Originally published By Michelle Tauber for People Magazine
Here are quotes from those who know and have known her longer than UK Royal Reporters.
The five close friends requested “anonymity to protect the private relationships they hold dear — set the record straight on everything from Meghan’s relationship with her dad to an up-close view of her wedding to the reality of her day-to-day life at Kensington Palace’s Nottingham Cottage.”
“Whenever something good is happening in my life, she celebrates with me first, and when there’s a hardship, she’s there with Kleenex and a shoulder and a glass of wine and the best chat and a book that will help pull me out of wherever I am,” says Meghan Markle’s close confidante.
“She will stop whatever she’s doing and laugh with you and cry with you,” says a friend and former colleague.
“Meg spends so much time taking care of everyone else— that’s her nature,” says her former costar.
“I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Meg is a team player,” says the Duchess of Sussex’s former costar. “But even when she takes a back seat, she’s a leader of group morale. She would always do spirit boosters for the crew on-set—for example, having gourmet burgers delivered.”
“Meg is the most generous with her wins,” her close confidante shares. “She wins, everyone wins.”
“She sends so many thank-you notes, all in her beautiful penmanship,” says her L.A. friend. “In any room she’s very conscious of making sure everyone’s included. There are people who have met her once, even years and years ago, and they always remember exactly where they were when they met her and exactly what the conversation was, because she so thoroughly engages.”
“When I see her at engagements, folks will say, ‘This is the biggest acting job in the world. She’s acting.’ I’ll say, ‘No, this is how she is,’ ” says a longtime friend. “She’s so genuine in her love to connect with people and feels so grateful to be able to do that.”
“Forget the fact of who she’s married to: She was royalty from the day I met her,” says her L.A. friend. “The way she carries herself, interacts with people, is how you would expect an actual royal to behave. She personifies elegance, grace, philanthropy.”
“Meg did a USO tour a few years ago, and when I tell you the number of pen pals she made, the number of letters she sent back and forth,” says her L.A. friend. “She kept in touch.”
“She is one of the most selfless people I know,” says her former colleague. “A couple years ago, my son was at the beginning of a special-needs diagnosis. Meg screeched her life to a halt and used every resource she could muster for me: got me into a doctor in L.A., got me alternative doctors, called me, sent things to my hotel room. It was like a five-alarm-fire focus of her life to help me and support me.”
“She can make a five-star meal out of the garbage in your refrigerator,” says Meghan’s former colleague.
“Meghan is wicked funny,” says her former colleague. “I feel like people really don’t know that who only see her in her new role. She has the loudest and best laugh in the room. She makes everywhere she goes feel like a holiday.”
“Everything Meg stands for is supporting and empowering women,” says her former costar. “That’s who she is and what’s she’s championed since the age of 11. She’s all about fairness and making people feel good.”
“She is the same person, though everything around her has changed,” says her former costar.