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Meghan Markle is celebrating her 41st birthday — and so far, the Duchess of Sussex has had a busy year made fit for a royal.
How did it all begin?
The former American actress became a member of the British royal family when she married Prince Harry in May 2018 at Windsor Castle. The couple welcomed a son named Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor in 2019.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s departures from royal duties began in 2020 over what they described as the British media’s intrusions and racist attitudes toward the former “Suits” star. The family now resides in the coastal city of Montecito, California.
In the wake of quitting royal duties, the couple gave a televised interview to Oprah Winfrey in March 2021, which was viewed by 61 million people across the globe. In June of that year, the couple welcomed a daughter named Lilibet “Lili” Diana Mountbatten-Windsor.
As the Duke and Duchess of Sussex continue to navigate life in America, Markle had all eyes on her once again in 2022. Here are 11 ways she made headlines so far:
MEGHAN MARKLE RECEIVES A SYMBOLIC $1 REWARD
In January, it was revealed that the Duchess of Sussex would receive the nominal sum of 1 pound, or $1.22, after a court found that Britain’s Mail on Sunday invaded her privacy. Markle successfully won her legal case against the paper for publishing a 2018 letter she sent to her estranged father, Thomas Markle.
The outlet was also required to pay an unspecified sum for the separate case of infringing Markle’s copyright by publishing parts of the five-page letter, which was written shortly after she married Harry. It was noted that the unspecified sum would be donated to charity.
MEGHAN MARKLE CONDEMNS RUSSIAN INVASION
In February, Markle and Harry publicly came forward to speak out about the Russian invasion of Ukraine. A spokesperson for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex posted a statement on their Archewell website that read, “WE STAND WITH THE PEOPLE OF UKRAINE.”
“Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex and all of us at Archewell stand with the people of Ukraine against this breach of international and humanitarian law and encourage the global community and its leaders to do the same,” their statement read.
That same month, the couple reiterated their support at the NAACP Awards after being honored with the President’s Award. The ceremony aired live on BET in Los Angeles. The couple went on to donate to several organizations in support of Ukraine.
MEGHAN MARKLE GETS SUED BY HER HALF-SISTER
A year after Markle gave a televised interview to Winfrey, the former “Suits” star was sued by her half-sister for allegedly making “false” statements during the tell-all. Samantha Markle, who filed the lawsuit, accused the duchess of defamation “based on demonstrably false and malicious statements.”
Samantha argued that the duchess lied about being an “only child” and about the last time she saw her elder sibling. She also claimed Markle falsely stated that Samantha changed her last name to Markle after the former Hollywood actress started dating Harry. As recent as late July, Markle denied that she lied to Winfrey about being an “only child.”
MEGHAN MARKLE ANNOUNCES NEW PODCAST
In March, it was revealed that Markle would host a podcast on Spotify titled “Archetypes,” which will “investigate the labels that try to hold women back.” It was noted that the Duchess of Sussex will speak with historians and experts to “uncover the origin of these stereotypes and have uncensored conversations with women who know all too well how these typecasts shape narratives.”
The title of the show refers to the theme of the series, as well as Archewell, the nonprofit organization founded by Markle and Harry. That name pays tribute to their firstborn. Markle, who has a history of activism for women’s rights, revealed in an audio teaser that she hopes to address stereotypes that have long generalized women.
MEGHAN MARKLE MAKES FIRST PUBLIC APPEARANCE IN EUROPE SINCE ‘MEGXIT’
In April, Markle joined her husband in the Netherlands for the Invictus Games, which marked the couple’s first public appearance in Europe since stepping back as senior royals in 2020. The event came a day after the couple visited Queen Elizabeth II privately at Windsor Castle. The couple received an enthusiastic welcome from cheering competitors at The Hague. The week-long games are for active servicemen and veterans who are ill, injured or wounded.
MEGHAN MARKLE’S ANIMATED SERIES RECEIVES THE BOOT FROM NETFLIX
In May, it was announced that the streaming giant dropped “Pearl,” the working title of an animated series created by Markle through Archewell Productions. Last summer, it was revealed that she was teaming up with Elton John’s husband, David Furnish, to create “Pearl” for Netflix. The duchess was going to serve as an executive producer alongside the Canadian filmmaker. The show was described as a “family series that centers on the adventures of a 12-year-old girl who finds inspiration in a variety of influential women throughout history.”
MEGHAN MARKLE VISITS UVALDE
In May, Markle made a surprise visit to Texas to pay her respects to the 21 victims killed at Robb Elementary School. She was spotted placing a bouquet of white roses at a memorial. Markle ignored questions from reporters as she placed the roses tied with a purple ribbon for 10-year-old Uziyah Garcia, one of the victims of the attack. Markle was accompanied by a bodyguard who was reported to be Alberto Alvarez. Alvarez was with Michael Jackson the night the singer died in June 2009 at age 50.
MEGHAN MARKLE ATTENDS PLATINUM JUBILEE CHURCH SERVICE
In June, Markle and her husband joined other members of the British royal family for a church service at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London honoring the queen’s 70 years on the throne. It was the couple’s first public appearance in the UK since stepping back from royal duties.
The pair had flown across “the pond” from their home in California, bringing their son, Archie, and daughter, Lilibet, who had never met her great-grandmother and namesake the queen. Elizabeth, 96, skipped the service following “some discomfort” after attending Trooping the Colour. The reigning monarch has been suffering from mobility issues.
MEGHAN MARKLE RELEASES CANDID PHOTO OF LILIBET
In June, Markle released a candid photograph of her daughter from a party at their Frogmore Cottage home where they celebrated her first birthday. At the time, Markle and her family were in the UK for the queen’s Platinum Jubilee weekend. According to a spokesperson, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex invited close friends and family for a “casual, intimate backyard picnic” for their youngest child, who showed off a head full of red hair much like her father.
“It was such a privilege to celebrate the 1st birthday of Lilibet with my family and hers! Joy and face painting all around,” photographer Misan Harriman captioned an Instagram image of the little one playing in the grass.
MEGHAN MARKLE REACTS TO ABORTION RULING
In June, Markle opened up to Vogue about how she and Harry reacted to the reversal of Roe v. Wade. The duchess spoke to award-winning journalist Jessica Yelling about the impact of the Supreme Court’s decision. While discussing Harry’s thoughts about the ruling, she said that “his reaction last week was guttural, like mine.”
“Men need to be vocal in this moment and beyond because these are decisions that affect relationships, families and communities at large,” the former American actress explained. “They may target women, but the consequences impact all of us. My husband and I talked about that a lot over the past few days. He’s a feminist, too.”
MEGHAN MARKLE SUPPORTS PRINCE HARRY AT UNITED NATIONS FOR NELSON MANDELA DAY
In July, Markle accompanied her husband to the United Nations in New York City where he delivered a keynote speech during Nelson Mandela International Day. During his speech, Harry spoke about his love of Africa since his first visit at age 13 and how it still held a special connection for him and Markle.
“For most of my life, it has been my lifeline, a place where I found peace and healing time and time again,” said Harry, 37. “It’s where I felt closest to my mother and sought solace after she died, and where I knew I had found a soulmate in my wife. And it’s why so much of my work is based there.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.