Meghan, Duchess of Sussex (born Rachel Meghan Markle) is an American member of the British royal family and former actress. She is the wife of Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, the younger son of King Charles III.
Meghan was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. Her acting career began at Northwestern University; her last and most significant screen role was that of Rachel Zane for seven seasons (2011–2018) in the American TV legal drama Suits. She also developed a social media presence. This included The Tig (2014–2017) lifestyle blog which garnered recognition for her fashion sense and led to the creation and release of two clothing lines in 2015–2016. During The Tig period, Meghan became involved in charity work focused primarily on women's issues and social justice. She was married to American film producer Trevor Engelson from 2011 until their divorce in 2013.
Meghan retired from acting upon her marriage to Prince Harry in 2018 and became known as the Duchess of Sussex. They have two children, Archie and Lilibet Mountbatten-Windsor. In January 2020, the pair stepped down as working royals and later settled in California. In October 2020, they launched Archewell Inc., an American public organization that focuses on non-profit activities and creative media ventures. In the following years, she released a picture book for children, The Bench, and launched a Spotify podcast, Archetypes. Meghan and Harry filmed a highly publicized interview with Oprah Winfrey, which was broadcast in March 2021.
According to Markle, she had some difficulty getting roles early in her career due to being "ethnically ambiguous" because "I wasn't black enough for the black roles and I wasn't white enough for the white ones." To support herself between acting jobs, she worked as a freelance calligrapher and taught bookbinding. Her first on-screen appearance was a small role as a nurse in an episode of the daytime soap opera General Hospital, a show for which her father served as a lighting director. Markle had small guest roles on the television shows Century City (2004), The War at Home (2006) and CSI: NY (2006). For her role in Century City, she told the casting directors that she was a SAG-AFTRA member when she was not, but after being cast the employers were obliged to help her join the union according to the Taft–Hartley Act. Markle also did several contract acting and modeling jobs. Between 2006 and 2007, she worked as a "briefcase girl" on 34 episodes of the US-version of the game show Deal or No Deal. She appeared in Fox's series Fringe as Junior Agent Amy Jessup in the first two episodes of its second season.
Markle appeared in small roles in the films Get Him to the Greek, Remember Me (produced by her then-partner Trevor Engelson) and The Candidate in 2010 and the film Horrible Bosses in 2011. She was paid $187,000 for her role in Remember Me and $171,429 for her role in the short film The Candidate. In July 2011, she joined the cast of the USA Network show Suits through to late 2017 and the seventh season. Her character, Rachel Zane, began as a paralegal and eventually became an attorney. While working on Suits, she lived for nine months each year in Toronto. Fortune magazine estimated that she was paid $50,000 per episode, amounting to an equivalent annual salary of $450,000.