While royal partners traditionally had to have a prestigious upbringing, Markle is quite different. She was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, and in an op-ed for Elle U.K., she revealed a little about her background. She was raised by mixed-race parents: an African-American mother who was a clinical therapist and a Caucasian father who was a TV lighting director by trade and who she describes as the “most hard-working father” she knew. But just because Markle doesn’t come from a wealthy family, that doesn’t mean she isn’t rich in a completely different way — in terms of kindness and generosity, she scores pretty highly.
Markle is a self-proclaimed “global citizen” whose parents taught her to have a social conscience from an early age, and as a young adult, she says she was ingrained with the instinct “to do what I could and speak up when I knew something was wrong.” It’s this that endears us to her because it makes her relatable and inspirational.
Markle uses her fame as a platform to do good, and while she’s a stunningly beautiful woman, she often turns down opportunities to wear designer clothes and jewellery on the red carpet to focus on what’s truly important. Once, she declined to attend the BAFTAs for publicity purposes because she had just returned from a Gihembe refugee camp in Rwanda where she was serving as a U.N. advocate for women.
Speaking about how she balances fame with her charity work, she wrote, “With fame comes opportunity, but it also includes responsibility — to advocate and share, to focus less on glass slippers and more on pushing through glass ceilings. And, if I’m lucky enough, to inspire.”
The world fell in love with Diana, Princess of Wales, because of her ability to inspire, partly because of charity work and partly because of how she was able to relate to the wider public. In fact, she’s arguably the most loved British royal to date. So, while Markle has some pretty big shoes to fill should she and Prince Harry ever do decide to get married, we think she’s more than up to the challenge.