If you don't already know everything you could ever want to about the royal couple from the ongoing media blitz, you can turn to new biographies, "Meghan: A Hollywood Princess" by Andrew Morton (Grand Central, $27) and "Harry: Life, Loss, and Love" by Katie Nicholl (Hachette, $27), for a deeper look.
"Losing my mum at the age of twelve and therefore shutting down all of my emotions for the last twenty years has had quite a serious effect not only on my personal life but my work as well," Harry said in 2017. Nicholl, who has also written books about Kate Middleton and William and Harry's childhood, theorizes that the public's deep sympathy for Diana's bereaved son is why he has always been forgiven for his many "well-documented falls from grace."
Meghan's mother is an interesting part of her story as well. Doria Ragland, an African-American travel agent and yoga teacher, was a "cool hippie peacemaker who liked a joint" and took her daughter on frequent trips to Mexico and Jamaica, according to Morton, a biographer of Princess Diana and Wallis Simpson. "The best way I can describe Doria," says one friend, "is that she was like a warm hug."
Both biographies give plenty of ink to their subjects' love lives before they met one another on a blind date in 2016. Harry's seven-year relationship with Zimbabwe-born Chelsy Davy ended right after his brother's wedding, in the course of which Davy had ample chance to observe that "the life of a royal bride was not the one for her." According to Nicholl, a similar realization about palace living inspired his next serious girlfriend, model Cressida Bonas, to dump the prince, though Harry's highly publicized flirtations also played their part.
Meghan is famously divorced from Trevor Engelson, a nice Jewish boy from Great Neck. When they met in a West Hollywood dive bar, both were clawing their way up the movie industry ladder, he as an agent, she as an actress. By the time they married in 2011, she was playing Rachel Zane on "Suits" and he had his own production company. But her star was rising much faster than his, and Trevor was officially left behind just two years later. He is still angry about it; as one friend put it, Trevor went from being a cherished partner to "a piece of something stuck to the bottom of her shoe."
All that is behind them now. News of the engagement received a "rapturous reception" around the world, Morton says. This Sunday, when Meghan's mother and Harry's grandmother stand together outside St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle — "one the descendant of a slave, the other the longest-serving monarch in British history," Morton writes — it will be a moment to remember.