Meghan Markle Says Being an Actor Was ‘the Biggest Problem’ When She Met the Royal Family

Meeting the (royal) family. Meghan Markle revisited what it had been when Prince Harry introduced her to his relatives in Harry & Meghan. The “biggest problem,” as she put it, was “the actress thing.”

Meghan Markle’s acting career ‘clouded’ the royal family’s view of her

Meghan Markle, who said the 'actress thing', or her career as an actor, was 'the biggest problem' when she met the royal family in 'Harry & Meghan'
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry | Saeed Khan/AFP via Getty Images

In Harry & Meghan Volume I, which premiered on Dec. 8, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex opened up their romance. Along the way, Harry recalled what it had been like introducing his now-wife to the royal family.  

“I remember my family first meeting her and being incredibly impressed,” Harry said (via Express). “Some of them didn’t quite know what to do with themselves.”

“Because, I think, they were surprised. They were surprised that a ginger could land such a beautiful woman and such an intelligent woman,” he continued.

However, he said, Meghan’s acting career seemed to be an issue. “But the fact I was dating an American actress was probably what clouded their judgment more than anything else at the beginning, ‘Oh she’s an American actress; this won’t last.’”

Meghan Markle called the ‘actress thing’ the ‘biggest problem’ when she met Prince Harry’s family

Meghan Markle, who said the 'actress thing' was the 'biggest problem' when she met the royal family in 'Harry & Meghan', stands in a hallway as Rachel Zane in 'Suits'
Meghan Markle in ‘Suits’ | Shane Mahood/USA Network/NBCU Photo Bank

Adding to Harry’s comments, Meghan called her being an American actor the royals’ “biggest problem” with her. “The actress thing was the biggest problem, funnily enough,” she said. 

When the two began dating in 2016, Meghan had a successful career playing Rachel Zane on the USA legal drama, Suits. So when she met Harry’s family (the first senior royal she met was Queen Elizabeth II), they may have had some preconceived notions about what she’d be like. 

“There is a big idea of what that looks like from the UK standpoint — Hollywood — and it’s just very easy for them to typecast that,” Meghan said. 

From TV sets to palaces, Meghan left Suits for life as a royal. “I don’t see it as giving anything up, I just see it as a change,” she said in her and Harry’s 2017 engagement interview. 

“It’s a new chapter, right? And also keep in mind I’ve been working on my show for seven years… I feel really proud of the work I have done there. And now it’s time to, as you said, work — work as a team — with [Harry].”

Queen Elizabeth reportedly told Meghan Markle she could ‘carry on being an actress’ 

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Author Gyles Brandreth wrote in his 2022 book, Elizabeth: An Intimate Portrait, Queen Elizabeth II told Meghan she could continue her acting career. 

“She was concerned for her future happiness. At their first meeting, the queen said to Meghan: ‘You can carry on being an actress if you like — that’s your profession, after all,’” Brandreth wrote. 

The queen “would have been totally understanding if Meghan had decided to continue her career.” Although the former Suits actor, he wrote, “was ready for royal duty” which “delighted’ Queen Elizabeth.

“She was particularly delighted by the enthusiasm Meghan showed for the Commonwealth and by the commitment she made to do ‘whatever you think we should be doing for the Commonwealth,’” he concluded.