Before Meghan Markle became the Duchess of Sussex, she was a successful actress living life on her own terms, as her Suits co-star Patrick Adams reminded everyone this week with a beautiful Instagram tribute celebrating his long-term friendship with the cast.
Before Meghan Markle met Prince Harry, married into the British royal family, and had every detail of her life obsessively analysed by the tabloids, she was living life on her own terms, and doing it pretty damn well. As well as travelling the world with her philanthropic work, which saw her give a powerful speech to the United Nations on the subject of gender equality, and work as a global ambassador for World Vision to fight period poverty, she was a world-famous actress, most notably for her role as paralegal Rachel Zane in the hit legal drama Suits.
Two years on since Meghan quit the US show upon her engagement to Prince Harry, and the former actress is continuing to show her spirit of independence. She may have given up her acting career to become a member of the royal family, but the Duchess of Sussex is still using her platform to champion the causes she cares most about, from supporting a London bakery helping economically and socially disadvantaged women rebuild their lives, to launching a clothing line dedicated to providing long-term unemployed and vulnerable women with the confidence they need to re-enter the workforce.
Frustratingly, the media narrative all-too often scrutinises Meghan’s appearance and royal etiquette, rather than focusing on the ways she is redefining what it means to be modern British royal. The essence of her independence isn’t lost on her former Suits co-star Patrick Adams, though, when he shared an array of previously unseen photos of Meghan on set.
Adams, who played Meghan’s on-screen love interest Mike Ross in the show, took to Instagram to post a series of galleries celebrating the journey of the Suits cast ahead of the show’s season finale.
“This week the last episode of Suits will air and the nearly 10-year journey we’ve all been on together will finally be over,” he captioned alongside a photo of himself wearing a suit.
“So, it seems right to post some photos the next couple of days from the early days. This photo was from the first fitting I ever had for Mike Ross.”
In the first gallery, Adams includes a candid photo of Meghan standing in front of her trailer, with a poster reading ‘Rachel’ sellotaped to the glass above her head.
The posts that follow show Meghan wearing her signature Suits attire - a pencil skirt and stilettos - as she prepares backstage with her lines, and another of her reclining on a sofa in-between takes. There’s also several striking black and white images of the actress on set, preparing to shoot a scene with the film crew in view.
Other behind-the-scenes snaps show the Duchess of Sussex standing underneath a rain-spattered umbrella, and hanging out with the cast having drinks at a post-work event, while another image shows shows Meghan lying on an office floor resting her feet on a side table, alongside actress Sarah Rafferty, who plays personal assistant Donna Paulsen on the show.
In November 2017, Meghan addressed her decision to quit the show after seven years following her engagement to Prince Harry.
“I see it as a new change, a new chapter,” she said in her first public interview. “I’ve been working on my show (for) seven years, we were so fortunate to have that longevity, and I feel like I checked that box and am very proud of the work I’ve done there.”
And while the season finale of Suits marks the end of an era, it’s worth remembering that there are many facets to Meghan’s character that distinguish her as a talented and down-to-earth individual alongside the public persona that is consumed on a daily basis in the media. For one thing, her friendship with Adams, as well as her with her fellow Suits stars Sarah Rafferty, Gina Torres, Gabriel Macht and Rick Hoffman, who all attended Meghan’s wedding last May, prove her life amounts to much more than a royal title.