The California native rose to fame on Suits playing Rachel Zane, a paralegal who worked hard to achieve her dreams of becoming an attorney. While she was grateful for her steady gig on the USA Network drama, Markle admitted she struggled with working “in an industry that judges” every aspect of an individual.
“Never would I have imagined that this show would not just change my career, but also change my life — that on my journey of trying to get what I wanted, of trying to see my dream come to fruition, I would learn who I am,” she wrote in an essay for Darling in 2018. “That I would discover that I am enough.”
Markle became one of the most famous women in the world when she began dating Prince Harry in 2016. The twosome wed in 2018 at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle in England. The following year, they welcomed their first child, Archie. (Daughter Lili arrived in June 2021.)
The former Tig blogger has never allowed her high-profile romance with Harry to be all of who she is. “We were very quietly dating for about six months before it became news, and I was working during that whole time,” she told Vanity Fair in 2017. “The only thing that changed was people’s perception.”
The Northwestern University graduate added, “Nothing about me changed. I’m still the same person that I am, and I’ve never defined myself by my relationship.”
Long before she became the Duchess of Sussex, Markle used her celebrity for good. In addition to championing women and young girls, she has spoken out about major issues such as climate change, racial injustice and education.
In an essay she penned for Elle UK in 2016, Markle opened up about the importance of using her platform for the betterment of society. “With fame comes opportunity, but it also includes responsibility — to advocate and share, to focus less on glass slippers and more on pushing through glass ceilings,” she explained. “And, if I’m lucky enough, to inspire.”
Scroll through the gallery below to see some of Markle’s most inspiring quotes throughout the years.