It’s the epitome of a modern fairy tale.
Actress meets… prince on a blind date while holidaying in London, and after a whirlwind romance they tie the knot. But what happens next?
5 As wife of the sixth in line to the throne – after Wills and Kate’s third child is born next year – Meghan will technically have no constitutional duty
We already know Meghan Markle will become a duchess rather than a princess – likely of Sussex.
This is because, as was the case with Prince William and Kate Middleton, the Queen will grant Harry and Meghan a royal dukedom on their wedding day, with Harry, 33, becoming a royal duke and Meghan, 36, a royal duchess.
This is key as Meghan will then be on an equal level to her husband within the monarchy, but it also means any children the couple have will get the title Lord or Lady – unless the Queen issues a formal decree granting them the titles of Prince or Princess, as she did for Wills and Kate’s kids.
Getty Images – Getty 5 We already know Meghan Markle will become a duchess rather than a princess – likely of Sussex
As wife of the sixth in line to the throne – after Wills and Kate’s third child is born next year – Meghan will technically have no constitutional duty, but there’s no doubt she’ll carve out a powerful role in charity work, especially given her massive involvement in the sector already.
At first, much of this will be conducted with Harry – likely in the Commonwealth, where he wants to continue his grandmother’s legacy – but she will later branch out on her own, much like Princess Diana did.
Meghan must be careful, however, not to tread on the toes of lower-down members of the royal family who have worked hard over the years to create their own charity niche – there’s a very careful pecking order here.
Of course, the actress’ high-profile glamour will put her in demand as a charity ambassador, but all requests will be managed very carefully.
Getty – Contributor 5 The actress’ high-profile glamour will put her in demand as a charity ambassador, but all requests will be managed very carefully
As both Harry and Meghan are passionate about Africa – it is, after all, where they fell in love, after the prince whisked her off to camp in Botswana on just their third date – it’s likely they’ll concentrate their charity endeavours on the continent.
Meghan will probably also start work under the umbrella of the mental health charity Heads Together, set up by Harry, William and Kate earlier this year.
But no doubt the slow pace of the royal system will be frustrating for quick-thinking, fast-talking, experienced humanitarian Meghan, who has spoken out against discrimination in India, campaigned for clean water in Rwanda and talked proudly of her mixed heritage, as the daughter of an African-American mother and a Dutch-Irish-American father.
But the quiet grind of monarchical ceremony is among many things Meghan will have to get used to, not least the regimented side of royal life and having a member of the royalty protection squad ever present at her side.
AFP and licensors 5 The Queen will grant Harry and Meghan a royal dukedom on their wedding day
At least she’ll have support in soon-to-be sister-in-law Kate, whom Meghan said has been “wonderful”, and who will be able to guide Meghan through the many pitfalls of joining “the Firm”.
All of the pomp and ceremony is a far cry from her American roots.
But unlike most past royal brides-to-be, Meghan is already an experienced public speaker, a philanthropist and very much a woman of her time.
She will also be the first mixed-race person to marry into the royal family, as well as the first American – not to mention the first American divorcee – to join the House of Windsor since 1937, when the uncrowned King Edward VIII married Wallis Simpson after giving up the throne for her.
Handout – Getty 5 The Queen issued a formal decree granting Wills and Kate’s kids the title of Prince and Princess
The socialite had been married two times previously, and neither the royal court, the government nor the church would accept a twice-divorced American as queen.
But it is certainly a different story for Meghan, who has been welcomed into the royal family with open arms.
And now her new life has begun: she has wrapped filming on her TV show and recently moved to London – along with one of her rescue dogs – to live with Harry.