Some things we’ve gleaned from the pages of the moderately interesting biography, “Meghan: A Hollywood Princess,’’ by Andrew Morton, who also wrote the best-selling “Diana: Her True Story’’ about Prince Harry’s late mum, Princess Diana.
1) Markle has exceptional handwriting. After graduating from Northwestern, while waiting for her big break in Hollywood, Markle helped make ends meet by working as a calligraphist, putting to use a skill she had learned at Immaculate Heart High School in Los Angeles. She was hired to address the envelopes for the 2005 wedding of singer Robin Thicke and actress Paula Patton.
2) Markle has a Donald Trump connection. In 2006, she worked as a so-called briefcase girl on “Deal or No Deal,” a TV game show hosted by Howie Mandel featuring beautiful women in skimpy outfits and holding — you guessed it — briefcases. Trump was a guest on the show, in part to promote “The Apprentice,” and gave Markle and the other women his business card and invited them to play golf at one of his courses. “He was creepy, super creepy,” said Markle’s friend Tameka Jacobs.
3) Diana was something of a role model for Markle long before she met Harry. After Diana’s death in 1997, when Markle was 16, she and a friend watched videos of Diana’s 1981 wedding to Prince Charles. They also watched Diana’s funeral, with “tears coursing down their cheeks.” Afterward, inspired by Diana’s legacy, Markle collected clothes and toys for needy kids.
4) While working on her hit TV show “Suits,” Markle created a lifestyle blog,The Tig, which she billed as a “hub for the discerning palate — those with a hunger for food, travel, fashion & beauty.” (If it sounds kind of like Gwyneth Paltrow’s blog, Goop, that’s because it was.) The site became enormously popular with fans of her show, but after word of Markle’s romance with Harry leaked, the actress shuttered The Tig — as well as her Instagram account, which had more than 1 million followers — because, well, she was dating a prince and didn’t need to be posting selfies and recipes for arugula pesto. (Alas, Markle does not control YouTube, so you can still find clips of the actress pretending for roles to snort cocaine and perform oral sex in a car.)
5) Markle learned everything she knows about dealing with fans from Yasmine Bleeth. Wait, the Yasmine Bleeth who was on “Baywatch”? Yes. When Markle was 13, she worked at Humphrey Yogart, a frozen yogurt shop in Southern California, earning $4 an hour. One day, Bleeth came in and Markle, who was a fan, blurted out: “I really like you in that Soft N Dri commercial.” Bleeth smiled, asked Markle her name, and shook her hand. “That moment with Yasmine is exactly what I base every interaction with fans on,” Markle said later.Mark Shanahan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org