From riches to rags: The royal downfall of Meghan Markle

Arpita Chatterjee
·5-min read
CHESTER, ENGLAND - JUNE 14:  Queen Elizabeth II and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex visit Chester Town Hall on June 14, 2018 in Chester, England. Meghan Markle married Prince Harry last month to become The Duchess of Sussex and this is her first engagement with the Queen. During the visit the pair will open a road bridge in Widnes and visit The Storyhouse and Town Hall in Chester.  (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
CHESTER, ENGLAND - JUNE 14: Queen Elizabeth II and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex visit Chester Town Hall on June 14, 2018 in Chester, England. Meghan Markle married Prince Harry last month to become The Duchess of Sussex and this is her first engagement with the Queen. During the visit the pair will open a road bridge in Widnes and visit The Storyhouse and Town Hall in Chester. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

'In 2018, Markle, Her Royal Highness, the Duchess of Sussex, had a royal wedding ceremony in St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle.'

Meghan Markle: Who Is She?

Meghan Markle was born on August 4, 1981, in Los Angeles, California. Her parents are Doria, a clinical psychologist and yoga coach, and Thomas, a broadcasting light and photographic supervisor. Markle got her first TV part in 2002, with a guest appearance on General Hospital. 

She appeared in a variety of films, including Cuts, The War at Home, CSI: NY, and 90210. As a mixed-race actress, she spoke out about the challenges of working in Hollywood's 'inspecting' casting world.

Early Years

On the personal front, Meghan dated producer Trevor Engelson for a long time before getting married to him in 2011. But they parted ways within a few years of them tying a knot.

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As an individual, Markle enjoys various activities, including yoga (which she learned from her mother), calligraphy, and cooking. She's already a published essayist who has written for Elle UK. Moreover, her appointment as a United Nations Women's Advocate and her advocacy with the World Vision Clean Water Movement, among other aspects, are among Markle's philanthropic efforts.

In 'Suits,' Meghan plays a lead role

In 2011, Markle played Rachel Zane, a legal secretary in the USA Network series Suits. The courtroom drama is set in a global law firm in Manhattan with shifting intrigues. Markle has also made appearances in films such as 'Horrible Bosses' and 'Anti-Social'. In May, the actress opened up about her affair with Prince Harry.

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Romance and the wedding with royalty

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry tied the knot on May 19, 2018, at Windsor Castle's St. George's Chapel, with the ceremony televised live on ITV. For the second year running, Markle was perhaps the most Googled actress in the United Kingdom.

However, in January 2018, she took down her online social pages, citing the need for confidentiality and denouncing racial and racist cyberbullying.

Family drama in the run-up to the Wedding

On a personal note, Thomas Markle Jr. advised Prince Harry against marrying Meghan Markle. His half-brother defined her as a "befuddled, shallow, pretentious female who would doubt the authenticity of both you and the royal house tradition." Meghan Markle's father, Thomas Sr., was caught on camera allegedly tampering with photos of himself getting ready for the wedding. Following that, he confirmed that he would not attend a marriage due to recent heart surgery. Samantha Markle defended her father, saying that she was the one who took the pictures. While claiming that she and Markle were not close, she reportedly published a book about their friendship and made appearances on various TV shows.

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The birth of Junior Prince Harry

The birth of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's first child has been announced for the spring of 2019. Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor was born on May 6, 2019. In November 2020, Markle confirmed that she had a miscarriage in July of that year. On Valentine's Day 2021, the pair confirmed that they expect their second child, a girl.

As the Duchess of Sussex, Markle dealt with a lot of different situations

In October, Markle made news after a video appeared in which she mentioned her hardships as a young wife and mother in the spotlight. The Duchess made her first public appearance since giving birth at Trooping the Colour in June.

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Taking a step back from royal duties

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry announced in January 2020 that they would "resign" from the royal family. They will be senior royals until March 2021. They have claimed that they plan to break their time between the United Kingdom and North America. The Queen has voiced her love for the young couple, claiming she is "especially proud" of Markle. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex titles will be preserved, but they will no longer be included in the list of titles. The couple will no longer be addressed as His/Her Royal Highness and will no longer accept public support for royal functions. In a joint statement, the couple said that the move would enable them to focus on their charitable work.

The lawsuit in the tabloids

The royals disclosed their plan to seek Associated Newspapers, the editor of the Mail, on Sunday. At the pretrial proceeding in April 2020, their case lost. The court also denied Markle's arguments that the publisher 'acted dishonestly and in bad faith' and had an 'obvious purpose.'

The 'highly contentious' Oprah Interview

In March 2021, Markle and Harry sat down with Oprah Winfrey for a candid interview. Markle spoke to adverse tabloid reports and admitted to having suicidal thoughts. "My hope for people is for them to know there is another side to existence, that life is worth living," she said.

The aftermath

The Oprah interview opened can of worms it seems. The royal household was shocked by the interview while the UK media ripped Meghan and Harry apart. The American media, however, have welcomed the two royals with open arms, so much so that Prince Harry has done a number of appearances which he wouldn't have otherwise. 

The couple, who are expecting their second child, have settled into their low-key routine life in Montecito, USA, away from the highly publicised royal drama.