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Accomplished Actress And Humanitarian Meghan Markle To Marry Prince Harry


Prince Harry V in line to the British throne has announced he will marry American actor and model Meghan Markle. On the BBC today, the couple talked about how they met on a blind date set up through a mutual friend a year and a half ago. And no surprise - Meghan Markle hit the No. 1 spot today for trending Google searches. NPR's Mandalit del Barco has more.

MANDALIT DEL BARCO, BYLINE: Meghan Markle is 36 years old, three years older than her fiance. She was married once before to a TV actor and producer, and she's biracial. Her mother, who is black, is a therapist and yoga instructor. Her father is white, an Emmy Award-winning lighting director who worked on "Married With Children" and "General Hospital," the first show she worked on as an actress. Markle's best-known role is on USA Network's show "Suits." She plays a paralegal in a romantic relationship with a lawyer.


PATRICK ADAMS: (As Mike Ross) Rachel Elizabeth Zane, will you be my girlfriend?

MEGHAN MARKLE: (As Rachel Zane) Yes.

DEL BARCO: Today on the BBC, Markle described how her real life prince got on his knee a few weeks ago to propose to her while they were in their cottage, roasting a chicken. The couple talked about the racist comments she's faced. One British tabloid described Harry's girlfriend from the hood, almost straight out of Compton. It got so bad, Prince Harry issued a statement defending her. Today Markle talked about the backlash, saying it's a shame to focus on her race. She's proud of who she is.

Markle was born and raised in Los Angeles. She went to a private all-girls Catholic high school in the Hollywood Hills before studying theater and international studies at Northwestern University. She wrote about some of her experiences for the magazine Elle UK. Kenya Hunt is deputy editor.

KENYA HUNT: She wrote about coming to terms with her identity as basically a non-identifiably mixed-race woman and I guess the challenges of growing up, you know, as a biracial woman in LA, like, in the aftermath of things like the Rodney King riot.

DEL BARCO: Markle wrote about being cast for TV and movie roles. I wasn't black enough for the black roles, and I wasn't white enough for the white ones, she wrote, leaving me somewhere in the middle as an ethnic chameleon who couldn't book a job. She says she was finally able to play someone like herself on "Suits." Markle has long been politically outspoken.


MARKLE: I am proud to be a woman and a feminist.

DEL BARCO: That's Markle addressing the U.N. women's conference two years ago. She talked about becoming an advocate for gender equality when she was 11, protesting a TV commercial she thought was sexist.


MARKLE: Now, my 11-year-old self worked out that if I really wanted someone to hear me, well, then I should write a letter to the first lady.

DEL BARCO: She wrote to Hillary Clinton, journalist Linda Ellerbee and attorney Gloria Allred. She said her protest made news and got Procter & Gamble to change the tagline for their dishwashing liquid commercial. She went on to campaign for clean drinking water and an end to modern-day slavery. Last year, she became a global ambassador for World Vision Canada.


MARKLE: Women need a seat at the table. They need an invitation to be seated there. And in some cases where this isn't available, well, then, you know what? Then they need to create their own table.

DEL BARCO: Even before her wedding, Meghan Markle has been getting her own seat at the British royal family table. Mandalit del Barco, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

As an arts correspondent based at NPR West, Mandalit del Barco reports and produces stories about film, television, music, visual arts, dance and other topics. Over the years, she has also covered everything from street gangs to Hollywood, police and prisons, marijuana, immigration, race relations, natural disasters, Latino arts and urban street culture (including hip hop dance, music, and art). Every year, she covers the Oscars and the Grammy awards for NPR, as well as the Sundance Film Festival and other events. Her news reports, feature stories and photos, filed from Los Angeles and abroad, can be heard on All Things Considered, Morning Edition, Weekend Edition,, and
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