Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal engagement was officially announced on Nov. 27, 2017, and since then people have been wanting to know more about the prince’s future wife. Most were already aware that Markle is an American actress, who has now given up that career, and was married once before she met Harry. But there are many more fascinating and surprising things we have learned about Markle recently.
Click through to see the juicy details we’ve learned about her life, ranked from surprising to downright shocking.
15. Meghan is not her real name
Meghan is not the actress’ birth name. Her real name is Rachel Meghan Markle, the same first name as the character she played on Suits.
It’s unclear when Markle dropped Rachel, but all of her acting credits are under her middle and last name.
Next: Everyone looked her up.
14. She was the most Googled actress of 2016
For those who didn’t watch Suits and never heard of Markle before, her name was a hot search on Google in 2016. After it was revealed that she and Harry were an item, people were Googling her nonstop and she took the title of the most Googled actress that year.
Next: She has a very famous best friend.
13. Serena Williams is one of her best friends
One of Markle’s best friends is tennis superstar Serena Williams, who she met while playing a charity football game in 2014.
When Markle started dating Prince Harry, the paparazzi and tabloid seekers became more aggressive than anything she had previously witnessed, so she asked her famous friend for advice on dealing with such fame. “I told her, ‘You’ve got to be who you are, Meghan. You can’t hide,'” Williams said.
Next: Markle was in a relationship when she met Harry.
12. Markle was dating another man when she met Harry
It’s been reported that Markle was in a relationship with another man when she went on her first date with Harry. Markle dated Canadian chef Cory Vitiello from 2014 to 2016. As we know, 2016 is the same year Markle went on date with the prince. So, was the royal the cause of their breakup? Vitiello won’t say.
“I can’t comment on that,” he answered when pressed about it.
Next: She and Harry are related.
11. She and Prince Harry are distant cousins
As is the case with many royals and their significant others, Markle and Harry’s roots can be traced back to a common ancestor making them distant cousins.
A genealogical investigation has stated that the two are related via High Sheriff of County Durham Ralph Bowes, whose grandson Christopher Hussey moved to America in 1632. Therefore, the two are actually 17th cousins.
Next: She claims not to have known much about the prince.
10. She says she didn’t know anything about Harry before
Markle has claimed that she didn’t know much of anything about the royal before their first date.
The pair explained in their first post-engagement interview together that they were set up by a mutual friend. Markle said she of course knew who Harry was, but didn’t know very much about him or the rest of the royals. So she just asked their friend if the prince was a good guy.
“[I] didn’t know much about him–I just asked, ‘Is he nice?’ Because if he wasn’t kind I didn’t really see there was any point,” the actress shared.
Next: Her ex is producing a show about her life?
9. Her ex-husband is producing a show about divorce and the royal family
We can’t make this stuff up! It was reported in September 2017 that Markle’s ex-husband, producer Trevor Engelson, is working on a TV show about a divorced couple and the British Royal Family. The show even focuses a man whose ex-wife marries a prince. Seriously!
However, the difference is the divorced couple share a child and the man has joint custody with the royal family. Therefore, Deadline has reported that the main characters are not based on Markle or Engelson. But many would argue that the show is at the very least inspired by real-life events.
Next: She already broke a major royal rule.
8. Markle broke royal rule following engagement announcement
When Markle and Harry appeared together in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace following the news of their engagement, the soon-to-be-royal committed a major fashion no-no by not wearing pantyhose with her dress. Yes, Markle went bare-legged, which is something the royals simply do not do.
As The Cut noted, Queen Elizabeth has been wearing hose her entire life, and Kate Middleton always wears them out as well. Many even credit the pantyhose comeback to Middleton as sales of sheer tights are up by almost 50% since her royal wedding.
For Markle, everything will be a learning curve, and perhaps she will turn to Middleton for some great royal fashion advice.
Next: Risqué poses in sexy outfits surface
7. She did a sexy photo shoot for Canadian magazine
When you are about to become a member of the royal family, you better believe that anything and everything you did in your past could come up. The good, the bad, it doesn’t matter — in the internet age, someone will find it. So of course, some sexy pics from a photo shoot Markle did in 2013 are making their rounds on the web.
While a few of the outfits are sheer and a little revealing, she is not naked in any of pictures. They just may be a little too risqué for the royals. But then again, Middleton once walked a catwalk in a sheer dress. and Prince William paid to sit in the front row and watch her.
Next: Not the first divorcée to marry a royal
6. She’s drawing Wallis Simpson comparisons
Since she is a divorcée from the U.S. marrying a member of the British royal family, some have compared Markle to Wallis Simpson. Today, the royals may be accepting of the relationship between Harry and Markle, even though the actress is an American who was married before. But it wasn’t always like this.
In the past, Queen Elizabeth II’s uncle, King Edward VIII, had a relationship with a twice-divorced American socialite that was not well received. Edward actually abdicated his throne in order to marry Simpson.
Next: There’s a chance she won’t have to sign prenup.
5. Harry’s royal fortune could be up for grabs
Prince Harry is currently worth a reported $40 million, and that may be up for grabs if the marriage between him and Markle does not last. According to TMZ, if a royal couple ends up divorcing, then not only what they make while married, but also what they brought into the marriage is divided.
And, if Harry is anything like his father or brother, there is a good chance Markle won’t have to worry about signing a prenup with another agreement set in stone. Neither Princess Diana or Middleton had to sign prenups.
Next: Markle previously worked on an American game show.
4. She was a Deal or No Deal case model
Remember the game show Deal or No Deal, hosted by Howie Mandel, where contestants selected which briefcases they wanted to be opened? Well, Markle was one of those beautiful women who opened the cases to reveal a dollar amount. Her Deal or No Deal days lasted from 2006 to 2007, and she once told Esquire that she only did the show to make ends meet.
“Definitely working on Deal or No Deal was a learning experience, and it helped me to understand what I would rather be doing,” she said. “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.”
Markle wasn’t the only briefcase babe to become famous following her stint on the NBC game show. John Legend’s wife, Chrissy Teigen, was also a Deal or No Deal model at one time and appeared in eight episodes from 2007 to 2008.
Next: Her family will crash the wedding if they don’t get an invite.
3. Markle’s family will ‘gatecrash’ the wedding if they’re not invited
Markle’s family members back home have spoken out after it was confirmed she is marrying the royal in May, and they have said that they’ll likely travel to England for the wedding, invite or no invite.
“I’d probably come to the UK for the wedding — even if I’m not invited. I am thrilled,” her nephew TJ Dooley told The Sun.
Her half-sister, Samantha Markle, also spoke to the publication about how excited she is for her sister’s nuptials, but she may not be on the guest list as the two are reportedly estranged.
Next: Her relative was jailed after a violent night.
2. Her brother was arrested for holding gun to woman’s head
In addition to her half-sister, Markle has a half-brother, but he got himself into some trouble recently and was arrested. Thomas Markle Jr. was taken into custody by police after a drunken fight with a woman named Darlene Blount in January 2017.
Markle Jr. allegedly held a gun to Blount’s head and tried to get her to leave. He was charged with menacing, pointing a firearm at another person, and unlawful use of a weapon.
He has since apologized and said he is getting help for his issues.
Next: Porn searches for the actress have skyrocketed.
1. Pornhub reports major hike in searches for Markle
Searches for Harry’s bride-to-be have not only spiked on Google, but also on porn websites. Yep, Pornhub has reported that searches for Markle are up by more than 2200% following the engagement announcement.
The most searches come courtesy of Americans. Those in the U.K., Spain, Germany, and Belgium round out the top five. And get this, people over the age of 65 were 249% more likely to search for the actress than younger people.
It’s anyone’s guess if those searches will continue to rise after she marries the prince.
Follow Michelle Kapusta on Twitter @philamichelle.
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