Meghan Markle 'Grew up on $4.99 Salad Bar at Sizzler,' All Her Parents Could Afford

Meghan Markle has described how she "grew up on the $4.99 salad bar at Sizzler" and "felt lucky," in an open letter to Congress.

The Duchess of Sussex opened up about her early life as she called on lawmakers to push through a comprehensive plan for paid parental leave.

The letter shed light on how far she has come from humble roots, through her career as an actress to now working as a Hollywood producer, ethical investor and campaigner, as well as mother to two children with her husband Prince Harry.

Meghan wrote: "I grew up on the $4.99 salad bar at Sizzler—it may have cost less back then (to be honest, I can't remember)—but what I do remember was the feeling: I knew how hard my parents worked to afford this because even at five bucks, eating out was something special, and I felt lucky.

"And as a Girl Scout, when my troop would go to dinner for a big celebration, it was back to that same salad bar or The Old Spaghetti Factory—because that's what those families could afford to do too."

Meghan's father, Thomas Markle, was a Daytime Emmy-winning television lighting director and her mother, Doria Ragland, was a yoga teacher.

She attended a private Catholic school, Immaculate Heart in Los Angeles, but has spoken before about having to join a work-study program to get through college.

Her father also said he had to take out significant loans to pay for her education.

Meghan wrote in her open letter: "I started working (at the local frozen yogurt shop) at the age of 13. I waited tables, babysat, and piecemealed jobs together to cover odds and ends.

"I worked all my life and saved when and where I could—but even that was a luxury—because usually it was about making ends meet and having enough to pay my rent and put gas in my car."

Meghan opened up about her childhood through the campaign group Paid Leave for All.

Her letter comes after the Biden administration proposed reducing the funding for paid leave set out in the Build Back Better Act, scaling down the 12 weeks first suggested to four weeks and making the policy means-tested, The Hill reported.

Meghan's letter was released on Wednesday, October 20—a day after 15 progressive Democratic senators also wrote to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer calling for a universal paid leave policy.

Meghan wrote: "I'm writing to you on behalf of millions of American families who are using their voices to say that comprehensive paid leave should not be a place to compromise or negotiate.

"In fact, most nations already have paid leave policies in place. Estonia, for example, offers over a year and a half of leave to be shared by new parents."

Meghan Markle Speaks About University
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, visits the University of Johannesburg in South Africa on October 1, 2019, where she spoke about the importance of education for women. Meghan did a work-study program to help fund her own college education. Tim Rooke - Pool/Getty Images