The day of Meghan Markle marriage to Prince Harry is finally here! After months of waiting we take this opportunity to look back on what was discovered about Markle’s African American, Dutch, English, and Irish, and why her Irish roots have a compelling story to go with them.
Her great-great-great-grandmother Mary Smith emigrated to London from Ireland and married a British soldier named Thomas Bird sometime in the mid-1800s.
Her Irish family apparently disowned her, likely because she married a member of the imperial army.
Experts say she may well have worked in Windsor Castle for the Royal family as there is an M. Bird listed as a servant in 1856. It would be quite ironic if the latest royal had family who once worked for the monarch.
The family later moved to Canada following the death of Thomas Bird and then the USA according to the family genealogist, ending up in Pennsylvania.
Mary Bird’s granddaughter, also named Mary, was born in Malta in 1962.
The research was carried out by former US Air Colonel Ken Barbie, whose wife Susan is a second cousin of Meghan’s father, Thomas.
Meghan’s father is said to have visited Ireland many times and grew up in Pennsylvania of Dutch-Irish roots.
Markle is a friend of New York Irish hotelier John FitzPatrick and she was once linked romantically to golfer Rory McIlroy.
She attended a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton hosted by her husband Bill just before last year’s election. The event was held in the Penthouse Suite at the FitzPatrick Manhattan Hotel. Liam Neeson was also in attendance. and the two of them posed for pictures with John FitzPatrick and Sarah Rafferty, co-star of the series “Suits” that Markel used to star in.
The 35-year-old American actress’ Dad, Tom Markle, is of Dutch-Irish descent and her mother Doria Ragland is African-American.
The Californian previously spoke about growing up bi-racial, the racism her family encountered and a troubling experience she had at school.
She told Elle magazine:
“There was a mandatory census I had to complete in my English class – you had to check one of the boxes to indicate your ethnicity: white, black, Hispanic or Asian.
“There I was (my curly hair, my freckled face, my pale skin, my mixed race) looking down at these boxes, not wanting to mess up, but not knowing what to do.
“You could only choose one, but that would be to choose one parent over the other – and one half of myself over the other.
“My teacher told me to check the box for Caucasian. ‘Because that’s how you look, Meghan,’ she said. I put down my pen. Not as an act of defiance, but rather a symptom of my confusion.
“I couldn’t bring myself to do that, to picture the pit-in-her-belly sadness my mother would feel if she were to find out. So, I didn’t tick a box. I left my identity blank – a question mark, an absolute incomplete – much like how I felt.”
Article courtesy of Irish Central.