Markle, 36, freelanced in calligraphy to pay bills when she was a struggling actress living in Los Angeles and counted Robin Thicke and Paula Patton as clients. “I went to an all-girls Catholic school for six years during the time when kids actually had handwriting class,” the former Suits actress told Esquire in 2013. “I’ve always had a propensity for getting the cursive down pretty well. What it evolved into was my pseudo-waitressing job when I was auditioning. I didn’t wait tables. I did calligraphy for the invitations, for, like, Robin Thicke and Paula Patton’s wedding.” (The couple split in 2014 after more than eight years of marriage.)
Prince Harry’s future bride also worked for the fashion label Dolce & Gabanna doing celebrity correspondence during the holiday season. “I would sit there with a little white tube sock on my hand so no hand oils got on the card, trying to pay my bills while auditioning,” she revealed. “It’s super-lucrative. Because there so so few people doing it. What’s funny is I probably still have some calligraphy business cards floating out in the world and I can’t wait for someone to call me in a month or something, and say, ‘Can you please do these for my son’s Bar Mitzvah?’”
Calligraphy wasn’t Markle’s only odd job: she was a briefcase girl on Deal or No Deal from 2006 to 2007 before landing her breakout role as brainy paralegal Rachel Zane on Suits in 2011. “I would put that in the category of things I was doing while I was auditioning to try to make ends meet. I went from working in the U.S. Embassy in Argentina to ending up on Deal,” she explained. “It’s run the gamut. Definitely working on Deal or No Deal was a learning experience, and it helped me to understand what I would rather be doing.”
Now, after the announcement of Markle’s engagement to Prince Harry on Monday, November 27, she is making another career change and putting acting behind her to focus on charity work. “I see it as . . . a new chapter,” she said in her first joint interview with her 33-year-old husband-to-be. “I’ve been working on my show seven years, we were so fortunate to have the longevity, and I feel like I checked box and am very proud of the work I’ve done there.”
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