The whirlwind romance between the 33-year-old royal and the L.A.-born actress, 36, kicked off last summer. They spent the next several months growing closer, spending the holidays together (shopping for their first Christmas tree!), going to the theater, vacationing in Norway, attending weddings and even coordinating their accessories.
On Monday, the couple announced their engagement and appeared together outside Kensington Palace for their official debut as an engaged couple.
Here are five things to know about Harry’s soon-to-be princess bride.
1. She played paralegal Rachel Zane on the USA legal drama Suits.
The Los Angeles native had a starring role on the USA Network legal drama, which premiered in 2011 (the upcoming seventh season of the series is her last). But you may also recognize her from some other favorite television series. Markle has appeared in episodes of Castle, The League, Fringe and 90210.
As for movies, Markle has had roles in numerous recognizable titles, including a small part as an attractive Fed Ex worker in 2011’s Horrible Bosses and an appearance in Remember Me with Robert Pattinson.
2. She has a passion for humanitarian work.
Beginning at a young age, Markle says her mother took her traveling to remote places around the world that opened her eyes to poverty.
“My mother raised me to be a global citizen, with eyes open to sometimes harsh realities,” she wrote in a post on her former lifestyle site, The Tig.
In 2016, she became the Global Ambassador for World Vision Canada, traveling to Rwanda for the Clean Water Campaign. She also presented at United Nations Headquarters for the HeforShe Gender Equality Campaign in September 2014 and traveled to Afghanistan with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on a USO tour in December 2014.
In early 2017, she spent a week in the slum communities of Delhi and Mumbai, India, to learn about the issues and challenges the women and girls who live there face.
“I’ve never wanted to be a lady who lunches – I’ve always wanted to be a woman who works,” she wrote. “And this type of work is what feeds my soul, and fuels my purpose. The degree to which I can do that both on and off camera is a direct perk of my job.”
3. She used to run a lifestyle website called The Tig.
Covering food, travel, fashion, beauty and more, The Tig was created by Markle in 2014. In early April 2017, she made the announcement that she had shut down the site in a post on The Tig’s homepage, as well as on Instagram.
“After close to three beautiful years on this adventure with you, it’s time to say goodbye to The Tig,” she wrote. “What began as a passion project (my little engine that could) evolved into an amazing community of inspiration, support, fun and frivolity. You’ve made my days brighter and filled this experience with so much joy. Keep finding those Tig moments of discovery, keep laughing and taking risks, and keep being ‘the change you wish to see in the world.’ Above all, don’t ever forget your worth – as I’ve told you time and time again: you, my sweet friend, you are enough. Thank you for everything.”
4. She’s biracial.
Markle’s mother is African-American and her father is Caucasian. She has been candid about her family’s history with racism and the discrimination she has experienced being biracial. In a moving essay in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day for The Tig, she wrote about an experience she had with her mother and the “countless black jokes” told in front of her by people who don’t realize she is “mixed” — those unaware of her status as “the ethnically ambiguous fly on the wall.”
“It makes me wonder what my parents experienced as a mixed race couple,” she wrote. “It echoes the time my mom and I were leaving a concert at The Hollywood Bowl, and a woman called her the ‘N’ word because she was taking too long to pull out of the parking spot. I remember how hot my skin felt. How it scorched the air around me.”
5. She’s been married before.
Markle married film producer Trevor Engelson in September 2011 in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. However, the duo quietly split two years later for unknown reasons.