Markus Anderson, of Peterborough, Ontario, first met Meghan in Toronto in 2011 when he was working for Soho House
He has been described as the second most important man in Meghan Markle’s life after Prince Harry. Debonair, charming and with impeccable contacts, Markus Anderson is so close to the Duchess of Sussex that she refers to him as uncle to her beloved dogs.
He was by Meghan’s side at her first public appearance with Harry at the Invictus Games in 2017; he was her ‘bouncer’ as the global media thronged outside a New York hotel when she hosted her £350,000 baby shower; and in a website post to him she once wrote: ‘What would I do without you, my loving, supportive, and endlessly fun friend… I love you SO much.’
So just who is this 41-year-old Canadian who has become Meghan’s fixer and keeper of her secrets, and how has he managed to cement himself into such a prominent position in the Royal Family?
Anderson comes from Peterborough, Ontario, a town 90 miles north-east of Toronto. At 18 he cut his small-town ties and headed for London, landing a job as a waiter at A-list members’ club Soho House.
He quickly caught the eye of well-connected founder Nick Jones, and rose through the ranks in London, developing his own network of celebrity friends and fixers.
Jones soon sent him back to Canada to set up Soho House in Toronto – and in 2011 Anderson met Meghan when she arrived in there from Los Angeles to film the first series of her TV legal drama Suits.
She and Anderson hit it off immediately, with Meghan writing on her now defunct website Tig: ‘What would I do without you, my loving, supportive, and endlessly fun friend?? I know what… I would be bored, and life would be infinitely less interesting. I love you SO much. Happiest of days for you now and always. Love you x.’’
A Soho House source said: ‘Long before Prince Harry came on the scene, Markus was introducing Meghan to all sorts of rich and powerful people.’
Anderson started as a waiter and quickly rose up through the ranks. He was asked to set up Soho House in Canada and used to arrange for the couple to meet secretly in private rooms at the club
Anderson introduced Meghan to George and Amal Clooney and also to Jessica Mulroney – daughter-in-law of ex-Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. Jessica has become her closest female friend.
Meghan would refer to Anderson as ‘uncle’ to her two dogs Guy and Bogart and was photographed on holiday with him in Madrid.
Back then, Meghan was still with first husband, film producer Trevor Engelson, and while Engelson remained in LA, Anderson squired her around Toronto, introducing her to local celebrities, including the man who is now Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau.
Anderson was a shoulder to cry on as Meghan’s marriage fell apart in 2013. He would set her up on dates with eligible men drawn from his vast network of contacts. But it was after she met Prince Harry in 2016 that Anderson became an even more vital part of Meghan’s life.
While Meghan and Harry are widely believed to have first met on a blind date in London set up by designer Misha Nonoo, it was in Canada – and more specifically at Toronto’s Soho House – that their love blossomed.
Anderson arranged for the couple to meet secretly in private rooms at the club.
He did the same in London and even arranged a romantic weekend away at Babington House, a picturesque hotel in Somerset run by Soho House. When Meghan made her first public appearance with Harry at the 2017 Invictus Games in Toronto, she chose to sit next to Anderson in the stands to watch events, and he was also photographed alongside Meghan’s mother Doria in a private viewing box.
When Meghan made her first public appearance with Harry at the 2017 Invictus Games in Toronto, Anderson was photographed alongside Meghan’s mother Doria in a private viewing box
And Meghan was with Anderson – whose official title is now ‘global consultant’ for Soho House – when he celebrated his 40th birthday nearly two years ago. He was presented with Soho House’s first custom-made wine called Lady A, a fruity rosé with a butterfly bottle designed by Damien Hirst.
The artist is another long-time Anderson friend.
In a press release, Soho House announced: ‘So why Lady A? It’s an old nickname Nick Jones used for Markus Anderson, one of our longest-standing team members who turns 40 this year.
‘Markus has been a loyal member of the team for two decades and this rosé is a fitting tribute.’
It added: ‘The butterfly label is designed by Damien Hirst, a friend who knows Markus as a social butterfly.’
Since then, Anderson has become increasingly instrumental in helping to guide Meghan.
During last month’s £350,000 baby shower, she chose to take no Palace PRs with her, instead relying on her friend to deal with the media massed outside Manhattan’s five-star hotel The Mark.
However, his influence and methods have sometimes been criticised. Satirical magazine Private Eye reported that Anderson allowed Parisian macaron shop Laduree to ‘promote’ the fact that they provided four £350 macaron towers for the baby shower. The event resulted in a fierce debate amid claims of over-indulgence and embarrassment for Meghan when the Laduree website boasted that the macaron towers would be something ‘Marie Antoinette would be proud of’.
Private Eye also rather unflatteringly claimed that Anderson ‘is known in the gilded corridors as the Sussex Fawcett’ – a reference to Prince Charles’s former footman Michael Fawcett, who, it was once claimed, was so close to the future King that he used to squeeze toothpaste on to his toothbrush.
Despite his closeness to Meghan, Anderson maintains his showbiz connections – and is a very good friend of TV presenter Cat Deeley, who has forged a successful career in the United States.
Deeley, 41, posted a picture on Instagram account last year showing her and Anderson snuggled up on an inflatable toy.
It was captioned: ‘If I could sail off into the sunset, on a Magic Sparkle Dust unicorn of joy, with anyone… it would be you!’
He replied: “When do we leave?!?’
But he remains Meghan’s staunchest promoter and confidant.
Talking about Anderson’s role with Meghan, and his recommendation of Sara Latham as her PR, a source said: ‘Marcus is great fun, very witty and amusing.
‘He knows everyone. He’s utterly discreet. He and Sara are amazing people for Meghan to have on her team.
‘Between them they know everyone in the world of politics and showbusiness on both sides of the Atlantic.
‘If Meghan and Harry are looking to become a global brand with their philanthropy, they could not have chosen two better people to guide them.’
Another source said: ‘Markus is someone who can meet anyone, be it royalty or a receptionist and he makes everyone feel special.
‘He is brilliantly connected, utterly charming and very discreet. I’ve tried talking to him about Meghan and all that happens is a big smile crosses his face.
‘He is completely loyal to her – a keeper of the secrets.’
Anderson, who revealed in an interview that his fashion preferences were Alexander McQueen, Yves Saint Laurent and Mulberry, declined to comment yesterday when approached by The Mail on Sunday.
A Soho House spokesman said: ‘He never comments.’
How Meghan’s Canadian ‘fixer’ is responsible for her and Harry hiring their controversial new £140,000-a-year press chief
Meghan Markle’s closest male friend helped pick her controversial new press chief, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.
Canadian Markus Anderson, 41, personally recommended powerful political PR ‘guru’ Sara Latham as Meghan and Harry’s new £140,000-a-year communications chief.
Mr Anderson – a former waiter –has known the Duchess of Sussex since before her relationship with Prince Harry.
A global consultant for the Soho House private members’ clubs group, he arranged for Meghan and Harry to meet secretly at the company’s properties in Toronto, London and Somerset during their courtship.
Canadian Markus Anderson, 41, personally recommended powerful political PR ‘guru’ Sara Latham as Meghan and Harry’s new £140,000-a-year communications chief
The appointment of Ms Latham, 48, has caused controversy as she has represented some of the world’s most prominent Left-leaning politicians, including Bill and Hillary Clinton, Tony Blair and the late Labour Minister Tessa Jowell.
A former senior Palace official is also believed to have been influential in the appointment.
‘Sara and Markus move in the same circles,’ said an insider. ‘Sara is liberal like Meghan and has spent her life working with politicians on the Left. Markus is aware of how brilliant she is and helped pick her for Meghan because they share the same views. Sara is super-qualified, well-connected and very discreet.’
A source said: ‘Sara is liberal like Meghan and has spent her life working with politicians on the Left. Markus is aware of how brilliant she is and helped pick her for Meghan because they share the same views’
Ms Latham worked for PR agency Freuds from 2003 to 2005. She returned last August as a senior managing partner and is close to agency founder Matthew Freud. Mr Freud is a close friend of Soho House founder Nick Jones.
A source said: ‘Freuds regularly holds events at Soho House properties and Markus and Sara have been in each other’s orbit for some time and he is very aware of her reputation.
‘Markus is very protective of Meghan. When Meghan started getting negative press, it was natural that he would want to find her the best representation. And Sara is the best.’
Ms Latham’s CV is impressive, if unusually political, for a Royal press chief.
Born in Virginia, she obtained a degree in fine arts before starting work in Bill Clinton’s White House. A source who knew her then describes her as a ‘whip smart’ woman who ‘rose quickly through the ranks because of her intelligence, loyalty and discretion’.
She later worked closely with Mr Blair during his 2005 General Election campaign and was a managing director of Philip Gould Associates, the PR firm set up by the late Lord Gould, one of Blair’s closest advisors, before working for Blair’s Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell. After returning to the US, she worked with the Clintons, running Mrs Clinton’s failed 2016 presidential bid.
Ms Latham has made no secret of her loathing for Donald Trump, branding him ‘misogynistic’. ‘She’s a political operative of the highest order,’ a Washington source added.
‘It’s an unusual move for her to enter the world of royalty but it’s a clear sign Meghan and Harry have plans on a global scale which will involve political manoeuvring behind the scenes which is Sara’s forte. She is devoted to liberal and philanthropic causes.’
Ms Latham is expected to move into her new offices at Buckingham Palace within days following last week’s announcement that William and Kate were splitting their offices from Meghan and Harry’s.