Today Meghan Markle marked her place in the history books by announcing her engagement to Prince Harry.
But after the American actress gave a confident first TV interview as a soon to be member of the Royal family, it appears she’s always been a natural in front of the camera.
In this never before seen footage, an 11-year-old Meghan is seen happily playing with her baby nephew Thomas Dooley as her dad Tom Markle looks on.
The close-knit family look happy and relaxed in the cute video shot at ‘grandpa Tom’s’ Los Angeles home back in 1992.
Wearing her long hair in bunches, Meghan shakes her head at the bouncing toddler who giggles in delight.
The candid home video gives an insight into Meghan’s humble beginnings, before she grew up to become a famous actress and ultimately catch the eye of Prince Harry.
With no royal or aristocratic connections, Meghan will be a breath of fresh air when she ties the knot with Prince Harry.
And the US actress’ family could soon find themselves elevated to that same royal levels as Duchess Catherine’s folks Carole and Michael Middleton, scoring invites to Balmoral and even Buckingham Palace.
Meghan’s mum Doria Ragland rose to international fame after being snapped with Prince Harry and Meghan at the closing ceremony of the Invictus Games last month, where she looked young enough to be Meghan’s sister.
The 61-year-old yoga instructor, who, like Carole, was reportedly once an air hostess, met Meghan’s lighting director dad whilst working as an assistant make-up artist at ABC television. They married in 1979 but split in 1987, when Meghan was just six, citing irreconcilable differences.
Despite having a masters degree in social work, she hit a sticky point financially in 2002, reportedly filing for bankruptcy and retraining as a yoga therapist.
Meghan has previously revealed that her African-American mum used to be mistaken for her nanny, and that she was once called the “N-word” because “she wasn’t pulling out of a parking space quickly enough for another driver.”
“My dad is Caucasian and my mom is African American. I’m half black and half white,” Meghan wrote in an essay for Elle magazine.
“Being biracial paints a blurred line that is equal parts staggering and illuminating. While my mixed heritage may have created a grey area surrounding my self-identification, keeping me with a foot on both sides of the fence, I have come to embrace that. To say who I am, to share where I’m from, to voice my pride in being a strong, confident mixed-race woman.”
While Thomas Markle, who appears in the video, is a Dutch-Irish, Emmy-award winning television lighting director.
Before meeting Doria on the set of medical drama General Hospital, he had been previously married to Roslyn, 72, who he had Meghan’s half-brother Thomas Jr and half-sister Samantha with.
According to Thomas Jr, his 73-year-old dad was something of a workaholic until Meghan was born in 1981, when the little girl became her besotted father’s new obsession.
“Before then, Dad’s work took priority over everything, but she became his whole world,” Thomas Jr said.
“I remember when she came home from the hospital, he had decorated the bathroom with little angels and fairies.”
With their financial situation stable, he paid for his daughter to be privately educated, and she was a regular on his TV sets for shows such as Married With Children.
“There I was, behind the scenes of a glossy soap opera and a TV sitcom, surrounded by famous actors and their glam teams, multi-million dollar budgets, and crew lunches that always included filet mignon and enough sweets to make you think you were at Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory,” Meghan recalled of that era on her blog, The Tig.
Since splitting with Doria though, Thomas has moved to a beach resort in Mexico and reportedly filed for bankruptcy last year due to debts of £24,000.
He’s said to have been one of the first to meet Prince Harry .