You’re going to be seeing a great deal more of US actor Meghan Markle - and don’t be surprised if you become a little obsessed with the multi-talented Suits star.
Yes, she is dating Prince Harry, who confirmed their relationship in a powerful and unprecedented statement. But we‘ve been enthralled by Markle since we first watched her in the hit legal drama and became one of her 1.1 million Instagram followers.
We watch with admiration as her extraordinary life plays out in gorgeous, endearing posts that veer from snaps of brunch and fashion finds, to political activism and statements of female empowerment.
Harry, 32, made his relationship public with a warning to tabloids against sexist and racist media intrusion into his girlfriend’s life. And it was also a proud declaration of his commitment to their fledgling relationship.
Here’s a few reasons the LA-born actor/designer/writer is so inspiring:
She’s best known as paralegal and foodie Rachel Zane in the long-running US legal drama but you may also recognise her from an appearances alongside Jennifer Aniston in Horrible Bosses and 2010 films Get Him to the Greek and Remember Me.
She stood up to TV bosses who kept putting her character in “gratuitous” scenes that involved her wearing only a towel.
"In the show, for example this season, every script seemed to begin with Rachel enters wearing a towel and I said 'No, I'm not doing it anymore, I'm not doing it'," she said during a debate on gender equality.
"So I rang the creator and I was like, 'It's just gratuitous, we get it, we've already seen it once.' So I think at a certain point you feel empowered enough to just say no. I think it's a challenging thing to do if you don't know your worth and your value for wanting to speak up.
She’s a global ambassador for World Vision Canada ( she lives in Toronto, where Suits is filmed) and recently travelled to Rwanda to help a clean water project.
This too-cute Insta post dropped amid intense speculation about her romance with Harry. It’s thought that the pair met in May while he was in Canada promoting his Invictus Games for disabled service personnel.
Like the prince, she’s not one to shy away from a bit of blue:
This is not a woman who takes herself too seriously.
She lives with her “boys” rescue dogs Bogart and Guy, who regularly feature in her social posts. It was megastar Ellen, who she bumped into at random, who convinced her to adopt.
“I was in LA and I went to this dog rescue [shelter],” she told Best Health magazine. “I saw him and I was sitting there with him and then Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi walk in. Now, I don’t now her, but Ellen goes ‘Is that your dog?’ And I said, ‘No,’ and she’s like, ‘You have to take that dog.’ And I said, ‘Well, I’m deciding.’ And she’s like, ‘Rescue the dog!’”
Markle’s real-life love of delicious nosh was incorporated into her character. Last month she told Delish her secret recipe for a “filthy, sexy” pasta sauce was to slow-cook courgettes for four to five hours, until it breaks down into a "mush" to toss with pasta.
"The sauce gets so creamy you'd swear there's tons of butter and oil in it, but it's just zucchini, water and a little bouillon," Markle said. Now you know.
She’s the kind of woman you want to be your new bezzie:
She’s been running her successful lifestyle blog The Tig since 2014 without inviting any of the derision Goop has suffered. Recent articles include a feature encouraging Americans to vote in the upcoming US Presidential election, a Halloween make-up tutorial by Tanya Burr and an insider’s guide to hip New York neighbourhood Williamsburg.
She’s an inspirational post kind of person, but without being twee:
She’s no stranger to the front row:
...And she’s applied her fashion nouse to designing a clothes line for Canada's largest women's retailer, Reitmans.
She’s friends with Serena Williams...
and made an appearance at Wimbledon this summer.
And there’s no wonder - she started doing yoga aged seven and still gets flexible twice a week.
If she wasn’t an actor…
She’d probably be a calligrapher. That’s what she was doing before she was talent-spotted at a party and before she was famous, she did the wedding invitations for Robin Thicke and Paula Patton’s wedding.
“I used to do it for Dolce & Gabbana’s celebrity correspondence over the holidays,” she told Esquire. “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. I’m glad that in the land of no one seeming to appreciate a handwritten note anymore that I can try to keep that alive.”
Her real name is not Meghan
Meghan is her middle name. The 35-year-old was born Rachel – like her most famous on-screen character.