Markle is not your average royal, part 1
Markle will surely become the most left-wing member of the royal family. On her Instagram account she recommended Noam Chomsky’s book Who Rules the World, examining US imperial power, as a “great read”, and before the US election she supported Hillary Clinton and described Trump as “divisive” and “misogynistic”.
As an 11-year-old child, angered by a washing-up liquid advert that claimed “women all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans”, she wrote letters to all the “most powerful people I could think of”, including Clinton, then the first lady, and Linda Ellerbee, who presented the children’s TV news show Nick News, and who came to interview her. As a result, the company changed their tagline. “It was at that moment that I realised the magnitude of my actions,” Markle later said. “At the age of 11, I had created my small level of impact by standing up for equality. In doing this, we remind girls that their small voices are in fact not small at all and that they can affect change.”
She is not your average royal, part 2
TV channel Dave got Markle to have a laugh by quizzing her on her British knowledge – like the citizenship test, but with added jokes. She had to use words such as “buttface” (a real ale) and “crotch crescent” (a place name). She was thrilled to find out the national animal of Scotland was a unicorn, even if she failed to name the British words for freeway and sidewalk. “I think I was the worst at this game,” she said.
Her good manners owe a lot to Baywatch
As a 13-year-old, Markle worked at a frozen yoghurt shop called – brace yourself – Humphrey Yogart. One day, while taking out the bins, she met the actor Yasmine Bleeth, better known as lifeguard Caroline Holden in Baywatch, who asked her name and shook her hand. “That moment with Yasmine is exactly what I base every interaction with fans on,” said Markle.
She takes her humanitarian work seriously
Markle has said she wants to use her growing profile “to make a tangible impact. I’ve never wanted to be a lady who lunches; I’ve always wanted to be a woman who works. And this type of work is what feeds my soul.” She has worked for the organisation One Young World, and was a UN women’s advocate and an ambassador for World Vision’s clean water campaign.
Markle’s now-defunct website for young women The Tig focused on travel, fashion and beauty, but she has said it was a way to smuggle in some more nourishing material. “I knew that girls were checking it for fashion tips, but by including thoughtful pieces about self-empowerment, or featuring dynamic women such as the Pakistani poet and writer Fatima Bhutto, I was hoping to integrate social consciousness and subjects of higher value than selfies.”
Her mother, a social worker, she said, “raised me to be a global citizen, with eyes open to sometimes harsh realities.”
She already uses a three-letter acronym
And it would be so much better if she kept it, rather than the dull HRH. Markle’s nickname on set is apparently MSH Markle. “Making shit happen,” she explained in an interview last year.
She has a hidden talent
“I used to be a calligrapher, that’s how I paid my bills,” Markle has said. “I did Robin Thicke and Paula Patton’s wedding. I did tons of celebrity correspondence.” What’s funny is I probably still have some calligraphy business cards floating out in the world and I can’t wait for someone to call me in a month or something, and say, ‘Can you do these for my son’s Bar Mitzvah?’”
She once went for a drink with Piers Morgan
Because nobody is perfect and everyone has a terrible secret. According to Morgan, they exchanged messages on Twitter when he started following her, and he invited her for a drink at a pub in Kensington last summer. They talked, according to his column in the Daily Mail this week, about gun violence, her childhood ambitions (to be president) and, of course, calligraphy. Markle never spoke to Morgan again, which may either say something about her then-new boyfriend’s view of former tabloid editors, or the quality of Morgan’s pub chat.
She’s a dog person
Followers of Markle’s Instagram account will be familiar with her two dogs, rescue pups Bogart and Guy. She has since said she’s had to leave one of them with a friend, after her move to the UK. The other one, she said, has “been here for a while. I think he’s doing just fine.” When she had tea with the Queen, the corgis instantly took a liking to her. “For the last 33 years, I’ve been barked at,” Harry said in their BBC interview. “This one walks in, and absolutely nothing! Just wagging tails.” Perhaps representing the feelings of many, grateful that someone seemingly kind and socially conscious will be infiltrating the most privileged family in the country, they lay at her feet.
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010