Before Meghan Markle was engaged to Prince Harry, grandson of Queen Elizabeth II, she was an actress and outspoken feminist. In 2004, she began her acting career with small roles in television shows. These included Century City, then in 2006 she was featured in The War at Home and CSI: NY. She also appeared in Fringe as Junior Agent Jessup in the first two episodes of the second season. During this time, Markle also took on several contract acting and modeling jobs. In 2010, she appeared in episodes of 90210, Knight Rider, The League, and Castle. In 2011, Markle was included in the cast of Suits as the character Rachel Jane.
Meghan Markle was a counselor for international charity called One Young World. She attended the 2014 summit in Dublin, where she spoke heavily on gender equality and modern day slavery. In 2015, Meghan Markle began to speak more openly about her difficulty finding jobs in the acting industry. She wrote, “Being ‘ethnically ambiguous,’ as I was pegged in the industry, meant I could audition for virtually any role… Sadly, it didn’t matter: I wasn’t black enough for the black roles and I wasn’t white enough for the white ones, leaving me somewhere in the middle as the ethnic chameleon who couldn’t book a job.”
In 2016, Markle submitted an op-ed in Time Magazine about the stigmatization of women’s menstrual health. She has also been an advocate for the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. As Duchess, Markle has used her role in the royal family to continue supporting women’s rights. Most recently, Meghan Markle has collaborated with many fashion houses to launch a collection called The Smart Set, in order to help “unemployed and disadvantaged women.” This collection would do so by selling on a one-for-one basis, meaning that every item that is purchased also donates an item, benefiting the charity Smart Works.
As a feminist and social justice supporter, Markle has left her print in the royal family. In January 2020, the Duke and Duchess announced that they were stepping back from their role in the royal family, and would balance their time between the United Kingdom and North America. They announced that they would be continuing the support of their charities and would assist the Queen, but would be financially independent. From the beginning of her career in acting through her time as the Duchess, Meghan Markle has been honest, hard working, and has spoken her mind.