The real reason Meghan Markle got divorced

The whole world is curious about Meghan Markle — the woman who managed to steal Prince Harry's heart. The actress' private life has become tabloid fodder following her engagement announcement in November 2017 and then her lavish royal wedding in May 2018, followed by the birth of the couple's son, Archie, in May 2019. Though she seems destined to live happily ever after as the Duchess of Sussex, unanswered questions remain about her past relationships, particularly her failed marriage to film producer and talent agent Trevor Engelson.

The reason for their Markle and Engelson's divorce was ambiguously cited as "irreconcilable differences," which, according to Legal Zoom, "means neither party committed any sort of extenuating act, such as adultery, abandonment or extreme cruelty." It's also one of the most common cause of divorce in the United States. And while neither Markle nor Engelson has elaborated on the details, that has never stopped the scandal rags and royal-watchers alike from speculating. We may never know the firsthand truth, but leaks from inside sources have shed more light on why things between them came to an end.

The spark in Meghan Markle's first marriage faded

Not much is known about Meghan Markle and Trevor Engelson's courtship, but we do know they began dating in 2004, according to The Sun. After being together for six years, Engelson popped the question in 2010, and she said, "Yes!" In 2011, the couple and more than 100 of their closest friends headed out to a four-day destination wedding at the Jamaica Inn in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. Since Markle and Engelson were together for so long, perhaps the spark they once felt began to dissipate after the wedding rush faded.

By comparison, Markle and Prince Harry became engaged only a year and a half after meeting. During their first interview with the BBC, the prince said he knew she was "the one" the "very first time" they met, while Markle said she "could barely" let [him] finish proposing" because she wanted to say "yes" so badly.

Does a shorter courtship this time around mean her marriage will last a lifetime? We'll have to wait and see.

Meghan Markle and Trevor Engelson's long distance marriage was too difficult

Following their wedding, Trevor Engelson and Meghan Markle never really got a chance to settle down and start their new lives as husband and wife. She jetted off to Toronto, Canada to start filming Suits, and he stayed behind at their home in Los Angeles to produce movies. An insider told Woman's Day (via The Sun) that the couple "really battled with long distances." And although they were only a five-hour flight apart, another source told The Sun that "it was a very difficult way to start married life."

However, Engelson was reportedly supportive of Markle's breakout role. According to Ninaki Priddy, Markle's friend and maid of honor (for her wedding to Engelson), he made many trips "back and forth from LA and there was a lot of Skyping and FaceTiming going on." But obviously, that wasn't enough.

The irony here? Prince Harry and Markle were long-distance before their engagement, a hurdle they were successfully able to overcome. "I think we were able to really have so much time just to connect and we never went longer than two weeks without seeing each other, even though we were obviously doing a long distance relationship," the Duchess of Sussex said in an interview with the BBC in November 2017.

Some say Meghan Markle developed a 'sense of entitlement'

Meghan Markle and Trevor Engelson's romance may have started out like a fairy tale, but her old pal, Ninaki Priddy, claims things changed soon after the couple walked down the aisle. If Markle's maid of honor is to be believed, the actress acted differently, "like a light switched off," following the nuptials.

In her interview with The Sun, Priddy said there were two sides to her former friend: "Meghan Before Fame and Meghan After Fame." Priddy felt Markle also suffered from a sense of "entitlement." To add insult to injury, Engelson was reportedly making multiple trips to Toronto, where Markle was working, to be by his wife's side, but Priddy didn't think the actress "gave him enough of an opportunity" to make their marriage work.

Of course, it's fair to question whether Priddy is a reliable source. That remains to be seen, but what is clear? "As far as Meghan is concerned, Ninaki has betrayed her trust and is a persona non grata," royal expert and Mail on Sunday contributor Katie Nicholl claimed to Best magazine (via Express).

Was Meghan Markle a social climber?

The Weekend magazine (via Express) described Meghan Markle's desire to become an actress when she was just a little girl. At an early age, she would accompany her father — Hollywood lighting director Thomas Markle — to the set of various television shows. That reportedly fueled the "burning desire for fame" that became "etched in her DNA."

Meghan's dream of becoming a bonafide actress continued when she met Trevor Engelson. He was a 28-year-old "film producer and agent" at the time, while Meghan was a 23-year-old "fresh out of theater school." The magazine described Meghan as a "social climber," who wanted to be a successful actress by any means necessary, and Trevor definitely had the connections to help make her aspirations come true.

Did she use him to wiggle her way into the industry, and once she landed her role on the USA network's Suits — which was undeniably the breakout role of her career — did he become dispensable? Anything's possible.

Was Meghan Markle's divorce a 'calculated' decision?

Ninaki Priddy and Meghan Markle's friendship eventually came to an end, and it was supposedly because Priddy disapproved of the way Markle handled the breakup of her marriage.

When speaking to The Sun, Priddy accused Markle of being "very calculated in the way she handled people and relationships." She said Markle once declared that "if anything were to happen to [Engelson] she wouldn't be able to go on," but then the actress shocked her circle of friends when she supposedly flipped the script and decided to stick a fork in her marriage.

British television journalist Piers Morgan echoed the "calculated" claims, blasting Markle during an appearance on Australia's Today show. "Although some people really like her and are falling for this act, I'm afraid I see a bit of hard-nosed actress," he said, adding, "[She's] been using people on her way up to what is now, of course, the top, which is marrying into the royal family."

Given those claims, it would seem Engelson wasn't a part of Markle's so-called master plan.

Meghan Markle's career focus possibly led to her divorce

Meghan Markle's dream was to become an actress, so she must have been ecstatic to land the role of Rachel Zane on Suits. According to her former friend Ninaki Priddy's interview with The Sun, Markle had "hustled for years" to launch her career, and the series was "a big part of [Markle]" since it was her first full-time role. And although Markle might have been preoccupied with her career during her marriage to Engelson, it didn't stop him from supporting her to the fullest. "Watch SUITS tonight... so proud of my amazing wife," the producer supposedly wrote on Facebook once upon a time, according to the Daily Mail.

It's unclear whether Markle involved Engelson in her Suits' life, but we do know she was open about it with Prince Harry while they were dating. Perhaps hoping to grow her connection with the now Duke of Sussex, Markle shared her love for the program with the royal when she gave him a tour of the set in September 2017. He reportedly tried to stay "super low-key, met some crew, and was so happy to watch his lady," according to Hello!

Now that Markle has quit the show, which she did ahead of her royal wedding, she seems determined to ensure her acting career doesn't interfere with her second marriage.

Running late sealed Trevor Engelson's fate

Andrew Morton, the author behind the book Meghan, A Hollywood Princess, claimed the Duchess of Sussex was once head-over-heels in love but eventually grew "irritated" by Engelson. "He was notorious for arriving late, his clothes rumpled, his hair dishevelled [sic], and often as not with a new stain on his jacket," Morton wrote. "'Sorry bro,' was a constant refrain as he hurtled from meeting to meeting, always just behind the clock."

Getting a bit ticked off by a mate who has poor time management skills is likely a common pet peeve for many spouses, but does it warrant ending a marriage and filing for divorce? Well, if we're to believe the author's recount, Engelson's tendency to be tardy for the party was the polar opposite of Markle, who was described as being a "self-confessed perfectionist as fastidious as she was controlling."

She allegedly tolerated her then-husband's idiosyncrasies initially, but she was finally able to find some relief when she packed up and moved thousands of miles away from him to film Suits. And, as we all know, a divorce soon followed.

Meghan Markle was already living the 'single woman's' life

Meghan Markle was reportedly the one who decided to end her marriage to Trevor Engelson, according to the Daily Mail. Long before she and Engelson separated in early 2013, she had allegedly been enjoying living the life of a bachelorette while her husband was home in Los Angeles, Calif. She reportedly rented a two-bedroom apartment in the heart of Toronto, Ont. and transformed it into a sophisticated "single woman's household" filled with designer furniture and decorated in "tasteful neutrals."

But can we really blame Markle for getting comfy in the Great White North considering how long she was there for work? "It takes about eight months out of the year in total to do the 16 episodes," she explained to Esquire in July 2013. "So we get out here in March, and we'll probably wrap early November this year. I am an adopted Canuck now."

So some might accuse Markle of acting like a single lady, but to us, it sounds like she was making the best of a situation. Who knows, though.

Was Meghan Markle's divorce a power move?

Meghan Markle's former bestie sure did spill a lot of information regarding her past to The Sun. During her interview, Ninaki Priddy accused the actress-turned-royal of discarding people if she no longer had any use for them in her life. "Once she decides you're not part of her life, she can be very cold. It's this shutdown mechanism she has," said Priddy. She also claimed Markle was "very strategic in the way she cultivates circles of friends."

However, it was a mutual friend who introduced her to Prince Harry, so, hey, we can't fault her for cultivating a circle that led her to the love of her life!

Not to mention, Trevor Engelson has his own circle of high-profile friends. Some famous names include actor Damson Idris and rapper Noreaga, who both attended his bachelor party in March 2019, according to the Daily Mail. And his second wife, Tracey Kurland, reportedly has a net worth over $200 million, according to International Business Times. So, is it really fair to call out Markle for hobnobbing with celebrities if Engelson went on to do the same?

Meghan Markle's post-divorce dating timeline is sketchy

Because of the distance that existed during Meghan Markle and Trever Engelson's marriage, former friend Ninaki Priddy claimed there was an element of "out of sight out of mind" for Markle, and perhaps she was right. While Priddy spilled the beans on the couple's doomed marriage, The Sun revealed Markle had met a new man while she was in Canada filming Suits. The tab claimed she began dating Cory Vitiello "a few months after [her and Engelson's] separation."

Vitiello is a celebrity chef who loves to plaster Instagram with photos of his delicious meals. Considering Markle loves to cook, we can see why these two reportedly bonded. In fact, it's quite possible Vitiello helped Markle find her way around the kitchen. He shared a video on his Instagram of a rotisserie chicken cooking to perfection the day after Markle revealed she and Prince Harry were making a similar dish on the day he proposed to her. Coincidence?

Did Meghan Markle dream of becoming a princess?

It's possible Meghan Markle moved forward with her divorce because she had an aching desire to live the life of a princess. But it's kind of hard to become a real-life princess if you're married to a film producer, right?

Adding fuel to this theory? The Sun claimed Markle owned a book about Prince Harry's mother, the late Princess Diana, and she was also reportedly a huge fan of the Anne Hathaway film, The Princess Diaries. Heck, the Duchess of Sussex even wrote about wanting to be a princess in her now-defunct lifestyle blog, The Tig. "Little girls dream of being princesses. I, for one, was all about She-Ra, Princess of Power," she penned in 2014 (via Hello! magazine). "For those of you unfamiliar with the '80s cartoon reference, She-Ra is the twin sister of He-Man, and a sword-wielding royal rebel known for her strength. We're definitely not talking about Cinderella here."

Little did Markle know, after being set up on a blind date, her supposed dream of becoming a member of the royal family would finally come to fruition.

Meghan Markle's defunct blog might provide a clue

As far as we know, Meghan Markle has never addressed her divorce from Trevor Engelson publicly, so all fans can do is read between the lines. A perfect example of this? A resurfaced blog post from Markle's defunct website, The Tig, in which she reportedly shared a seemingly telling quote from Portuguese author Jose Micard Teixeira, as noted by Marie Claire. "I no longer spend a single minute on those who lie or want to manipulate. I decided not to coexist anymore with pretense, hypocrisy, dishonesty and cheap praise," one portion of the passage reads, while another sassy line states, "And on top of everything I have no patience for anyone who does not deserve my patience." 

Although this passage could be directed toward anyone or maybe it simply tickles Markle's fancy, she shared it around the time of her divorce in 2013. So it's possible the Duchess of Sussex low-key slammed her ex in the post, accusing him of not being worthy of her love.

Meghan Markle was so done

One of the rumors surrounding Meghan Markle's divorce concerns how she supposedly returned her wedding ring back to Trevor Engelson. If you believe royal biographer Andrew Morton's book Meghan: A Hollywood Princess, the marriage ended so "abruptly" she sent Engelson her "diamond wedding and engagement rings back by registered mail." If this is to be believed, then it proves Markle was so done with the relationship that she couldn't even stand to exchange the jewelry in person. So did something shady happen for the Suits alum to supposedly end things in such an impersonal way? And is there more to this divorce story than meets the eye? 

To play devil's advocate, it's understandable for exes to exchange personal items via a third party because this tactic helps avoid any potential drama. And it's not like Markle sent an Uber driver to deliver the rings, for crying out loud. 

You might hear more about Meghan Markle's divorce soon

Keep your eyes peeled, folks, because it's possible a new show supposedly produced by Trevor Engelson might provide some background on Meghan Markle's divorce. The comedy pilot, which was reportedly picked up by Fox in September 2017, follows a divorced dad whose world is thrown upside down when his ex marries into the royal family. "Divorce is hard. Sharing custody is harder," Deadline reported on the pitch's premise. "Sharing custody with the British Royal family when your wife marries a prince, in the unforgiving spotlight of London's tabloid media, is next level."

Although Markle and Engelson never had kids together and this show is purely fictional, there's a chance it might inadvertently feature some real-life details about the split. But since a few years have passed since the pilot was reportedly picked up, we're not sure if it will ever see the light of day. Stay tuned.