Since Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced their engagement yesterday, the world has been abuzz with what the news means for the future of the British royal family. And that’s because the engagement is a historic one. Here, four major reasons Markle and Prince Harry’s engagement is so groundbreaking.
1. She’s a Woman of Color
Markle, whose mother is African American and father is Caucasian, identifies as biracial. Once she and Harry wed, Markle will become the first person of color to join the royal family ever.
2. She’s a Divorcée
The soon-to-be-royal was married to film producer Trevor Engelson from 2011 to 2013. She won’t technically be the first divorced woman to wed a member of the royal family, however. In 1937, Prince Harry’s great-great-uncle King Edward VIII abdicated the British royal throne to marry a divorced American socialite named Wallis Simpson. It was the scandal of the century. The couple was exiled, and Edward was given the substitute title of the Duke of Windsor. Camilla Parker Bowles was also divorced before she married Prince Harry’s father, Prince Charles, in 2005. (Also heavily scandalized.) In that sense, to many, Prince Harry and Markle’s upcoming marriage signifies an end to the outdated stigma of being divorced. (And honestly, who’s, like, not divorced these days?)
3. She’s American
Though she lived in Toronto before moving to Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace, Markle was born in Los Angeles and is an American citizen. She is the first American to be “officially” engaged to a British royal.
4. She Was Famous Before She Met Harry
If Harry’s fiancée looks familiar, that’s because Markle starred in the hit USA Network TV show Suits. She even ran her own lifestyle blog called The Tig and was once a briefcase model on Deal or No Deal. Well, that is until she hung up her nine-to-five wardrobe to become a royal. Ahh, the American Dream. It’s so British now.