When Did Meghan Markle Leave 'Suits'?: Here's the Story Behind Her Departure

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When Did Meghan Markle Leave 'Suits'?Patrick van Katwijk - Getty Images

It is no secret that Meghan Markle's fame and notoriety has skyrocketed since her days on Suits following her marriage to Prince Harry. If you're binging the series after the release of its first eight seasons on Netflix, or watching for the first time, you may be wondering: what is the real reason Meghan Markle aka Rachel Zane left Suits? [Warning! Suits spoilers ahead.] Markle appeared in a total of 108 episodes of the legal drama across seven seasons. Her character plays a huge role in the series from the very beginning as a paralegal to her eventual relationship with fraudulent lawyer Mike played by Patrick J. Adams.

meghan markle on suits
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After the season seven finale, both Markle and Adams's contracts expired resulting in the pair leaving the series. Meghan had good reason for abandoning her long-time character, as her relationship with Prince Harry was getting serious. Almost immediately after her departure was announced, Harry and Meghan got engaged on November 27, 2017. Of course, the British Royal Family has rules about employment, publicity, and everything in between, prompting Meghan to retire from acting. USA Network confirmed Meghan's exit from the show the day after their engagement.

Both Mike and Rachel were written off the show after season seven, which ended with their marriage and a move to Seattle to start a new firm. Patrick returned for three episodes in season nine, but Markle never returned.

"I knew from a year ago that this relationship was burgeoning. And I had a decision to make because I didn’t want to intrude and ask her, ‘hey what’s going on and what are you going to do?’. So collectively with the writers, we decided to take a gamble that these two people were in love and it was going to work out. What we decided to do (was to) say, ‘look, I would rather have good things happen to Meghan in her life’ – which would likely mean her leaving the show. So let’s plan on that and it’s much easier to undo that, if it came to it, than to just plan on her staying forever and then finding out she’s going to go,” Suits creator told BBC Radio 4's Today show in 2017.

Since Suits, the Duchess of Sussex hasn't had any acting roles aside from her Netflix documentary Harry & Meghan. She told Variety in 2022 that she has no intention of returning to acting: "No. I'm done. I guess never say never, but my intention is to absolutely not." Even though Harry and Meghan are no longer working royals, they're staying busy focusing on their two children, Archie and Lillibet, and now working on a film adaptation of the book Meet Me at the Lake for Netflix. As for those hoping for a reboot, it appears if that does happen Markle would not reprise her character.

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