In mere weeks, the calendar will flip over to 2020 and a new decade will begin. Everyone is thinking about the changes in their lives over the past 10 years, but I can think of one person whose life has changed more than most. In fact, the evolution of Meghan Markle over the last decade feels like something out of a movie except it is real life. Now that she and Prince Harry are taking a few weeks off for the holidays, I hope she's sitting somewhere taking stock of how much her life has changed. If she can't remember, I've created a handy guide to help.
It's hard to believe that just 10 years ago very few people had heard of Meghan Markle. Sure, she might have been the most Googled person on the planet in 2018, but back in 2010 she was an actress trying to get a leg up in her career. From 2006 to 2007, she enjoyed a brief stint as a briefcase girl on the Howie Mandel-hosted game show Deal Or No Deal, but for a few years later, Markle spent much of her time taking small guest roles in regular TV series.
When things turned around for her, however, they turned around in a big way. I mean, how many other actresses do you know who ended up married to royalty? Maybe just one or two, right? With that, let's have a look at how much Markle's life has changed in the last 10 years.
The Quintessential Beer Commercial (2010)
For anyone who thinks Meghan Markle didn't pay her dues, please note that she was in a Miller Lite beer commercial in 2010 and was a total professional about it. Also she made fun of a guy for wearing skinny jeans in the ad and it was very funny.
Her First Marriage (2011)
In 2011, Markle married her first husband, film producer and talent manager Trevor Engelson, in Jamaica. The couple were apparently dating for about seven years before tying the knot, according to Town & Country, and remained married for two years before separating in August 2013. Divorce tends to teach a person a lot about themselves, which could explain why Markle is so composed in the face of adversity to this day.
'Suit'ing Up (2011)
Markle got her breakout role as lawyer Rachel Zane on Suits in 2011. A lot changed about her life in the seven years she played Zane, including building a life in Canada for herself and oh yes, eventually meeting her future husband.
The Tig, We Hardly Knew Ye (2014)
Markle might have been an actress, but she also managed to make her mark as something of a lifestyle guru in 2014 with The Tig. Over for years, Markle shared design tips, recipes, and wellness advice about how to live your best life. She also connected with some women she admired for her "Tig Talk" series, women who would one day become her friends like Priyanka Chopra and Serena Williams. How I wish it was still running but alas, she shut it down when she got engaged to Prince Harry in 2017.
A Budding Activist (2015)
In 2015, Markle wrote an essay about her biracial identity for ELLE that was powerful, moving, and offered real insight into what it was like for her to live between two worlds. As she wrote in her essay, "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.”
Uniting Women At United Nations (2015)
Markle became known as a passionate feminist after her International Woman's Day speech in 2015. She talked about becoming an activist as a young girl when she thought outdated gender stereotypes in a dish soap commercial needed to be changed. And this was perhaps the first time the world recognized her as a force for change herself.
Enter Prince Harry (2016)
In 2016, Markle was set up on a blind date with Prince Harry, according to TIME. The two reportedly fell in love pretty quickly and after dating for a few months, they went public with their affection for each other. Which meant Markle became the target of loads of media speculation and everyone wanted to copy her hair.
Engagement Heard Around The World (2017)
In November 2017, Prince Harry and Markle announced they were engaged to be married after dating mostly in secret for over a year. Of course, this is when everything changes for her; no more social media, no more acting. But Prince Harry seems great so...
An American Duchess (2018)
In May 2018, Markle married Prince Harry at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle and became the Duchess of Sussex. Not long after, she began to take royal lessons to try to get a handle on all of the rules she would have to follow. Markle also began to get attacked on a regular basis in the British tabloids... something which unfortunately has not changed much in the past 18 months.
A Royal Mum (2019)
While getting married to a prince was a pretty big change, Markle also became a mom to baby boy Archie Harrison in May 2019. Since becoming Archie's mom, she has undergone something of a metamorphosis. Markle appears to have taken charge of her own charitable organizations (like taking time out of her maternity leave to be the guest editor for British Vogue and highlighting "Forces of Change") and personalized her contributions. She and Prince Harry have also become increasingly adamant about their privacy as a family.
An African Journey (2019)
The Sussex family enjoyed their first official royal tour of Africa this October, bringing baby boy Archie to meet Archbishop Desmond Tutu and spending time touring the continent. But they also shot a documentary for ITV called Harry & Meghan: An African Journey, where the new Duchess opened up about how difficult her year in the spotlight has been. It was a pivotal moment when the new mother seemed to decide to take charge of her own life, especially since she and her husband both announced they were suing British tabloids for invasion of privacy issues at the same time.
Now that the decade is coming to a close, Markle is taking some time away from the spotlight. She and her husband are spending the holidays quietly with members of her own family, and I like to think they're regrouping. Because so much has changed for the former actress in 10 years and can't we all agree that she deserves a minute to take it all in?