Meghan Markle's life is very public right now — well, ever since she began dating Prince Harry back in 2016, actually — and it's not stopping any time soon. That being said, how much do you really know about the Suits actress and her life before her royal engagement?
We know she grew up in Los Angeles and where she has lived throughout her life, but we don't know a ton about her parents. If you've already done your homework, you might know that Meghan comes from a divorced family. Her mom, Doria Ragland, and father, Thomas Markle, met in the 1970s and had her in 1981. As for what her parents do and where they live, that's a little more undercover. We do, however, have a few fun facts about Meghan's dad to share with you, so get ready!
- He has always been supportive of his daughter. Even though Meghan lived with her mother most of her life, her father was always there to help her with her career and personal life, no matter what the cost. "My parents had been so supportive watching me audition, trying to make ends meet, taking all the odds-and-ends jobs to pay my bills. I was doing calligraphy, and I was a hostess at a restaurant — and all those things that actors do," Meghan told Vanity Fair about her childhood in a 2017 cover story. "My father knew how hard it is for an actor to get work, so he above all people was so proud that I was able to beat the odds."
- The Hollywood lifestyle is a family tradition. Like his daughter, Thomas worked for years in Hollywood. While she was growing up, Thomas was a lighting director and director of photography for television (he even won a Daytime Emmy Award). Some of his work included Married With Children and General Hospital. "Every day after school for 10 years, I was on the set of Married With Children, which is a really funny and perverse place for a little girl in a Catholic school uniform to grow up," Meghan explained to Esquire back in 2013. "There were a lot of times my dad would say, 'Meg, why don't you go and help with the craft services room over there? This is just a little off-color for your 11-year-old eyes.'"
- He doesn't live in the United States. Although Thomas grew up in Pennsylvania, and later worked in Hollywood, he retired in 2011 and eventually left Los Angeles (although he still has a home there). He now reportedly lives in Mexico near the small beach city of Rosarito and tries to fly under the radar.
- Family comes first. Even though Thomas and Doria divorced when Meghan was a little girl, he still made an effort to be a part of both of their lives. According to Meghan during her Vanity Fair interview, the family spent a lot of time together — even after the divorce was finalized. "What's so incredible, you know, is that my parents split up when I was two, [but] I never saw them fight. We would still take vacations together," Meghan said at the time. "My dad would come on Sundays to drop me off, and we'd watch Jeopardy! eating dinner on TV trays, the three of us. We were still so close-knit."
- He approves of Prince Harry, but has yet to meet him. In addition to issuing a joint statement of congratulations to his daughter and future son-in-law with his ex-wife in November, The Daily Mirror tracked down Thomas and asked him what he thought of the upcoming wedding. "I'm very pleased. I'm delighted," he told the publication. While he has yet to meet Prince Harry, he added that "yes, I'd love to" when asked if he'd give away his daughter on her big day.
- He's close with Meghan. Even though the two don't live in the same area, Meghan reportedly speaks to her father a lot. According to The San Diego Tribune, the actress and her father are very much in each other's lives. "He loves his daughter very, very much," a storage complex owner named Ramon Moreno told a reporter about the father-daughter relationship. "He says they talk regularly." During the couple's BBC interview, Meghan noted that Prince Harry also talks with her father. "He's talked to my dad a few times, hasn't been able to meet him just yet," she said.