Before celebrities became stars and walked the red carpets, they were just regular people trying to succeed in Hollywood, and that meant having regular jobs.
Meghan Markle was also one of those. She brought her experience from her Catholic girls' school to the real world and used that skill to make money while waiting for auditions.
Having learned handwriting in school and mastered cursive well, she started working as a calligrapher and designed wedding invitations.
Meghan Markle at the 'Bridging the Gender Gap' special session on October 17, 2014, in Dublin | Photo: Getty Images
THE LIFE OF MEGHAN MARKLE
Before becoming the darling of the United Kingdom, the former actress had a rough start in Los Angeles and fame in Hollywood. There was also disharmony with some family members.
Her marriage was a small revolution for the monarchy; the American actress who has already been married represented an unprecedented profile in the corridors of Buckingham Palace.
Meghan Markle visits 1 World Trade Center on September 23, 2021, in New York | Photo: Getty Images
Her European fairy tale began in the United States, where Markle was born and reflected an extraordinary trajectory. From Hollywood film sets to royal family dinners, her conflicted relationship with her family, and her first marriage.
Markle grew up in Los Angeles and was confronted with racism at an early age. When she was only two years old, her parents separated. Her African-American mother raised her, and very early on, she was discriminated against.
By the time she was 11, she was already an outspoken child. She became an activist for women's rights and against the macho clichés maintained by large industrial groups.
The ad for Ivory dishwashing liquid insinuated that women alone should wash dishes, and Markle wrote to Procter & Gamble asking that the ad be inclusive, and they listened.
She was determined to use her voice to effect the change she wanted, and she did. At 13, she chose to live with her father, a lighting designer for the hit series "Married... With Children," and hung around backstage.
She was given an uncredited role in the series by hanging around, which was her first real introduction to acting. However, she did not immediately walk down that path.
She went on to work at a frozen yogurt shop called Humphrey Yogart, where she earned minimum wage and was very popular with the staff and customers.
After high school, Markle continued her studies at Northwestern University in Chicago, where she followed a double course in theater and international relations.
Upon graduation, she wanted a diplomatic career and interned as a junior press secretary for the US Embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In 2003 she graduated with double majors in theater and international relations.
She passed several castings and appeared in the sitcom "General Hospital" in 2002. From then on, the young actress took on supporting roles on television: "Love Inc," "The War at Home," and "CSI: NY."
While she auditioned and waited for her time to be a star, she had to pay her bills, so she put her penmanship skills learned from her all-girls Catholic school to good use.
Markle worked as a freelance calligrapher at the Paper Source store in Beverly Hills from 2004-2005. The CEO Winnie Park said,
"She taught calligraphy and hosted a group of customers and instructed them during a two-hour class on how to do calligraphy."
She was so good at her job that she did the calligraphy for Paula Patton and Robin Thicke's wedding invitations and Dolce and Gabbana's notes to celebrities over the holidays.
Meghan Markle and Trevor Engelson at the Anti-Defamation League Entertainment Industry Awards Dinner on October 11, 2011, in Beverly Hills | Photo: Getty Images
"I would sit there with a little white tube sock on my hand, so no hand oils got on the card, trying to pay my bills while auditioning," Markle recalled in a 2018 interview with Esquire.
Between 2006 and 2007, Markle was on "Deal or No Deal." She continued the castings. Shortly before then, she had met Trevor Engelson in 2004 and married him after seven years of relationship.
He was a producer on the rise and had been spotted by magazines in Los Angeles. His career later calmed down. For Markle, it was the opposite.
In 2011, the year of her marriage, her career took off. She became famous thanks to the TV series "Suits." For filming, she moved to Toronto and moved away from her husband. The distance and their busy careers led to their divorce.
Her role as a legal assistant, which she had played since 2011, in the successful series "Suits" made the young woman extremely popular. In 2014, she created her website, "The Tig," where she shared her passions.
She shared her favorite recipes, vacation spots, restaurants, and life experiences for three years and interviewed celebrities for her "Tig Talks" series.
At the same time, Markle was actively involved in humanitarian work. In 2016, she became a global ambassador for the World Vision Canada association.
She visited Rwanda as an ambassador for World Vision Canada to promote the Clean Water campaign for easier access to drinking water.
She also became a defender of women's rights at the United Nations, fighting for gender equality. She was very involved and participated in many humanitarian missions and even appeared as a guest judge on "Chopped."
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle speak on stage at Global Citizen Live: New York on September 25, 2021 in New York City | Photo: Getty Images
In 2017, as her relationship with Harry got serious, she knew the royal rules meant a duchess could not be a blogger as she could not reveal her daily life or indulge in these kinds of activities.
The former actress, having anticipated this, closed down her blog well before the formalization of her engagement with Harry. She thanked her audience and signed off.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle depart after their wedding ceremony at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor | Photo: Getty Images
On November 27, 2017, Kensington Palace announced the engagement of Harry and Markle, the wedding was scheduled for May 2018, and her character was officially married off on "Suits."
On May 19, 2018, the couple got married in St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle, the same day Queen Elizabeth of England conferred the title of Duke and Duchess of Sussex on them.
On January 8, 2020, Harry and Markle announced that they were relinquishing their status as senior members in an official statement.
On January 18, 2020, an official statement announced that the couple was relinquishing their title of Royal Highness.
On February 19, 2021, an official statement from Buckingham announced that the couple would be stepping down as active members of the Royal Family for good. They had all their patronages withdrawn.
On March 7, 2021, the couple was interviewed by Oprah Winfrey, where they talked about their life in the monarchy and why they left it.
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