Who is Meghan Markle? What to know about the American royal-to-be

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The American actress will move to London to marry Prince Harry, likely taking on the title Duchess of Sussex. (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File| Chris Jackson/Getty Images for the Invictus Games Foundation)

Welcome to the (royal) family, Meghan Markle!

The American actress will marry Prince Harry in Spring 2018, the palace announced on Monday. Markle will move from Toronto, where she currently lives, to London.

So who is the latest royal-to-be? Here are seven things to know about her.

Her family

The 36-year-old's full name is Rachel Meghan Markle. She grew up in the Los Angeles area, where she attended Catholic school.

Her father, Thomas Markle, was a Hollywood lighting director, and her mother, Doria Ragland, a yoga instructor and psychotherapist, according to the Associated Press. Her parents split when she was young. On her father's side, she has a half-brother and half-sister though they reportedly aren't close, according to Good Morning America.

Her parents released a joint statement after the announcement, saying:

"We are incredibly happy for Meghan and Harry. Our daughter has always been a kind and loving person. To see her union with Harry, who shares the same qualities, is a source of great joy for us as parents. We wish them a lifetime of happiness and are very excited for their future together."

Markle, who is biracial, penned an essay about her experiences for Elle Magazine in 2015, writing, "'What are you?' A question I get asked every week of my life, often every day."

Her education

She attended Northwestern University, where graduated from the School of Communication in 2003. Markle was also a member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority.

Markle returned to Northwestern for a visit in 2014, when she reminisced, "The 24-hour Burger King also definitely helped me put on the Freshman Fifteen."

Her career

As an actress, Markle is best known for her role as Rachel Zane on the show Suits. Her other projects include "Horrible Bosses," "Remember Me" and "Anti-Social."

She is also a writer and served as editor-in-chief of the lifestyle brand The Tig, which is no longer publishing.

On top of this she is a fashion designer, having launched an accessible line at Canadian retailer Reitmans.

Her passions

Outside of her career and relationship, Markle is also known for her humanitarian work and for her activism.

In March she wrote an essay called "How Periods Affect Potential," based on her time as a World Vision ambassador in India.

When it comes to women's rights, Markle is not afraid to speak out.

"It's not just a women's fight for women. It's a people's fight for people," she told Larry King in 2016.

Her first marriage

Markle was previously married to Trevor Engelson, a TV and film producer. They were married from 2011-2013 before divorcing.
Her relationship with Harry

Harry proposed earlier this month, according to the announcement. The two reportedly met in the summer of 2016. The prince confirmed their relationship last November.

Markle opened up to Vanity Fair for their October cover story, saying the pair were very happy but wanted to keep other details private.

"We're in love. I'm sure there will be a time when we will have to come forward and present ourselves and have stories to tell, but I hope what people will understand is that this is our time," she said. "This is for us. It's part of what makes it so special, that it's just ours. But we're happy. Personally, I love a great love story."

Her royal title

Her official title will be announced at a later date, but it has been speculated that Prince Harry will most likely be given the title Duke of Sussex. In that case, Vogue pointed out, Markle's full official title will be Her Royal Highness Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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societyroyal familyroyalsu.s. & worldprince harrycelebrityentertainmentengagementcelebrity engagementswedding