Fact Check: Did Meghan Markle Lie About Her Age?

Meghan Markle will turn 42 in 2023 but a YouTube video viewed tens of thousands of times claims she lied about her age and is actually several years older.

The Duchess of Sussex marked her 40th birthday in August 2021 and has given the date of birth August 4, 1981, in official documents.

This makes Meghan three years older than Prince Harry and one year older than Prince William and Kate Middleton.

Meghan With Thomas Markle and Doria Ragland
Meghan Markle, seen during a walkabout in Nottingham in December 2017, was born Rachel Meghan Markle to mother Doria Ragland [inset top] and Thomas Markle [inset bottom]. A YouTube video accused her of lying about her age. Chris Jackson/Getty Images/GARETH FULLER/AFP via Getty Images and YouTube

The Claim

YouTube account @royalmassive6515 posted a video on Feb 9, 2023, which has been viewed 69,595 times and is titled: "Meg Is Really 45 Years Old! Samantha Exposes Meghan's True Age In Court: She Was Born In 1977."

The narrator says: "The court papers filed by her sister state Meghan was born in 1977. Meghan also revealed her true age before in her other court case in London in 2021."

The video quotes what it describes as a Twitter message which it says refers to Meghan as 'Pinocchio': "OMG. You do realise that she's revealed her true age. Pinocchio has stated in the document you have shown that she was two years old when Samantha was 15 years when she moved to the other side of town. Which means there is a 13 year gap between them. Samantha, born November 1964, is 57 years old today. Pinocchio is 13 years younger. That little slip up revelation means Pinocchio is 44 years old. Gotcha!"

The video goes on to cite another Tweet which suggested the document in question was an email containing "the facts" she wanted former Kensington Palace communications secretary Jason Knauf "to go over with the authors of FF Finding Freedom."

The narrator added: "People believe she's lying about her age so she doesn't seem too much older than her husband who's 38. Is it possible that Meghan Markle is 45 years old? In theory it could be because she has enough money to pull off a lie like that."

The Facts

Meghan marked her 40th birthday with a message released through her Archewell website: "In reflecting on my 40th birthday and the many things I am grateful for, I'm struck that time is among our greatest and most essential gifts."

Rachel Meghan Markle, her full name, is listed with the date of birth August 4, 1981, on the California Birth Index, 1905-1995, according to familysearch.org. This date of birth matches Meghan's account rather than the YouTube video's.

It also matches the date of birth given for the Duchess of Sussex on official documents lodged at Companies House in the U.K. from the era when Meghan and Prince Harry had a U.K. public company, originally named Sussex Royal.

Samantha has filed a libel lawsuit against Meghan over the contents of the royal biography Finding Freedom and the duchess' comments about their relationship to Oprah Winfrey.

However, it is unclear where the claim about Samantha Markle disputing Meghan's age has come from, since Samantha's book The Diary of Princess Pushy's Sister gives Meghan's date of birth as August 1981, not 1977, though she offers a slightly different day.

The book reads: "The Great Migration of 1632 brought our early ancestors to the United States from England on the Mayflower, and The Ship Lyon, but the great migration of genes brought the Ship 'Meghan Flower' to dock at our house on August 31, 1981. My baby sister was bi-racial, beautiful, and was both the color of a peach and a rose."

Samantha's libel complaint also does not state that Meghan was born in 1977 and in fact, contrary to the YouTube video, in a court filing seen by Newsweek her lawyers state: "During their childhood, the Duchess was very close to her older sister despite their 17-year age difference."

Samantha's book gives her own date of birth as November 1964, suggesting a 17-year age gap would make Meghan a 1981 birthday, just as she has said.

The YouTube video's claim about the email appears to arise from evidence submitted to a separate lawsuit between Meghan and The Mail on Sunday about the newspaper's decision to publish a letter she sent her father.

Jason Knauf, former Kensington Palace communications secretary, submitted as evidence an email that Meghan had sent him in December 2018.

The document was released through the Court of Appeal in November 2021 and contained briefing notes from Meghan ahead of a meeting Knauf held with Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, the authors of the biography Finding Freedom.

Meghan's email, seen by Newsweek, read: "Doria [her mother] left Tom [her father] when Meghan was two years old (moved to the other side of town 45 minutes away). His other children were 15 and 17 years old.

"Tom Jr and Samantha dropped out of high school and moved out of their father's home the same year. With a 16 year age gap and Meghan being a baby, there was minimal interaction."

The ages cited in the email are clearly slightly confused, since she initially implies the existence of a 13-year age gap between her and Samantha and 15 years between her and Tom Jr. before later stating there was a 16-year age gap.

The Ruling



Meghan may have confused the relative ages of her siblings during her private email to Knauf in December 2018, however, there is nothing to suggest Meghan is not 41 nor that she lied about her age.

August 4, 1981, is listed as her date of birth on the California Birth Index as well as official documentation lodged at Companies House in Britain. That date of birth matches her public statements about her age.

Far from contradicting Meghan, Samantha Markle's book and libel claim both appear to support Meghan's own account of her August 1981 date of birth.


False: The claim is demonstrably false. Primary source evidence proves the claim to be false.
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