VIEW PARK — The neighborhood of Los Angeles has been a buzz with the recent news that one of their own may soon be a princess.
Last week, 36-year-old model and actress Rachel Meghan Markle announced her engagement to Britain’s Prince Harry. The princess-to-be was born and raised in South Los Angeles.
She attended Immaculate Heart High School in Los Feliz and later attended Northwestern University, graduating with a degree in theater and international studies.
Her mother, Doria Ragland, is a social worker and yoga instructor, while her father, Thomas Markle, is a lighting director. Her parents have been divorced since Markle was a child. Ragland lives in View Park and Markle is said to visit her mother quite often.
The soon-to-be princess had been dating her prince for about a year before the engagement announcement.
As 2017 comes to a close, Markle’s engagement will be one of the most talked about events of the year, especially on social media.
News of her engagement went viral, not just because of her celebrity status, but because she is half black. Her mother is African American and her father is Dutch-Irish. Black millennials had various opinions on Markle’s new title as princess, with the majority being elated that there will be a woman of color in the royal family.
Mary Antionette from Baldwin Hills says the engagement was a shock, but good for the black community.
“I’m happy we’re finally going to have black royalty, it’s about time,” she said.
She has lived in Baldwin Hills for more than 15 years, but has never run into the Markle family. “I’ve never seen or heard of them before, but I could have passed by them at the grocery market and wouldn’t even know it.
Judy Lewis has lived in the View Park area for almost 20 years and says this is the biggest news she’s heard in her community in a long time.
“I know wealthy and successful people live over here, but I’ve never heard of no one of that stature coming from here,” she said.
Lewis also said the engagement will break barriers for African Americans.
“This news is almost getting as much exposure as when it was announced Barack Obama was running for president and I think it will show the younger generation that black people can also be royalty and it isn’t restricted to only one race and culture.”
The royal wedding will be next May and is set to take place at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. This is the same church where Prince Harry was christened at three months old and where he attended school.
The new couple’s first home will be Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace.
Prior to the engagement announcement, Markle was best known for her role as Rachel Zane on the television series, “Suits” as well as roles in “CSI:NY,” “Fringe,” “90210,” “Remember Me” and “Horrible Bosses.”
Not only is the bride-to-be’s acting resume extensive, but she also is known for her humanitarian work. Markle was a counselor for One Young World, an organization where young leaders from around the world join forces to develop solutions for issues around the world.
She also is an ambassador for World Vision Canada and in 2016 she traveled to Rwanda for a clean water campaign.
Markle also has journeyed to India to advocate for women’s issues and fight against gender inequality and has worked with the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women
Prior to her engagement to Prince Harry, Meghan was married to actor and producer Trevor Engelson.