By Graham Duggan  

The world is celebrating the recent engagement between Prince Harry and actress, Meghan Markle. To many, the happy couple are a refreshing, modern twist on the British monarchy. With a wedding in the books for May 2018, we take a look at why these two celebrities, from very different worlds, are the perfect match.  

David Starkey, a constitutional historian, featured in new doc Prince Harry & Meghan: Truly, Madly, Deeply says, “Harry has got something of his mother’s talent, for rubbing along with very different people… I think that someone like Meghan, the fact that she is self-made, self-created... is an independent figure in society in her own right — they seem to me to be rather an evidently good match.”

Meghan Markle was born in Los Angeles, to a conventional Californian family, while Prince Harry was born in the UK, into the most famous family in the world. But Meghan and Harry had similar upbringings. They both attended private school; they both endured their parents separating; and from a very early age, both were very comfortable in front of audiences — Meghan performed at a small acting studio in north Hollywood, Harry in front of the entire world.

Playing the Part

Meghan grew up close to the television industry, with her father working on the hit sitcom Married With Children. At a young age, she was exposed to the workings of show business and would spend her afternoons hanging around the studio, eventually pursuing an acting career.

In doing so, Meghan unknowingly sharpened her abilities for life as a future Royal. “There’s a natural affinity between the Monarchy and the stage,” says Stakey.  “Monarchy is a performance; actors and actresses are just like Princes and Princesses, Kings and Queens, they’re performers.” “Virtually every 18th and early 19th-century prince of Britain had at least an affair, and usually a marriage with an actress.”

After a successful career playing fictional characters on screen, including her best-known role as ‘Rachel Zane’ on Suits, Meghan’s personal life started playing out in headlines as rumours of her romance with Harry spread, requiring a whole new level of public performance.

SCENE FROM THE FILM: Constitutional historian, David Starkey, describes how Royals and actors have a natural affinity for each other.
The Skills For The Job

Living as a Royal demands a high level of diplomacy, as meeting a stream of public figures and heads of state is all part of a day’s work. The job requires a high level of tact and discretion, something that Meghan is actually quite familiar with - she has a practical grounding in foreign affairs.

In university, Meghan studied both theatre and international relations, working during her final year at the US Embassy in Argentina. Meghan’s half-sister Samantha describes her skills as fitting for her upcoming role “...she served as a media liaison to foreign dignitaries, which is a very difficult position that requires a great deal of savvy and elegance. She’s very, very classy, reserved, elegant and educated.”

Prince Harry and Meghan: Truly, Madly, Deeply

A Common Cause

The newly engaged couple are both well known for their charitable work. As a member of the Royal Family, Harry is the founder and patron of a number of charities around the world, including the Invictus Games for wounded soldiers, which was held in Toronto in 2017.

In 2016, Meghan became a global ambassador for World Vision Canada, working for their Clean Water Campaign in Rwanda, and as an advocate with the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. Her involvement in charitable works likely left a strong impression on Harry.

“Meghan’s trips inevitably brought comparisons with [Princess] Diana, who was renowned for her own charitable endeavours.” Nick Ede, a PR and brand consultant who knows the Royal well; “His mother’s legacy is something that everyone knows about. Someone like Meghan is extremely attractive to him and to everybody in that sort of environment.”

Over the coming months, as preparations are made for the ‘wedding of the year’, the world will be watching closely. Learn more about the story behind their famous romance on Prince Harry and Meghan: Truly, Madly, Deeply.