Journalist Andrew Morton has penned another tell-all royal biography and this time, he’s spilling the details on Meghan Markle.
The author behind Diana: Her True Story — In Her Own Words, has turned his attention to the royal-in-waiting ahead of her May 19 nuptials. And as if the world’s gaze wasn’t already beating down on the 36-year-old, Meghan: A Hollywood Princess, is sure to cement her status as a front page fixture.
And with the book’s launch date slated for April 17, just weeks ahead of the royal wedding, it couldn’t have come at a more apt time.
Thanks to an exclusive snippet from The Times Magazine, here are 10 secret (albeit questionable) claims Morton makes in his latest biographical effort.
1. Her first marriage to Trevor Engelson ended without warning.
When Markle met future husband Trevor Engelson at a bar in West Hollywood, she was an aspiring actress paying her bills courtesy of a restaurant job and a freelance calligraphy career. Meanwhile, film producer Engelson was a growing name in the industry and by 2009, was named in the Hollywood Reporter as the “Next Gen 35 under 35.”
As a consequence to his success, Engelson offered Markle a small role in Remember Me, which starred Robert Pattinson as the lead. But the film producer’s career soon became a “source of conflict” for the couple, as she wished he’d try harder to cast her in his films.
In 2011 Markle’s agent suggested that she audition for Suits, and she jumped at the opportunity. By this point, the couple were engaged and according to her half-brother Thomas Markle Jr., “Meg was on her way up.”
The pair wed on September 10, 2011 in Jamaica, but the 5-hour plane distance drove the pair further apart, especially as Markle later signed up for the second season of Suits.
According to Morton, as the actress rose to fame she “no longer had the time for mates she had known for years, canceling lunches at short notice or expecting them to rework their own schedules to accommodate the busy life of the rising star.”
In 2013, Markle filed for divorce from Engelson after five years of trying to make their long-distance relationship work. And the split was reportedly not amicable, as the actress sent her wedding and engagement rings back to Engelson in the mail.”
Her decision to split came “totally out of the blue,” according to Morton, and Engelson has been infuriated ever since. When friends enquired about Meghan he would simply reply, “I have zero to say about her.”
2. She attended pre-school with Scarlett Johansson.
Meghan Markle enrolled at Little Red School at age 2. According to Morton, the school was “favored by the sons and daughters of LA’s showbiz elite,” so it comes as no surprise to learn that she once starred in a Christmas production alongside Scarlet Johansson. Markle took on a leading role in the amateur show while Johansson stood away from the spotlight in the chorus.
3. Thomas Markle influenced her acting career.
Due to his prominence in Hollywood as a television lighting director, Thomas Markle would regularly help out at his daughter’s school plays. In 1996, Markle gave the world a glimpse of her future stardom after playing the secretary in a school production of the much-beloved musical Annie.
4. Markle was crowned homecoming queen.
It turns out that Markle is no stranger to donning a sparkly tiara.
— Meghans Mirror (@MeghansMirror) January 11, 2018
Back in 1998, the aspiring actress practiced for her position in the royal family after being crowned homecoming queen.
5. She was a typical teenager.
In news that would come as no surprise to some, Markle had a stereotypical teenage life. According to Morton, when she left home for Northwestern University she could finally break free from the “watchful gaze of her mother.”
“She started wearing heavier makeup and experimented with highlighting her hair,” he writes.
6. She almost took a different career path altogether.
While studying at Northwestern University, Markle used her summer break wisely. Thanks to her uncle Mick Markle’s connections with the government, the aspiring actress took on a role at the American Embassy one summer.
At the age of 21, she took the 3-hour Foreign Service Officer Test in Argentina but failed — perhaps a sign that “fate was pushing her into a career in entertainment,” Morton writes.
7. Markle narrowly avoided Donald Trump.
In 2006, Markle landed a role on Deal or No Deal as a “briefcase girl.” But when Donald Trump turned up to the set as a celebrity guest, she kept well away.
“Fellow briefcase girl Tameka Jacobs told me, ‘He was super-creepy, but some girls were attracted to money and power and took his number,” Morton writes. “‘Meghan was one of the girls who gave him a wide berth.'”
The Trump clan are reportedly not invited to the royal wedding, despite having met Prince Harry in the past.
8. At the height of her fame, Markle began to charge serious money.
According to Morton, at the height of her acting fame Markle began to charge up to $20,000 for public appearances, whether it was Hollywood galas or red carpet stints.
9. It was love at first sight for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
In June 2016, Markle was in London for a hectic week promoting Suits. And on July 1, the actress’s life changed forever. The 36-year-old was reportedly introduced to Prince Harry on a blind date by friend Violet Von Westenholz and the couple “had each other at hello,” Morton writes.
After their first “intoxicating” meeting, the pair began to enjoy back-to-back dates before she had to fly back to Toronto for filming.
And the star teased her happiness via her now-deleted Instagram page, after she posted an image of two candy hearts with the message “Kiss Me.” She even captioned the snap “Love Hearts in London.”
Before heading back to work, Prince Harry asked if she’d like to accompany the royal on a trip to Botswana and without hesitation, she jumped at the opportunity.
10. She rehearsed drinking tea before meeting Queen Elizabeth II.
In preparation for meeting Prince Harry’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, Markle paid a visit to Rose Tree Cottage in California for afternoon tea. According to Morton, it was in the suburbs of Los Angeles that the actress practiced meeting Her Majesty. “It is where she learnt to crook her fingers she held her cup and saucer and sipped her Earl Grey,” he writes.
In November 2017, Harry introduced Meghan to his grandmother in what turned out to be an hour-long affair over hot cups of tea. After seeing the love and respect Harry has for the Queen, the 36-year-old was reportedly even more in love with the royal.
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