A lot has changed since Meghan Markle first rose to fame in 2016. That was when the LA-born, Toronto-based actress became a household name because of her budding relationship with Prince Harry—earning the distinction of the year’s “most-Googled person” (a feat she accomplished for the second time in 2018).
Prior to dating her husband-to-be, she was best known for her role in Suits, ran a now-defunct lifestyle blog, worked as a freelance calligrapher, and did charity work with the UN and World Vision.
From The Skincare Edit Archives
And now, at 40 years old, she has become a global celebrity, style icon and force for change, after joining—and then leaving—the British royal family.
We already know that most stars, in pursuit of fame, undergo a cosmetic procedure or two along the way. So you have to wonder... would Meghan be any different?
Let’s take a closer look at her beauty evolution over the years to see what, if anything, has changed.
From the 1990s: Meghan Before Fame
In High School
Our first pic is courtesy of Katharine McPhee, who revealed on Instagram that the pair “did musicals together as kids.” Meghan probably would’ve been around 15 or 16 here, according to an interview Katharine did with People. “She was actually in my sister’s class—two years older than me. My sister did shows with her, I did two shows with her when I was a seventh-grader or eighth-grader.”
Clearly, Katharine took one for the team because the photo suggests that both of them later altered their noses! Also notice Meghan’s eyebrows. Yes, they were over-plucked, but they also seem to sit higher, showing more lid space than she has now.
From 2011-2016: The ‘Suits’ Years
At the 2011 Anti-Defamation League Entertainment Industry Awards Dinner
Fast-forward to 2011, and 30-year-old Meghan had just landed her big break on Suits after years of minor roles (including a stint as a Deal or No Deal briefcase model!). Gone are the heavy liner and lipstick she wore in the ‘90s, replaced by tasteful, glowy makeup and an auburn tint through her brunette hair. It’s also obvious that her nose has been drastically reshaped.
At the 2012 USA Network Upfront
By the following year, she had become a full-fledged redhead, wearing her naturally curly hair in the piecey waves that were on trend at the time. It’s so pretty with the pink blush and lipstick, and what would quickly become her signature smoky eyes. Her skinny eyebrows are starting to grow out, too.
At the 2013 New York Film Festival Gala Tribute to Cate Blanchett
Then, Meghan walked the red carpet styled just like the Duchess that she would later become—even though she was still years away from meeting Prince Harry. This look is definitely “mature,” making her seem much older than 32. Her nose doesn’t look as bumpy and angular as it did in 2011, so it’s possible that she had a revision done to her earlier rhinoplasty.
At the 2014 Elton John AIDS Foundation Benefit
In 2014, she styled her hair in a similar updo, and kept the darker hair colour. But with more skin on display and a lighter touch on the makeup, the vibe is much younger. Now, let’s revisit her eyebrows. They’re super thick, and have recovered incredibly well from being over-tweezed in the ‘90s. But that’s not the only thing I’m noticing. See how much lower they sit, and how all of a sudden she doesn’t have much lid space? Botox can do that... just saying.
At the 2016 Elle Women in Television Celebration
For her final red carpet appearance as Meghan Markle, the actress, she upped the drama with deep red lipstick, bold eyeliner and long, dark, tousled hair. It’s perhaps a little heavy, but I appreciate that she didn’t pile on the foundation, instead showing off her natural freckles. While her lips do look bigger here, I think it’s just from over-lining them, not injections.
From 2018-2020: A Royal Love Story
On her wedding day in 2018
More than 29 million households tuned in from across the world to watch her marry Harry in 2018. For her big day, she went with her most low-key beauty look yet: glowing natural skin, matte pink lips, subtly shaded eyes and a simple low bun. She also reversed direction with her eyebrows, having them thinned out and precisely shaped.
At the 2019 Queen’s Commonwealth Trust and One Young World Roundtable
Royal life must have suited Meghan well, because in this photo, I think she looks more beautiful than ever. Having an A-list glam squad on call makes all the difference, as every little detail is just better now. Think: chic cat eyes, soft but full brows, seamless blush and a face-framing, ‘60s-inspired updo.
At the 2020 Mountbatten Festival of Music
For one of her final Royal events, she stepped out with shiny, flat-ironed hair, a thick fringe of lashes and and matching peachy-pink lips and cheeks. Maybe it was because of her impending exit on the horizon, but she’s truly glowing. Oh, and take note of her brows, which appear to have dropped down again.
Meghan Markle Before and After
Meghan in the 1990s vs 2014
There’s no denying that Meghan looks different compared to when she was a teen, and it’s not just from improving her makeup game. When you look at these side-by-side photos, you can reasonably conclude that she had work done on her nose (like virtually every other celebrity we’ve looked at).
“It does appear that Meghan has had a cosmetic nasal surgery,” says Dr. Matthew Schulman in an interview with Radar Online. “Her current nose is more narrow in the bridge and her nasal tip is smaller, suggestive of a rhinoplasty.”
Dr. Stephen Grifka agrees. “It looks like the bridge of the nose has been narrowed, along with attempts to refine the tip, which is done by sculpting the nasal cartilage. From the frontal view, it looks like a nice result,” he told the National Enquirer.
I would agree. As we’ve seen time and time again with these Before & Afters, rhinoplasties tend to subtly redirect your attention to the eyes and lips—which can obviously be beneficial when your job is all about facial expressions.
As for injectables, the jury is out. “Can she be using a little Botox? Maybe,” says Dr. Adam Hamawy. I suspect that may account for her lowered brows, which give her oblong face a more balanced, youthful look.
Whether she’s altered her appearance or not, Meghan is inspiring her fans to have lookalike surgeries. “Today she is probably one of the top, if not the number one, request that I am getting from patients hoping to look like their favourite celebrities,” Dr. Stephen T. Greenberg revealed to Allure. “Let’s face it, she’s gorgeous but also comes off as the girl next door. I think patients find the natural quality of her nose and face as a whole to be most appealing.”