Meghan Markle: From TV stardom to British royalty

LONDON: Despite her US cizitenship, Meghan Markle is sometimes known in Canada as Toronto “royalty,” mingling with other celebrities in the city where “Suits,” the US legal drama in which she has starred as a high-flying paralegal Rachel Zane since 2011, is filmed.
The 36-year-old, mixed-race divorcee is very different from most of the women who have married into Britain’s royal family.
Markle has appeared on Canadian television alongside Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, while her friends include US tennis star Serena Williams, according to the Toronto Star.
The actress is reportedly close to both the Trudeaus and the family of former prime minister Brian Mulroney, together seen as Canada’s leading political families.
Last week, the Toronto Life magazine listed Markle fourth in the city’s most influential people
of 2017.
“Not every woman can cause an international incident just by putting on a pair of ripped jeans, but that’s exactly what happened when Markle showed up with Prince Harry at the 2017 Invictus Games,” the magazine said of the couple’s appearance together in Toronto in late September.
“The appearance sparked indignation from royal etiquette experts, and fashion pundits fell all over each other to find out where the jeans were from,” it said, adding that such close media attention is “the new normal” for Markle.
Earlier in September, Markle had revealed details of her much-rumoured romance with Prince Harry, in an interview with Vanity Fair at her Toronto home.
“We’re two people who are really happy and in love,” she told the US magazine.
She met Harry through friends in July 2016, she said.
“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.”
Vanity Fair said Markle had tried to make her small house in Toronto” look like a California bungalow, exposing the hardwood floors and letting in as much light as possible.”
“Seven Canadian winters!” she told the magazine. “A long time for someone who grew up in southern California.”
Markle is a graduate of the US Northwestern University’s theatre programme, according to her “Suits” biography.
Apart from the legal drama, she has made “notable recurring and guest-starring roles” in television productions including “Fringe,””Without a Trace,” “CSI: NY,” “CSI: Miami” and “The League.”
She is also credited on feature films such as “Get Him to the Greek,””Remember Me,” “A Lot Like Love” and “Horrible Bosses.”
Markle describes herself as mixed race, and has written online about racism experienced by her African-American mother.
For Elle magazine in 2015, she discussed the casual racism she experienced while growing up in Los Angeles and said she took “pride in being a strong, confident mixed-race woman.”
Markle wrote that she often reluctantly tells people: “My dad is Caucasian and my mom is African-American. I’m half black and half white.”
She said she felt initially “scared” before sharing her story with the magazine.
“Being biracial paints a blurred line that is equal parts staggering and illuminating,” Markle wrote.
In an interview later in 2015 with the Toronto Star, she said she had failed to fit in with any racial group during her school years.
“I grew up in LA in a school that was diverse, but it was not really integrated,” she told the newspaper.
“So I didn’t ever fully fit in with the black girls or the white girls or the Latina girls.” — dpa