Meghan Markle's Road to Royalty: 14 Things to Know About the Actress Marrying Prince Harry

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Meghan Markle is about to become the newest member of the royal family (yes, even newer than you, Prince Louis!) thanks her to her May 19 Royal Wedding to Prince Harry. 

The couple announced their engagement this past fall and since then Markle has been keeping busy with public appearances around the United Kingdom and private lessons on royal protocol. 

Transitioning from Suits star to the princess of the people has been seemingly effortless for the actress, who has broken several traditions in just a few months of engagement. 

The world first learned of Harry and Markle's courtship in November 2016. "He is very into Meghan, it's a bit of a whirlwind romance," royal expert Katie Nicholl told ET at the time. "They've been dating very secretly for the past three months."

Now that Markle is on the road to being a royal herself, here's everything you need to know about Prince Harry's fiancee:

1. When Harry Met Meghan

In an interview with Vanity Fair this year, Markle revealed that she met Harry in London through friends in July 2016. 

“At the end of the day I think it’s really simple,” she told the magazine. “We’re two people who are really happy and in love. We were very quietly dating for about six months before it became news. And I was working during that whole time, and the only thing that changed was people’s perception. Nothing about me changed. I’m still the same person that I am, and I’ve never defined myself by my relationship.”

2. She Was a Professional Calligrapher

Looks like she might not need any help with those wedding invites!

Before her acting career, Markle made ends meet with her calligraphy. In fact, she even had some high-profile clients, like Paula Patton! The future royal penned Patton's wedding invites in her 2005 wedding to Robin Thicke. 

"She had this beautiful writing," Patton recently told ET. "That moment I feel like I said something to her. Like, 'You are meant to be royal'... She was just so graceful and lovely, and actually really kind."

Markle told Larry King in 2013 that she learned the skill set at her all-girls Catholic school. 

3. She’s Down to Earth

Meghan will most certainly be a people's princess! “When she’s not working, she’s totally a ‘jeans and tee’ kind of girl,” a source told ET. ”She’s way more into having a low-key night in than going out to party. She’s very smart, hardworking, and incredibly sweet.”

4. How She Describes Herself

“I'm an actress, a writer, the editor-in-chief of my lifestyle brand The Tig, a pretty good cook, and a firm believer in handwritten notes,” she told Elle UK.

Not long after getting together with Harry, Markle did take down her lifestyle website, and shortly after their engagement she deactivated her social media accounts. 

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in Sydney
Chris Jackson/Getty Images

5. She Was a UN Women Advocate 

Like Harry, Markle wants to make a difference in the world. “I spoke about this in a speech I gave for International Women’s Day with UN Women just two years ago. It is a testament to the fighting spirit I had as a young girl, and the responsibility I now feel as a grown woman; and even more so as an actress," she wrote on The Tig last year. "The moment Suits became successful and I realized people (especially young women) were listening to what I had to say."

Markle has since stepped down from her duties in order to focus on her new responsibilities. In an April speech, Prince Harry said of his bride, “I am also incredibly grateful that the woman I am about to marry, Meghan, will be joining me in this work, of which she too is hugely excited to take part in. “

6. Meghan Has Been Married Before

The American actress married Trevor Engelson, a film producer, in 2011 before divorcing two years later. Last September Engelson announced he was developing a pilot about being left for a royal. 

Amanda Edwards/Getty Images

7. She Has No Interest in a Cinderella Story 

"With fame comes opportunity, but in my opinion, it also includes responsibility – to advocate and share, to focus less on glass slippers and more on pushing through glass ceilings, and if I’m lucky enough – then to inspire,” Markle once wrote on one of her blog posts on The Tig.

8. Meghan's Education

Markle was a communications major and graduated from Northwestern University in 2003. She didn’t forget her alma mater after making it as a TV star, and returned to the Chicago campus in 2014 for a panel discussion. “It’s my alma mater, so I’m really happy to be back here,” she said at the time.

meghan markle suits
USA

9. Where You Might Have Seen Her 

While Markle is best known for her TV role on Suits, she has also made appearances on General Hospital90210The League, and Castle. She also had parts in Horrible Bosses and Remember Me.

Her Horrible Bosses co-star Jason Sudeikis recently opened up to ET about filming the brief cameo, joking, "I saw [her royal status] coming a mile away. I gotta be honest with you. She was regal in that moment, and it seemed like she’s only gotten better at it.”

10. Meghan Is Biracial

“My dad is Caucasian, and my mom is African American. I'm half black and half white,” Markle told Elle UK.of her ethnicity. “Being biracial paints a blurred line that is equal parts staggering and illuminating. At the end of season two, the producers [of Suits] went a step further and cast the role of Rachel's father as a dark-skinned African-American man, played by the brilliant Wendell Pierce.”

Prince William Meghan Markle Prince Harry
Getty Images

11. She Grew Up In Los Angeles 

Markle was raised on the West Coast but was living in Toronto with her dogs --  who she adopted while filming Suits -- when she first started dating Harry. 

“It was the late '70s when my parents met. My dad was a lighting director for a soap opera, and my mom was a temp at the studio,' she shares with Elle UK. "They moved into a house in The Valley in LA, to a neighborhood that was leafy and affordable."

Markle's parents, Thomas Markle and Doria Ragland, also issued a statement following their daughter's engagement news. "We are incredibly happy for Meghan and Harry. Our daughter has always been a kind and loving person," read the statement. "To see her union with Harry, who shares the same qualities, is a source of great joy for us as parents. We wish them a lifetime of happiness and are very excited for their future together."

Meghan Markle at Invictus games 2018
Tim Rooke/REX/Shutterstock

12. Her Girl Talent Crush Is Kerry Washington

Perhaps she'd in call Olivia Pope to be her royal fixer? In a 2016 interview with ET, Markle revealed that Kerry Washington was her girl talent crush. So how did the Scandal star take the news?

“That’s amazing!” Washington recently told ET. “She’s so beautiful and so talented, and I’m so very happy for her. I’m thrilled for the opportunities that lay ahead for her.”

13. She Had a Clothing Collection

Kate Middleton won't be the only royal with a sense of style! Long before she was dressing for formal events, Markle had her own clothing line. 

“For me, in putting the whole collection together, it’s a reflection of where I’ve come from,” she said of the collection for the Canadian retailer Reitmans. “I’ve always shopped on the sale rack and I’ve always been the girl flipping through the hangers trying to find the best deal. And now, being able to say, wow, this has my name on it and is at a price point that I think is really approachable and I’m proud to say a lot of people can afford."

Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton
Chris Jackson - WPA Pool/Getty Images

14. She's Already Close With William and Kate

Markle seems to have won over her future brother and sister-in-law. The foursome have appeared at several events together in recent months, including the Royal Foundation Forum in February, where Markle took the stage with Harry, WIlliam, and Kate. 

Calling their bond, "Togetherness at its finest," Markle beamed alongside her future family. 

In March a source told ET that, "Kate has been doing whatever she can to help Meghan adjust to life behind Palace walls. Of course with two little ones, and a third on the way, Kate has her hands full, but she’s been guiding Meghan on Palace protocol and supporting her."

Keep up with all of ET's coverage of the Royal Wedding right here as we countdown to May 19!

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