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Meghan Markle is no stranger to the spotlight; the actress and philanthropist has made a name for herself as Rachel Zane in the USA Network's hit show Suits, as well as her work with the United Nations and World Vision Canada. But a whole new level of fame descended upon Markle once the public caught wind of her relationship with Prince Harry, which began just over a year ago in July 2016.
"I can tell you that at the end of the day I think it's really simple," she told Vanity Fair of the media firestorm surrounding her relationship. "We're two people who are really happy and in love. We were very quietly dating for about six months before it became news, and I was working during that whole time, and the only thing that changed was people's perception. Nothing about me changed. I'm still the same person that I am, and I've never defined myself by my relationship."
With that said, Markle does admit that handling her newfound superstardom "has its challenges." The actress has been hounded by paparazzi and UK tabloids, to the point where Prince Harry issued a statement asking the press and the public to back off. "Right out of the gate, it was surprising the way things changed," she adds. "But I still have this support system all around me, and, of course, my boyfriend's support."
Above all, the seriousness of their budding relationship is reason enough for Markle to stay out of the spotlight as much as possible. "We're a couple. We're in love," she continues. "I'm sure there will be a time when we will have to come forward and present ourselves and have stories to tell, but I hope what people will understand is that this is our time. This is for us. It's part of what makes it so special, that it's just ours. But we're happy. Personally, I love a great love story."