Advent Calendar Day 8: 21-Year Old Whisky and Cuban Cigars
Competitions — 6 days
Competitions — 6 days
Competitions — 5 days
Competitions — 3 days
Competitions — 4 days
Competitions — 1 day
Competitions — 10 hours
Competitions — 2 days
Gear — 6 days
Food & Drink — 7 days
Gear — 3 days
The Diary — 6 days
How to — 3 days
It’s no surprise that we’ve chosen the American actress, model and humanitarian as our Women of the Week. After the media spotlight has been trained on the relationship between Meghan Markle and Prince Harry for the last few months, yesterday its intensity reached burning point as the pair revealed they were engaged – Harry having popped the question earlier this month.
But, even though Markle’s off the market, this is why the Suits star should be on your radar.
Markle, who was born and raised in Los Angeles and graduated University with a degree in Theatre and International Studies in 2003, first dipped her toe in international relations at college, when she undertook an internship at the US embassy in Buenos Aires.
Ever since, balancing acting work – in television shows from Fringe to CSI – she has carried on her philanthropic activities, and proved that she is no usual LA socialite. When she was just a child, she campaigned against a Procter & Gamble television advert that suggested only women should wash up pots and pans in households – writing letters to the then-First Lady Hillary Clinton to get a sexist slogan changed.
Since 2011, Markle has played the part of paralegal Rachel Zane on USA Network show Suits. As the love interest of main character Mike Ross, Markle has shouldered many central storylines throughout the show’s run – and her performance has been acclaimed as a standout character in a strong ensemble cast.
Recently, during a BBC interview, Markle revealed that her character will be written out of the television show following the season seven finale, and she will transition from being a full-time actress to focusing more on her humanitarian work.
In 2016, Markle travelled to Rwanda to endorse and help with World Vision Canada’s Clean Water Campaign, visiting villages receiving aid from fundraising to provide clean, safe drinking water. This led to high-profile work with the United Nations, where Markle furthered the equality work she began in her youth as an advocate for the Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women.
In this capacity, the future Princess has also represented international charity One Young World, speaking at the 2014 annual summit in Dublin on the topics of gender equality and modern-day slavery. In 2016, she once again spoke at the One Young World summit, this time in Ottawa.
After divorcing actor and producer Trevor Engelson in 2013, Markle went on a blind date with Prince Harry – set up by a mutual friend. Fervent speculation followed the pair in the early days of their relationship, prompting Harry to issue a statement asking the media to keep their distance – a move unprecedented within the monarchy.
Earlier this week, the couple’s engagement was announced, and plans for Markle and Prince Harry to live together in Nottingham Cottage in London made public. The wedding will take place in May of next year – and that spotlight is likely only going to get brighter…