Image Credit: Usa Network/Netflix/Kobal/Shutterstock
- Meghan Markle played Rachel Zane in the hit USA Network series.
- Meghan left the series after season 7.
- Meghan stopped acting after leaving Suits.
Before she was the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle was Rachel Zane. The former actress rose to fame as the beloved character in the USA Network series Suits. Since the show has taken over Netflix and become the most-watched title ever acquired by a streaming service, viewers have witnessed Meghan leave the series at the end of season 7.
Patrick J. Adams and Meghan Markle as Mike and Rachel. (Usa Network/Netflix/Kobal/Shutterstock)
Naturally, the season 7 finale brings up questions. What were the reasons behind Meghan’s departure? Did she ever come back in the final two seasons? Scroll down to find out everything behind Meghan’s Suits exit.
Why Did Meghan Markle Leave Suits?
Deadline was the first to report in November 2017 that Meghan and her co-star, Patrick J. Adams, were expected to leave Suits at the end of season 7. At the time, Meghan’s relationship with Prince Harry had gone public. Both Meghan and Patrick had reached the end of their contracts with the series at the end of the seventh season.
Just a few weeks after the report, Meghan and Prince Harry got engaged on November 27, 2017. A day after Meghan and Harry’s engagement was revealed, USA Network confirmed that Meghan would be leaving the legal drama.
“From all of us at USA Network and Universal Cable Productions, we want to send our most heartfelt congratulations to Meghan Markle and Prince Harry on their engagement. Meghan has been a member of our family for 7 years and it has been a joy to work with her. We want to thank her for her undeniable passion and dedication to Suits, and we wish her the very best,” the statement read.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in 2022. (Gregory Pace/Shutterstock)
During their first joint interview, Meghan revealed that she would no longer be acting after Suits and would focus on her duties as a working royal. “I don’t see it as giving anything up. I just see it as a change,” she said at the time. “It’s a new chapter, right? And also, keep in mind, I’ve been working on [Suits] for 7 years. We were very, very fortunate to have that sort of longevity on a series.” She added, “I’ve ticked this box, and I feel very proud of the work I’ve done there, and now it’s time to work with [Harry] as a team.”
Meghan and Prince Harry got married on May 19, 2018, just weeks after the Suits season 7 finale aired. Meghan has not had an acting role since Suits. However, she was at the center of the Harry & Meghan docuseries, which was released on Netflix in 2022. After stepping down as senior royals in 2020, Meghan and Prince Harry signed a multi-year deal with Netflix. The couple’s upcoming documentary series, Heart of Invictus, is expected to premiere on the streaming service in 2023.
Meghan and Prince Harry did have a Spotify deal, but the couple parted ways after just one season of Meghan’s Archetypes podcast. Netflix released a statement after the Spotify announcement was made to confirm that their deal with Meghan and Prince Harry was still intact.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in their docuseries. (Netflix)
“We value our partnership with Archewell Productions,” a Netflix spokesperson told PEOPLE. “Harry & Meghan was Netflix’s biggest documentary debut ever, and we’ll continue to work together on a number of projects, including the upcoming documentary series Heart of Invictus.”
How Did Mike & Rachel Leave Suits?
Rachel and her longtime love, Mike Ross, got married in the Suits season 7 finale. Mike and Rachel’s wedding was practically parallel to Meghan’s real-life wedding. After tying the knot, Mike and Rachel moved to Seattle to start a new firm.
“The whole thing was emotional, and I felt like we all went out on a real high note,” Suits creator Aaron Korsh told Deadline about Patrick and Meghan’s last scenes. “I feel like hopefully we went out on a high note creatively but I know we went out with great feelings towards each other personally at the end of the season.”
Did Meghan Markle Ever Return To Suits?
Meghan meant what she said when she announced she would be stepping away from acting after Suits. The Duchess of Sussex has not returned to acting since, which means she did not return in the final two seasons of Suits. Patrick returned for 3 episodes in the show’s ninth and final season. Mike came back into the Suits fold to help his former mentor, Harvey, while Rachel stayed back in Seattle.
With the Suits resurgence in 2023, many have wondered whether or not Meghan has reconsidered returning to acting. The former actress, who now lives in California, is pretty certain she’ll never act again. “No. I’m done. I guess never say never, but my intention is to absolutely not,” Meghan told Variety in 2022.
Meghan Markle as Rachel Zane in ‘Suits.’ (Usa Network/Netflix/Kobal/Shutterstock)
Meghan did sign with WME, one of Hollywood’s famed talent agencies, in April 2023, Variety reported. However, acting will “not be an area of focus” for the Duchess. Meghan and Prince Harry will be working behind the scenes to develop content. One of their newest projects is the upcoming Netflix film adaptation of Carley Fortune’s bestseller Meet Me at the Lake.
“I’m thrilled to confirm that I’m teaming up with Netflix and Archewell productions on the adaption of Meet Me at the Lake. Will and Fern’s love story is dear to my heart, and I can’t imagine a more perfect partnership. Writing this book was a tremendous personal challenge, and to see it recognized in this way is truly incredible,” the author revealed on Instagram.
Meghan has been open about how she wants to make love a cornerstone of her work with Netflix moving forward. “So much of how my husband and I see things is through our love story. I think that’s what people around the world connected to, especially with our wedding. People love love. I’m not excluded in that sentiment,” Meghan told Variety. “For scripted, we want to think about how we can evolve from that same space and do something fun. It doesn’t always have to be so serious. Like a good rom-com. Don’t we miss them? I miss them so much.”