Meghan Markle Says She 'Didn't Grow Up Pretty,' Talks Biggest Misconceptions About Herself

In a new 'Variety' interview, the Duchess of Sussex gets candid about how people perceive her.

Meghan Markle thinks some people have the wrong idea about her. The 41-year-old Duchess of Sussex is opening up in a new cover story interview for Variety, which initially took place weeks before the death of Queen Elizabeth II

In it, she talks about interviewing powerful women for her Archetypes podcast and made a surprising comment about her youth. 

"I spoke to Paris Hilton last week. I told her at the beginning that I was the most nervous about her interview. I was embarrassed to admit it, but I’ve had a judgment about her that’s based on everything I’ve seen, and I don’t like to come from a place of judgment," Markle explains. "But I also didn’t grow up pretty."

When the Variety interviewer asks Markle to explain her comment about not growing up pretty, she replies, "I grew up as the smart one. So much of what I ended up thinking about, when I thought about Paris, was envy and judgment — two of the most dangerous things. But then you hear about her trauma and her life and her buying into this persona. Ultimately, I told her, 'I'm really sorry that I judged you.' I wanted her to be safe and comfortable."

Markle also speaks about being "dehumanized" amid the misconceptions surrounding her public persona. 

"If you remember that someone is a human being, then you don’t treat them, talk about them, look at them the same way," she explains. "My hope for Archetypes is that people come out thinking, 'Oh! She’s a real person! She laughs and asks questions and approaches things with curiosity.'"

The former Suits star says she's "done" with acting, adding, "I guess never say never, but my intention is to absolutely not." 

She does, however, acknowledge that other actresses could be playing her in the future. 

"I hope that in preparing for that role, [the actress] finds the softness and the playfulness and the laughter," she shares. "The silliness. I just hope she finds the dimensions. Also, she can call me!"

Ramona Rosales for Variety

She also says she'd support her and Prince Harry's children, Archie, 3, and Lilibet, 1, going into the entertainment industry. 

"I would say, 'Great!' When you become a parent, you genuinely want your kids to find the things that bring them complete joy," she shares. "They’re our kids, obviously, and they’re part of a legacy and a tradition and a family that will have other expectations. But I want them to be able to carve out their own path. If it’s the entertainment industry, great."

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are set to be featured in a Netflix docuseries about their lives. According to multiple reports, the couple have been clashing with Netflix over the upcoming project. 

"It’s nice to be able to trust someone with our story — a seasoned director whose work I’ve long admired — even if it means it may not be the way we would have told it," Markle says of the docuseries. "But that’s not why we’re telling it. We’re trusting our story to someone else, and that means it will go through their lens."

Markle spoke to the Variety interviewer a second time after the queen's death and the events surrounding it, to reflect on the late monarch, but notes that she didn't want her comments to serve as a "distraction" to the mourning period. 

She describes the events following the queen's death as "a complicated time," but shares that Prince Harry had a particularly touching silver lining to his grandmother's death. 

"My husband, ever the optimist, said, 'Now she’s reunited with her husband,'" she recalls, referencing Prince Philip's 2021 death at the age of 99.