Children in rural Rwanda have a personal connection to former American actress Meghan Markle, who will become royalty when she ties the knot with Prince Harry on May 19th. As a Global Ambassador for the Christian humanitarian organization World Vision, Markle visited Rwandan villages where the charity is expanding access to clean water. VOA Correspondent Mariama Diallo reports.
Rachel Meghan Markle (born 4 August 1981) is a retired American actress. She is to become a member of the British royal family upon her marriage to Prince Harry on 19 May 2018.
Markle was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. After graduating from Northwestern University with a degree in theatre and international studies in 2003, she played small roles in several American television series. From 2011 to 2018, she portrayed Rachel Zane on the legal drama series Suits. Markle’s film credits include Remember Me and Horrible Bosses. In 2017, she became engaged to Prince Harry, and announced her retirement from acting.
In 2018, Time magazine selected Markle as one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World”
Her father, Thomas Markle Sr., who lives in Rosarito, Mexico,is a Daytime Emmy Award-winning retired lighting director, whose profession resulted in his young daughter often visiting the set of Married… with Children. Markle’s parents divorced when she was six years old. She has two older paternal half-siblings, Thomas Markle Jr. and Samantha Grant.
Describing her ancestry, Markle said: “My dad is Caucasian and my mom is African American. I’m half black and half white. … I have come to embrace [this and] say who I am, to share where I’m from, to voice my pride in being a strong, confident, mixed-race woman.” Her mother is descended from Africans enslaved in Georgia, and her father from Dutch, English, and Irish settlers. Among her father’s ancestors are Captain Christopher Hussey, King Robert I of Scotland, Sir Philip Wentworth and his wife, Mary Clifford, a descendant of King Edward III of England.
Markle grew up in Hollywood. She was educated at private schools, beginning at Hollywood Little Red Schoolhouse. At age 11, her successful campaign to get a company to change a national television commercial she viewed as sexist was profiled by Linda Ellerbee on Nick News. Markle attended Immaculate Heart High School, an all-girl Catholic private school in Los Angeles, although she identifies as Protestant. She then attended Northwestern University, where she joined Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority.In addition to studying African American playwrights and speaking with her professor about what it means to be biracial, she participated in community service and charity projects. She graduated from Northwestern in 2003 with a bachelor’s degree in theater and international studies. She also served an internship at the American embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and studied for a semester in Madrid, Spain