Just a few years ago, Meghan Markle couldn’t wear her Suits character’s engagement ring in public, and now she’s the Duchess of Sussex, having tea with the Queen of England. Markle played the character of Rachel Zane for seven years on the USA legal drama Suits, and her on-screen father, actor Wendell Pierce, talked to KTLA 5 Morning News about the life his fictional daughter led before her royal marriage.
Suits holds a special place in Markle’s heart — she and Prince Harry honored the show’s hometown location of Toronto during Canada Day, and the series gave her a special shout-out during its recent premiere. Pierce, who played Robert Zane, said Markle was cagey about discussing who she was dating at first. “She met this nice guy and we always talked about him in code, really,” he said. “You know, ‘How you doing?’ ‘Oh, I’m going to London, coming from London, whatever.'”
But once the relationship got serious between the pair, everything changed on-set. “One day on the set, there was the MI-5 [British security] guy,” Pierce said. And Markle, whose character, Rachel, would eventually become engaged to Patrick J. Adams’ character, Mike, had to make sure her faux engagement ring wasn’t on her in public.
“One time we were in a scene before [Markle and Prince Harry] got engaged where she was engaged to Mike on the show, and they said, ‘Wait, don’t get out of the car,’” Pierce recalled. “They said, ‘Give us the ring, because there’s paparazzi down the street, so you can’t go out with the ring.’” They wanted to prevent unnecessary rumors about Markle and Prince Harry’s engagement, no doubt.
The pair would get engaged in November of 2017 for real, and Markle would leave Suits in April of 2018. Despite all the criticism Markle has received, whether it’s for jinxing Serena Williams or using a private jet, she still has a friend in Pierce. When Markle and Prince Harry got engaged, Pierce tweeted, “Congratulations to my TV daughter Meghan Markle and Prince Harry on the news of their wedding engagement. Harry you have her TV Father’s blessing. Robert Zane approves.” So sweet!