The Duchess of Sussex: Inside Meghan Markle's new title, royal life now that she's wed Prince Harry

PHOTO: Duchess Meghan MarkleABC Photo Illustration, Getty Images Europe
Duchess Meghan Markle

After spending the first three decades of her life as an actress, activist and self-made woman, Meghan Markle is officially a member of Britain’s royal family.

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Meghan, 36, is now known as Her Royal Highness, the Duchess of Sussex after her marriage Saturday to Prince Harry, 33, at St. George’s Chapel.

The Duke of Sussex title – which now belongs to Harry – was last given in 1801 to Prince Augustus Frederick, who became estranged from his father for his “liberal political views,” according to the Royal Collection Trust.

The prince, a son of King George III and Queen Charlotte, supported the abolition of the slave trade and the removal of civil restrictions on Jews.

Meghan is the first member of the royal family to officially hold the title of Her Royal Highness, the Duchess of Sussex.

PHOTO: An official wedding photo of Britains Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, with the royal family at Windsor Castle in Windsor, England, May 19, 2018. Alexi Lubomirski/Kensington Palace via AP
An official wedding photo of Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, with the royal family at Windsor Castle in Windsor, England, May 19, 2018.

She may also be the first to boldly declare herself a feminist on the British monarchy's official website.

"I am proud to be a woman and a feminist,” Meghan says in a quote highlighted in bold on her new page, referencing a line from her 2015 United Nations (UN) speech.

Meghan's bio on the page details the activism that has been a thread throughout her life, from taking on Procter & Gamble at age 11 to volunteering in soup kitchens and becoming a global ambassador for World Vision Canada and a women's advocate for the UN.

The new royal, who walked herself down the aisle before being escorted to the altar by Prince Charles, has sparked questions about whether she will bring changes to the royal family.

PHOTO: Meghan Markle smiles during her wedding ceremony to Britains Prince Harry at St. Georges Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, May 19, 2018. Jonathan Brady/AP
Meghan Markle smiles during her wedding ceremony to Britain's Prince Harry at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, May 19, 2018.

Take a look at the ways Meghan's own life is changing now that she is royalty.

Turning her focus to royal charitable work

Meghan, who was known for her humanitarian work prior to meeting Harry, has now joined her husband, William and Kate as a patron of The Royal Foundation.

Her work with the foundation will be the sole focus of her charity work.

"The causes that have been very important to me, I can focus more energy on," Markle said last November, alongside Harry. "We realized once you have access and a voice that people are willing to listen to, with that comes a lot of responsibility, which I take seriously.

"And now being boots on the ground in the U.K., I'm excited to just really get to know more about the different communities here, [and learn about the] smaller organizations who are working on the same causes that I've always been passionate about under this umbrella," she added.

The couple's passion for humanitarian issues and charity work reportedly helped them bond early on in their relationship.

PHOTO: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle ride in an Ascot Landau along the Long Walk after their wedding in St Georges Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, May 19, 2018. Reuters
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle ride in an Ascot Landau along the Long Walk after their wedding in St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, May 19, 2018.

At a forum to promote the royals’ charity work, Markle indicated she wants to use her new position to promote women’s empowerment.

"[Women] need to be empowered to use [their voices] and people need to be urged to listen," she said at the February forum. "Right now with so many campaigns like #MeToo and #TimesUp there's no better time to continue to shine a light on women feeling empowered and people supporting them."

Becoming a royal

While Markle is no stranger to red carpets and interacting with fans, she has had to learn the particulars of being in the public spotlight as a member of the royal family.

"There’s a misconception that because I have worked in the entertainment industry that this would be something I would be familiar with," Markle said in her engagement interview in November. "But even though I had been on my show for I guess six years at that point, and working before that, I've never been part of tabloid culture."

During her engagement to Harry, Meghan was mentored on the protocols of royal life by her future sister-in-law, Princess Kate.

Kate, 36, and Meghan, who live near each other on the grounds of Kensington Palace, have developed a bond based on their shared circumstances.

Kate helped guide Meghan on everything from charitable work to fashion, the pace of royal life and what to expect at royal engagements.

She has been leaning on all of Harry's relatives for guidance and advice, just as Kate had their support before her marriage to William in 2011. William, Kate, Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, are all helping guide Meghan on the principles of royal life and making sure she has felt supported in her transition to real-life royal.

“The family has been great and over the past year-and-a-half we've just had a really nice time getting to know them and progressively helping me feel a part of, not just the institution, but also part of the family, which has been really, really special," she said last November.

Becoming a royal mom

Meghan and Harry already started talking about their next big milestone, having children, in the months leading up to their wedding.

While at a royal engagement with Harry in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in March, Meghan gave a hint of what the future may hold for the young couple when they met a husband and wife team who make baby products.

PHOTO: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in St Georges Chapel at Windsor Castle during their wedding service, conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby in Windsor, Britain, May 19, 2018. Owen Humphreys/Reuters
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle during their wedding service, conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby in Windsor, Britain, May 19, 2018.

Meghan pointed to the product range and said, "I'm sure at some point we'll need the whole [lot]."

Harry also alluded to children being in the couple's future in an interview last November.

"I think you know one step at a time, and hopefully we’ll start a family in the near future," he said.

No longer a private citizen

Meghan lost any anonymity she may have had upon her marriage to Harry.

While dating Harry, Meghan was able to attend yoga classes with her close friend, Jessica Mulroney, or pop out to pick up flowers or go grocery shopping.

She is now accompanied by a Royal Protection Guard at all times, like other members of the royal family, and would have received defense training from Scotland Yards' royal protection unit.

Meghan will also be driven by personal protection officers for nearly all official engagements, and receive training on how to interact with the public and what she can and cannot do as a royal.

New home, new city

Meghan and Harry now live together in their two-bedroom home, Nottingham Cottage, on the grounds of Kensington Palace.

Meghan lived in both Toronto, where she filmed "Suits," and Los Angeles before moving full-time to London when she and Harry became engaged.

Since the start of her courtship with Harry, she has been spotted shopping at a Whole Foods near Kensington Palace and going on date nights with Harry.

The couple's multiple official engagements throughout the U.K. -- from Belfast to Brixton -- have also helped familiarize Markle with her new home.

PHOTO: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle leave St Georges Chapel at Windsor Castle after their wedding in Windsor, May 19, 2018. Reuters
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle leave St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle after their wedding in Windsor, May 19, 2018.

So long, acting

When Meghan accepted Harry's proposal, she knew she'd be giving up her life as an American actress.

Meghan told the BBC hours after the couple's engagement was announced that this marks a "new chapter" in her life.

"Keep in mind, I've been working on my show for seven years," she said, referring to "Suits." "So we were very, very fortunate to be able to have the longevity on a series. And once we hit the 100-episode marker, [I felt] 'I have ticked this box.'"

PHOTO: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex walk down the west steps of St Georges Chapel, Windsor Castle, in Windsor, on May 19, 2018 after their wedding ceremony. Andrew Matthews/AFP/Getty Images
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex walk down the west steps of St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, in Windsor, on May 19, 2018 after their wedding ceremony.

"And I feel really proud of the work I've done there," Meghan continued, alongside Harry. "It's time to work as a team with you."

Changing citizenship

Meghan will become a naturalized citizen of the U.K., Kensington Palace announced after the engagement was public.

Despite marrying a member of the British royal family, she will still have to pass a test on British culture, history and traditions in order to become a U.K. citizen.

Meghan will be compliant with all U.K. immigration requirements as she undergoes the process of becoming a British citizen, which can take several years, Kensington Palace said in November. She will retain her U.S. citizenship during that time.

What happens to Meghan's assets?

Meghan was financially successful prior to meeting Harry, thanks to her acting career and work on side projects like a clothing line.

She will continue to pay U.S. taxes unless she gives up her U.S. citizenship.

PHOTO: An official wedding photo of Britains Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, on the East Terrace of Windsor Castle, Windsor, England, May 19, 2018. Alexi Lubomirski/Kensington Palace via AP
An official wedding photo of Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, on the East Terrace of Windsor Castle, Windsor, England, May 19, 2018.

Charles helps provide support for staff members, salaries and expenses related to official royal duties to support Harry, William and Kate. Queen Elizabeth receives an annual sum of money from Parliament, called the Sovereign Grant, which helps maintain Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace and other royal residences.

Harry also benefits financially from the estate of his late mother, Princess Diana.

Personal social media accounts, blog deleted

Meghan closed all her social media accounts in January, nearly four months before her wedding to Harry.

Meghan, who once ran a blog and had an active social media presence, had slowly scaled back her activity on the accounts when her relationship with Harry became increasingly serious. She ended her lifestyle blog, The Tig, last April.

Kensington Palace operates Twitter and Instagram accounts that now feature Meghan alongside Harry, William and Kate as they engage in official royal events.