Fun: Model Oliver Cheshire with Meghan at a charity event in 2013
Her wedding in the Windsor Castle chapel, just over a year ago, was an appeal to royalty mixed with the best sprinkling of celebrity friends.
Oprah Winfrey, Hollywood actor George Clooney and his glamorous lawyer Amal, Wimbledon champion Serena Williams and David and Victoria Beckham were just a few of the A-listers who witnessed the marriage of Prince Harry to former actress Meghan Markle.
It was a suitable, albeit somewhat unconventional, congregation that considers the actress's past of the Duchess.
But turned back a little further, until the days when she was just a new American starlet and Meghan can be found at the shallower end of the showbiz pond.
Indeed, not long before she was introduced to her prince, you could find her in a male model on the red carpet, flirt on social media with a former winner of X Factor and discuss whether they had an appointment with footballer Ashley Cole.
Of course it was a good idea to deal with D-listers, and that was never really suitable for ambitious and advanced Meghan Markle.
But her determination to climb the celebrity ladder – and to bridge someone who didn't fit into her new character's parameters – offers a fascinating insight into Meghan & # 39; s way of thinking.
This week it was revealed that the Duchess of Sussex had flirted a few months before finding her prince on social media with X Factor winner Matt Cardle.
Flirty: Meghan complimented x Factor winner Matt Cardle
Meghan complimented the singer, now 36, when he was preparing for the West End in 2015.
Cardle, who had won the talent show five years earlier, knew Meghan of her role in the popular American TV series Suits and would & # 39; be amazed & # 39; when she started sending him messages. She said she was a big fan of his work.
& # 39; Matt couldn't believe that a star like Meghan would even know who he was, so he was very flattered and they chatted a bit online before proposing to meet, & # 39; said a source.
& # 39; But then he met his girlfriend and knew it wasn't appropriate to keep talking to Meghan, so he ended up as a ghost.
& # 39; It felt like there could be a connection, but the timing was wrong. He did not reply to her last message. & # 39;
So what's the story of Meghan & # 39; s life before she met Harry?
I can reveal that Meghan talked about plans to leave Suits and start a new life in London, hoping to find a friend with a Made In Chelsea set upper body and possibly even become a fixture in the show.
TV presenter Lizzie Cundy, who was friends with her at the time, said: & # 39; She told me that she wanted to be on an English reality TV show and that she wanted an English boyfriend.
Meghan was warned about the date of footballer Ashley Cole
& # 39; She focused on Made In Chelsea and worked hard to reach that crowd. She said she could only stay in Suits for so long and that Hollywood was a very cheeky place. She had not achieved a breakthrough and said she would feel at home in London. & # 39;
Meghan made two visits to London – in 2013 and 2016 – and both seem to have been networking exercises.
By the time she first traveled, she had two advisors who helped her with what she pressed & # 39; called – changing her little bit of fame into a little more.
One of them was Neil Ransome from the talent agency Insanity Group. He came into contact with people in the media, including journalist Katie Hind, who was working for the Sunday People newspaper at the time, and said he was desperate to get some publicity for Meghan.
I am told that Ransome almost begged to meet journalists to meet Meghan, who was almost completely unknown and just divorced from husband Trevor Engelson.
Ransome, who this week refused to comment on his very famous former client, now has an eclectic range of clients, from model Alexa Chung and singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor to a Tattoo Fixer, from the TV show on E4, and a man those pimps sports cars for a series on the satellite channel Dave.
The best known of his current customers are radio presenters Vick Hope and Roman Kemp, who present the Capital Breakfast Show in London. He also has The Only Way Is Lydia Bright and former rugby player Thom Evans from Essex in his books.
Meghan was lucky enough to work with PR man Nick Ede and his influence can be clearly seen in what happened next.
Abandoned? Lizzie Cundy interviewed Meghan at the Global Gift Gala in 2013. The presenter says the duchess her & # 39; ghosted & # 39;
Nick, a flamboyant and popular figure in the showbiz circuit, is the best friend of Maria Bravo, an actress who founded the Global Gift Foundation.
Every year, the non-profit organization organizes events at selected places in the world, including a celebrity-heavy gala.
Guests include Victoria Beckham, singer Nicole Scherzinger and the charity's ambassador, actress Eva Longoria. Celebrities are honored for their philanthropy and there is an auction to raise money for global charities.
Ede suggested the almost unknown Meghan to be the co-host of the London gala in November 2013. He has since said that he has worked with Meghan & # 39; and describes her as & # 39; too good & # 39; for the royal family.
He said: & # 39; She ticks each individual box, from the way she looks at the way she thinks and speaks. There is nothing wrong with her except maybe writing on bananas. But nothing else. She has never set a foot in the wrong. & # 39;
During the 2013 gala, Meghan contacted the Oliver Cheshire model, one of Ede's close friends. At that time, Cheshire was dating pop star Pixie Lott, who is now his fiance.
Meghan and Oliver Cheshire walked together on the red rug and posed with their arms around each other in front of the cameras.
Former WAG Lizzie Cundy – one of Nick Ede & # 39; s friends, who was married to soccer player Jason Cundy – went to the event and did a short, filmed report of the red carpet.
The day before Lizzie and Meghan had met during a pre-awards dinner organized by the mobile phone magnate John Caudwell. Other attendees included tennis star Boris Becker and Eva Longoria.
Lizzie, whose book Tales From The Red Carpet has just been published, sat next to Meghan and they became friends.
She said: & She is a great smile and we had fun right away. She is a girl girl.
& # 39; We had a chat and then she said: & # 39; Do you know famous guys? I'm single and I really love English men. & # 39; So I said: & # 39; We go out and find someone for you. & # 39;
& # 39; I was thinking of part of the Chelsea site and thinking of Ashley Cole, as he had separated himself from Cheryl. I showed her a picture of Ashley and she was like this: & # 39; Oh yeah, he's cute. & # 39; & # 39;
Not long after, Meghan went out to dinner with journalist Katie Hind and asked her what she knew about Ashley Cole.
Katie said that Meganne, with a bottle of prosecco at the Sanctum Soho Hotel, revealed that Cole was following her on Twitter and & # 39; very loud & # 39; had tried to persuade her to go on a date.
Once good friends: Meghan with Made in Chelsea star Millie Mackintosh
After Cole gained the reputation of being a cheat, Meghan replied: & # 39; Thanks, I appreciate it. Some of my friends told me to stay away from him too. I think I'll leave it. & # 39;
She then returned to Canada and soon started a romance with the controversial chef Cory Vitiello. They were an item from 2014 to 2016.
She settled in a social circle in Toronto that revolved around the exclusive member club Soho House.
Her best friend, Jessica Mulroney, is married to Ben, the son of former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney.
The Mulroneys introduced Meghan to crooner Michael Buble during a dinner at their home in 2015. Buble even put together a Christmas playlist (and put in his own song Cold December Night) for her lifestyle blog The Tig, which she has since closed.
Another tooth of the Toronto nexus was Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, the wife of Canadian Prime Minister Justin. The most important was Markus Anderson, an executive from Soho House who is her closest male friend and who attended both her bachelor night and her baby shower. He was also placed at the front of the chapel at her wedding.
Not that her increase in Canadian social circles put an end to her fascination for the British Gallery of Honor.
Shortly after her messages to Matt Cardle, Meghan was followed on Twitter by Good Morning Britain, host Piers Morgan.
Again, he was surprised when she immediately followed him again and started reporting to her that she was a big fan of his work.
Morgan remembered: & # 39; She sent me a personal direct message: & # 39; Well hello there, thanks for following. Big fan of yours! & # 39; & # 39;
He says that they regularly talked about Twitter about everything from Rwanda to cycling courses, and that she would send him preview episodes of Suits.
In June 2016, she came to London as part of a one-month trip to Europe with friends. Lizzie Cundy has seen her again. She said: & # 39; In the meantime she had become friends with the set Made In Chelsea and hoped to get a part in the show. She was close to show the stars Millie Mackintosh and Jessica Woodley.
& # 39; She had also met TV presenter Natalie Pinkham and Bidders – Adam Bidwell – who was a friend of Harry from that trip to Vegas.
& # 39; She was still not much more successful in Hollywood terms and was planning to come here to live if she could. She wanted to have it bad and she still wanted an English boyfriend. & # 39; Meghan met Piers Morgan and spent 90 minutes drinking in his room, the Scarsdale Tavern in Kensington. She asked his advice about the media and asked for a favor – that she will be interviewed during her next visit during her breakfast show, Good Morning Britain, to help her raise her profile.
Then she went to dinner with friends on 5 Hertford Street in Mayfair. She met Prince Harry during dinner and Piers had never heard from her again.
He said: & # 39; Meghan Markle is a self-obsessed professional actress who has taken on the role of her life and is determined to milk it for all she's worth.
& # 39; She spent most of the last 20 years socializing with people until they stopped using her and then sprinkled out of her life without: & # 39; See you soon, loser! & # 39; I know because I was one of them. & # 39; Harsh? Perhaps. But the story of Piers is reflected in the experience of Lizzie Cundy, who said she and Meghan exchanged texts when news about her romance with Prince Harry came out.
& # 39; I text & # 39; de and said: & # 39; Oh my god, I heard about Harry. & # 39; And she was like: & # 39; Yes, I know. We will try and connect. & # 39; The palace probably told her that she should end contact with people she is friends with in the media.
& # 39; I was literally ghosted by her. & # 39;
Meghan's former agent, Gina Nelthorpe-Cowne, who believed they were friends, and professional colleagues, was also not long after, Meghan met Prince Harry.
They met in October 2014 at a top of the Youth World Summit for Youth. Gina found her & # 39; enormously charismatic & # 39; and very hot. In 2015 she was Meghan & # 39; s agent. In an interview, she said it was clear that Meghan & # 39; s romance with Cory was coming to an end.
Meghan confided to Gina that she was going to date with Prince Harry in July 2016.
Gina said: & # 39; After the date, she told me what a great guy he was, a real gentleman, really nice, and when I asked if she wanted to see him again, she said: & # 39; Well it seems. & # 39; & # 39;
Meghan returned from her trip to Botswana with Prince Harry and said: & # 39; We are going to change the world. & # 39;
In October 2016, after spending three months with Prince Harry, she sent an email to Gina saying that she had given up her career and terminated their contract.
Gina later asked Meghan if it was possible to use a photo of her from the youth summit, and was hurt to receive a response from Meghan & # 39; s legal team. As Gina said: & # 39; Meghan is happy to continue. & # 39;
Made In Chelsea star Millie Mackintosh is someone who can give a testimony of this.
Millie was in Soho Farmhouse in the summer of 2016 when Meghan and Harry were playing there. Meghan even subtitled an Instagram photo of Millie who said how & # 39; proud & # 39; she was on her boyfriend.
It was said that Millie helped her plan her wedding, but it became clear on the day of the ceremony that this was incorrect. Millie was at home and watched events broadcast on TV without an invitation.
& # 39; The contact has just dropped off & # 39 ;, a source says. Another suggests that Meghan & # 39; startled & # 39; was because she suspected Millie was leaking details of their friendship with the press – which could jeopardize her romance with Prince Harry.
Nick Ede explained last year: & # 39; Meghan had many friends. That circle has been greatly reduced. & # 39;
Lizzie Cundy is more blunt: & # 39; She has driven everyone away. & # 39;
Well, not everyone.
As Meghan & # 39; s makeup artist Daniel Martin recently revealed in a television interview with American chat show host Gayle King, she will always make time for the A-listers of life.
Telling King, a new and powerful friend of Meghan, from the moment that pop stars Beyonce and Jay Z received a British award in February 2018 while posing for a portrait of Meghan with a tiara, he said: & I sent her a photo – I think it was a screen grip of the two for the portrait. I think all I wrote was: & # 39; Girl & # 39 ;.
& # 39; She wrote me back as the big eyes emoji. & # 39;
Startled? Of course not.
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