Meghan Markle Recalls Her “Suits” Days, Life Before Prince Harry and How Everything Had a 'Plot Twist'

The Duchess of Sussex reflected in a wide-ranging conversation at a women's leadership event

<p>Emmanuel Osodi/Anadolu via Getty</p> Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attend a reception in Nigeria on May 11, 2024

Emmanuel Osodi/Anadolu via Getty

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attend a reception in Nigeria on May 11, 2024

Meghan Markle knows that life is full of surprises.

On Saturday, May 11, the Duchess of Sussex, 42, reflected on her life before marrying into the royal family during a candid chat amid her ongoing trip to Nigeria with Prince Harry.

Meghan joined Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director-General of the World Trade Organization, to co-host a panel discussion focused on Women in Leadership.

Meghan spoke with joy about discovering her Nigerian heritage a few years ago and revealed that the first thing that she did when was "call my mom, because I wanted to know if she had any awareness of it," referring to her mother Doria Ragland.

The conversation later turned to balancing motherhood with career building, and the Duchess of Sussex was asked for her advice. Prince Harry and Meghan are parents to Prince Archie, 5, and Princess Lilibet, who turns 3 next month.

"I love being a mom, I love being a mom," Meghan said.

Related: Meghan Markle's Emotional Journey to Discover Her Nigerian Roots Unfolds in Candid Chat: 'My Country'

<p>AP Photo/Sunday Alamba</p> Meghan Markle attends panel discussion on May 11, 2024 in Nigeria

AP Photo/Sunday Alamba

Meghan Markle attends panel discussion on May 11, 2024 in Nigeria

"When I was on season one of Suits, so that was a long time ago. Now I know the show is having a resurgence, but that was a long time ago. Let's say maybe a decade ago," she said, referring to the legal drama she starred on during its original run on USA Network for seven seasons starting in 2011. Last summer, Suits had a trending renaissance when it hit Netflix for the first time, bringing Meghan's performance as paralegal Rachel Zane to a whole new audience.

"And Bonnie Hammer, who runs NBCUniversal was a huge mentor, remains a huge mentor to me. And I remember having the good fortune at the time that she invited me to have breakfast and I thought this was just the biggest deal in the world. And I asked her that exact question. I said, 'How do you find the balance?' And she said, 'You don't, you’ll never find the balance,' " Meghan said.

"And this was before I was married, this before I had children, this is before all the things in my life have certainly had a plot twist," she said with a smile.

"And it struck me and it stayed with me for a long time because you say, ‘Well how can you be so successful? And she's a mother as well and she's married and say that you'll never find the balance? What does life feel like if it's imbalanced?" she mused.

Related: Meghan Markle Has Proud Wife Moment with Prince Harry in Nigeria: ‘You See Why I'm Married to Him?'

<p>AP Photo/Sunday Alamba</p> Meghan Markle attends panel in Nigeria on May 11, 2024

AP Photo/Sunday Alamba

Meghan Markle attends panel in Nigeria on May 11, 2024

"What I think that to mean now is that that balance will always change for you. That balance, what seems balanced 10 years ago, is going to shift. And so being a mom has always been a dream of mine. And I'm so fortunate that we have two beautiful, healthy, very chatty sweet children," Meghan said, thinking of Archie and Lilibet.

Prince Harry and Meghan are in Nigeria at the invitation of the Chief of Defense Staff, the country's highest ranking military official, and arrived in Africa on May 10 for the three-day stay. The visit is significant as their first international tour since stepping back from their royal roles in 2020, and the itinerary highlights Prince Harry's Invictus Games.

Elsewhere professionally, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have lots in the hopper. In March, Meghan unveiled a website and Instagram for her budding lifestyle brand, American Riviera Orchard, and several friends have posted photos of its first product: strawberry jam. She has further filed a patent to sell cosmetic products, home décor, yoga equipment, jarred food products and much more under the American Riviera Orchard name, which might tie in to one of the shows she and Harry are working on for Netflix.

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On April 11, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's Archewell Productions revealed two new nonfiction series are in the "early stages" of production at Netflix.

A series curated by Meghan, who is also serving as an executive producer, will "celebrate the joys of cooking and gardening, entertaining and friendship." The other series will "provide viewers unprecedented access to the world of professional polo," a sport that Prince Harry has played for decades and often saddles up for charity matches.

Following a busy few days abroad, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's trip to Nigeria is due to conclude on May 12 with a basketball clinic with Giants of Africa, a cultural reception, and a polo fundraiser for Nigeria: Unconquered.

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