Just because you're famous and gorgeous doesn't guarantee you're gonna hit the high ranks of Google-o-bility. But add the fact you're engaged to the high ranks of nobility . . .well, then that changes things substantially.
That's what happened to 36-year-old Suits actress Meghan Markle when she began dating 33-year-old Prince Harry, fifth in line to the British Royal Throne. Markle became the most googled actress of 2016. Fast forward to now, and the gossip mags are having double the royal heart palpitations over the news that the red-headed wild child prince has asked for Markle's hand in marriage.
Although no official word has yet to come from the Royal Palace, Harry's title will most likely change to Duke once he marries, according to Royal Historian Marlene Koenig. In that case, Markle would become Her Royal Highness the Duchess Of Sussex (other available titles are Buckingham and Clarence), and her rank would be a princess. What makes Harry's proposal to Markle groundbreaking is that once married, Markle will become the first biracial Catholic divorcee to become part of the Royal Family. (Read below for more details.)
The royal wedding will take place in the spring of 2018. It is the first time a direct heir to the throne will marry an American since King Edward VIII wed Wallis Simpson in 1937, abdicating the throne for their marriage.
So who is Meghan Markle? Here are some facts that give you a better sense of who she is and why she's captured the heart of a prince.
- Her gorgeous looks: Markle was born and raised in Los Angeles, California to a Caucasian father and African-American mother. She has navigated her biracial identity on her own terms and thinks it's pretty lame when people try to categorize her by asking the question: "What are you?"
- Her smarts: In 2003 she graduated from Northwestern University with a double major in theatre and international relations.
- How she got started in acting: In between acting gigs, Markle would take odd jobs (ones she'd rather forget) like being the "briefcase girl" on the game show Deal or No Deal. She also took on projects as a freelance calligrapher. However, soon she began getting small roles in TV shows like General Hospital, 90210, CSI: NY and in films like Get Him to the Greek and Horrible Bosses before she landed the role she's most known for: paralegal Rachel Zane on USA Network's legal drama Suits.
- Her romantic past: Markle was previously married to TV producer Trevor Engelson in a ceremony in Jamaica in 2011. The couple divorced two years later.
- Where she's living right now: Markle currently resides in Toronto with her two dogs Guy and Bogart.
- Her philanthropy: Markle has recently become an advocate for the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women. And as a Global Ambassador for World Vision Canada, she has traveled to India and Rwanda to promote clean water initiatives and women's education.
- Where Harry met Meghan: Prince Harry reportedly first laid eyes on the actress when he was in Toronto promoting a Paralympic sporting event in May 2016. A mutual friend introduced the two, and just two months later in July, Markle was spending time in London . . . the rest is history.
- Royal engagement rumors have been mounting for awhile: The bloggerati has been speculating about the royal nuptials for awhile now after Markle shut down her lifestyle site TheTig.com and reportedly asked to have her character be written off Suits. Next up: a spring 2018 wedding!