Markle’s exit was obviously the buzziest thing to happen to Suits since its inception, as the actress' farewell would be her final acting appearance in history before she begins her life as imminent, literal British royalty. And, to top off all that buzz, Markle’s character Rachel Zane’s final episode was dedicated to her wedding. Yes, mere days before the California native plans to walk down the aisle to marry Prince Harry on May 19, Markle said her fictional “I do’s” on television.
While the draw of “Good-Bye” is obviously getting a glimpse of Markle as a bride before her own royal wedding, the finale actually held a much more interesting, subtle connection to the actress’ upcoming nuptials. And, it all comes down to Rachel’s next gig at a Seattle, Washington, law firm.
In the Suits penultimate episode “Tiny Violin” a random new man named Andy Forsyth (Harry Judge) arrives in New York to ask Rachel’s fiancé Mike Ross (real-life Troian Bellisario husband Patrick J. Adams) to come lead a firm in Seattle. The word “firm” here is very important to understand the Buckingham Palace connection, so remember it. The West Coast legal operation will apparently have the financial backing of a big-time law firm, without any of the nefarious clients or agendas. Instead, it will focus on protecting the downtrodden from “the big guys,” as Andy says.
To close his pitch, Andy promises Mike of the new company, “Rachel Zane can run it right by your side.”
After lots of believed cloak and dagger treachery — that proved to be imagined on Mike’s paranoid part — Rachel and her husband-to-be decide to accept the job offer. After seven seasons of Suits, the happy couple is going to break out on their own to lead a firm dedicated to helping save the world. And, before Rachel can start her life at the new firm, she’s going to get married. Hence, the genuinely beautiful “Good-Bye” wedding, which was coincidentally filmed mere days before Markle and Prince Harry's engagement announcement.
Now, it’s time to hear one wild piece of trivia: The royal family’s nickname is “The Firm.” While royal family obsessives may already know that fact, it’s unlikely the casual Suits viewer, or even the average American, is aware of the title. This writer certainly wasn’t.
But, the “Firm” nickname has a lengthy history. As Newsweek points out, in The King’s Speech, King George VI (Colin Firth), announces of the royals, “We're not a family, we're a firm.” It’s believed his daughter, current British monarch and Firm head honcho Queen Elizabeth II, also uses the phrase in real life. Nearly every English newspaper reminds us Queen Elizabeth’s husband the Duke of Edinburgh, aka Prince Phillip, “has long referred” to his family as “The Firm.” Even the late Princess Diana called her former in-laws “The Firm.” It is such a popular nickname for Markle’s new family, a 2008 book about the royals is titled, The Firm: The Troubled Life of the House of Windsor.
That means Meghan Markle is, story-wise, leaving the Suits world to join a firm just under 3,000 miles away from New York City, while also literally leaving the Suits world to join a Firm-with-a-capital-F just over 3,000 miles away from NYC.
The similarities between Markle and her character’s Suits exit don’t end there, as both women will be focusing on philanthropy with their new spouses through their respective firms. Rachel’s Seattle venture, as mentioned, will be dedicated to defending victims of all types of corporate greed. Similarly, Markle has already started using her platform for advocacy. In the retired actress’ first Royal Foundation Q&A, she threw her support behind the Time’s Up movement and #MeToo and revealed she has already begun meeting with charities “behind the scenes.” That way, in her words, once she joins the royal family, Markle and husband Prince Harry can “hit the ground running” with their philanthropic passions. That explains why the couple is requesting charitable donations to seven hand-picked organizations rather than wedding gifts.
How very meta, Suits. How very meta.
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