Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, is turning 42 today, no doubt surrounded by family and friends.
In honor of the former actress’s birthday, TSZ Newz looks back at her incredible journey from small-screen star to one of the world’s most renowned women.
Meghan was born on August 4th, 1981 in Los Angeles, California, the youngest of three siblings, with two half-siblings, Samantha and Thomas Jr, with whom she has stated she is not close.
When she was six years old, her parents, Emmy-winning TV lighting director Thomas Markle Sr., and social worker Doria Ragland, separated.
She is close to her mother, who lives in Montecito with her and Prince Harry, but she is alienated from her father.
Meghan and her classmates wrote to Procter & Gamble when she was 11 years old, requesting that they change a dishwashing soap advertisement that was solely aimed at women, prompting the business to change its motto from “women” to “people.”
She attended Immaculate Heart School from the age of 12 to 17, where she felt she was the “ugly duckling” and “smart one” rather than “conventionally beautiful.”
She undertook humanitarian work in her spare time, helping at a local soup kitchen.
Meghan then attended Northwestern University School of Communication in Illinois, where she studied theatre and international relations.
She served as an intern at the US embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and studied in Spain for a semester while there.
Meghan pursued acting and had modest roles in TV series and independent films before gaining her big break.
She also worked as a briefcase lady on Deal or No Deal for a short time.
Speaking on her podcast Archetypes, which she launched last year, she characterized the latter as a “fascinating” experience for which she was “thankful,” but she ended up quitting because she felt “objectified.”
From 2011 until 2017, the Duchess rose to fame as Rachel Zane, an ambitious paralegal who ultimately becomes an attorney, on the legal drama Suits, which she later left due to her relationship with the Royal Family.
She married American film producer and actor Trevor Engelson in 2011, after meeting in 2004 and dating for six years before getting engaged in 2010.
The couple said “I do” at the Jamaica Inn resort in Ocho Rios, a five-star hotel overlooking the Caribbean Sea.
Unfortunately, the marriage did not continue, and they divorced in 2013 alleging “irreconcilable differences” in their no-fault divorce.
She established the Tig, her lifestyle blog named after her favorite wine, Tignanello, in 2014. The website was her “passion project,” which she later shut down in 2017 after beginning her relationship with the King’s youngest son.
She met Prince Harry for the first time in London in July 2016, after the Duke noticed one of her Instagram postings and was introduced by a mutual acquaintance.
The couple met at Soho House, 76 Dean Street, and things progressed rapidly from there. They went on their third date to Botswana, Africa, and camped under the stars.
The two were dating by October of that year, according to the Sunday Express, thrusting Meghan into international fame.
The Duchess has been the target of major scrutiny since then. Harry revealed how he proposed to Meghan in 2017 over a roast chicken dinner in their self-titled six-part Netflix docu-series, which was published last year.
A year later, they married in a fairytale ceremony at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, in May.
However, the couple’s relationship with the press worsened, with the Sussexes alleging that Buckingham Palace was “leaking” and “planting” articles about them.
During her and Harry’s visit to South Africa in 2019, she intimated that there was tension behind closed doors, which led to their departure from royal life in 2020.
Meghan and Harry have two children together, Archie and Lilibet, and have moved to California after leaving Frogmore Cottage.
Since leaving the Firm, the pair have spoken openly about their experiences in interviews and documentaries.
For example, during their explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey, Meghan revealed that she fought with suicidal ideation when pregnant with her baby.
Meghan has continued her humanitarian and journalistic efforts in the years since they stepped down from royal duties.
Although the couple’s Spotify arrangement was terminated, her recent 12-part podcast series Archetypes was a huge success, topping charts, and garnering accolades.
Happy birthday, Duchess!