12 things you didn't know about Duchess Meghan Markle - including her special skill

The Duchess lived an amazing life before Harry!

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Meghan Markle starred in the US legal drama Suits for seven years before joining the British royal family.

But while the Duchess and her husband may have left behind life as senior royals now, for a life of freedom and independence in Canada, there's still a lot to discover about the most famous woman in the world.

So while she and Harry are laying low, we uncover 12 of the most fascinating things you never knew about Meghan Markle...

Meghan Markle facts you may not know:

  1. She wanted to be a politician - and even worked at the Buenos Aires embassy

The Duchess of Sussex attended Northwestern University in Illinois, graduating in 2003.

In interviews before becoming a royal, she explained that she wanted to be an actress in her career, but was left conflicted by her interest in politics.

She confessed, "I knew I wanted to do acting, but I hated the idea of being this cliché—a girl from L.A. who decides to be an actress. I wanted more than that, and I had always loved politics, so I ended up changing my major completely and double-majoring in theatre and international relations.”

Meghan went on to reveal that her double degree even lead to a chance to work within the system for a few months.

meghan markle facts

Credit: Getty Images

“By my junior year I had finished most of my credits, and so I applied for an internship at the U.S. Embassy, so I ended up working in the embassy in Buenos Aires for a few months," she said.

"It was their economic devaluation and our Secretary of the Treasury at the time, Paul O'Neill, was there, so I'm 20 years old, in Buenos Aires, in a motorcade, doing that whole thing. I thought for sure I would still have a career in politics.”

2. She was asked to choose between Prince William and Prince Harry before meeting her future husband

One of the best Meghan Markle facts ever! In a 2015 interview with Hello magazine in the US (just months before she actual met Harry), she was asked who she would personally pick between the two princes - in an hilarious twist of fate!

After being asked the question though, Meghan simply shrugged her shoulders saying, 'I don't know', before the interviewer prompted her to say Harry.

She responded nonchalantly, "Harry? Sure." Little did she know what was to come...!


3. She did quite a few odd jobs before making it big in acting

Every actress pays their dues on shows or adverts they may not love before becoming successful - heck, even Helen Mirren has small roles in less popular TV series before she became who we know today. And it was the same for Meghan.

The Duchess appeared on Deal or No Deal (in the US), as a briefcase girl, early on in her acting career. Admitting it wasn't quite the dream, she said, “I would put that in the category of things I was doing while I was auditioning to try to make ends meet. I went from working in the U.S. Embassy in Argentina to ending up on Deal. Definitely working on Deal or No Deal was a learning experience, and it helped me to understand what I would rather be doing.”

4. Meghan is an expert calligrapher

In between acting jobs, the now-Duchess also indulged in her passion for hand-written letters, working as a calligrapher for all sorts of events. Speaking to Esquire, she said, "I would sit there with a little white tube sock on my hand so no hand oils got on the card, trying to pay my bills while auditioning,

"I'm glad that in the land of no one seeming to appreciate a handwritten note anymore that I can try to keep that alive."

meghan markle facts

Credit: Getty Images

She even wrote wedding invites to the nuptials of Robin Thicke and Paula Patton back in 2005!

5. She was educated at LA private schools

Many like to contrast Meghan's upbringing with that of her royal husband's very privileged background, but the Duchess of Sussex also had a comfortable home life in LA.

While Meghan's parents were divorced, she lived with her mother Doria Ragland most of the time, and was sent to private schools from nursery age. At age two she attended the Hollywood Little Red Schoolhouse, later was sent to Immaculate Heart High School, a catholic, all-girls private school in the Los Feliz neighbourhood of LA.

6. She loves reading self-help books

Meghan Markle fan-site Meghan's Mirror revealed that baby Archie's mum loves a self-help book or two, and even shared her recommendations before becoming a member of the royal family.

She suggested the book Who Moved My Cheese, by Spencer Johnson, which puports to help you enjoy less stress and more success in your life. Meghan herself said, "A professor at Northwestern University had this book on our list of required reading for an Industrial Engineering class I took my junior year of college. It was a seemingly odd choice, but at the end of the day, the takeaway was a self-empowerment and motivational bent that I apply to decision making in my life to this very day. It’s an invaluable quick read."

MORE: The sacrifice Prince Harry and Meghan Markle made for son Archie revealed

She also loved The Motivation Manifesto by Brendan Burchard, saying, "This book is a must-have for waking up your inner badass, and being the very best version of yourself."

7. A famous celebrity encouraged her to adopt her dogs

In an interview with Best Health, she revealed that she ran into famous US talk-show host Ellen Degeneres and her wife Portia De Rossi at a dog shelter, when she was thinking about picking up a pet pooch.

The pair struck up a conversation, with Meghan recalling, "I said, 'Well, I'm deciding,' and she's like, 'Rescue the dog!' It’s sort of like if Oprah tells you to do something. I’m sitting there holding him, and she’s like ‘You’re taking the dog home.’

Meghan Markle facts

Credit: Getty Images

"And she walks outside to get into her car, but instead of getting in, she turns around and comes and taps on the window glass and she yells, ‘Take the dog!’ And so I brought him home because Ellen told me to."

8. She is ambidextrous

According to the Daily Mail, the Duchess of Sussex uses both hands equally - reportedly, she writes and waves with her right hand, but eats, drinks and plays guitar with her left-hand - who knew!

9. Meghan is the first ever Duchess of Sussex - and oldest royal bride ever

Upon their marriage, Meghan and Harry were given the royal titles the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. And at that time, Meghan actually became the first ever Duchess of Sussex.

There have reportedly been two Duke of Sussexes before Harry, who was around in the 19th century. He tried to marry twice, but both times his unions failed to get approval from the monarch, and so there was never a Duchess of Sussex to be his bride.

meghan markle facts

Credit: Getty Images

Similarly, Meghan is the oldest royal bride to a non-divorced Prince - though at the age of just 36 when she got married, she was hardly old! Kate Middleton was 29 when she married Prince William, and the Queen was just 21 at the time of her marriage to Prince Philip.

According to the Daily Mail, genealogists have said that the pair are related 15 generations back, through New England ancestry.

Of course, there's every chance that many of us are related if you go that far back, so it's not quite as gross as it may sounds.

11. She used to work at a yoghurt shop

It was reported that Meghan, at the age of 14, worked in a frozen yoghurt shop - Humphrey Yogart, which was said to be near her mother Doria's house.

Her former boss said, "She earned the minimum wage and was very popular with customers."

12. Running and yoga are her two go-to workouts

In an interview with Best Health she said, "Yoga is my thing. My mom is a yoga instructor, and I started doing mommy-and-me yoga with her when I was seven. I was very resistant as a kid, but she said, “Flower, you will find your practice – just give it time.” In college, I started doing it more regularly.

"I used to run all the time, but I typically get picked up for work at 4:15 in the morning on a Monday, so there isn’t much time for jogging."

Senior Digital Writer

Amy is Senior Digital Writer across Woman & Home, GoodTo and Woman, writing about everything from celebrity news to health, fashion and beauty features. When she isn't obsessing over the latest dress drop from Marks & Spencer, you'll most likely find Amy out running, or with a cup of tea in hand ready to dive into a gripping new Netflix series.