Meghan Markle surprises with previous career as wedding industry professional
Girlfriend of Prince Harry reveals details on her previous professional life ahead of Pippa Middleton's Big Day.
With US actress and girlfriend of Prince Harry Meghan Markle, there's a wedding-related surprise around every corner...
And none as intriguing as the Suits star's former career: using her talents as a calligrapher writing formal notes and wedding invitations.
"I used to be a calligrapher for weddings and events," the princess-in-waiting told Good Housekeeping magazine, "that was my side job while I was auditioning."
The successful actress spent her first couple of years in Hollywood doing bit-parts in movies and TV shows before making it big as Rachel Zane in legal drama series Suits. She has previously starred in 90210, CSI: Miami and CSI: New York, and was a 'briefcase holder' in the U.S version of Deal Or No Deal.
"I think handwritten notes are a lost art form. When I booked my first [TV] pilot, my dad wrote me a letter that I still have. The idea of someone taking the time to put pen to paper is really special."
Roast Chicken & Vegan Leather
It seems curious for someone to declare their love of cruelty-free vegan "leather" trousers while in the same breath hailing the virtues of a good roast chicken.
But then, when you’re the world’s most Googled-actress, you can surely be forgiven the odd inconsistency.
One can only hope the chicken Prince Harry’s girlfriend Meghan Markle has in mind is free-range and organic.
The star of the legal drama Suits - who has been dating the Prince several months - brings up the subject of vegan leather in an interview for the latest edition of Good Housekeeping, in which she discusses how she likes to inject a bit of personality into her on-screen outfits.
Miss Markle says: “My wardrobe for my part in Suits isn’t like Working Girl – dressing for work doesn’t have to be so on-the-nose these days. The key is to have your own point of view attached to it. Personally, I love cropped pants in vegan leather, a great fitted blazer and a button-down [shirt].”
Vegan leather - also known as faux or synthetic leather - is a favourite of designer Stella McCartney, whose and handbag and shoe range have been worn by the likes of Hollywood stars Gwyneth Paltrow, Anne Hathaway and Salma Hayek.
But Miss Markle’s promotion of vegan trousers may yet land her in hot water.
Although touted by its fans as an ethical alternative to animal leather, there have been claims that the solvents used in producing some ranges of the polyurethane-based material are highly toxic when disposed of and released back into the environment.
Miss Markle goes on to confess to a fondness for traditional roast chicken, saying it’s the perfect dish to bring to dinner parties - especially when you want to be a hit with your hosts.
The US-born actress, who is understood to have spent the Easter weekend with Prince Harry at her home in Toronto before returning to the set of Suits, says: “There is nothing as delicious (or as impressive) as a perfectly roasted chicken. It’s a game changer. I bring that to dinner parties and make a lot of friends.”
Given the current level of “will they, won’t they?” speculation prompted by any public remarks she makes, that is likely to be interpreted only one way. Hopefully she knows that Prince Charles’s Duchy Originals range does a nice organic bird, just in case the moment should arise.
Miss Markle’s decision last month to close down her personal online blog The Tig - in which she shared lifestyle and fashion advice with her thousands of followers - prompted a frenzy of speculation that an announcement over her future was imminent.
Since she discontinued The Tig there have also been rumors that she is preparing to quit acting in order to concentrate on her relationship with Prince Harry and her charity work.
In the interview, which is accompanied by a new set of pictures of the 35-year-old, she says the blog gave her a welcome opportunity to communicate directly with her fans and share a more optimistic and hopeful view of the world.
“I see my website The Tig as a conversation between girlfriends. I love connecting with the fan base and sharing my experiences,” she says. “There’s so much snarky stuff on the Internet these days, so I’ve tried to create a space that’s really positive and hopefully inspires you to do something that’s uplifting and empowering.”
The full interview appears in the June issue of Good Housekeeping, on sale 3rd May.
What is ‘vegan leather’?
Vegan leather is a leather substitute used to make clothing, shoes, accessories and upholstery.
Its admirers says it is indistinguishable from the real thing and is cheaper to manufacture than leather.
While some vegan leathers are cork - or kelp-based, most faux leather is made from petroleum based materials such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyurethane and textile-polymer composite microfibres.
Critics say the production process for both leather and vegan leather results in the release of chemicals harmful to the environment.