When she blogged about the importance of philanthrophy in her life
In addition to being an actress, Markle also travels the world advocating for women. In an essay on her now-defunct lifestyle site The Tig, Markle explained the origins of her passion for her charity: “My father was the lighting director on two television shows as I was growing up. Despite the contrast of my two worlds growing up, there was a powerful commonality: both my parents came from little, so they made a choice to give a lot – buying turkeys for homeless shelters at Thanksgiving, delivering meals to patients in hospice care, donating any spare change in their pocket to those asking for it, and performing quiet acts of grace – be it a hug, a smile, or a pat on the back to show ones in need that they would be alright. This is what I grew up seeing, so that is what I grew up being: a young adult with a social consciousness to do what I could, and to, at the very least, speak up when I knew something was wrong.”
When Rachel stood up for herself and got what she wanted on Suits
In season 3’s “Heartburn,” Rachel was put in the awkward position of having to remind Jessica (Gina Torres) that Louis (Rick Hoffman) promised the firm would pay for her to go to law school; however, Jessica refuses to honor this agreement because it wasn’t in writing. Rachel could’ve just given up and struggled to pay for Columbia, but she didn’t. Instead, she did her homework and used Jessica’s history with Harvey to change her mind because she wasn’t going to let anything stop her from achieving her dream.
Her humanitarian efforts around the world
In January, Markle traveled to Dehli and Mumbai, India, to learn about the issues facing the women and girls in poverty-stricken areas of Dehli and Mumbai. A source told PEOPLE, “She wanted to learn as much as possible from the women in these communities so she can see what is needed and how she might help them in the future.”
When she wrote about the stigmatization of menstrual health
After visiting in India in January, Markle penned yet another piece, this time for EW’s sister publication TIME, about how the stigmatization of menstrual health can perpetuate “the cycle of poverty and stunt a young girl’s dream for a more prolific future.” She wrote, “We need to push the conversation, mobilize policy-making surrounding menstrual health initiatives, support organizations who foster girls’ education from the ground up, and within our own homes, we need to rise above our puritanical bashfulness when it comes to talking about menstruation.”
When Rachel helped save a man's life
The last thing Jessica Pearson wanted to do in season 6 of Suit was take on a pro-bono case because her firm was still reeling from the whole “Mike Ross-is-a-fraud” debacle, but Rachel convinced her that this particular Innocence Project case was worth pursuing. Furthermore, when it came time for Rachel to step up and question Leonard Bailey in court (even though she wasn’t a lawyer yet), she killed it and helped free Leonard after too many years behind bars for a crime he didn’t commit.
When she opened up about being biracial
In 2015, Markle wrote a moving essay for Elle about her background and her life as a biracial woman; from the awkwardness of filling out a mandatory census in seventh grade to a dorm mate who rudely asked if her parents were still together. “Just as black and white, when mixed, make grey, in many ways that’s what it did to my self-identity: it created a murky area of who I was, a haze around how people connected with me. I was grey. And who wants to be this indifferent colour, devoid of depth and stuck in the middle? I certainly didn’t,” she wrote. “So you make a choice: continue living your life feeling muddled in this abyss of self-misunderstanding, or you find your identity independent of it. You push for colour-blind casting, you draw your own box. You introduce yourself as who you are, not what colour your parents happen to be. You cultivate your life with people who don’t lead with ethnic descriptions such as, ‘that black guy Tom’, but rather friends who say: ‘You know? Tom, who works at [blah blah] and dates [fill in the blank] girl.’ You create the identity you want for yourself, just as my ancestors did when they were given their freedom.”
When Rachel fought back
On Suits, in the wake of Rachel’s fiancé’s scandal, a classmate tried to call Rachel’s integrity into question to win an inclass argument. Instead of sitting back and letting her classmate slander her name, Rachel dug up dirt on her and used it to metaphorically let her opponent know exactly who’s boss, proving to everyone else in the class that she wasn’t someone you wanted to mess with.
When she made us believe in love again
2017 hasn’t been the best year, but at least we know that love still exists. In a recent Vanity Fair profile, Markle opened about her relationship with Prince Harry, confirming that they are indeed very much in love. ““We’re in love. I’m sure there will be a time when we will have to come forward and present ourselves and have stories to tell, but I hope what people will understand is that this is our time. This is for us. It’s part of what makes it so special, that it’s just ours. But we’re happy. Personally, I love a great love story,” she told the magazine. It turned out she wasn’t kidding: On Nov. 27, Markle and Prince Harry announced their engagement. The wedding is set for spring 2018.