After it was announced on Monday that Prince Harry, fifth in line to the British throne, was set to marry American actress Meghan Markle, many media outlets began wildly speculating over the possibility that Markle was Jewish. Though the prospect of a real-live Jewish American Princess in Buckingham Palace is tempting, the rumor mill got this one wrong.
Kensington Palace issued a statement on Tuesday confirming that Harry, aka Prince Henry of Wales, will wed Markle in the spring.
Since the announcement, the media has been abuzz with rumors that Markle is actually Jewish, but there’s no truth to the claim. An article in the British tabloid Daily Express published in May mistakenly stated that Markle’s father was Jewish; many other media cited that article as a source, feeding the rumor mill.
Another source of that misconception may have been Markle’s previous marriage. Markle was married to Jewish producer Trevor Engelson in 2011. The couple had a Jewish-style wedding in Jamaica. They separated two years later and officially divorced in 2011.
Interestingly, the couple connected through a mutual Jewish friend. Designer Misha Nonoo, a Jew of Iraqi descent, set Markle up with Harry, three years her junior, on a date in 2016.
In actuality, Markle went to Catholic school as a child, though today she identifies as a Protestant. It has been reported that she will be baptized and confirmed into the Church of England before the wedding. (Though British law does not exclude a royal from marrying someone from any faith, a Roman Catholic may not sit on the throne or become queen.)
Markle, 36, is known for portraying Rachel Zane on the legal drama series Suits. She is also known for her role as special agent Amy Jessup in the sci-fi thriller Fringe. Her mother, Doria Ragland, is African American and her father, Thomas W. Markle, is Irish American.
The new royal will likely receive the title of Duchess of Sussex by the Queen. She will become a British citizen after she marries Prince Harry but her citizenship could take years to complete. It’s “too early to say” if the actress will retain dual citizenship, but she started the process already, a palace source said.