Who is Meghan Markle?

Prince Harry is getting married to US actress Meghan Markle next spring.

But who is his bride-to-be? Here's everything we know:

  • Career:

Meghan is an American actress, best known for her role in the hit US TV series Suits.

She rose to fame playing law student Rachel Zane in the popular legal drama, after parts in CSI: Miami, sci-fi show Fringe and films including Remember Me and Horrible Bosses.

But she is also passionate about humanitarian campaigns; Meghan is a global ambassador for World Vision Canada and is committed to empowering women through her work as a women's advocate for the UN.

Discussing her role in Suits in 2016. Credit: AP
  • Interests:

Meghan is a fitness fanatic, loves yoga, and is a self-confessed foodie.

The star ran a fashion and lifestyle website thetig.com for three years, where she posted candidly about everything from beauty products to charity work.

Content included her take on how she balances fame and humanitarian work, with Meghan saying: "I've never wanted to be a lady who lunches - I've always wanted to be a woman who works."

Meghan describes yoga as being her "thing". Her mother is a yoga instructor and encouraged her daughter to practice from the age of seven.

In the same interview with Best Health Magazine two years ago, Meghan confessed a love for French fries, saying she could eat them "all day". She added: "I love carbs – who doesn’t love a carbohydrate? But of course, when I’m filming, I’m conscious of what I eat. I try to eat vegan during the week and then have a little bit more flexibility with what I dig into on the weekends."

She also revealed a penchant for wine, adding: "Of course I’m going to have that glass of wine – it’s delicious and I enjoy it. Do the things you enjoy within reason. Know your body and what works for you and you’ll be fine."

The pair appeared in public and showcased the engagement ring. Credit: PA
  • Pets:

Meghan has two rescue dogs, a beagle named Guy and a labrador-shepherd mix called Bogart.

The future royal bride has said the pair "mean the absolute world" to her and she refers to them as "my loves" and "my boys".

She campaigns against the purchasing of pets and urges people to "adopt, don't shop".

It was American comedian and chat show host Ellen DeGeneres who convinced Meghan to adopt Bogart - her first pet - after she bumped into her in a shelter.

"She turns around and comes and taps on the window glass and she yells 'Take the dog!' And so I brought him home. Because Ellen told me to," she said.

Speculation that a royal engagement was imminent intensified when it was reported Meghan was putting arrangements in place to move the animals from her home in Toronto to London.

Meghan and Harry share a passion for charitable work. Credit: PA
  • Charitable work:

Meghan's socio-political activism has become increasingly important to her in recent years, and she shares Harry's passion for Africa.

She carried out charity work in Rwanda for the Clean Water Campaign in March 2016.

And she visited Afghanistan on a morale boosting trip to show support for US troops ahead of the Christmas holidays in 2014.

In 2015, the then UN Secretary General Bahn-Ki Moon joined a standing ovation for Meghan after she made a speech on International Women's Day as UN Women's Advocate for Women's Leadership & Political Participation.

Commenting on how she combines her glamorous lifestyle with her charity work, she has said: "While my life shifts from refugee camps to red carpets, I choose them both because these worlds can, in fact, co-exist. And for me, they must."

Meghan's life shifts from 'refugee camps to red carpets'. Credit: AP
  • Growing up:

Rachel Meghan Markle was born on August 4 1981, to clinical therapist mother Doria who she describes as "free spirited" and TV lighting director Thomas - who she calls "the most hardworking father you can imagine".

She grew up in Los Angeles, and studied at a girls' Roman Catholic college. Her parents divorced when she was six.

Meghan has written about her mixed heritage - Thomas Markle is Caucasian and of Dutch and Irish descent and her mother is African-American - and how it created "a grey area surrounding my self-identification".

But she added: "I have come to embrace that. To say who I am, to share where I'm from, to voice my pride in being a strong, confident mixed-race woman."

She also wrote about how her parents "who came from little" taught her to care about others, and led by example during her childhood buying turkeys for homeless shelters at Thanksgiving and delivering meals to patients in hospice care.

Meghan is set to join the Royal Family within months. Credit: AP
  • Previous marriage:

In September 2011 Meghan wed film producer Trevor Engelson after dating him for six years, but the pair divorced amicably less than two years later.

Meghan could become a duchess. Credit: AP
  • Future title:

Meghan will not be a princess in her own right, only through marriage.

Though she will not be called Princess Meghan, she could become Princess Henry of Wales.

If Harry is given a dukedom by the Queen on his wedding day, Meghan would become a Duchess - most likely the Duchess of Sussex.