Meghan Markle: Everything You Need to Know About the Royal Baby and More
The Duchess of Sussex has been a subject of fascination ever since her engagement to Prince Harry.
The world has been fascinated by Meghan Markle ever since she stepped into the royal spotlight. From her impeccable fashion sense to her philanthropic heart and her modern perspective, it seems Prince Harry’s new bride is in the news every day.
But what about her alleged feud with sister-in-law Kate Middleton? And what’s up with her family drama?
Here’s everything you need to know about the Duchess of Sussex, her pregnancy and more.
Who is Meghan Markle?
Meghan, born Aug. 4, 1981, was an American actress before she became the Duchess of Sussex in May 2018. She was born and raised in Los Angeles, and studied theater and international studies at Northwestern University in Illinois.
She married her first husband, actor and producer Trevor Engelson, in 2011 and the pair divorced in 2013.
Meghan identifies as biracial.
How did her acting career begin?
She began her acting career on "General Hospital" in 2002 and appeared in several television shows and movies. Meghan was most famous for her role on "Suits" from 2011 to 2017, playing Rachel Zane. She was also briefly a “briefcase girl” on game show "Deal or No Deal."
Meghan officially retired from acting in April 2018 to focus on her royal duties. She made her last appearance as an actor on the season 7 finale of "Suits."
When did she and Prince Harry get married?
Meghan and Harry wed on May 19, 2018, in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle in the United Kingdom. She donned a custom gown designed by Givenchy artistic director Clare Waight Keller that paid homage to Kensington Palace, the Commonwealth and her birthplace, California.
Where did she and Prince Harry celebrate their honeymoon?
Their honeymoon location might just be the best kept royal secret. The newlyweds jetted off to a top-secret destination just a few days after their wedding – postponing their travel plans to celebrate Prince Charles' 70th birthday party on May 22.
Some speculated they would travel to Namibia, where they had their third date, but Harry was quick to deny the rumor. Others believed they visited a Canadian resort, but the resort denied any royal booking.
When is Meghan due?
Meghan has hinted she is due to give birth in April. The palace announced her pregnancy in October.
In the meantime, she has enjoyed dressing up her baby bump in loose fitted patterns and bold colors.
Are they having a boy or a girl?
Meghan and Harry have kept mum on their baby's gender, even saying at one point that they haven't found out and want to be surprised when the child arrives.
But Meghan's friend Serena Williams may have let the secret slip. She told E News, “My friend is pregnant and she’s like, ‘Oh, my kid is gonna do this …’ and I just looked at her and I was like, ‘No, she’s not.'”
While Williams didn't specify which friend she was talking about, many have speculated she was referring to Meghan.
Where is Meghan giving birth?
While other royals before her, including sister-in-law Kate, have given birth in London’s posh St. Mary’s Hospital Lindo Wing, Meghan may break from tradition.
Meghan is reportedly planning to give birth at Frimley Park Hospital in Surrey, a publicly run hospital closer to their Windsor home. The no-frills maternity ward is sure to be less luxurious than Kate's preferred £7,500-per-night hospital, but it does offer natural birthing options that Meghan and Harry had reportedly shown interest in.
The duchess has also chosen not to have the queen's doctors oversee the birth, The Daily Mail reported. Royal Household gynecologists Alan Farthing and Guy Thorpe-Beeston led the births of Kate's children, while Princess Diana and Princess Anne were also cared for by royal doctors. However, Meghan has reportedly formed her own birthing team led by a female doctor.
Some have even speculated Meghan may opt for a home birth, which would make her the first royal to do so since Queen Elizabeth gave birth to her children at Buckingham Palace.
Where will the baby go to school?
It's a bit early to answer that question, but reports have suggested that it's important to Meghan that the child attend an American school. The future parents are reportedly thinking of sending their child to ACS Egham International School in Egham, Surrey, a private school that has an American curriculum for students from ages 4 to 18.
How will Meghan raise her child?
Meghan is passionate about empowering women and works with many women's organizations. It seems her apple won't fall very far from the tree.
Participating in a panel discussion in London on International Women's Day, Meghan said, "I feel the embryonic kick of feminism. Boy or girl, whatever it is, we hope that's the case."
Are she and Kate having trouble getting along?
There have been rumors of sisterly troubles between Meghan and her sister-in-law ever since before the wedding.
One report said Kate was left in tears at a dress fitting for her daughter Princess Charlotte before the wedding, and another said Kate reprimanded Meghan after she allegedly snapped at Kate’s staff.
Meghan and her beau reportedly moved out of their estate on the Kensington Palace grounds and into Frogmore Cottage at Windsor Castle – a 40-minute drive away – due to mounting tension between the two duchesses.
But whether their feud is real or just a nasty rumor, it seems to have ended over the holidays, thanks to Prince Charles.
“I’m sure at Christmas Prince Charles was knocking heads together, and you can see that by those photographs of them all walking together in a line," royals insider Robert Jobson told Australian program "Sunrise,” referring to a Christmas photo of the royal foursome.
Why is Meghan being dubbed “Duchess Difficult”?
In addition to her alleged tumultuous relationship with Kate, Meghan has been accused of being hard to work with after some of her staff allegedly quit after just several months.
One of Meghan’s assistants, Melissa Touabti, left in the fall following just six months on the job. Meghan's trusted aide and private secretary Samantha Cohen announced shortly after that she will be leaving her post in the spring, after Meghan gives birth.
However, royal expert Victoria Arbiter told Inside Edition Meghan’s staff members’ departures have nothing to do with a clash in personalities.
"It seems like suddenly in the last few weeks, this reputation is building of Meghan being difficult," Arbiter said last fall. "It’s founded from absolutely nothing. It was said from day one that Samantha Cohen was only going to serve as the interim assistant to Harry and Meghan. She was never meant to stay any longer."
George Clooney, who attended the royals' wedding with his wife, Amal Clooney, was also quick to quell the rumors. He compared the media’s treatment of Meghan to their treatment of Princess Diana decades ago.
"She's a woman who is seven months pregnant, and she has been pursued and vilified and chased in the same way that Diana was, and it's history repeating itself," the actor told reporters.
What’s going on with her family?
Meghan has a turbulent relationship with her father and half-siblings, which became public as she was thrust into the royal spotlight.
Her estranged father, Thomas Markle, is accused of having paid paparazzi for photo shoots leading up to the wedding. Even though he was supposed to walk Meghan down the aisle, he did not attend her wedding due to a reported heart attack just days before the nuptials. He continues to speak out about his daughter despite promises he will stop giving paid interviews.
Meghan has also said in the past she does not have a relationship with her half-siblings. Yet her half-sister Samantha Grant also continually speaks out about Meghan and is planning to release a tell-all book to coincide with the birth of Meghan’s baby. Her half-brother, Thomas Markle Jr., has also spoken out about the duchess, including penning a letter to Prince William shortly before the wedding, pleading him to reconsider. Neither Grant nor Markle Jr. were invited to the royal wedding.
However, Meghan and her mom, Doria Ragland, are close and are often photographed together. Most notably, Ragland rode in the car with Meghan to her wedding and the pair were spotted entering a yoga studio together.
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