Here’s What Meghan Markle Looked Like As A Teen Headed To Holiday Parties Back Before Tiaras And Press Coverage
Imagine: You’ve been single for a short spell, and a friend offers to set you up on a blind date. At first you’re a little hesitant, but you decide to go for it. You have a vague idea about what to expect, but you can never be totally sure, so you excitedly get ready for all the surprises the evening is sure to bring. When you arrive at London’s members-only Soho House club, the truth unfolds before you, clear as a sunny English day: your date is none other than Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and your future is about to change forever.
Not many people can claim that story as their own—really, only Meghan Markle can. The above describes Markle’s own experience back in 2016, when a mutual friend set her up with the heir to the British throne.
Since then, Markle and Prince Harry have been all over headlines. Not only did they celebrate their marriage with one of the most extravagant weddings in modern history, but Markle and Harry welcomed son Archie in May of this year. Media all over the world is constantly musing about Markle’s wardrobe. Currently, Markle and Prince Harry are on a family vacation in Canada, urged by the royal family to return home as Prince Philip (Harry’s grandfather) spends another night in the hospital.
Perhaps this constant media attention comes with the territory of being part of a royal family. While Harry and his brother, William, were born into this fate, Markle’s origins are very different. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Markle was an emergent actress when she met Prince Harry, appearing in small roles on shows like General Hospital, CSI: NY, and Fringe, before landing a more solid job on the popular series Suits. Markle also secured a few movie roles in the early 2010s, in films like Get Him to the Greek, Remember Me, and Horrible Bosses.
In 2014, Markle founded the lifestyle website The Tig, where she wrote about food, fashion, beauty, and travel, in addition to profiling inspirational women. As the website grew, Markle featured a wide range of experts, from dieticians to make-up artists to and fitness instructors. The Tig was a relative success, promoting Markle’s messages of self-love, positivity, and spirituality to a wide social media audience that included 3 million followers on Instagram, 800,000 on Facebook, and 350,000 on Twitter. But Markle retired The Tig in April 2017, removing all of its online articles and ultimately deleting her social media accounts in early 2018.
In spite of this retreat from social media, Markle has been at the center of the public eye since she and Prince Harry first got together. And just a few days ago, we got a glimpse into Markle’s past as an aspiring young actress in LA when photos from a few high school Christmas dances surfaced on the internet.
Credit: Vicki Conrad / Contact Press
And what a blast from the past! Markle attended Immaculate Heart High School during the 90s, and these photos of her Christmas-themed dances are, indeed, SO very 90s. The makeup, the eyebrows, the velvet gowns—who knew that this typical high school experience would give way to a future of color-coded clutches, tiaras, and knee-length designer skirts?
Markle has spoken about her experience growing up mixed-race—something a lot of Latinos can relate to. In an essay published in a 2015 issue of Elle Magazine, Markle recalled a mandatory census that she and other students had to take at the age of 12—a questionnaire that required them to check a box that indicated their ethnicity.
But the options were limited to white, black, Hispanic or Asian. Markle wrote: “There I was (my curly hair, my freckled face, my pale skin, my mixed race) looking down at these boxes, not wanting to mess up, but not knowing what to do.
“You could only choose one, but that would be to choose one parent over the other—and one half of myself over the other,” said Markle. “My teacher told me to check the box for Caucasian. ‘Because that’s how you look, Meghan,’ she said.
“I put down my pen. Not as an act of defiance, but rather a symptom of my confusion. I couldn’t bring myself to do that—to picture the pit-in-her-belly sadness my mother would feel if she were to find out. So I didn’t tick a box.
“I left my identity blank—a question mark, an absolute incomplete—much like how I felt. When I went home that night, I told my dad what had happened. He said the words that have always stayed with me: ‘If that happens again, you draw your own box.’”
It’s thrilling to see such an impactful, independent, category-defining woman living her life in such an authentic way, even if that now means adhering to some royal rules. You go, Meghan Markle.