Meghan dreamt of having ‘lots of wild kids’ years before meeting Harry

Tom Bower discusses Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

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Meghan Markle spoke openly about her dreams of becoming a mother long before she married Prince Harry. In a 2015 interview with Best Life magazine, when asked about her hopes for the future, she described starting a family as a “bucket-list item”. A year later, she told Lifestyle magazine that she “dreamt [of becoming] a successful working actress, which I can now very thankfully tick off the list. And I also dream to have a family…it will also be nice to be anchored to something grounded and in the same place. Raising a family will be a wonderful part of that”. And, according to an old blog post, Meghan was well-prepared for motherhood — all thanks to the very first addition to her family.

Meghan once revealed that her dog Bogart helped her prepare for raising her future children.

Writing on her now-defunct lifestyle blog The Tig, Meghan recalled rescuing Bogart as a puppy on the advice of Ellen DeGeneres, who is now a friend of the Duchess’s but, at that point, was a total stranger.

Meghan was at SPOT Rescue, a family-run rescue centre in West Hollywood when she bumped into the chat show host. The then-actress was considering adopting her first-ever dog to keep her company while she was filming in Toronto.

Ellen asked: “Did you name him?” to which Meghan responded: “Bogart, I think I would call him Bogart.”

The host of The Ellen Show looked at Meghan “with such assurance and simply said: ‘Take him home.’ And I did.”

Meghan wrote: “I didn’t know it then, but I know it now. This animal changed my life. Every day he teaches me patience, boundaries, and how to share the bed. He comes with me to set, he’s a paw-shakin’ fool, and he is more protective of me than any person I’ve ever known.

“Above all that, I think he preps me for the day I will have lots of wild kids running recklessly in the mud, scraping knees, chasing frogs, and scaring me to death while looking as happy as …well, my sweet Bogart.”

Meghan later found a companion for the labrador-shepherd mix, a rescue beagle called Guy.

According to previous reports, the then-actress doted on Bogart and Guy like they were her children. Meghan often referred to her dogs as “my boys” or “my loves” and on her long days performing on set, or while away from home, she would get someone to hold the camera to the dogs so she could FaceTime them.

In his memoir, Spare, Harry gives insight into Meghan’s love for her “fur babies”, recalling his wife’s first meeting with his father King Charles III and stepmother Queen Camilla, during which Meghan spoke fondly of Bogart and Guy.

The meeting came in 2016, just months after Meghan and Harry had first started dating. By November 2017, the couple were engaged and Meghan had officially moved to the UK.

In doing so, however, she had to part ways with Bogart. As Harry wrote: “She’s said goodbye to her friends, goodbye to her car, goodbye to one of her dogs — Bogart. He’d been so traumatised by the siege of her house, by the constant ringing of the doorbell, that his demeanour changed when Meg was around. He’d become an aggressive guard dog. Meg’s neighbours had graciously agreed to adopt him.”

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“I’ve had two dogs that I’ve had for a long time, two rescue pups,” Meghan said in her and Harry’s engagement interview with the BBC.

“One is now staying with a very close friend and the other little guy is, yes, he’s in the UK. He’s been here for a while. I think he’s doing just fine.”

At the time of their wedding, Harry’s communications secretary, Jason Knauf, said: “Bogart is now living with friends.”

Guy moved to London with her. In 2019, the Duchess of Sussex reflected on adopting dogs in an essay for Mayhew, an animal welfare charity. She wrote: “As a proud rescue dog owner, I know from personal experience the joy that adopting an animal into your home can bring.

“The role that we, as people, play in rehoming and rescuing these animals is vital, but the role of organisations such as Mayhew is unparalleled.”

In 2018, just months before their wedding, Harry and Meghan brought home a friend for Guy — a black labrador named Pula. Then, in August 2022, they adopted a seven-year-old rescue beagle called Mamma Mia.

By that point, the couple had welcomed two children: Archie Harrison, born in 2019, and Lilibet Diana, born in 2021.

Harry said in October: “I tell you what, we all need a dog that keeps us calm. I’ve got three in this house now. So, we basically have five children. I’ve got a black Labrador called Pula, a rescue beagle called Guy. And we got another rescue beagle called Mia.

“And between the three of them, they charge around chasing squirrels and causing all sorts of problems for us every single day. But they are also emotional, emotional support dogs 100 percent when they’re behaving.”

The Sussexes’ six-part documentary series gave insight into their family life. Within minutes of the documentary’s opening, the Duchess is pictured standing in the snow with Pula and one of her children. Then, in Episode Two, the black lab can be seen running beside three-year-old Archie.

In Episode Three, the Duke shared how Guy factored into the couple’s engagement story. Harry was confident Meghan would accept his proposal because she had already shown her commitment by moving her beagle across the pond.

“It wasn’t that I knew she was going to say yes, but she’d already moved Guy over, so I had Guy as a hostage,” Harry said.

A photograph from the night of the proposal shows Harry petting Guy while down on one knee. In another picture, the couple can be seen smiling alongside the beloved dog.

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