Nine months after giving her first big bombshell television interview to US chat show queen Oprah Winfrey, Meghan Markle, the wife of Prince Harry, is back on the small screen.
This time, the 40-year-old Duchess of Sussex and mother of two appeared as a surprise guest on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, where she spoke about her time before becoming a member of the British royal family.
Wearing a reported $4000 Oscar de la Renta white blouse with voluminous sleeves, and without her beloved Harry by her side, the Suits actor chose a very different approach with Ellen.
In a sneak peek released by the show on social media on November 18 – which will air in the US on Thursday local time (Friday morning in Australia) – Markle shared some twee humble beginnings stories of what life was like before she married Harry in 2018.
It is not yet known whether she gets serious and talks about her time living in the UK under the watchful eye of the royal family.
Either way, Markle appeared in a happier place, sharing stories of her as a struggling actor, arriving on the Warner Bros studio set for auditions.
“I would park at Gate Three and then I would scoot on over, and what was so nice is the security guards here would always say, ‘Break a leg, we hope you get it!’
“So to drive in today was very different,” she laughs, as does the loved-up Ellen audience.
Back in those days before royal monikers and wealth, Markle revealed she was just like thousands of wannabe actors, and drove an old Ford Explorer Sport “and, at a certain point, the key stopped working on the driver’s side, so you couldn’t get yourself in through the door”.
“So after auditions, I would park at the back of the parking lot and I would open the trunk and climb in, pull the door shut behind me and crawl all over my seats to get out.
“That’s how I would come to and fro,” she says, and the audience laughed, clapped and went wild.
DeGeneres asked if anyone ever saw her, the Duchess replied, “No, I would play it off. I’d go, ‘oh, I’m just looking for my resume, highlighters for my script’.
“‘Maybe it’s back there’, and then crawl in and close it.”
Markle and Prince Harry live near DeGeneres in a luxurious $20.2 million home at Montecito, Santa Barbara with their son Archie, now 2½ and six-month-old daughter Lilibet.
It is the first big TV appearance for Meghan since she and Harry gave their bombshell interview to Oprah Winfrey in March, where they spelled out their unhappiness at life within the royal family.
They had quit as senior working royals amid a desire to lead a more normal life away from the spotlight.
By all accounts, their 2021 year has been anything but after Harry plunged the monarchy – and the once-solid relationship with his brother – into crisis after that March interview.
In that interview, the couple revealed shocking details about how unidentified royals were concerned about how dark her son Archie’s skin would be before his birth and that such worries explained why he was not given the title of prince.
Meghan, whose mother is Black and father is white, said she was naive before she married into the royal family, but that she ended up having suicidal thoughts and considering self harm after asking for help but getting none.
“They didn’t want him to be a prince or princess, not knowing what the gender would be, which would be different from protocol, and that he wasn’t going to receive security,” Markle said.
“In those months when I was pregnant, all around this same time, so we have in tandem the conversation of, ‘You won’t be given security, not gonna be given a title’ and also concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born.”
At the time, she declined to say who had aired such concerns. Asked if she was silent or had been silenced, she replied: “The latter.”
Three days after the now-infamous interview, the Duke of Cambridge was asked by a reporter: “Is the royal family a racist family, sir?”
Prince William replied: “We’re very much not a racist family.”
Prince Harry also alluded to his fears that Meghan or Archie could suffer the same fate as his late mother Diana, who died in a car crash after being chased by photographers while on a trip to Paris in 1997.
“My biggest concern was history repeating itself. And what I was seeing was that history was repeating itself,” he said.
Since quitting their royal duties and moving to California in 2020, Meghan and Harry have largely restricted their public outings to charitable events or conferences that promote the work of their Archewell foundation on issues ranging from disinformation in the media to women, hunger and mental health.
They have also signed lucrative deals with Netflix and Spotify to produce their own TV shows and podcasts.