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Meghan Markle puts on a very glamorous display in an unseen 2016 snap

She’s now one of the most famous women in the world, but just four years ago Meghan Markle was pictured ‘climbing the ladder’ at a high society party with Lizzie Cundy and phones4U billionaire John Caudwell’s ex-wife Claire – when the duo reportedly tried to find the actress a ‘famous British man.’ 

In the unseen 2016 photo, taken at a charity event at Caudwell’s house in Mayfair – the same year the actress met Prince Harry – Meghan Markle, 39, can be seen with her brown hair loose, posing between the stylish duo in a silk one-shouldered dress. 

At the time, she was only recognisable to UK audiences as Rachel Zane from Suits, and would very likely have been a complete unknown to anyone who hadn’t watched the show. 

Speaking exclusively to FEMAIL, Lizze Cundy, 52, who claims she became friends with The Duchess of Sussex after the pair hit it off at a charity dinner together in 2013, spoke of the night the snap was taken.

‘Meghan was sitting next to me,’ she said. ‘She wanted pictures with everyone because she didn’t know anyone. Obviously, she’d flown in from Canada, she wanted to meet people and get to know who’s who.’

‘It was a very high society party so I took pictures and that must’ve been one of them! She was climbing the ladder, as it were.’  

In 2016, Lizzie Cundy and Claire Cauldwell posed alongside Meghan Markle at a charity event at John Caudwell’s house in Mayfair (pictured, together)

Lizzie Cundy said that Meghan Markle was 'climbing the ladder' when she met the Suits star at a society party in Mayfair in 2016. Pictured, the Duchess of Sussex appeared on CNN last night

Lizzie Cundy said that Meghan Markle was ‘climbing the ladder’ when she met the Suits star at a society party in Mayfair in 2016. Pictured, the Duchess of Sussex appeared on CNN last night

The TV personality went on to speak of Meghan reportedly wanting help finding a  ‘famous British man.’

‘That photo was taken on that night. We were talking girly chat about my life, her life,’ explained Lizzie. ‘She said she’d love to have a celebrity boyfriend. She loved Britain and felt very at home there. She loved London life and wanted to stay and work there and have a boyfriend.’

Speaking of the royal’s ideal type, Lizzie added: ‘British – preferably a celebrity because they understand what you go through as a star, or actress as she was then, and understand the way of life. I was trying to think who I knew that would be suitable. It was a girly, fun chat.’

Lizzie, who described Meghan as ‘a giggle’ and ‘a real girl’s girl,’ went on to say the night of the photo was a late one – adding it was a ‘fun-filled evening, lots of drink and dancing.’

‘She wanted to talk about girly things, men,’ she added. ‘You know when you meet someone and you don’t really know anyone and want to stick to your friends but Meghan, she was so easy to talk to. Very personable and fun – and a bit naughty. Fun is the right word!’

‘She wanted to get on with everyone, get on in London. She was lovely, ambitious, but she had a real charm about her.’

Lizzie Cundy and best friend Claire Cauldwell were seen together today - four years after the Meghan Markle snap was taken (pictured)

Lizzie Cundy and best friend Claire Cauldwell were seen together today – four years after the Meghan Markle snap was taken (pictured)

Lizzie Cundy seen out with bets friend Claire Cauldwell in Knightsbridge today. The Duchess of Sussex reportedly went clubbing on the hunt for a potential boyfriend and enlisted Lizzie to help her introduce her to potential suitors four years ago

Lizzie Cundy seen out with bets friend Claire Cauldwell in Knightsbridge today. The Duchess of Sussex reportedly went clubbing on the hunt for a potential boyfriend and enlisted Lizzie to help her introduce her to potential suitors four years ago

Lizzie also spoke of her shock on hearing the Duchess of Sussex was dating Prince Harry.  

‘I remember thinking “wow” because she wanted to find a guy. I remember thinking, “Wow – you’ve hit the jackpot there, babe!”.’

She added: ‘The last time I spoke to her was just before Prince Harry. I wrote huge congrats and then realised the number changed and I didn’t get a reply. Me and Piers Morgan got ghosted as they say. But it is what it is, I understand. The royals are very different to celebrities. We got on very well.’

It comes just a day after the Duchess of Sussex appeared on CNN to pay tribute to ‘quiet heroes’ of the coronavirus pandemic and the ‘power of the human spirit’ in her first appearance since revealing her devastating miscarriage in the New York Times.

The former WAG, donning a pair of white jeans, lace top and over-sized sunglasses, was also spotted out and about in Knightsbridge with her pal Claire Cauldwell today  – four years after the duo were seen with Meghan Markle.  

Lizzie (right) looked glamorous in a pair of white jeans, lace top and over-sized sunglasses. Pictured, with Claire Cauldwell (left)

Lizzie (right) looked glamorous in a pair of white jeans, lace top and over-sized sunglasses. Pictured, with Claire Cauldwell (left)

Lizzie previously spoke of her outing with Meghan Markle and told The Sun: ‘We were having a girly chat and then she said, “Do you know any famous guys? I’m single and I really love English men”, so I said, “We’ll go out and find you someone.”

She previously claimed she showed the royal, who had divorced first husband Trevor Engelson, 42, three months prior to her London trip, a picture of footballer Ashley Cole who she ruled out because of his bad reputation.

Lizzie said the pair then met up again at the Global Gift Gala the following day: ‘Meghan’s so relaxed, she liked a drink, great fun, I remember her asking about my boys, she was very interested and asking lots of questions.’   

In June 2016, Markle began a relationship with Prince Harry, whom she had met on a blind date set up by a mutual friend.

They wed in May last year at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle. On May 6, 2019, and the Duchess gave birth to Archie Mountbatten-Windsor,who is seventh in line to the throne.

Last night, the Duchess of Sussex praised key workers and volunteers, while sitting on a bench apparently in the grounds of the $14million California mansion she shares with Prince Harry, who was not involved in the video.

Meghan, 39, said: ‘We saw communities standing up and taking action. When kids’ lunch programs came to a halt, we saw our neighbors make sure that those children received the nutrition they need.’ 

The TV personality (pictured) claims she became friends with The Duchess of Sussex, 39, after the pair hit it off at a charity dinner together in 2013

The TV personality (pictured) claims she became friends with The Duchess of Sussex, 39, after the pair hit it off at a charity dinner together in 2013

Lizzie Cundy seen out with best friend Claire Caudwell in Knightsbridge - four years after they were seen with the Duchess of Sussex

Lizzie Cundy seen out with best friend Claire Caudwell in Knightsbridge – four years after they were seen with the Duchess of Sussex

She added that ‘we as a community showed up’ to deliver food needed by vulnerable people, adding that ‘we also saw the power of the human spirit’ and that ‘we have the power to remind someone else that there is hope’.

It was the first time the Duchess has been seen since she wrote an article for the New York Times last month, revealing she lost her child in July, and described the ‘unbearable grief’ it caused her and 36-year-old Harry.

She did not address her own loss in the CNN clip, but told how 2020 had been ‘a year that has been universally challenging for everyone,’ before praising those who rose to the occasion and fed hungry neighbors going through tough times.

Meghan, who was wearing Catherine Zoraida earrings and a Cartier bracelet, had been speaking as part of the CNN Heroes series which praises those making a difference in communities. 


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