Actress Meghan Markle has been spending plenty of time in front of the cameras lately — but not in her usual role as character Rachel Zane in legal drama Suits. It's arguably the acting role that skyrocketed Markle into fame, so fans are now wondering whether Markle will continue in the role once she marries Prince Harry in the spring. Will Markle still be on Suits once she's part of the royal family, or will the wedding mark her departure from the world of acting?
Unfortunately for fans, it seems like Suits' seventh season will be Markle's last. USA Network released a statement soon after Markle's engagement to Prince Harry congratulating the actress and thanking her for her seven years on the show. "We want to thank her for her undeniable passion and dedication to Suits, and we wish her the very best," the statement from USA Network and Universal Cable Productions read. The post on the network website confirmed that Markle would indeed be leaving the show.
Season 7 of Suits wraps up in 2018, which means viewers are close to seeing the last of Markle on the show. While the news may come as a surprise to fans, the writers of Suits had actually planned the actor's exit for a while — since long before the royal engagement was announced.
Suits creator Aaron Korsch told Radio 4 that he knew about the "burgeoning" relationship between Prince Harry and Markle about a year ago, and decided to take a gamble then.
"I sort of had a decision to make because I didn't want to intrude and ask her, ‘Hey, what's going on? What are you going to do?'" Korsch told Radio 4, according to E! News. "So…collectively the writers, we decided to take a gamble that these two people are in love and it's going to work out."
What we decided to do was as the season progresses say, 'Look, I would rather have good things happen to Meghan in her life'—which would likely mean her leaving the show. So let's plan on that and it's much easier to undo that, if it came to it, than to just plan on her staying forever and then finding out she's going to go. And the only way to write a character out like that would be if they got hit by a bus or something.
Not only will Markle be leaving Suits, but she announced during her first interview with Prince Harry that she would be retiring from acting altogether. "I don’t see it as giving anything up. I just see it as a change," she said in November, according to People. She continued:
I’ve ticked this box, and I feel very proud of the work I’ve done there, and now it’s time to work with [Harry] as a team. ... I think what’s been really exciting as we talk about the transition out of my career and into my role is ... the causes that are really important to me that I can focus even more energy on.
Fortunately for Markle fans, her wedding to Prince Harry will likely be just as public an event as Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding was in 2011. Although Kensington Palace has yet to confirm if the latest nuptials will be televised, a palace source reportedly told TMZ in December that the wedding would be filmed.
Markle may be disappearing from the movie and television scene for now, but fans can take heart: it sounds like she'll still be making plenty of filmed appearances in her new role as a royal.
Check out Romper's new video series, Romper's Doula Diaries:
Watch full episodes of Romper's Doula Diaries on Facebook Watch.