From partying with her pals to romancing a royal! Unseen photos from 2003 show Meghan Markle at 21 celebrating her college graduation in a low-cut shirt, while cozying up to a handsome mystery man
- The 36-year-old actress graduated from Northwestern University with joint??Bachelor of Arts degrees in theater and international relations, over a decade before she met Prince Harry
- The nearly 15-year-old photos show Meghan enjoying a night out with friends in Chicago while celebrating her graduation from the prestigious institution
- The snapshots were taken by her childhood friend Ninaki Priddy?
- Prince Harry and Meghan announced engagement their engagement on Monday after a 16-month romance; they are set to marry in May at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle
Long before she was Prince Harry's fiancée, Meghan Markle was your typical American college student enjoying a fun-filled night out to celebrate her graduation with friends.
Unseen photos of the 36-year-old actress taken by her childhood friend Ninaki Priddy nearly 15 years ago see her cozying up to a handsome friend while enjoying?a night out in Chicago to mark the end of her time at the prestigious Northwestern University in 2003, where she earned a joint?Bachelor of Arts degrees in theater and international relations.
For her night out on the town, the future royal donned a light blue dress shirt, leaving the top buttons undone to show off her décolletage, pairing?the classic button-down with a matching blue skirt featuring a frayed hem and topping off the outfit with a pair of strappy sandals.?
In one image,?the Suits star is striking a pose with dapper-looking man believed to be the?maitre d’ of a bar, while another sees her being coy while sitting in the driver's seat of her car at a?fast-food drive-through. There are also plenty of photos of Meghan posing with her friends during the night out, including?Ninaki.
‘We were like Siamese twins . . . we did everything together,' Ninaki told the Daily Mail of her longtime friendship with 'Meg'; the pair?met when they were two years old at a prestigious school in Hollywood and became inseparable. 'We were sisters, everyone knew that,' said the 36-year-old jewelry designer. 'We would be hand in hand, everywhere.'
Meghan's father, Thomas, was a lighting director on popular TV shows such as Married with Children and General Hospital. From an early age, Meghan visited those sets and decided fame suited her, Ninaki said – laying the foundations for 'Princess Pushy' as she later became known. When Meghan was five, her parents divorced; she lived with her yoga instructor mother, Doria Ragland, during the week, and her father — who rented a plethora of rundown Hollywood apartments — at weekends.?
When she was 30 years old, Meghan tied the knot with Trevor Engelson, her partner of seven years, in 2011. They partied alongside 100 friends and family over four days in Jamaica, complete with rum punch and games on the beach.?
Her first wedding in September 2011 was a world away from the pomp and formality of the ceremony she and her?fiancé are now planning for next May.
The high-profile nuptials will be paid for by the royal family and broadcast from Windsor Castle.?
Throwback: Meghan Markle's childhood friend?Ninaki Priddy (left) has shared unseen snapshots of the actress celebrating her college graduation in 2003?
Lucky man: Meghan, 36, was photographed striking a pose with dapper-looking man believed to be the maitre d’ of a bar during their night out in Chicago?
Early aughts style: The Suits star donned a light blue button-down shirt and a matching skirt with a torn hem to celebrate her graduation from Northwestern University?
Double duty: Meghan graduated with joint Bachelor of Arts degrees in theater and international relations
Munchies: Ninaki photographed Meghan at a fast-food drive-through on their night out?
All smiles:?‘We were like Siamese twins . . . we did everything together,' Ninaki said of her friendship with Meghan?
Old pals:?Ninaki and 'Meg' met when they were two years old at a prestigious school in Hollywood
Future royal: Prince Harry and Meghan?announced engagement their engagement on Monday (left) and will marry in May at Windsor Castle; they made their first official appearance since revealing the news on Friday in Nottingham (right)
A star in the making: Little Meghan, then aged five, sang The Wheels On The Bus in 1986 during an end-of-year show at the private Little Red School House she attended during her childhood in Hollywood
Focused: The future actress looked intent on doing her best as she stood onstage next to her fellow students during the show
Ensemble: Meghan (pictured third from right) stood in formation with her classmates as they took to the stage together
Entertaining: A young Meghan got her face painted during a event at the Little Red Schoolhouse in Los Angeles around 1990
Back in the days: Meghan and Ninaki went roller skating together at the Moonlight Roller Rink in Los Angeles around 1994
Lost in thought:?Meghan (right) and Ninaki looked pensive during Ninaki’s party in 1990—the first one when boys were invited
Cast: Meghan’s father, Tom, worked as a lighting director on the TV series Married... With Children, meaning Meghan and her friends, including Ninaki, got to meet some of the actors on the show, including Ted McGinley (pictured)
Famous friends: Ninaki, Meghan and another friend also posed with the actor David Faustino on the set of Married With Children back in 1991
Hollywood: Meghan and her friends also posed for a photo with the actress?Amanda Bearse while visiting the set
Pop culture reference: Ninaki and Meghan, donning a Simpsons T-shirt, can be seen in a photo taken while they were hanging out at home in 1991
Beloved students: Both Meghan (right) and Ninaki (left) posed with?a teacher at Little Red Schoolhouse for a picture in 1992
Teacher's pets? The girls appear in a snap with another teacher from the school, taken on the same day as the previous one
Outdoors: Meghan and two of her friends posed for a photo in Meghan's mother's garden in Los Angeles around 1993
Having fun: The actress shared a joyful moment with her friends at the?Immaculate Heart High School in Los Angeles
Foreshadowing: Ninaki and Meghan went on a trip to Europe together when Meghan was 15; both of them are pictured in front of Buckingham Palace, the residence of Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh
Traveling: Meghan also got to visit Paris and stopped to rest at a fountain outside of the Louvre museum in the French capital
Duo: The actress, then a young girl, posed with her friend for a symmetrical snap during one of their outings
Hide and seek: Meghan and her pal hid behind pillars for this shot taken during a trip to the historical city of Bath in the UK
Adventure: Meghan and her friend were keen to explore their surroundings and to make the most of their trip to Bath
Buddies: Ninaki and Meghan's friendship is evident in many of the photos they took together throughout the years
Rehearsing for the big day: During their European tour Meghan (left) and Ninaki visited a diamond house and took that as a chance to try on some precious rings
Way back when: Stunning photos capture Meghan at her 1999 high school prom at the Immaculate Heart High School?
Trio: The actress and activist, then 17 years old, donned a bedazzled white gown and a traditional flowery corsage as she posed with her friend?Ninaki Priddy (right) and another pal on the big night
Group's all here! Meghan happily posed during a dinner with her friends on her high school prom night; she is pictured next to her prom date, her pal Gian Carlo, with whom she had a strictly platonic friendship
All lined up: Another group shot shows Meghan (seventh from left) posing in her floor-length white gown and holding a bouquet of flowers, with her hair in an updo fit for the occasion
Group: Meghan had no problem cultivating friendships and often posed with pals for cozy photos such as this one, which shows her with Ninaki and two other friends
Crafty! During her college years, Meghan painted the walls of her rented apartment in bright colors, and had to return them to their original white when it became time for her to move out
Partying: Ninaki (left) and Meghan went on a road trip from Chicago to Los Angeles in 2003; they are pictured during a stop in Las Vegas, where they enjoyed a night out
Traveling the world: Meghan and her friend posed for a shot in front of the?Eiffel Tower replica in Las Vegas during their trip
Chilling: Ninaki and Meghan enjoyed a bit of sunshine poolside at their Las Vegas hotel during a road trip from LA to Chicago
Long drive home: The two friends (pictured together in Colorado) drove back to California after graduating from Northwestern in Illinois
Brunch time! Meghan, Ninaki and another friend shared a meal in Los Angeles at Toast about nine years ago
Trend setters: Ninaki and Meghan took a selfie before they were all the rage during their road trip back in 2003
Fun stop: Meghan posed for a snap with this large sign welcoming her to Keenesburg in Colorado during the journey
Instant shot: The actress and her friend had fun at the photo booth located inside the Soho House private members' club in LA in 2010
Oops: Not all the shots were successful, as indicated by this one, in which Meghan and her friend are barely visible
Catching up: In 2011, which is the year Suits premiered, Meghan chatted with a friend on Google Plus along with Ninaki and Meghan's fellow Suits star Rick Hoffman
Laughing: The conversation took an animated turn and Meghan's friend couldn't help but laugh at the trio's antics
Important occasion:?Meghan was joined by her friend Ninaki (left) and her college friend Lindsay (center) during her four-day wedding bash in Jamaica back in 2011
Family: Doria, Meghan's mother, posed with her daughter during the celebration in?Ocho Rios, Jamaica
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