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04.18.2018

GAYLE KING TO ANCHOR “MEGHAN MARKLE: AMERICAN PRINCESS,” A CBS NEWS SPECIAL ON THE FUTURE WIFE OF PRINCE HARRY - WHO WENT FROM A GRADE SCHOOL ADVOCATE TO HALF OF A GLOBAL POWER COUPLE FOR A NEW ERA - TOLD BY THOSE WHO KNOW HER BEST

Friday, April 20 – 10:00 PM, ET/PT

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CBS THIS MORNING co-host Gayle King will anchor MEGHAN MARKLE: AMERICAN PRINCESS, a CBS News special exploring the life of Markle, from her child activism to her rise to global stardom as the future wife of Prince Harry, to be broadcast Friday, April 20 (10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.

MEGHAN MARKLE: AMERICAN PRINCESS is an engaging, inspiring look at the extraordinary woman who stood out as a grade school student because of her passionate efforts to right wrongs, and then became half of a global power couple for a new era. Her story is told through intimate, revealing interviews with the people who know her best – sorority sisters, high school teachers, fellow actors from the TV series “Suits” and more.

The special also features interviews with CBS News royal contributor Tina Brown and royal experts, who weigh in on the couple, their upcoming marriage, and what their fairytale relationship means for the British monarchy and the world.

These two are going to be the premier global philanthropists in the world,” says Brown.

They’re just a young couple in love,” says photographer Alexi Lubomirski, who was commissioned by the royal family to shoot the couple’s engagement photos and who will be the official wedding photographer. “It’s the most beautiful thing to see. And I’m a cheeseball, so I love that kind of stuff.”

In his only U.S. television network interview, Lubormirski tells King he and the couple shared their passions for humanitarian work and Botswana, where he grew up.

Actor Wendell Pierce, who played Markle’s father on “Suits,” reveals what he told Markle when he heard the news she was engaged.

I said, ‘I just want you to know. I know all the stuff that’s going to happen to you. And it’s going to be crazy. Just in a quiet moment, just know I’ll always be your friend. There’s someone thinking about your best interests. And we care about you,’” Pierce says.

Prince Harry and Markle have captured the attention of the world as a couple, but friends and others, including corporate giant Proctor & Gamble, knew of Markle long before. For example, when she was just 12, Markle took issue with a P&G commercial for Ivory Soap, and she wrote the company. She wrote to Linda Ellerbee, then the anchor of “Nick News,” on Nickelodeon. Ellerbee profiled young Markle. The company changed its marketing.

I knew after that story that this little girl wasn’t going to change,” Ellerbee says. “That she was going to change her world.”

Christine Knudsen, a teacher at Immaculate Heart High School in Los Angeles, saw that same determination in young Markle.

She didn’t see things as roadblocks – and I think she loved to rise to challenges,” Knudsen says. “And, okay, this door is closed. Let’s find a window.”

I just always remember saying that she, like, looked like a princess, I don’t know how else to describe it,” says Northwestern University sorority sister Erica Bethe Levin. “She just radiates, like, this ridiculous aura.”

MEGHAN MARKLE: AMERICAN PRINCESS takes viewers inside the couple’s courtship and through preparations for the wedding on May 19, including a look at the famed St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, where the couple will be married. The special also explores how Markle, who is biracial and divorced, helps advance the monarchy by marrying Prince Harry.

Everything that could have gotten you beheaded 500 years ago, that’s why this engagement, this marriage, has already brought the monarchy well into the 21st century,” says Vanity Fair writer Sam Kashner, who wrote the first major profile of Markle for the cover of the magazine.

CBS News will have full coverage of the royal wedding on May 19, starting at 4:00 AM, ET, anchored by Gayle King and ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT’s Kevin Frazier. CBS News will also present ROYAL ROMANCE: THE MARRIAGE OF PRINCE HARRY AND MEGHAN MARKLE, a two-hour special to air on May 19 at (8:00 PM, ET/PT). For more details on CBS News’ extensive coverage, click here.

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Press Contact:

Richard Huff

212-975-3328

huffr@cbsnews.com