Meghan Markle, the newly minted Duchess of Sussex, is on the shortlist for TIME's Person of the Year. The short list — the people and groups who were in the running to be POY — arrived today, and Markle is happily nestled in there, right next to figures like Donald Trump, Ryan Coogler, and Jamal Khashoggi.
Markle had a big year. She went from being an actor on Suits and lifestyle blogger to one of the most high-profile women in the world. In November 2017, she announced her engagement to Prince Harry. In May, her wedding to Prince Harry was broadcast around the world. Markle has emerged as an American activist royal. She's been outspoken about feminism — a passion of hers since the age of 11 — and politics in general. In July, against royal protocol, Markle apparently told a reporter that she was pleased with Ireland's recent vote toward legalizing abortion. Markle is outspoken, even through the confines of the royal press regulations.
She's also far from the first royal to end up on the TIME short list. In 2011, Kate Middleton made the short list, although the POY ended up being "the Protestor," a catch-all term for the various protest leaders who emerged that year. In 1952, Queen Elizabeth II earned the full title of Person of the Year, one of four women to have held the title solo. (Soong Mei-ling was technically "wife" of the year alongside her husband Chiang Kai-Shek in 1937.)
Markle this year is one of only two women on the short list. It's just her and Christine Blasey Ford, the professor who testified at a Senate hearing regarding an alleged sexual assault by Brett Kavanaugh. Markle is also notably one of the few on the list who is not directly associated with politics. Ryan Coogler, the director of Black Panther, is also on the list.
The person most likely to earn the title? Based on the wild goose chase that Robert Mueller has presented this past year, the Person of the Year will most likely be our Special Counsel.