Everything We Know About Meghan Markle’s First Husband and What Her Divorce Means For Her and Prince Harry’s Future

It’s official: Britain, and arguably the world’s, most eligible bachelor has tied the knot. Kensington Palace declared the engagement of Prince Harry of Wales to Meghan Markle and the couple followed up with an exclusive interview about the proposal in 2017. The couple was married on May 19, 2018.

This isn’t Markle’s first marriage: in 2011 she married Trevor Engelson. The union lasted two years, however, it still has significance as she prepared to marry into the royal family (page 11). These are the little-known details about Markle’s first husband, as well as a look at the early days of her and Harry’s engagement. You’ll be smitten with the meaning behind her engagement ring (page 15). 

He’s produced a few box office successes

Meghan Markle in Remember Me

Meghan Markle in Remember Me | Summit Entertainment

Trevor Engelson started his career as a production assistant and went on to produce the films Remember Me and License to Wed. He worked on the films with famous actors like Robert Pattinson and Robin Williams, respectively. Markle even made a cameo in Remember Me.

Next: The surprising wedding location.

The two married in 2011

Trevor Engelson and Meghan Markle

Meghan Markle (right) and her ex-husband, Trevor Engelson, in 2011 | MaximoTV via YouTube

Engelson and Markle met in 2004 while both chasing careers in the entertainment industry; he as an aspiring producer and she an actress. They dated for seven years and married in 2011 at the Jamaica Inn in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. According to Mirror, they had a fairly large destination wedding, with over 100 family members and friends traveling to watch them tie the knot.

The wedding festivities lasted for four days, according to The Daily Mail.

Next: The marriage was short-lived.

Their marriage lasted 2 years

Meghan Markle as Rachel Zane on 'Suits'.

Meghan Markle as Rachel Zane on Suits | USA Network

Markle and Engelson lived together in a gated house right above Sunset Strip in Los Angeles. Right before the wedding, Markle had secured her spot as a lead character in Suits. She began commuting between L.A. and Toronto, while Engelson remained in their home for his job in Hollywood.

Next: Was their love doomed to fail?

They allegedly broke up because of their work schedules

Meghan Markle posing in front of a crowd of people.

Their marriage didn’t work out. | Mireya Acierto/Getty Images

A friend told The Daily Mail that it was Engelson and Markle’s careers that inevitably took a toll on their relationship. “It put a strain on the relationship. Trevor was in LA making movies, Meghan was in another country five hours’ flight away,” the friend said. Markle was in Toronto, Canada at the time working on Suits.

They cited “irreconcilable differences” as the reason for their split.

Next: You won’t believe what Engelson did next.

He created a comedy show about the situation

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry holding hands and walking together.

We wonder what she thinks about the premise of the show. | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Engelson is reportedly creating a still-untitled comedy series for Fox. If art is meant to imitate life, then Engelson hit the nail on the head. The show is about a man who has to share custody of his child after his ex-wife marries a British prince. While Markle and Engelson don’t have any children, he admitted that the idea for the show came after conversations about what would have happened if he had had to share custody of children from his relationship with her with Prince Harry and the royal family.

The show is also being produced by Modern Family’s Danny Zuker, New Girl’s Jake Kasdan, and The Shannara Chronicles’ Dan Farah. While the show is called “fiction,” the premise rings fairly realistic: “Divorce is hard. Sharing custody is harder when an ex-wife marries a British prince. Sharing custody with the British Royal family in the unforgiving spotlight of London’s tabloid media is next level.”

Next: Markle had another beau before the prince.

She has also dated a celebrity chef

Meghan Markle's closeup of a diamond ring.

She dated some interesting men before getting to Prince Harry.  Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images

Markle was linked to Canadian celebrity chef Cory Vitiello in 2014 after her divorce from Engelson. She even featured him in a profile on her now-extinct lifestyle blog, The Tig, confirming rumors of their relationship.

While it’s unclear how serious the two were, but Vitiello tweeted in March of 2016 that he was proud of “his lady” Meghan Markle for being named Global Ambassador for World Vision. In October 2016, The Evening Standard reported that Markle was linked to both Vitiello and Prince Harry in 2016. She was spotted with the chef at the Canadian Arts and Fashion Awards in April 2016.

Next: The pretty “normal” way she and Harry met.

She and Harry met through a mutual friend

Markus Anderson smiling while wearing sunglasses on the top of his head.

Markus Anderson was rumored to be responsible for setting up the couple. | Ben Gabbe/Getty Images

The BBC initially reported that Prince Harry met his fiance in July 2016 through a mutual friend. Markus Anderson, who sat next to Markle at the Invictus Games, knows many private members of the Soho House, including the prince himself. However, other outlets have confirmed that it was Violet von Westenholz who set them up in Canada. Regardless, The couple told the BBC that they were set up on a blind date by a mutual friend and got to know each other while camping in Botswana.

The Sunday Express was the first to break the news that the two were dating. Soon after, the two went to a Halloween party together. A source close to the Prince told The Express that at the time it was, “too early to say if the relationship will lead to anything long-term … At the moment they are just taking it a step at a time.”

Next: The internet pandemonium that shook their relationship.

Their relationship had a rocky start due to hassling privacy invasions

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attends the Terrance Higgins Trust World AIDS Day charity fair

Staying out of the spotlight when you’re dating a prince isn’t easy. | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Once word got out that the world’s “most eligible bachelor” was off the market, the internet had a feeding frenzy at Markle’s expense. Kensington Palace released an unexpected statement that asked the public to respect both Markle and her family’s privacy.

The statement wrote that a line had been crossed and noted that “his girlfriend, Meghan Markle, has been subject to a wave of abuse and harassment,” including reporters and photographers attempting to break and enter her home. The couple transcended what was surely a harrowing situation. At the time, Vanity Fair pointed out that the request for the press to leave Markle alone was, “idealistic — if slightly unrealistic. It’s hard to imagine a world where tabloids would stop covering Markle from every possible angle.”

Next: Markle isn’t silently slipping into a royal role.

Markle is known as an actress and philanthropist

Meghan Markle is wearing a purple shirt and talking at a podium.

Meghan Markle | Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Meghan began her career contract acting and modeling jobs. She had a stint as a ‘briefcase girl’ on Deal or No Deal and appeared in an episode of General Hospital in 2002. In July 2011 she booked the role of paralegal Rachel Zane on Suits. She appeared in Get Him to the Greek, Remember Me, and Horrible Bosses, among other films.

Along with being named global ambassador for World Vision Canada, Markle has traveled to Rwanda for the organization’s Clean Water Campaign. She’s worked with the United Stations and delivered a speech on International Women’s Day which focused on gender equality, for which the audience gave her a standing ovation.

Next: They shared intimate details about the proposal.

Harry proposed in a ‘sweet, natural’ way

The then-newly engaged couple sat down for an interview after the news broke and shared that they actually got engaged weeks prior. Prince Harry told reporters it was a typical night, and Markle added in that it was a cozy night which ended with an “amazing surprise.”

Markle gave an instant, reportedly speedy “yes.” “She didn’t even let me finish! Then there were hugs and I had the ring on my finger and I was like, ”Can I give you the ring?’ Harry told reporters, “So it was a really nice moment it was just the two of us and I think I managed to catch her by surprise as well.”

Next: One of the factors that set Markle apart from other future royalty.

It’s more acceptable that she’s a divorcee than it was for previous royals

Meghan Markle smiling while wearing a yellow and black dress.

Things have gotten much less strict and traditional. | Mike McGregor/Getty Images for Cantor Fitzgerald

Over 80 years ago, Wallis Simpson, a divorced American woman, married into the British royal family to King Edward III. He abdicated the throne rather than ending his relationship with Simpson. Royal social conventions have softened over time. Prince Charles divorced Princess Diana and married two-time divorcee Camilla Parker-Bowles in 2005, although their wedding was a civil ceremony.

Before they were married, Vox proclaimed that, “the upcoming royal wedding will be a clear test of how much British public opinion has shifted … and of just how different — or how similar — the Britain of 2018 will be to the Britain of 1936.”

Next: Here’s what the queen had to say.

Markle has the queen’s approval

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip walking together in front of a public crowd.

They’ve given their seal of approval. | Andrew Milligan – WPA Pool /Getty Images

A Buckingham Palace spokesman released a statement on behalf of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip which stated that the couple “are delighted for the couple and wish them every happiness.” Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary on November 20, 2018.

When asked if she’d met the queen, Markle gave this charming response; “When I met her I had such a deep understanding, and of course incredible respect for being able to have that time with her … She’s an incredible woman.” Prince Harry noted that the queen’s corgis took to Markle right away, as well.

Next: What Harry’s father had to say about the engagement.

Prince Charles was thrilled

Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles sit and talk during an interview.

All the royals were excited for the couple. | Abdelhak Senna/AFP/Getty Images

Prince Harry’s father and stepmother, Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, were reportedly “thrilled” about the engagement. The couple released a statement through Kensington Palace, saying, “We hope they’ll be very happy indeed.”

According to Us Weekly, Prince Harry introduced Markle to her future father-in-law for the first time during a shooting party at the royal Balmoral estate in Scotland in November 2016.

Next: Will and Kate’s reaction.


Will and Kate were ‘very excited’

Kate Middleton and Prince William in Paris

It was rumored that Kate offered Meghan advice before the big day. | Francois Guillot/AFP/Getty Images

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge said it had been “wonderful getting to know Meghan” since she began dating Prince Harry nearly a year and a half ago prior to their engagement. In a joint statement released by Kensington Palace, they said: “We are very excited for Harry and Meghan. It has been wonderful getting to know Meghan and to see how happy she and Harry are together.”

Next: The romantic history of Markle’s engagement ring.

The two married in spring 2018

Prince Harry Marries Ms. Meghan Markle

It was an event to remember. | Nick Edwards-WPA Pool/Gety Images

As we all now know, the wedding took place on May 19, 2018, and it was a star-studded affair. But leading up to the big day, we had few details to cling on to, so tidbits like the following were golden.

Markle and Prince Harry revealed something intriguing about the ring Harry proposed with. It features two diamonds that belonged to his mother, Princess Diana, while the center diamond is from Botswana, where the couple traveled in August. Markle called the ring a sign of “Harry’s thoughtfulness,” and said that while she hadn’t been able to meet his mother, it was “so important to me … to know that she’s a part of this with us.”

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