Meghan Markle Accomplished More in Her 20 Months as a Senior Royal Than Fans May Think

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex wasn’t a senior royal for long. She spent approximately 20 months as a working royal from the time she and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex said “I do” in May 2018 to the day they stepped down as senior royals in 2020. 

Meghan’s currently working on other projects. She released a children’s book inspired by Harry and their son in June 2021. Now she’s teaming up with Netflix to create a kids’ show called Pearl. But what did the former Suits star do before leaving senior royal life behind and relocating to California? Probably a lot more than fans might realize. 

Meghan Markle launched a charity cookbook in 2018

Meghan Markle in a blue blazer plating food with tongs while speaking with a woman
Meghan Markle | Ben Stansall – WPA Pool/Getty Images

It wasn’t long after becoming the Duchess of Sussex Meghan struck out on her own. She announced her first solo project in September 2018, a cookbook to benefit the women affected by the Grenfell Tower fire. 

To longtime fans of Meghan’s, the cookbook probably made a lot of sense. The California native grew up having a “fascination with food.” As she got older she blogged about restaurants and cooking on her defunct blog, The Tig. And in multiple interviews during her Suits days, Meghan talked about food, even going so far as to call herself a “foodie.” 

Meghan continued to focus on her interest in food and as royal and she wrote the foreword to the cookbook titled Together: Our Community Cookbook. She reportedly made private visits to the Hubb Community Kitchen, a place where survivors of the fire could come together and share a meal.

Meghan marked the launch of the cookbook by hosting lunch at Kensington Palace. She made dishes featured in the cookbook with women from the Hubb Community Kitchen and she gave her first public speech as a royal. 

According to news.com.au, more than 130,000 copies of the cookbook were sold with all of the proceeds benefiting Hubb Community Kitchen. 

Meghan Markle guest-edited the 2019 September issue of British Vogue

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The following year Meghan embarked on what might’ve been the biggest of her royal endeavors. After giving birth to Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor in May of that year Meghan announced via her and Harry’s now-inactive Instagram account she’d be guest editing British Vogue’s 2019 September issue.

British Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enninful had approached Meghan about being on the cover but the Duchess of Sussex had a different idea. “I asked the question,” she wrote in a letter about her time working on the September issue. “Edward… Instead of doing the cover, would you be open to me guest editing your September issue?”

Enninful agreed and the two worked together to create an issue called Forces for Change. The cover highlighted 15 women, such as former first lady Michelle Obama, Greta Thunberg, and Jane Goodall, who are breaking barriers and changing norms. 

Despite divided fan reactions, it became British Vogue’s fastest-selling issue, selling out in 10 days, according to Forbes.

Meghan Markle partnered with designers to create a capsule clothing collection

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In addition to guest editing British Vogue Meghan also teamed up with a number of designers and major retailers to release a capsule clothing collection in 2019. It benefited Smart Works, one of Meghan’s four royal patronages

The Duchess of Sussex partnered with her friend, designer Misha Nonoo, as well as retailers ​​Marks & Spencer, Jigsaw, and John Lewis & Partners to create workwear for women starting new careers. For every piece sold — they ranged in price from $32 to $125 — one was donated to Smart Works. Meghan even wore some of the pieces when she gave a speech at the launch of the collection.