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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Get Engaged: How A USA Network Actress Became Part of the Royal Family

Everything you might need to know about the next big royal wedding.

Prince Harry and Meghan MarklePrince Harry and Meghan Markle engagement announcement, Kensington Palace, London, UK - 27 Nov 2017

Tim Rooke/REX/Shutterstock

For those who follow the British royal family, Monday morning was a major event, as Charles, Prince of Wales, officially announced the engagement of Prince Harry of Wales and his longtime girlfriend, Meghan Markle. But those who don’t necessarily concern themselves with this sort of news might be curious as to why people are flipping out. Thus, we’ll aim to answer your questions below.

So… the Prince of England is getting married to an American?

Yep. Meghan Markle, a 35-year-old actress, met Prince Harry through mutual friends in London in 2016, according to CNN, and their engagement was officially announced this morning. You can watch the happy couple discuss their relationship in the below interview, posted by the CBC:

If Markle is an actress, does that mean I’ve seen her on TV?

Quite possibly! Markle has been a series regular on USA Network’s “Suits” since the show’s premiere in 2011 and also made appearances on “Fringe,” “The League,” “Castle,” a couple of “CSIs”, and more. You can see her full IMDB listing here.

Go back, what’s “Suits”?

Launched during the “blue sky” era of USA Network programming, “Suits” is a legal drama about a law school dropout (Patrick J. Adams) who teams up with a self-obsessed lawyer (Harvey Specter) to try cases. Markle plays Rachel Zane, a smart and assertive paralegal who works at their law firm.

Did Prince Harry ever watch “Suits” before meeting Markle? 

Per the interview above, the answer is no! He’d never seen any of her acting work. And Markle, as an American, didn’t know all that much about her future husband either.

Is Markle still going to be on “Suits” after the wedding? 

Not bloody likely. Season 8 hasn’t been greenlit yet, and earlier this month Deadline reported that both Markle and Patrick J. Adams were looking to exit. Markle said to the CBC that she’s looking forward to “making the transition out of my career and into the role [of a prince’s wife].”

That’s too bad for “Suits” fans. 

Markle seems okay with it, as she told the CBC that she began feeling like she was ready to leave the show after they hit the 100 episode mark.

What do her co-stars think about all this? 

They seem happy for her!

I didn’t know that British royalty was allowed to marry non-British people. 

They are, though of course, it’s not that common. The last time it happened was when King Edward VIII married Wallis Simpson in 1936. Times being different, this caused such a scandal that Edward ended up abdicating the throne. (You can learn all about this by watching “The Crown” Season 1, now streaming on Netflix.)

This sounds like something out of a fairy tale? Or a Hallmark movie? 

Non-royal women marrying into a royal family is, in fact, a pretty common trope for romantically-inclined fiction! Right now, the newly released rom-com “A Christmas Prince” is causing a stir on Netflix, and CBS Films is developing “The Royal We,” based on the novel by Jessica Morgan and Heather Cocks. Mae Whitman and Lauren Graham are producing that one, with Whitman set to star.

Does this mean Markle’s going to be a princess?

No, as that title is only granted to daughters of royalty. However, Harry is likely to be named a Duke at some point, which would eventually make her a Duchess — just as Kate Middleton was eventually named Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, following her marriage to Prince William.

Do the Queen’s corgis like her?

“They took to her right away,” according to Prince Harry.

When’s the wedding?

Spring 2018.

Who should play Markle in “The Crown” Season 6? 

Start brainstorming now. Though Zoe Kravitz would certainly rock it.

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