradition is to leave the bouquets at the Grave of the Unknown soldier afterward and that's what they both did.
Baby Meghan In Her Sister's Lap
Look at that face! This 1982 photo shows Meghan being held by her half-sister. Samantha Grant, who lives in Ocala, Florida, is also Tom Markle's daughter. The two have a 17-year age difference so they were reportedly never very close, but it certainly appears in this photo that there was some genuine love shared between the half-siblings.
Samantha has even reported that she taught little Meghan to walk! However, current reports indicate that Meghan and Samantha have not kept in touch and aren't too friendly with each other these days. In fact, Samantha has said she’s working on a book about Meghan, which will be titled The Diary of Princess Pushy’s Sister.
This Cute Shot Of Her & Her Dad
So many photos that have surfaced of Meghan and her father when she was little, but this one shows them together when she was a bit older — and it seems her dad is rooting for her now just as much as he always has been. When her engagement to Harry was officially announced in November, he and Meghan's mother released the following joint statement: "We are incredibly happy for Meghan and Harry. Our daughter has always been a kind and loving person.
To see her union with Harry, who shares the same qualities, is a source of great joy and passion for us parents. We wish them a lifetime of happiness and are very excited for their future together." Such a sweet family!
Her Homecoming Photo Is Beautiful
Most of us have to deal with our embarrassing school dance photos, but apparently not Meghan, if this photo from her homecoming dance in high school is any indication of how pretty she was in her teenage years. And since she was voted queen, she's already used to living the royal life and wearing a crown.
According to friends who went to school with her, this was taken at a dance held at her all girls’ school, Immaculate High School, although boys were obviously allowed to accompany them at the dance. How does this photo look so 1990s but also not at all awkward, at the same time?
She's Always Been Close With Her Family
How adorable is this group photo, including Meghan in overalls?! As a kid, it seems she was always very close with her family… so it makes sense that they'd be a little wary of the fact that she was marrying into the British royal family.
"I’m sure at the onset, both my parents and my close friends were concerned because we got very quickly swept up in a media storm that was not part of my life before that, but they also had never seen me so happy," Meghan said in her first post-engagement interview in November. We wonder how many of them we’ll spot at the wedding next May?
This Photo From High School
Here's Meghan, sporting her school uniform with a couple of friends. One of her former classmates told People that nobody could possibly think anything negative about her, because Meghan is just that kind of person. "Harry is lucky to have her!" the classmate told the magazine.
“No one who knows Meghan could have a bad word to say about her. She is the kindest person, and incredibly smart. She doesn’t buy into Hollywood fakeness. She’s a genuinely good person who cares about others.” From what we know about her already, we can’t help but agree — and as far as being lucky, Harry’s definitely hit the jackpot with his future wife.
This Glimpse Into Her Childhood
Yep, that's baby Meghan — right there with her dad, Tom, again… who, by the way, seems to have lived a very extraordinary life. As Meghan’s half-brother (also named Tom), told the Daily Mail, their father actually won the lottery when they were kids. "If Meg marries Harry she’ll have won the lottery of life but dad winning the lottery helped us all," Meghan’s brother said.
“That money allowed Meg to go to the best schools and get the best training. Meg is someone who has always had laser focus. She knows what she wants and she doesn’t stop until she gets it.” And what were his winnings? A cool $750,000. Jealous!
Girls Just Want to Have Fun
After graduating from Northwestern University in 2003, Meghan celebrated her accomplishment with a cross-country road trip with her friend Ninaki Priddy. The two girls set out on their road trip from Chicago, Illinois and headed west to California.
This photo of the girls smiling was snapped in Las Vegas, where they enjoyed a night out on the strip. Looking stylish in feminine dresses, they made sure to take advantage of the photo op!
Meghan Hanging Out At Home
This photo of a very tiny Meghan is just way too cute — and according to what we know about her childhood, at this age, she would have been living a very charmed life at this age. Although her parents divorced when she was six years old, she went to a very cool elementary school to get her education.
The Daily Mail reports that she followed in the footsteps of stars like Judy Garland and Elizabeth Taylor by attending Hollywood Little Red Schoolhouse… which also feeds students vegetables that are grown at the school itself. That is a pretty cool experience to have.
Meghan With Her Dad As A Baby
It seems that Meghan and her father, Tom Markle, have always been close — and this photo of the two of them together is too cute for words. These days, he lives a rather private life in Baja, California, but he used to be part of the entertainment industry, just like his daughter.
You might be surprised to learn that he's actually won Emmy awards for his work as a lighting director, so maybe that’s where his daughter realized that she belonged on screen? He’s worked on shows like The Facts of Life and General Hospital, although he’s no longer in that field. Impressive though, right?
Meghan Enjoying Some Popcorn
Well, here's the evidence, everyone: even actresses turned members of the royal family enjoy a good snack every now and then, especially when it comes to popcorn. So many photos of Meghan are super glam, even for a young kid or teenager, but this one grounds her in real life, making it obvious that she’s just like the rest of us… except maybe she’s a lot luckier than the rest of us, because it’s not like we all get to meet Prince Harry or anything.
We wonder if the little girl in this photo had any idea what the future held for her? Whatever comes next for her, we hope that Harry makes sure the royal staff keeps some popcorn in the kitchen for her.
This Group Sorority Photo
Just as beloved as Meghan was in high school, it sounds like everyone adored her in college, too. One of her former professors, Harvey Young, spoke with ABC about what it was like to have Meghan in his class, and just like everyone else, he had only positive things to share — and he loved her so much that he now uses her as an example of what you can accomplish with hard work.
"I taught her in a small, advanced undergraduate seminar," he said. “There were only eight students in the class. We sat in a circle. It was on contemporary black theater,.She was one of those people that I would highlight for students. I would say. 'This is a possibility. This is a path you can pursue if you work hard.'”
SO Involved In Her Beloved Sorority
Meghan attended college at Northwestern University in Chicago where she was a member of the sorority Kappa Kappa Gamma. This photo was from 2003, and demonstrates that she was always a beauty! It was taken in her senior year at the school when she was twenty-one years old. Meghan graduated with a double major in theatre and international relations.
It has been alleged that much like her future husband-to-be, Meghan enjoyed a good party or two in her college days. Allegedly, she even used a fake ID to get into various clubs in the area! One of her former classmates said, "Meghan had a fake ID during her time at university and told us about it when she visited the campus in 2014. She said she used it to drink at The Keg, which was a popular student bar for years, and she also got a job at a club in the city."
Happy Young Meghan
That precious face is too much — and it sounds like Meghan as a child was just as kind as the adult she's become today. Meghan has revealed in the past that her parents used to take her to visit hospice patients and deliver meals to them, as well as donating food on Thanksgiving.
Meghan’s also traveled to Jamaica and remote parts of the world with her mom to see how other people live, and it sounds like making these things a normal part of her upbringing have helped make her into a very compassionate person with a love for helping others — something that will certainly serve her well once she’s officially part of the royal family.
She Was On TV Fighting For Her Beliefs At A Young Age
This photo is a screenshot from when tiny Meghan made one of her earliest TV appearances, fighting for social justice. As an 11-year-old, she heard an Ivory dishwashing soap commercial claim that "women all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans" with their product, and knew she had to speak out against the sexist message.
So that's how Meghan ended up on Nick News with Linda Ellerbee — after her letter-writing campaign led to Ivory changing the phrasing of their commercial. Even as a kid, Meghan was already changing the world. Not that we didn’t see it coming, of course. She’s always been this cool.
An Early Glimpse Into The Future
When Meghan was just 15 years old, she went to Europe with a friend. The two teenagers made an obligatory stop in front of a building that would later play an enormous role in Meghan's life – Buckingham Palace. This photo shows the friends sitting on a railing just in front of the royal palace during the summer of 1996.
The friend, Ninaki Priddy, told the Daily Mail that she’s "not shocked at all. It’s like she has been planning this all her life." Meghan’s first official trip to the palace was in December 2017, for a pre-Christmas dinner.
This Photo Of Meghan & Her Nephew
Meghan seems close with her extended family, not just her parents, and this cute photo of Meghan as an aunt with her nephew is proof. Meghan has two half siblings, Thomas Markle Jr. and Samantha Grant, but as close as she is to her brother, it sounds like her older sister isn't a fan.
According to Town & Country, Samantha describes Meghan as a social climber who has always had her sights set on becoming a princess. In fact, reportedly, Samantha’s even going to write a tell-all book about growing up with Meghan. Watch out, guys… definite drama is ahead.
Meghan Smiling With a Mystery Man Long Before Her Suits Days
Although it's not entirely known when this photo was taken, it was surely before Meghan’s Suits days. Here, the now-royal is cozying up with someone who is thought to be a lead waiter at a restaurant where she and her friends were celebrating their college graduation. Meghan studied at Northwestern University and graduate from the School of Communication in 2003.
It was during her time as an undergrad that she began taking small acting roles here and there — although she wouldn’t get her big break in Suits until 2011.
Posing With A Friend
How cute is this?! And by the way, there were plenty of people who loved Meghan in high school — so many that a few more of them even spoke with People to talk about how much they adored going to school with her.
Apparently, Meghan was nominated for prom queen but didn't win — not that it matters now…. and it’s something that her classmates think will be an asset to her now that she’s joining the royal family. "She was a role model and was inspiring," a former friend said. “With her [work with] the UN and philanthropic interests, their goals and ideals are in alignment.”
Baby Meghan & Her Mom On A Picnic
Even though the rest of the world didn't know that Harry and Meghan were engaged until weeks later when they decided to make the good news public, Meghan’s mom was in on it the whole time. In fact, after he had the chance to get to know her, Harry reportedly asked her for permission to propose to her daughter.
"The royal, who announced his engagement to Meghan Markle on Monday, asked for her mother, Doria Ragland’s permission before popping the question," a source close to the couple told People. That’s such a sweet gesture! And of course, Meghan’s mom said yes. Who would say no to a prince?!
She Was Gorgeous In College
Knowing how drop-dead gorgeous Meghan is today, it's not a shock that she was total knockout in her college days. She attended Northwestern University, where she studied hard enough to graduate in 2003 with a double major in theater and international studies. She was also in a sorority — Kappa Kappa Gamma — and seemed very involved with her school in other ways, too, like with their theater program.
Makes sense for an aspiring actress… even though she wanted to learn other things, too. "I had always loved politics, so I ended up changing my major completely, and double-majoring in theater and international relations," she told Marie Claire in a 2013 interview.
And Another College Photo
Meghan must have loved her sorority sisters… and we don't doubt that they loved her too, since it seems like everyone who knew her back then did — and those days are also the time when she realized her passion for activism.
"In my memories of Meghan at Northwestern, she was very clear about the need to think about the experiences of people who are not only biracial but of people of color," Professor Young added in the same interview with ABC. “She was mindful of the need for gender equality and the importance of championing for women’s rights.” Sounds like the Meghan we know and love today!
She's Been Practicing For Years
This photo shows that Meghan has been practicing for her royal wedding for much of her life! In this adorable shot, we see Meghan acting as a flower girl in her aunt's 1986 wedding. She’s all dolled up in a lacy pastel pink dress and a strand of pearls, with her outfit topped off by a bow in her hair.
She is carrying a small bouquet of flowers. And of course she’s flashing that trademark smile of hers! We might guess from her expression that she enjoys weddings, which is a very good thing considering the one she’ll be in soon.
Another Shot With Dad
Here's another candid snapshot showing Meghan with her father Thomas Markle Sr. Also pictured is Meghan’s brother Thomas Markle Jr. In an interview shortly after the world learned of the royal engagement, brother Tom told the Daily Mail that their father was pleased about the relationship and said that the couple was "very much in love."
Tom Jr. continued, “My dad knew about [the relationship] from the start. He first met Prince Harry about six months ago out in Toronto. He goes once every couple of months – they are very close and they stay in close contact. He’s pretty happy about Harry and he’s extremely proud of her. They have an amazing relationship, they’re very close and they always have been.”
Clearly Her Daddy's Girl
Although they had a close relationship while Meghan was growing up, they apparently had a rift when she was about 18 years old. A friend shared a home video of Meghan, shot while the two were driving around Los Angeles. When they approached the area where Meghan's dad lived, she says "We aren’t going to go there.
We’re about four minutes from my dad’s house…you can see the Hollywood sign. But we aren’t going to go there because my dad and I aren’t on the best of terms." We’re glad to learn that they’ve improved their relationship since then.
Rubbing Elbows With The Stars
Meghan is pictured here with her friends as a young girl where she was able to meet actor Ted McGinley. Ted is probably most famous for his role on the show "Married With Children" where he played the neighbor Jefferson D'Arcy. Meghan and friends look pretty excited to meet a famous actor.
Married With Children starred Ed O’Neill and Katey Segal and the rest of their semi-dysfunctional family. Meghan has also spoken about the importance of family saying, “His family has been so welcoming. I have [met several family members] on his mother’s side it’s been really important to me too. The family has been great and in the past year and a half, they’ve made me feel a part of, not just the institution, but of a part of the family.”
Always Loved The Arts
It's obvious that Meghan has always had the love of the arts ingrained in her from a very early age. Pictured here is Meghan (far right) with the rest of her classmates performing in a school production. Just like the rest of us, she went through the typically cheesy school programs.
Unlike many of us, however, Meghan stuck with her love of acting and became truly successful at her craft. Meghan will soon leave behind her first love of acting and devote her time to charity while embarking on her new life with Prince Harry.
Deal Or No Deal Beauty
In her early days in Hollywood, Meghan worked as a "Deal or No Deal" beauty and briefcase model. “Deal or No Deal” was a show where contestants attempted to select the best “deal” from a series of briefcases offered up by models like Meghan. Meghan would be the one to reveal the amount of money in the briefcase that was selected. She appeared in 34 episodes in several years of the show.
In an interview with Esquire she discussed the gig saying, “I would put that in the category of things I was doing while I was auditioning to try to make ends meet. I went from working in the U.S. Embassy in Argentina to ending up on 'Deal.' It’s run the gamut. Definitely working on ‘Deal or No Deal’ was a learning experience, and it helped me to understand what I would rather be doing
Meghan is pictured here in a theater production from her college days where one of her majors was in theater. While in school, she also cultivated another skill which she later used to her advantage while working as a struggling actress. Meghan also happens to be a very talented calligrapher. In some of her early days in Hollywood, she also worked as a freelancer in the handwriting craft.
Meghan said, "I've always had a propensity for getting the cursive down pretty well. What it evolved into was my pseudo-waitressing job when I was auditioning. I didn’t wait tables. I did calligraphy for the invitations, for, like, Robin Thicke and Paula Patton’s wedding."
A Lot Like Love
One of the early acting gigs that Meghan scored was in 2005's "A Lot Like Love" which starred Ashton Kutcher and Amanda Peet. She even shared the screen with Ashton briefly in a scene on board an airplane which is how the main characters ultimately meet in the film. Although her role was brief, she was definitely a shining star in her moments on the screen.
After her engagement to Prince Harry was revealed, Meghan announced that she would be retiring from acting. Meghan said, “I think what’s been so exciting [transitioning] out of my career and into, as you said, the causes I can focus even more energy on, very early out of the gate, [is that you] have a voice that people listen to, a lot of responsibility.”
A Multiracial Beauty
The stunning star's distinct appearance can be attributed to her mixed race ancestry. Her father, Thomas W. Markle, is of Irish descent and her mother, Doria Radlan, is African American. Meghan says that she is proud of her heritage and proudly professes her multiculturalism.
"I have come to embrace [my heritage]," said Markle, “to say who I am, to share where I’m from, to voice my pride in being a strong, confident mixed-race woman.” Meghan Markle is definitely the kind of woman who does not back down from her convictions!