Dear readers, as you well know, Meghan Markle is engaged to be married to Prince Harry. As is already well-known, she has acted in the USA drama Suits, playing the role of paralegal Rachel Zane. What you may not know is that she has had a fascinating life, during the course of which she has achieved a great deal. Equally fascinating are her background and ancestry.

1. Meghan is not her first name.

It is, in fact, her middle name. Her full name is Rachel Meghan Markle. Perhaps the fact that her character in Suits was called Rachel led to her decision.


2. She has a communications degree

Fom Northwestern University, which she obtained in 2003


3. She has worked as a calligrapher for weddings and events.

She is known for her fancy penmanship. Such skills might come in handy for writing royal decrees on scrolls, should such practices still exist. 


4. She's half Dutch-Irish.

Her mother is African-American and her father is Dutch-Irish. They met on the set of a TV show for which they were both working. This fact alone marks a new chapter in the history of the British royal family, which has till now been an all-European unit.


5. She has been married before 

To film producer Trevor Engelson. They split two years later. What this means is that, as in the case of that other famous American to marry a royal, Wallis Simpson, the royal wedding will be her second. In addition, Simpson's husband Edward VIII was a known Nazi sympathizer. Prince Harry once wore a Nazi costume, in what turned out to be the silliest moment of his life, to a costume party. He has, since, pulled up his socks and set the example that's expected from him.


6. She's a philanthropist and humanitarian.

She has campaigned against poverty and gender discrimination, and worked with such organizations as World Vision and the United Nations. Markle says that her philanthropic journey began when her mother opened her eyes to poverty. She has, since, campaigned for clean water in Rwanda and spent time in Indian slums. She is, very much, the global citizen. Hers is, perhaps, one of those rare instances when one has already been committed to good causes before joining the royal family.

via @meghanmarkle

7. She's related to Shakespeare.

Myheritage.com found her to be a descendant of William Shakespeare from her father's side. Her father is, apparently descended from Shakespeare's mother. Which means that she will be entering Buckingham Palace with a bloodline that the English may well consider more iconic than that of the royalty. Hopefully, she won't bring the spirit of Hamlet with her. As we all know, that's a recipe for disaster.

8. She's held one of the suitcases on "Deal Or No Deal".

Meghan was one of the models on a TV game show that was as big on sets as it was small on substance. Perhaps, this is a rare glitch in an otherwise illustrious life. And besides, one can't pick and choose showbiz opportunities when one is still a relative unknown in Hollywood. Still, she could have used the Shakespeare connection to skip the early struggles. Surely that would have opened a few doors.


9. She interned at the U.S. embassy in Buenos Aires

At the time, she was considering a career in politics. As it transpires, her career path has taken her closer to the world of politics than showbiz. She has even hobnobbed with a certain Justin Trudeau.

via @meghanmarkle

10. She started doing yoga at the age of seven.

Her mother was a yoga teacher and introduced her to a lifestyle that she credits with increased strength and flexibility as well as increased mental focus, less anxiety, and better quality of sleep. She'll need them as she takes on the might of the British tabloids.


11. She loves animals and is an advocate of animal adoption.

She has two dogs, whose names are Bogart and Guy. These two lucky scallywags are probably blissfully unaware of the wide open pooping spaces that lie in store for them at Buckingham Palace.

via @meghanmarkle

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