Not afraid to speak her mind. Meghan Markle has faced plenty of challenges since marrying into the British royal family — but she hasn’t let them dim her light.
The former Suits star fell into a whirlwind romance with Prince Harry in 2016, and by November 2017, the pair were engaged. During a candid interview with the BBC shortly after their engagement made headlines, Meghan and her then-fiancé opened up about the extreme negativity they’d been subject to in the public eye.
“Of course, it’s disheartening,” Meghan said at the time. “You know, it’s a shame that that is the climate in this world … but I think at the end of the day, I’m really just proud of who I am and where I come from, and we have never put any focus on that. We’ve just focused on who we are as a couple. And so, when you take all those extra layers away and all of that noise, I think it makes it really easy to just enjoy being together and tune all the rest of that out.”
The duo wed in May 2018. Being the first Black member of the royal family was groundbreaking in and of itself, but Meghan shocked the world once more when she gave birth to son Archie, Queen Elizabeth II‘s first biracial great-grandchild, in May 2019. Five months later, Meghan admitted that her life in the spotlight added to the already difficult nature of being a new mom.
“Any woman, especially when they’re pregnant, you’re really vulnerable, and so that was made really challenging. And then when you have a newborn, you know. And especially as a woman, it’s a lot … on top of just trying to be a new mom or trying to be a newlywed,” she said during the October 2019 ITV documentary, Harry & Meghan: An African Journey, adding that “not many people have asked if I’m OK” throughout her hardships.
Eventually, the stresses of royal life became too much. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex stepped down from their senior roles within the palace in January 2020, and three months later, settled down in Los Angeles with their son. In July 2020, the family of three relocated to the quieter Montecito neighborhood of Santa Barbara, California.
Scroll down to relive some of Meghan’s most honest quotes about the struggles of royal life, motherhood and more.