Meghan Markle will soon be returning to civilian life, and fans can't hardly wait. The Duchess of Sussex has abided by the strict rules of royal decorum since her engagement to Prince Harry was met, but many are now looking back on her old public persona to see how she might act under her new arrangement.
Markle was a beloved TV star even before she joined the royal family. As a star of the USA Network drama Suits, she was a frequent sight on social media and at fan conventions.
Markle also operated her own lifestyle website before marrying Prince Harry. On The Tig, she would write about fashion, food, travel and other women who inspired her. This, combined with her thriving social media presence, made Markle feel like a particularly accessible celebrity to many fans.
All that changed when Markle's engagement to Prince Harry was announced. In November of 2017, the royal family announced their engagement publicly, and all of Markle's personal social media profiles were deleted. Her website was shut down as well, now consisting of just one solemn farewell message from Markle herself.
Many long-time fans found this new reclusivity uncharacteristic for Markle, and they hoped it would relax over time. However, the royal family maintains a certain level of detachment for all its prominent members, and there was no return to transparency in sight for Markle.
That all changed last month when Buckingham Palace announced a new role for Markle and Prince Harry. The couple will be taking a "step back" from royal duties, giving up their public funding and some government status in the process. They will gain the freedom to live in North America part time and to work in the entertainment industry, but so far the details re still mysterious to fans.
If their new lifestyle looks anything like Markle's old one, fans will be overjoyed. Here are some of the highlights from Markle's previous social media presence that have recently resurfaced.
Before joining the royal family, Meghan Markle was always up for a selfie. She was also close with her co-workers, as evidenced by this picture of her and screenwriter Tina Gordon mimicking a photo of Kerry Washington. It was posted by Suits star Kaitie Lowes in 2013.
Yes I confessed my love to the beautiful @meghanmarkle aka Rachel on Suits. She's stunning isn't she? pic.twitter.com/0tQpl2WuzL— Cristine Prosperi (@CrisProsperi) June 17, 2013
Markle posed for a photo with fellow Canadian actress Cristine Prosperi at an event in 2013 as well. Prosperi is known for her role on Degrassi, but it sounds like she was the one starstruck by Markle at the time.
Markle and actress Serinda Swan gave fans a taste of the high life when they met at an entertainment event in New York City in 2013. Swan — a star of Marvel's Inhumans — put her arm around Markle with the Manhattan Bridge right over their shoulders.
There are many pictures of Markle and her Suits co-star Rick Hoffman together on Hoffman's Twitter, if you go back far enough. The two seem to have been extremely close, and they saw each other through the stressful days on set.
@meghanmarkle was locked in her trailer..She thought I did it....??? pic.twitter.com/CjCVqtIe— Rick Hoffman (@RickHoffman_) October 17, 2012
Of all the friends who photographed Markle before her rise to royalty, Hoffman may have gotten the most candid shots. He showed fans what life is like on a TV set, for better and for worse.
After Markle's royal wedding in 2018, many old pictures of her did resurface, including this one of her with news anchor Guy Rawlings. He smiled with Hoffman and Markle on a visit to Austin, Texas, years beforehand.
Even the official Suits Twitter page is full of old photos of Markle looking more relaxed than she has in years. When she returns to civilian life, many fans hope to see her return to this carefree demeanor as well.
We've both come a long way since this pic. I have 3 more kids. You're about to become a real life princess. Congrats @meghanmarkle on your happy ever after! pic.twitter.com/Vr9UkeeV9T— Lisa Kerney (@LisaKerney) November 28, 2017
Another throwback posted after Markle's royal ascension came from sportscaster Lisa Kerney. Kerney marveled that this girl she had once met was now about to become "a real-life princess."
Even before she married into British royalty, Markle clearly had an affinity for British sports. In 2013 she posed for a photo with pro rugby players Kevin McLaughlin and Devin Toner, both of whom loved her work on screen.
Finally, who could forget Markle's collaboration with Haylie Duff back in 2014? Markle appeared on an episode of Duff's show Real Girl's Kitchen on Ora TV at the time, and fans went wild for the lifestyle tip crossover.
Markle's new arrangement with the royal family goes into effect sometime this spring. Fans cannot wait to see what she gets up to when she is able to work in entertainment again.