Here are 6 surprising things we learned about the future royal from Morton’s book, which is set for release in the U.S. on April 17.
1. She Was Obsessed With Princess Diana
Morton writes that Markle was heartbroken after Harry’s mom died in a car crash in Paris: “Meghan and her friends watched the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales, in early September 1997, tears coursing down their cheeks at the poignant moment when the cameras zoomed in on the royal coffin.” Perched on top of the coffin was an envelope with the word “Mummy” written on it — it was a letter from Harry.
“According to family friends, she was intrigued by Diana, not just for her style, but for her independent humanitarian mission, seeing her as a role model,” the author claims, adding that her friend Ninaki Priddy said, “She was always fascinated by the royal family. She wants to be Princess Diana 2.0.”
2. She Packed on the Freshman 15 in College
After a tumultuous childhood in L.A. that saw her parents split when she was a toddler, Markle headed to Chicago to attend Northwestern. Away from her doting mother, Morton writes that the teen wore heavier makeup, highlighted her hair and gained weight from drinking, eating carb-heavy dorm food and making late-night visits to Burger King. The sorority girl was a “party animal,” who enjoyed staying out late, Morton adds.
3. She Avoided Donald Trump
After briefly working for the U.S. embassy in Brazil, she returned to L.A. with her heart set on a career in showbiz. She landed a role as a briefcase girl on the game show Deal or No Deal in 2006, reportedly getting paid $800 an episode. Morton writes that she avoided one celebrity guest on the show — future president Donald Trump. The businessman, who was promoting The Apprentice, gave the models his card and invited them to play golf at one of his courses, the author reveals. Tameka Jacobs, a fellow briefcase girl, told Morton, “He was super-creepy, but some girls were attracted to money and power and took his number. Meghan was one of the girls who gave him a wide berth.”
4. Her First Marriage Ended Suddenly
She met New Yorker Trevor Engelson at a dive bar in West Hollywood. The producer, tall with reddish blond hair and blue eyes, got her a small role in the film Remember Me, starring Robert Pattinson and in 2011 she scored the lead in Suits. That meant relocating to Toronto, while Engelson remained in L.A. They wed in Jamaica and tried to maintain a long-distance relationship but split two years later. “The marriage ended so abruptly that Meghan sent Trevor her diamond wedding and engagement rings back by registered mail,” Morton claims, adding that even now, five years later, Engleson “can barely contain his anger” towards his ex.
5. She and Harry Had an Instant Connection
Markle and Harry met at London’s Soho House on July 1, 2016, after being set up on a blind date and “they had each other at ‘Hello,'” Morton writes. Their first meeting was “intoxicating” and they enjoyed back-to-back dates before she had to fly back to Toronto. Two days after that first date Markle posted a picture on her Instagram account of two Love Hearts candies with the message “Kiss Me.” She joined him on safari in Botswana the following month.
6. She Rehearsed Tea-Drinking Before Meeting the Queen
Months before meeting Harry’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, in autumn 2017, Markle visited Rose Tree Cottage in Pasadena, California, for afternoon tea. It was there that she learned all the protocols that go along with having tea with the Queen, including crooking her finger as she held her cup and saucer, Morton writes. Markle’s one-hour meeting with the monarch went well, with Harry remarking in the couple’s first joint interview that his fiancée managed to charm even the Queen’s beloved Corgis.