- Meghan Markle is frequently compared to Grace Kelly, who became Princess Grace of Monaco in 1956 and died on September 14, 1982.
- Markle and Kelly were both famous American actresses before marrying into royal families.
- However, Grace Kelly was forced to give up her career and Hollywood fortune to become a royal.
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Meghan Markle was born on August 4, 1981, in Los Angeles, California. Her mother, Doria Ragland, was a clinical therapist and yoga instructor, while her father, Thomas Markle, worked in television as a light and photography director.
She went on to star in “Mogambo” opposite Clark Gable and Ava Gardner, during which time she was romantically linked to Gable. For her role as Linda Nordley, she was nominated for her first Academy Award and won a Golden Globe Award for best supporting actress. She later won the Academy Award for best actress in 1954 for “The Country Girl,” beating out Judy Garland in “A Star is Born.”
In 2002, Markle landed her first official TV acting credit as Nurse Jill, a small role in “General Hospital.” However, she is best known for her role as Rachel Zane on “Suits.” She appeared in episodes from 2011 to 2018.
In July 2016, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry were set up on a blind date at Soho House in New York City by a mutual friend.
In their first sit-down interview as a couple, Markle told the BBC in 2017 that she didn’t know much about the prince or the royal family before the date.
“Because I’m from the States, you don’t grow up with the same understanding of the royal family,” she said. “I didn’t know much about him, so the only thing that I had asked [our mutual friend] when she said that she wanted to set us up, was, ‘Well, is he nice?’ Cause if he wasn’t kind, it just didn’t seem like it would make sense.”
As Insider previously reported, according to The List, J. Randy Taraborrelli wrote in his book, “Once Upon a Time: Behind the Fairy Tale of Princess Grace and Prince Rainier,” that Kelly planned to continue her acting career after her wedding. However, the prince later said he and his wife had decided she would give it up.
“It was widely believed that it was Prince Rainier who made his wife stop acting, as Kelly had no plans of retiring at the time of their engagement,” The List said.
On November 29, 2017, immediately following the engagement announcement, it was officially confirmed that Markle would be exiting “Suits” after seven seasons.
“From all of us at USA Network and Universal Cable Productions, we want to send our most heartfelt congratulations to Meghan Markle and Prince Harry on their engagement,” USA Network said in a statement.
“Meghan has been a member of our family for seven years and it has been a joy to work with her. We want to thank her for her undeniable passion and dedication to ‘Suits,’ and we wish her the very best.”
Her storyline was wrapped up with her character, Rachel Zane, marrying Patrick J. Adams, who plays her love interest, Mike Ross, throughout the show’s seven seasons.
However, her decision to leave Hollywood was apparently not one made by the royal family — Prince Harry told Oprah Winfrey his family suggested Markle should continue acting to earn money.
When she died at the age of 52, Princess Grace only had a net worth of $US10,000 ($AU13,569) and the deed to her grandfather’s small cottage in Ireland in her own name.
“When I married Prince Rainier, I married the man and not what he represented or what he was. I fell in love with him without giving a thought to anything else,” Kelly once said.
Prince Harry, who was fifth in line to the throne when he married Meghan Markle, had no obligation to produce an heir to the British throne. Now sixth in line, it is extremely unlikely he or his children, Archie and Lilibet, will ever ascend to the throne.
Meghan Markle also retained her American citizenship and even voted in the 2020 presidential election after she and Prince Harry moved to California.
“I never really liked Hollywood. I found it unreal — unreal and full of men and women whose lives were confused and full of pain,” Kelly once said.
Once a royal, she supported charities working for child welfare and established her own foundation to benefit local artists.
Meghan Markle appears to have had a harder time adjusting to her royal life and the expectations that came with it — in a March 2021 interview with Oprah Winfrey, she said she was naive when she entered the marriage. Last year, the California native, Prince Harry, and their son, Archie, all relocated to Santa Barbara after stepping back from the royal family.
However, she too has focused on causes she cares about, formerly serving as a patron of charities in the UK, and launching her nonprofit foundation Archewell with Prince Harry.
However, Meghan Markle faced oftentimes unfair backlash and criticism from the British tabloids, practically from the moment she was romantically linked to Prince Harry. Her and Prince Harry’s treatment by the British press resulted in multiple lawsuits and a string of legal battles.
Meghan Markle also spoke out about the problems she faced within the royal family that led to her and Prince Harry relinquishing their royal duties and moving to California.