MEGHAN Markle will today celebrate her 39th birthday in private after a rift with the Royal Family.
The Duchess of Sussex will ring in the big day in Los Angeles after a whirlwind 12 months that has seen her life transformed.
A year ago Meghan was a working member of the British royal family and living in the grounds of Windsor Castle with husband Harry and their son Archie.
But today they live in Los Angeles after breaking away from the monarchy for personal and financial freedom.
The couple moved to America with their 14-month-old son just a few weeks before the coronavirus pandemic shut down the globe, and like everyone else have been living under lockdown.
Birthday celebrations are likely to be low-key as the state of California they now call home reportedly has the highest number of Covid-19 cases in America.
Just two weeks ago, the state was forced to shut down again after a record surge of cases were recorded in just 24 hours – meaning it is unlikely Meghan will have a large birthday party.
The family has already celebrated one birthday in lockdown – releasing a sweet video of Meghan reading a book to son Archie to celebrate his first birthday.
And while the couple had a video all with the Queen for the monarch’s 94th birthday, the behind-the-scene tensions over the couple’s so-called “Megxit” have been revealed in a soon to be released biography.
Finding Freedom, written by royal reporters Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, has already unleashed a number of bombshell excerpts ahead of its release – including that Meghan “emboldened” Prince Harry to leave the Firm.
Intimate details about the couple’s relationship – including that Harry, 35, was the first to say “I love you” – have also been revealed, although a spokesperson for the couple has insisted they were not involved.
And while the palace has not commented on the claims in the biography, Kate Middleton is said to have been left “devastated” by the allegations.
Meanwhile, huge chunks of Meghan’s page on the official Royal Family website have been culled.
In 2018, after her marriage to Prince Harry, Meghan was granted multiple paragraphs on the official site detailing her time in North America and Canada prior to joining the Firm.
They included Meghan’s famous quote from a United Nations conference in New York in 2015 when she said: “I am proud to be a woman and a feminist”.
But now the site omits all mention of this, although it does still reference her career in legal drama, Suits, and how she attended university in Illinois and ran lifestyle blog The Tig.
The couple themselves – who are now living in Tyler Perry’s $18million Beverly Hills mansion – have now started to voice their opinions on issues, particularly on race and equality, since leaving the royal family.
In the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement Meghan, who became the first mixed race person to marry a senior royal, delivered an impassioned speech to her old high school following the death of Mr Floyd, sharing her “absolute devastation” at racial divisions.
The issue of racial equality is expected to be a cause that forms part of their public work when the couple formally launch their new charitable organisation, Archewell, which has replaced their UK based Royal Sussex foundation which has been wound down.
And Meghan is fighting legal actions on both sides of the Atlantic, suing Mail On Sunday and MailOnline publisher Associated Newspapers after articles were published last year featuring parts of a handwritten letter she sent to her estranged father.
And the Sussexes began court proceedings in July in Los Angeles after drones were allegedly used to take pictures of their young son Archie.
From March 31, Harry and Meghan stopped using their HRH styles and ceased to be senior working royals, in favour of being able to earn money.