Back in 2011, Kate Middleton's sister, Pippa, became the world's most famous maid of honour when she attended to the Duchess of Cambridge during her wedding to Prince William. Although British weddings don't traditionally have maids of honour, Kate broke custom to have her sibling by her side on her big day.
So who will be Meghan Markle's Pippa on May 19? In January, it was reported that the bride-to-be had already chosen a maid of honor for her royal wedding to Prince Harry this spring. But, like all things regarding the upcoming nuptials, the details remained secret.
While the identity of Markle's maid of honor remains private, we round up the possibilities of who could be attending to the bride-to-be on her big day.
Not Kate Middleton
Sorry, royal fans; we have to start by eliminating this favoured possibility from the list. Although the Duchess of Cambridge has been helping Markle get adjusted to the royal family and prepare for the wedding, she likely won't play maid of honor on May 19. Instead, Meghan will choose "one of her closest friends who has stood by her for many years before meeting Harry," a source recently told Entertainment Tonight.
On a technical level, Kate "is the future queen consort when William becomes king after his father, and would unlikely be an attending person to another royal bride," royal expert Marlene Koenig revealed. If Middleton wasn't even a maid of honour at her own sister's wedding, it's unlikely she'll be one at Meghan's.
With Middleton out of the running, many are speculating Markle will name her best friend and stylist, Jessica Mulroney, her maid of honour. The two are believed to have met in 2011, around the time Markle moved to Toronto (Mulroney's home base) to film Suits, according to The Sun. Since then they've bonded over yoga sessions and joint vacations.
Jessica and her husband, Ben Mulroney (son of former Canadian Prime Minister, Brian Mulroney), helped Meghan and Harry keep undercover after their romance first broke news. She also accompanied Meghan at the Invictus Games closing ceremony, hosted by Prince Harry, which took place in Toronto.
Now that the couple is preparing for the wedding, Mulroney continues to offer a hand. She reportedly helped Markle choose her wedding dress designer and is also making a custom piece for the big day.
The Quantico actress and the Suits star first met at the ELLE Women in Television dinner in 2016. "We bonded as actors," she told People of their friendship. "We just became friends, like two girls would."
Since Meghan and Harry's relationship went public, Chopra has urged people to consider Markle as more than just the prince's girlfriend. She called Vanity Fair's profile of the actress "just a little sexist" because it mainly focused on Markle's relationship with Harry.
When Harper's BAZAAR Arabia asked her if she's going to be a bridesmaid at the royal wedding, Chopra teased, "If you see me there, you’ll know."
The star athlete first met Markle in 2014, at DIRECTV's Celebrity Beach Bowl, E! News reports. Meghan recalled in her former lifestyle site, The Tig: "We hit it off immediately, taking pictures, laughing through the flag football game we were both playing in, and chatting not about tennis or acting, but about all the good old fashioned girly stuff. So began our friendship."
In the following years, Markle supported Williams through her matches at competitions like the U.S. Open and Wimbledon (where she actually sat a few rows away from Pippa Middleton). Williams even contributed to a few blog posts to The Tig, according to E!.
"She quickly became a confidante I would text when I was traveling, the friend I would rally around for her tennis matches, and the down to earth chick I was able to grab lunch with just a couple weeks ago in Toronto," E! says Markle wrote on The Tig, describing her friendship with Williams.
"We are both the same age, have a penchant for hot sauces, and adore fashion, but what connects us more than those things is perhaps our belief in exceeding expectations–our endless ambition," she added.
Though Meghan unfortunately wasn't present at Williams' nuptials to Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian in November 2017, there's still a chance the newlywed tennis champ could show up at Windsor Castle for Markle.
Sarah Rafferty or Gina Torres
Markle's fellow Suits actresses round out her list of potential maids of honour. In August 2016, the bride-to-be posted an Instagram (which has now been deleted, like the rest of her social media accounts) dedicated to her co-stars, with the caption: "Celebrating our friendship of six years and counting. So much deep love for these two women." The former actress also nicknamed Rafferty her "Suits sister wife."
After Harry and Meghan's relationship was confirmed in November 2016, Rafferty gave a brief response in an interview with the AP. "I don't comment on my castmates' personal lives, but of course, it's very exciting," she said. "And I'm very happy for her."
In February 2017, tabloid site OK Magazine reported that Torres and her husband Laurence Fishburne (whom she divorced in November) had a double date with Markle and Harry.
Whether or not Rafferty and Torres are in the bridal party, we can probably expect them to be at the ceremony, since the cast of Suits has reportedly nabbed royal wedding invitations.
From Harper's Bazaar UK