Even before she was a royal, Meghan Markle amassed a loyal following from her TV role on Suits and her lifestyle site The Tig, but once she entered a relationship with Prince Harry in 2016, she has become a worldwide favorite. Audiences have watched Markle grow into a beloved fashion icon, a philanthropic world traveler, and an inspiring success. As we continue to obsess over everything Meghan  — from her outfits to her acts of kindness — here are five things you probably didn’t know helped propel the Duchess of Sussex into the exciting life she leads today.

She finds meaning in her work

So much of our success relies on believing our work serves a real purpose  — and Markle understands that. A royal source told ELLE that Meghan is actually not only “well-liked,” but that people are excited about her ideas and enthusiasm. In fact, Markle has shown a history of activism around causes that are important to her, going back to when she was just a child. Back in 1993, an 11-year-old Markle went on television to talk about a soap commercial that implied washing dishes was women’s work. After creating buzz around her cause, the company changed their commercial. Working toward a greater goal makes your work all the more meaningful, and Markle has been able to find happiness and success in that crucial mindset.

She understands the psychology of what we wear

Markle paid a visit to Smart Works, a charity that offers clothing and professional coaching to unemployed women with upcoming job interviews, the Daily Mail reported. The organization, based in West London, emphasizes the psychology of what we wear to work — when we feel more like ourselves, we perform better. Markle has made news for her own fashion statements, like trading in her high heels for flats — and she’s opened up about paying just as much attention to the purpose behind how we dress. “We have a deep connection to what we wear,” Markle shared while presenting a fashion award to her friend this year. “Sometimes it’s very personal, sometimes it’s emotional… This connection is rooted in really being able to understand that it’s about supporting and empowering each other.” By helping women in need find clothes that will help them succeed, she’s supporting others in being their best selves.

She gives herself permission to slow down

Markle understands that your mental health sets the tone for everything else in your life, which is why she has made a point to prioritize her well-being and carve out time for herself, even amid her myriad royal responsibilities. Although the Duchess was expected to join her husband on a business trip to Zambia in November, she decided to stay behind, feeling physically and mentally exhausted from her taxing travel schedule. Instead of ignoring the signs and fighting through, Markle decided to slow down and take a break. And that’s okay.

She takes time to unplug

Research shows that taking breaks from your devices can help you feel more present, less anxious, and generally happier — and it seems the Duchess of Sussex has embraced the science behind unplugging. In January of 2018, the Daily Mail  pointed out that Markle had deleted her social media accounts, taking a break from the demanding nature of online platforms. Although that was likely a condition of becoming a royal, Markle reportedly said she felt “freer” after doing so. She continues to prioritize her time away from her devices, allowing herself to succeed without the constant buzz in her pocket.

She reminds herself that she is enough

During her time so far as a royal, Markle has faced a slew of negative rumors and unflattering reports. As a public figure who has occasionally parted from royal tradition, Markle has certainly had to deal with the stress of criticism in the media. But among the backlash, she has quieted her self-doubt by maintaining a positive mindset and staying true to herself in hard times. “We just need to be kinder to ourselves,” she said in an interview. “You can have questions of self-doubt. But at the end of the day, you are enough exactly as you are.”

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  • Rebecca Muller Feintuch

    Senior Editor and Community Manager


    Rebecca Muller Feintuch is the Senior Editor and Community Manager at Thrive. Her previous work experience includes roles in editorial and digital journalism. Rebecca is passionate about storytelling, creating meaningful connections, and prioritizing mental health and self-care. She is a graduate of New York University, where she studied Media, Culture and Communications with a minor in Creative Writing. For her undergraduate thesis, she researched the relationship between women and fitness media consumerism.