Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, is 38 years old today.
She’s received birthday messages from her brother-and-sister-in-law, Prince William and Kate Middleton, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, as well as her husband, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and her father-and-mother-in-law, Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, on Instagram.
In honor of Markle’s birthday, we’re looking back at her life before birthday wishes from royalty became the norm for the former Suits actress. Ahead, see 10 pictures of Markle before she became part of the British royal family.
1. Meghan Markle roasted ‘a pretty perfect Thanksgiving turkey’
Back in the days when Markle had her own Instagram account (R.I.P.), Markle shared photographs from her daily life that often involved her culinary and travel adventures.
On Thanksgiving in 2015, the now Duchess of Sussex wished her Instagram followers a Happy Thanksgiving by sharing a picture of her next to a delicious looking turkey. She captioned the post, “Oh that time I roasted a pretty perfect Thanksgiving turkey! The question is, can I do it again? 🙈The pressure is on! #thanksgiving #letthebriningbegin #turkey.”
2. Celebrating her birthday or ‘own personal New Year’
In another picture from her now-deleted Instagram account, Markle posted a picture of herself celebrating her birthday with a slice of birthday cake.
On her lifestyle site, The Tig (also now defunct) Markle shared a bit of wisdom her mother, Doria Ragland, gave her about birthdays.
“My mom has always said that birthdays are your own personal New Year. Your own chance to make resolutions just for yourself and what you prognosticate for your year ahead,” Markle wrote.
She also let her readers in on what she wished for that year: “More surprises, more adventure, more opportunities to grow, more days filled with giggles and cheeky jokes, more delicious meals, and more inspiration. Always more inspiration.”
3. Markle at a hockey game
Maybe it was all the time Markle spent living in Toronto, Canada filming Suits because she attended a New York Rangers game in April of 2013.
4. Meghan Markle on ‘Deal or No Deal’
In her early acting days, Markle made money as a briefcase model on the popular game show, Deal or No Deal, which she worked on the show from 2006 to 2007.
Years later, she discussed the experience (she wasn’t very fond of her time on the show) in an interview with Esquire, saying she only took the job to pay bills.
“Definitely working on Deal or No Deal was a learning experience, and it helped me to understand what I would rather be doing,” she told the publication. “I would end up standing up there forever in these terribly uncomfortable and inexpensive five-inch heels just waiting for someone to pick my number so I could go and sit down.”
5. Meghan Markle on ‘Deal or No Deal’
Behold a 25-year-old Markle at a 2006 event hosted by Coach in East Hampton, New York. She attended the event with her then-boyfriend, Trevor Engelson, whom she began dating in 2004, according to Town and Country. The couple married in a casual ceremony in 2011 and divorced two years later in 2013.