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Marie Claire
Marie Claire
Rachel Burchfield

Before Meeting Prince Harry, Meghan Markle “Seriously Considered Applying” to Be on This Reality Dating Show

Meghan Markle.

Meghan Markle’s love life has certainly played out before the public eye, but, had she not met Prince Harry in 2016, living out her love story in front of ever-present cameras could have still happened—albeit in a very different way.

Mike Fleiss, the creator of the wildly popular The Bachelor franchise, confirmed that Meghan almost appeared on the show after she starred as a model on the game show Deal Or No Deal and before her star turn as Rachel Zane on the hit show Suits, which she started filming in 2011. 

Meghan played Rachel Zane on the hit series "Suits" (Image credit: Getty Images)
She starred on the show from its inception in 2011 until 2018, when she left the series to marry Harry (Image credit: Getty Images)

“Just got the go-ahead to reveal this shocking fact,” Fleiss wrote on Twitter, now known as X. “Right after she left Deal Or No Deal, Meghan seriously considered applying to be on #TheBachelor !!! #slidingdoors.”

Meghan went on to marry film producer Trevor Engelson in August 2011; they separated in July 2013 and finalized their divorce in February 2014. She dated celebrity chef and restaurateur Cory Vitello for two years, until May 2016, and met Harry that same summer.

Life happens as it should, and Meghan eventually found the love of her life in 2016 (Image credit: Getty Images)

Although Meghan opted to not appear on The Bachelor, she did open up about her time as a model on Deal Or No Deal, where she appeared on 34 episodes as the holder of case No. 24 from 2006 to 2007. Speaking on her “Archetypes” podcast, Meghan said she was treated like a “bimbo” on the show, and added she didn’t appreciate how the show made her feel like she was “not smart”: “I didn’t like feeling forced to be all looks and little substance,” she said.

She added “That’s how it felt for me at the time, being reduced to this specific archetype—the word ‘bimbo.’” She said the models were forced to “line up” for beauty treatments, telling listeners “We were even given spray tan vouchers each week because there was a very cookie cutter idea of precisely what we should look like. It was solely about our beauty. I was surrounded by smart women on that stage with me, but that wasn’t the focus of why we were there, and I would end up leaving with this pit in my stomach. Like I said, I was thankful for the job, but not for how it made me feel, which was not smart.”

Meghan appeared on 34 episodes of "Deal Or No Deal" from 2006 to 2007 (Image credit: Getty Images)

Though The Bachelor never happened in Meghan’s life—and thankfully so, as she could have missed the opportunity to find love with Harry—Meghan is clearly a fan of reality television. Meghan’s former Suits castmate Abigail Spencer appeared on The Kelly Clarkson Show this week, where Spencer told Clarkson that Meghan is a fan of the singer’s and that Meghan voted for Clarkson when she was on season one of American Idol—which she won in 2002. “It worked!” Clarkson joked, adding “I love that.”

Spencer further detailed meeting Meghan, telling the talk show host that they “immediately had a connection” and soon learned that they share the same birthday, August 4. “It was just something between us,” Spencer said, adding “It was 2007, I was doing a pilot for NBC, and I went to read with the people who were supposed to play my best friend. They were testing other actresses. I walk in, I see this beautiful, gorgeous creature at the end of the table and I’m like, ‘Who is that?’ We had an immediate something, you know? And her name is Meghan Markle.”

Meghan and Spencer while in New York City in February 2019 for her baby shower; she was pregnant with Prince Archie, born that May (Image credit: Getty Images)

Of their time on Suits, “Our friendship really developed during that time and deepened,” Spencer said. “She’s an incredible person.”

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