Meghan Markle: Through The Years

August 4, 2020

Meghan Markle’s road to British royalty has been a long and windy one. Born Rachel Meghan Markle, the member of the royal family grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from Northwestern University in Illinois, with a degree in theater and international studies. She went on to pursue a career in acting and modeling, landing her big break on Suits in 2011. Along the way, the star used her voice to speak out on issues close to her heart like gender inequality and body image.

However, her life changed once again when she was introduced to Prince Harry of Wales on a blind date. The two were engaged by November 2017 and wed in the royal wedding seen around the world on May 19, 2018 at Windsor Castle. Since then, she and Harry welcomed a son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, and saw some controversy arise when they announced their plans to "step back" from their roles as senior members of the royal family. To celebrate her 38th birthday, iHeartRadio is taking you on a trip down memory lane with a comprehensive look at Markle throughout the years!

Meghan Markle grew up in Hollywood, CA, and attended private schools in her youth. She graduated from Immaculate Heart — an all-girl Catholic middle school — in 1995. At the age of 11, she launched a successful campaign to change a national commercial she viewed as sexist and was profiled by Linda Ellerbee on Nick News.

Photo: © John Dlugolecki/Contact Press Images

Meghan Markle continued her education at Immaculate Heart high school and graduated in 1999. Her father, Thomas Markle, and mother, Doria Loyce Ragland, divorced when she was six years old. When explaining her ethnicity to ELLE in 2015, Markle stated: "My dad is Caucasian and my mom is African American. I'm half black and half white. ... 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.”

Photo: © John Dlugolecki/Contact Press Images

Early in her career, Meghan Markle small guest roles on the television shows Century City (2004), The War at Home (2006) and CSI: NY (2006).

Photo: Getty Images

Aside from acting, Meghan Markle also worked as a model, which included a brief stint as a briefcase girl on Deal or No Deal.

Photo: Getty Images

In an essay written for ELLE in 2015, Meghan Markle opened up about the struggles she endured in the beginning of her career. "I wasn't black enough for the black roles and I wasn't white enough for the white ones,” she explained, “leaving me somewhere in the middle as the ethnic chameleon who couldn't book a job."

Photo: Getty Images

In 2011, Meghan Markle landed a role in Suits, playing the paralegal turned attorney Rachel Zane.

Photo: Frank Ockenfels/USA/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Before joining the cast of Suits, Meghan Markle appeared in two 2010 films, Get Him to the Greek and Remember Me, and one 2011 film, Horrible Bosses.

Photo: Getty Images

Aside from movies and Suits, Meghan Markle also appeared in episodes of Cuts; Love, Inc., 90210; Knight Rider, Without a Trace, The League and Castle.

Photo: Getty Images

In 2013, Meghan Markle attended the Annual Charity Day Hosted By Cantor Fitzgerald And BGC. She has always been an outspoken humanitarian and considers herself a feminist.

Photo: Getty Images

Meghan Markle played Rachel Zane on Suits for seven seasons.

Photo: Ian Watson/USA Network/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

As if acting, modeling and charity work were not enough, Meghan Markle started a lifestyle website called "The Tig" in 2014.

Photo: Getty Images

Meghan Markle worked as the editor-in-chief of The Tig for years before shutting down the site in April 2017.

Photo: Getty Images

During her time on Suits, Meghan Markle attended many network get togethers, including 2015’s NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment Upfront at The Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

Photo: Getty Images

In 2015, Meghan Markle wowed the crowd at The Twelfth Annual CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Awards—an annual competition to cultivate the next generation of emerging American design talent.

Photo: Getty Images

With her hand on the pulse of both the entertainment and fashion worlds, Meghan Markle attended ELLE's 6th Annual Women In Television Dinner in January of 2016.

Photo: Getty Images

As she began to become more well known for her acting and fashion awareness, Meghan Markle made her rounds on the media circuit, including visiting AOL Studios in New York on March 17, 2016.

Photo: Getty Images

As Meghan Markle’s fame grew, so did her media appearances. Here she is seen at the Today Show on March 18, 2016.

Photo: Getty Images

In June of 2016, Meghan Markle attended day two of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in a Royal box, which also happens to be right around the time she and Prince Harry went on their fated blind date.

Photo: Getty Images

On July 14, 2016 Meghan Markle went on The Today Show to talk about Season 6 of Suits. A few months later, her relationship with Prince Harry would hit the headlines.

Photo: Getty Images

Though the show has been renewed for an eighth season, Meghan Markle ended her time on Suits in 2017.

Photo: Getty Images

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s first photographed public appearance was at the 2017 Invictus Games in Toronto, Canada. Just weeks before, the actress opened up to Vanity Fair about her relationship, saying, “at the end of the day I think it is really simple. We’re two people who are really happy.”                                         

Photo: Getty Images

On November 27, it was announced that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were engaged.

Photo: Getty Images

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle posed for an official photo shoot to announce their engagement at the Sunken Gardens at Kensington Palace.

Photo: Getty Images

Just days after their engagement, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attended a Terrence Higgins Trust World AIDS Day charity fair at Nottingham Contemporary on December 1, 2017 in Nottingham, England.

Photo: Getty Images

In January of 2018, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle visited Reprezent 107.3FM, the only UK radio station presented solely by young people.

Photo: Getty Images

In February of 2018, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry continue to demonstrate their humanitarianism by visiting Social Bite during a trip to Scotland. The business runs social enterprise cafés throughout the country to distribute 100,000 items of food and hot drinks to homeless people each year, as well as employing staff who have experienced homelessness themselves.

Photo: Getty Images

Just months before the Royal wedding, Meghan Markle attended a walkabout at Millennium Point in Birmingham, England to meet locals.

Photo: Getty Images

On March 12, Meghan Markle attended the 2018 Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey. She and Prince Harry are set to wed on May 19, 2018, at Windsor Castle.

Photo: Getty Images

The Duke and Duchess and Sussex had their fairytale wedding on May 19, 2018 in front of millions. 

Photo: Getty Images 

Meghan attended the Prince of Wales's 70th Birthday Patronage Celebration held at Buckingham Palace, shortly after tying the knot.

Photo: Getty Images 

Meghan helps to prepare food at an event at Kensington Palace to mark the launch of a cookbook with recipes from a group of women affected by the Grenfell Tower fire.

Photo: Getty Images 

The British royals kicked off their shoes and donned tropical lei-style garlands as they hit Sydney's famed Bondi beach for the latest stop on their Australian tour; a "Fluro Friday" session run by OneWave, a local surfing community group who raise awareness for mental health and wellbeing, at Bondi Beach in Sydney on October 19, 2018. 

Photo: Getty Images 

Kensington Palace officially revealed Meghan’s pregnancy on October 15, 2018.

Photo: Getty Images

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex pose with their newborn son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor in St George's Hall at Windsor Castle. Meghan gave birth at 05:26 on May 6, 2019.

Meghan meets Beyonce Knowles-Carter and Jay-Z as they attend the European Premiere of Disney's The Lion King at Odeon Luxe Leicester Square on July 14, 2019.

Photo: Getty Images 

Meghan meets veterans and soldiers as she attends the 91st Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey in November 2019. 

Photo: Getty Images 

In January 2020, Meghan and Harry shared the news that they intend to step back as senior royals. 

Photo: Getty Images 

In March 2020, the royal couple left their home in Canada and moved to the L.A. area. 

Photo: Getty Images

Chat About Meghan Markle: Through The Years

    Music, radio and podcasts, all free. Listen online or download the iHeartRadio App.

    Connect

    © 2020 iHeartMedia, Inc.