Meghan Markle Recalls This One Moment When She Felt ‘Different’ for Being Biracial — And How It Helped Her Grow

Meghan Markle shot to fame when news broke that the Suits actress was dating Prince Harry. Since then, she’s quickly become a household name. Plus, people love that she has so many things about her that have broken barriers within the royal family. One of those barriers is race; Meghan is biracial, and she is the first biracial woman to marry into the family in at least a few centuries. (There has been some controversy about whether there have been any biracial royal couples in the past.) However, Meghan has recalled that things as a young biracial woman weren’t always easy.

Meghan Markle

Meghan Markle | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Thomas Markle and Doria Ragland had Meghan in 1981

Meghan was born to a black mother and a white father. Doria and Thomas met in the late 1970s when they were both working at the same studio. Thomas was a lighting director in Hollywood, most known for working on television shows such as General Hospital and Married… With Children. Doria was hired as a temp at the same studio, and she and Thomas clicked instantly. Meghan once said she believes it was her mother’s sweet eyes and Afro that drew him to her, plus their shared love of antiques. Thomas and Doria later married and had Meghan in 1981. They raised her in Los Angeles.

Meghan was proud to be biracial, and her parents always made an effort to make sure she never felt different

According to Good Housekeeping, Meghan recalled that she grew up with a lack of diversity around her. But her parents did her best to never make her feel like she was any different from anyone else. She told Elle UK that she once wanted a set of Barbie dolls for Christmas, but the dolls only came in either white families or black families. It included a mother, father, and two children. Her parents knew she wanted the dolls, so her father went out and bought one black set and one white set. He then mixed the family, giving her a white father, a black mother, and one white child and black child. “They crafted the world around me to make me feel like I wasn’t different but special,” she said.

Meghan recalled once at school when she was forced to choose either ‘white’ or ‘black’ when describing herself

There was one major time in Meghan’s life when she felt truly different for being biracial. She recalled having to fill out a mandatory census form in her English class. The form only allowed her to choose one race, but she was clearly two. “There I was (my curly hair, my freckled face, my pale skin, my mixed race) looking down at these boxes, not wanting to mess up, but not knowing what to do,” she wrote in an essay to Elle. She later said her teacher had suggested she check off the white box because “that’s how you look.” But Meghan felt that choosing one race over the other would be like choosing one parent over the other or forgetting about one half of herself. She said that when she explained the story to her father, he told her to ignore the options and draw her own box next time.

Meghan has always been proud to be biracial and has inspired millions

Growing up biracial in a town that lacks diversity wasn’t always easy for Meghan, but she always knew that’s who she was — and she was extremely proud of it. Meghan grew up doing all sorts of philanthropic work to try and give everyone a voice. She became very engrossed in women’s rights and often speaks about her passion to make sure every woman is heard. Her parents made her who she is today, and she’s proud to stand tall as a biracial woman.

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