kids encyclopedia robot

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Duchess of Sussex
Meghan Markle visits Northern Ireland - 2018 (41014635181).jpg
Meghan in March 2018
Born Rachel Meghan Markle
August 4, 1981 (1981-08-04) (age 39)
Los Angeles, California, United States
Issue Archie Mountbatten-Windsor
House Windsor (by marriage)
Father Thomas Markle
Mother Doria Ragland
Occupation Actress (2002–2017)
Signature Meghan's signature
Meghan Markle 3441
Markle at Paley Center in January 2013

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex (born August 4, 1981), formely known as Meghan Markle, is a member of the British Royal Family and former actress, model and humanitarian. Since 2011, she played Rachel Zane in the legal drama series Suits. She had the role of Amy Jessup in the Fox science fiction-drama Fringe.

Markle was born in Los Angeles, California. She grew up in the View Park-Windsor Hills and Hollywood neighborhoods of Los Angeles County. Her father is of a Dutch and Irish background and her mother is African American. She was married to producer Trevor Engelson from 2011 to 2013.

Markle began dating Prince Harry of Wales in June 2016. They became engaged in November 2017.

In preparation for the wedding, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, baptised Meghan Markle and confirmed her into the Church of England on March 6, 2018. The couple married at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018; becoming Duchess of Sussex.

On May 6, 2019, the Duchess gave birth to a boy - Archie Mountbatten-Windsor - who is seventh in line to the throne.

In January 2020, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced that they will be reducing their royal duties, and balancing their time between Great Britain and North America.

Early life

Markle was born on August 4, 1981, in Los Angeles. Of her parents she has said, "my dad is Caucasian and my mom is African-American ... I have come to embrace [this and] say who I am, to share where I'm from, to voice my pride in being a strong, confident, mixed-race woman." Her mother, Doria Ragland, has a master's degree in social work from the University of Southern California and works as a psychotherapist and yoga instructor. Her father, of Dutch and Irish descent, is Emmy award-winning lighting director Thomas W. Markle, whose profession resulted in his young daughter often visiting the set of Married … with Children.


Markle grew up in the Hollywood area of Los Angeles where, from age five, she was educated at private schools; first at Hollywood Little Red Schoolhouse and later at Immaculate Heart High School, an all-girl, private Catholic school in Los Angeles. She graduated in 2003 from Northwestern University, near Chicago, where she took theater studies before completing her bachelor's degree in theater and international studies; coursework included an internship at the U.S. embassy in Buenos Aires.



Paley Center 'Suits'
Markle (second from right) with the rest of the Suits cast at the Paley Center for Media in 2013

To support herself between early acting jobs, Markle worked as a freelance calligrapher and took on several contract acting and modeling jobs including a stint as a 'briefcase girl' on Deal or No Deal. In 2002, Markle appeared in an episode of the daytime soap opera, General Hospital. She appeared in Fox's series Fringe as Junior Agent Amy Jessup in the first two episodes of its second season. Since July 2011 she has played the paralegal Rachel Zane, on the USA Network show Suits. Markle has appeared in two 2010 films, Get Him to the Greek and Remember Me, and one 2011 film, Horrible Bosses. She appeared in the short film The Candidate (seen on the KQED public television show ImageMakers: the Company of Men) as a secretary in 2012. She has also appeared in episodes of Century City, Cuts, Love, Inc., The War at Home, 90210, Knight Rider, Without a Trace, The Apostles, CSI: NY, The League and Castle.

Other work

Meghan Markle 2014 (cropped)
Meghan at USO show for U.S. service members and their families stationed at Rota Naval Air Station, Spain, Dec. 6, 2014.

Markle was founder and editor-in-chief of lifestyle website The Tig. which closed in April 2017. In November 2016 Markle and Canadian clothing company Reitmans released a line of women's fashion workwear. In 2016, Markle became a global ambassador for World Vision Canada, traveling to Rwanda for the Clean Water Campaign. She has also worked with the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women as an Advocate. Markle was a counsellor for international charity One Young World, speaking at the 2014 annual summit in Dublin on the topics of gender equality and modern-day slavery. She also attended the 2016 summit in Ottawa.

Personal life

Prince Harry and Ms. Markle visit Titanic Belfast
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, March 2018

Markle is a self-proclaimed foodie, which was incorporated into her Suits character Rachel Zane. Markle is friends with a number of celebrities including Serena Williams, Jessica Mulroney, and Ben Mulroney.

Markle was in a relationship with actor and producer Trevor Engelson between 2004 and 2013, marrying on September 10, 2011 and divorcing in August 2013. Since June 2016, she has been in a relationship with Prince Harry.

On November 8, 2016, an official statement was released from the Royal Family's communications secretary addressing the "wave of abuse and harassment" directed toward Markle that followed the announcement of her relationship with Prince Harry. The statement spoke to the sexism, racism and defamatory stories directed at Markle and urged the press to "pause and reflect" before driving these storylines.

In September 2017, during an interview with Vanity Fair, Markle spoke in public for the first time about her love for Prince Harry saying, "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." Later that month, they made their first public appearances together at an official royal engagement - the wheelchair tennis event, and the closing ceremony of the Invictus Games in Toronto.

On May 6, 2019, the Duchess gave birth to a boy - Archie Mountbatten-Windsor - who is seventh in line to the throne.

Engagement and marriage to Prince Harry

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Markle and Prince Harry attending church on Christmas Day, 2017

Markle's engagement to Prince Harry was announced on November 27, 2017. By then, she had met Queen Elizabeth II, Harry's paternal grandmother, several times.

In preparation for the wedding, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, baptised Markle and confirmed her into the Church of England on March 6, 2018. The private ceremony, performed with water from the River Jordan, took place in the Chapel Royal at St James's Palace. The marriage ceremony took place on May 19, 2018, at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle. After becoming engaged, Markle began the years-long process of becoming a British citizen.


Markle's grt grt grt grandmother, New Hampshire landowner, Mary Hussey Smith
Markle's great-great-great-grandmother, landowner Mary Hussey Smith (1823-1908)

Research compiled in 1997 by historians including Markle's great-uncle, Mike Markle, revealed that her paternal great-great-great-grandmother was New Hampshire landowner Mary Hussey Smith (1823-1908), a direct descendant of nobleman John Hussey, 1st Baron Hussey of Sleaford, who was beheaded in 1537 at the order of King Henry VIII. Through Lord Hussey, Markle is a descendant of King John. Markle is also a descendant of Captain Christopher Hussey, Esquire (d.1686) who was appointed in 1679 by King Charles II to govern the Royal Province of Hampton, New Hampshire. He was a Founding Father of Nantucket.

Markle is a distant relation of Prince Harry. Their common ancestors are Elizabeth Bowes (1505– c.1572) and her husband, Richard Bowes, son of Sir Ralph Bowes of Streatlam Castle and High Sheriff of County Durham - ancestors of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother (née Bowes-Lyon).

Markle's maternal great-great-great grandfather was a slave on the Georgia plantations before being emancipated with the abolition of slavery in 1865.

Related Pages

Royal family on the balcony
The British royal family on the balcony at Buckingham Palace

Images for kids

kids search engine
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.