The royal couple met on a blind date in London in 2016 during an extended visit Meghan was taking, packed full of meetings, both business and pleasure. However, just days before she was supposed to be seeing Harry, Meghan spotted her crush while she was at the Wimbledon tennis tournament. ‘Finding Freedom’ by Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand exposed how Meghan used to fancy British actor Dominic Cooper, best known for his roles in Preacher, Mamma Mia! and as Howard Stark in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
She spotted him at Wimbledon and considered whether she should approach him.
If she had and they had hit it off, there is a chance she may have cancelled her date with Harry.
However, she was having so much fun with her friends she decided not to bother him.
The ‘Finding Freedom’ authors wrote: “Meghan did tear herself away from the action long enough to spot British actor Dominic Cooper in the VIP bar area, where she joked about having a small crush on the Preacher star and deliberated whether she should talk to him.
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If Meghan had met Dominic Cooper, it is possible she may have cancelled her date with Harry
Meghan Markle at Wimbledon 2016
“She decided not to approach the nice English gentleman.
“She was having too much fun with her girlfriends.”
Mr Cooper dated actress Ruth Negga from 2010 for around six years, so they may have been broken up by Wimbledon 2016.
However, the press did not learn of the break up for another couple of years, which was first reported in April 2018.
British actor Dominic Cooper
Meghan’s appearance at Wimbledon was arranged for her by Violet von Westenholz, a PR executive from Ralph Lauren.
Meghan was a celebrity brand ambassador for the label at the time, and Ralph Lauren was also the fashion sponsor in charge of the official Wimbledon merchandise.
Violet arranged the tickets and the passes for Meghan to turn up on day two of the tournament to support her friend Serena Williams.
Williams, who has dominated womens’ tennis for the past 20 years, met Meghan at the Super Bowl in Miami in 2010.
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Serena Williams and her husband at Meghan and Harry’s wedding in 2018
The pair “hit it off immediately”, Meghan later reported, connecting over “good, old-fashioned girly stuff”.
Despite his near miss, Harry still got to meet Meghan later in her London trip.
It is believed to have been orchestrated by their mutual friends Misha Nonoo and Markus Anderson.
They met in Soho House Dean Street and Markus arranged for some of their friends to also be there, “so it wouldn’t be awkward”, a source told the ‘Finding Freedom’ authors.
They added: “If that first meeting worked out, then they could plan a proper one-on-one date together.”
Markus chose a private dining area cordoned off behind floor-to-ceiling velvet drapes to give them some privacy and he stayed close by “in case the entire evening was a dud”.
When they first met, Harry was blown away by her beauty.
He told a friend: “Wow. The most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen in my life.”
Meghan Markle at Wimbledon 2016
They became engrossed in a conversation about their charitable interests, with their “passions for wanting to make a change for good” being something they connected on.
After they parted ways, Harry texted Meghan almost immediately and they arranged to meet again.
A friend of Meghan’s said: “He definitely didn’t hide the fact he was keen.
“He wanted her to know he was very interested.”
‘Finding Freedom’ was written by Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, and was published by HQ on August 11. It is available here.