Why Meghan Markle Will Never Escape Her Hollywood Past

Meghan Markle has been the subject of harsh and sometimes uncalled for criticism ever since the public realized she was going to be the Duchess of Sussex.

While there have been recent signs that the media and some of Markle’s most vocal critics may be warming up to her (thanks in no small part to her conscious efforts to sway public opinion), there is something that Markle will never be able to escape no matter how much she works to live like a royal and duck away from the critics. 

No matter what else Markle does, her Hollywood past is going to continue to be an issue that’s brought up anytime the media discusses her. It doesn’t matter if the reports are glowing accolades or yet another snide takedown. Markle’s past career as an actress and an American celebrity will stick with her through it all. 

Markle’s acting career involved a lot of small roles 

Meghan Markle visits the British High Commissioner
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex | Samir Hussein/WireImage

When you make your living as an actor, you’re obviously going to have a lot of exposure to the public eye. It just comes with the job. Markle took her first steps into the world of Hollywood when she was just a child. She appeared on the children’s news show Nick News when she was only 11 and had an appearance in a Tori Amos music video as a teen. 

She broke into television with a small role in General Hospital in 2001 and played a tiny role alongside Ashton Kutcher in 2005’s film A Lot Like Love. It wasn’t until 2006’s appearance on the show The War at Home that Markle got some more substantial air time, but that was only in a guest role.

She followed this up with several other small or guest roles, never having recurring screen time with substantial lines. In 2007, she appeared in a few episodes of Deal or No Deal as the holder of case No. 24. 

She broke onto the main stage in 2011

It wasn’t until 2011 that Markle gained real recognition with her role on Suits. She remained on the show until 2018 (when she left to focus on her impending wedding and new life as a member of the Royal Family). During the time on the show, she found doors opening for other opportunities as well. She played major roles in some Hallmark movies and got a lot more exposure, even playing a judge on Chopped Junior

All of this acting time means that there are plenty of clips, images, and memories of Markle and her past life floating around. As we recently saw, just because Markle has left that world behind her doesn’t mean that the evidence of her time there is gone. Patrick Adams, Markle’s Suits co-star who played her on-screen husband, recently posted previously unseen images from the set of the show.

Markle was featured prominently in these images and drew a lot of attention. After all, her life is even more centrally located in the spotlight these days, so every story about her is going to draw attention from her fans and critics alike. 

Critics use her past against her

While the sharing of old photos by former co-stars is innocent enough, not every connection Markle has to her past life is so positive. Critics constantly bring up her time in Hollywood as an explanation for what they see as unacceptable behavior for a royal. It seems like every time the Duchess missteps or makes a choice that isn’t in line with royal tradition, there’s media speculation that it’s her “celebrity” status that’s causing her to go astray. 

The criticisms aren’t reserved solely for Markle, either. Prince Harry has also been caught in the crosshairs with many suggesting that Markle’s Hollywood sensibilities have rubbed off on the prince. 

Markle is working hard to improve her public image as she gets more comfortable in her new role as a Royal Family member, but she’s unlikely to do so by trying to escape her Hollywood past. Instead, she’ll have to learn to embrace that part of her and show the world that she is capable of having lived in one world but moving on to another.