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How Meghan Markle Is Related To Prince Harry

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13 Facts About Meghan Markle, Prince Harry's Fiancé, And How They're Related

When American actress Meghan Markle revealed that she was set to marry the red-headed Prince Harry in 2017, the Internet immediately went mad. 

Harry, 36, and Markle, 39, announced their engagement after the prince proposed in London. The two had been dating for 16 months and kept their relationship a secret at first.

Harry asked the Queen for permission, which is protocol in the royal family, and got Markle’s parents’ blessing on the engagement before officially asking for her hand in marriage.

Both the Queen and Markle’s parents obviously approved because the two got married in May 2018. They had photos taken in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace, a favorite place of Harry’s mother, Diana.

The two quickly moved in together in the Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace until their union took place. They were neighbors to Harry’s brother, Prince William, and his wife, Kate. 

Markle had already begun the move to London and had left her Toronto apartment with her two dogs, Guy and Bogart. 

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A year after the big wedding, Markle gave birth to their son, Archie. And in January 2020, the couple shook the world to its core after announcing that they were officially breaking ties with the royal family and stepping back from their royal duties. They now live in Los Angeles.

And a new book, Finding Freedom, written by royal reporters, dives into the shaky relationship between Harry and Markle and Buckingham Palace. 

So, let’s get to know more facts about Meghan Markle:

1. Meghan Markle is a humanitarian.

Markle has “never wanted to be a lady who lunches” but would rather be “a woman who works."

Her humanitarian side definitely shows, as she is a global ambassador for World Vision Canada and has previously been an advocate for the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women.

2. Markle launched her own clothing line.

The actress, who played Rachel in Suits, created a clothing line that mocked her character’s fashion in an affordable way.

“They will come up to me and say where do I get that blouse that Rachel was wearing when she first kissed Mike Ross?” she said in 2016.

“And I don’t want to break their hearts. I remember that Rachel Comey backless blouse and believe me, I don’t have that in my closet. Or the $5,000 Tom Ford skirt! But I want to help them find something like it they can afford.”

Everything in Markle’s line, which was sold at Montreal-based Reitmans, was under $100.

3. Meghan Markle was the most Googled actress in 2016.

Markle was the number one most searched actress on Google in 2016. People would Google something like, “Meghan Markle?” and get everything they needed to know about Mrs. Prince Harry.

4. Meghan Markle is related to Prince Harry — a very distant cousin.

Markle and Harry’s family lines have been traced all the way back to the 15th century to reveal that the two are related!

Not that it matters, because it's so far back in their family histories, but the Prince and his wife are 15th cousins. Their ancestry is linked through Queen Elizabeth on Harry’s side and Markle’s father. Their shared relative was named Ralph Bowes, born in 1480.

5. Markle was previously married (and divorced) to Trevor Engelson.

Los Angeles-born Markle married film producer Trevor Engelson in 2011, but the couple didn't last long after tying the knot. By August 2013, they had divorced.

The two, who dated for years before settling down officially, could not take the stress and difficulties of their long-distance relationship.

6. Markle is biracial.

Markle’s mother, Doria Ragland, is an African American social worker and yoga therapist. Her father, Thomas Markle, is Dutch and Irish. The two divorced when she was six.

7. Markle's first name is actually Rachel.

Markle was actually born Rachel Meghan Markle in Los Angeles, California in 1981.

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8. She rescued two dogs.

Her dogs, Guy and Bogart, are a top priority in the actress’ life. Markle has posted photos of the pups on her now-deleted Instagram with the hashtag, “adopt don’t shop,” showing her love for rescuing man’s best friend.

9. Markle was a briefcase girl on Deal or No Deal.

In 2006, Meghan was one of the girls holding the briefcases on the show Deal or No Deal.

She said in a 2018 interview that she never even had the winning case, revealing, "I didn't ever have it. I don't think I did. I was the ill-fated number 26, which for some reason no one would ever choose. I would end up standing up there forever in these terribly uncomfortable and inexpensive five-inch heels just waiting for someone to pick my number so I could go and sit down."

10. Markle's first acting role was on General Hospital.

Markle landed a guest role on General Hospital back in 2002. After she broke into the world of acting with a spot on the ER drama series, she had been able to continue her career in acting, landing roles in movies and her most popular role in Suits.

11. She used calligraphy to pay the bills back in the day.

Before she landed acting gigs and roles in movies, Markle said she did freelance calligraphy. 

“I didn't wait tables. I did calligraphy for the invitations for, like, Robin Thicke and Paula Patton's wedding... 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,” she said.

12. Markle's title was originally up in the air. 

Even though Markle had become a part of the royal family when she married Harry, it's likely her title will never be that of a princess. In fact, there was originally some debate about whether she could even take on a royal title, due to the fact that she was a U.S. citizen and protocol states that you have to live in the U.K. for five years before you can become a British citizen. 

She had to be a British citizen to take on the title of "Her Royal Highness." Once she became a British citizen, it was said that she would likely go by "Duchess." This turned out to be true, as Markle was known as the Duchess of Sussex. 

13. Markle reportedly has a tense relationship with the royal family.

Ever since Markle entered into the royal family circle, there have been rumors that she doesn't have the best relationship with them. And the couple's shocking announcement to step away from the family only seemed to intensify those rumors.

A new book on Harry and Markle dives further into this speculation by claiming that the couple's choice to part ways with the royal family was actually due to the way they had treated Markle. The book claims that many on the inside of the royal circle share a dislike for the Duchess. 

The book even claims that the relationship between Harry and Markle, and his brother William and his wife Kate, was also not on the best of terms. 

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Sarah Gangraw is a writer with a degree in journalism. She writes about all things news, entertainment and crime.