Since it finally came on Monday morning, the long expected announcement that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are finally officially engaged has been pretty much unavoidable—and no doubt will continue to be until their wedding next spring. Buried in the excitement, however, was also the news that for Markle, becoming a royal also means stepping away from acting, aka her life’s main focus until just a couple of months ago.
So devoted has Markle been to her longtime role as a paralegal-turned-lawyer on the show Suits that she kept up with it long after the public’s attention to her relationship got so out of hand, the Royal Family’s communications secretary issued a statement that essentially said “Leave Meghan Alone.” Now that things are official, however, Markle seems eager to step up to her next role as a royal.
“What’s been so exciting [transitioning] out of my career and into, as you said, the causes I can focus even more energy on, very early out of the gate, [is that you] have a voice that people listen to, a lot of responsibility,” Markle, who studied international relations and is a UN Woman ambassador, said on Monday in her first joint interview with her fiancé, who backed up her decision by helpfully adding, “There’s a lot to do.”
While Prince Harry pointed out that he thinks Markle is “capable of anything,” he definitely seems delighted with her decision: He’s reportedly been grooming her into being a princess by familarizing her with the monarchy’s strange, often outdated ways. Quite unfortunately, those ways include keeping with tradition that because Markle does not have any royal blood, she will not be referred to as Princess Meghan. Instead, the BBC says there’s an “overwhelming likelihood” that she’ll become HRH Princess Harry of Wales—something that seems all the more sexist and unfair given that Markle is giving up her career to join the family.
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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during an official photocall to announce the engagement of Prince Harry and actress Meghan Markle at The Sunken Gardens at Kensington Palace on November 27, 2017 in London, England. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been a couple officially since November 2016 and are due to marry in Spring 2018.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle took their first public pictures as a couple at Invictus Games Toronto.
Actress Meghan Markle leaves the “Today Show” taping at NBC Rockefeller Center on July 14.
Actress Meghan Markle enters the “Today Show” taping at NBC Rockefeller Center Studios on July 14, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/GC Images)
Actress Meghan Markle attends the Instagram Dinner held at the MARS Discovery District on May 31, 2016 in Toronto, Canada.
Meghan Markle attends Glamour and L’Oreal Paris Celebrate 2016 College Women Of The Year at NoMad Hotel Rooftop on April 27, 2016 in New York City.
Meghan Markle attends P.S. Arts’ The pARTy at NeueHouse Hollywood on May 20, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.
Actress Meghan Markle attends AOL Build Presents “Suits” at AOL Studios In New York on March 17, 2016 in New York City.
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA – JANUARY 20: Actress Meghan Markle attends ELLE’s 6th Annual Women In Television Dinner at Sunset Tower Hotel on January 20, 2016 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for ELLE)
Meghan Markle attends the 12th annual CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Awards at Spring Studios on November 2, 2015 in New York City.
Meghan Markle attends the Prada presents The Iconoclasts with Michael Wilkinson and Tim Martin event during the 2015 New York fashion week. Photo by BFAnyc.com.
Meghan Markle attends the Elton John AIDS Foundation’s 13th Annual An Enduring Vision Benefit at Cipriani Wall Street on October 28, 2014 in New York City.
Meghan Markle attends Wes Gordon runway show during MADE Fashion Week Fall 2015 at Milk Studios on February 13, 2015 in New York City.
Meghan Markle attends the UK Premiere of “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” at Odeon Leicester Square on November 11, 2013 in London, England.
NEW YORK, NY – FEBRUARY 08: Model Meghan Markle poses backstage at the Herve Leger By Max Azria fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Fall 2014 at The Theatre at Lincoln Center on February 8, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week)
Meghan Markle attends the London Global Gift Gala at ME Hotel on November 19, 2013 in London, England.
Meghan Markle attends the Tory Burch fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring at David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center on September 10, 2013 in New York City.
Meghan Markle attends the Novak Djokovic Foundation New York dinner at Capitale on September 10, 2013 in New York City.
Meghan Markle attends the Gala Tribute To Cate Blanchett during the 51st New York Film Festival at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center on October 2, 2013 in New York City.
Megan Markle arrives on the red carpet at the 2013 MuchMusic Video Awards at Bell Media Headquarters on June 16, 2013 in Toronto, Canada.
Meghan Markle attends USA Network 2013 Upfront Event at Pier 36 on May 16, 2013 in New York City.
Meghan Markle attends the ELLE’s Women in Television Celebration at Soho House on January 24, 2013 in West Hollywood, California.
Meghan Markle arrives at NBC Universal’s 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards after party held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 13, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California.
Meghan Markle attends The Paley Center for Media’s presentation of An Evening With “Suits” at The Paley Center for Media on January 14, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California.
Meghan Markle arrives at the GQ Men of the Year Party at Chateau Marmont on November 13, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.
Meghan Markle attends TV Guide Magazine’s 2012 Hot List Party at SkyBar at the Mondrian Los Angeles on November 12, 2012 in West Hollywood, California.
Meghan Markle attends the HBO Luxury Lounge Featuring L’Oreal Paris And New Era Cap – Day 1 at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles on January 14, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California.
Meghan Markle arrives at the 13th Annual InStyle And The Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s Toronto International Film Festival Party at the Windsor Arms Hotel on September 11, 2012 in Toronto, Canada.
Meghan Markle attends the USA Network’s and The Moth’s Storytelling Tour “A More Perfect Union: Stories of Prejudice and Power” at the Pacific Design Center on February 15, 2012 in West Hollywood, California.
Perhaps putting a tip she learned in princess lessons to use, Markle, however, was quite careful with her wording when pressed on deciding to give up her career. “I don’t see it as giving anything up. I see it is a new change, a new chapter,” she said, confirming that she’s definitely stepping away from Suits. “I’ve been working on my show seven years, we were so fortunate to have that longevity on a series. For me, once we hit the 100 episode marker, I thought, I have ticked this box and I feel really proud of the work we’ve done there and now it’s time to work as a team with [Harry].”
Whether she likes it or not, however, a version of herself will soon be appearing on-screen, thanks to her ex-husband, Trevor Engelson, who’s already found a way to profit off of her new romance: He just sold a pilot to Fox about a man whose ex marries into the British royal family.
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