For more updates about the The BoF 500 subscribe to the Daily Digest newsletter

For more updates about the The BoF 500 subscribe to the Daily Digest newsletter

{alt missing} Getty Images

The Duchess of Sussex


From marrying Prince Harry in a Givenchy-designed gown to guest-editing British Vogue, the American-born former actress has become a fashion icon and advocate for change the world over.


The Duchess of Sussex, born Rachel Meghan Markle, rose to fame in her former acting role as Rachel Zane in USA Network’s Suits before marrying The Duke of Sussex, Prince Harry, in May 2018. She is repeatedly referenced as a style icon, frequently documented and featured in fashion and mainstream media, and co-edited British Vogue’s September issue in 2019.

Raised in Los Angeles, United States, the Duchess went to the Hollywood Little Red Schoolhouse for primary school and spent her secondary education at Immaculate Heart High School. She later attended Northwestern University in Illinois, studying a double major in Theatre and International Relations and graduating in 2003.

Following university, the Duchess’s acting career began to take shape through parts in both film and television. Her most notable role was Rachel Zane, which she played for seven seasons of television show “Suits,” during which time she moved to Toronto, Canada, where the show was filmed. In 2011, the year she started work on “Suits,” she married actor and producer Trevor Engelson until their divorce in 2013.

In 2017, she retired from acting and announced her engagement to The Duke of Sussex, Prince Harry. The couple were married at St George's Chapel, Windsor in May 2018. Among her royal duties in the UK and overseas, The Duchess devotes her time to supporting a number of charities and organisations. She also works as an advocate for women’s rights, becoming the UN Women's Advocate for Women’s Political Participation and Leadership in 2015 and a Global Ambassador for World Vision in 2016.

During her time on Suits, The Duchess was writing and editing lifestyle website The Tig, on which she discussed social issues like gender equality as well as publishing articles on travel, food and fashion. She later returned to editorial work in 2019 when she co-edited the September issue of British Vogue with the magazine’s Editor-in-Chief Edward Enninful , championing numerous advocates in the industry under the theme “Forces for Change.”

The Duchess wrote in her letter introducing the September issue, “This issue is about the power of the collective. In identifying our personal strengths, it is anchored in the knowledge that we are even stronger together.”

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s official residence is Frogmore Cottage with their son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, who was born May 2019.


Northwestern University

Northwestern University

Vital Statistics

4 August 1981

United States

United Kingdom
Member since

Similar Profiles

Cathy Horyn


Andy Dunn

Co-Founder & Chief Executive, Bonobos

What is The BoF 500?

The people shaping the global fashion industry, curated by the editors of The Business of Fashion, based on nominations and on-the-ground intelligence from around the world.