Meghan Markle was never just a face in the crowd. Before she was engaged to Prince Harry, the 36-year-old was starring on Suits and an active philanthropist. But now that she's joining the Royal Family, her star has been on an astronomical rise, and apparently, that means women who look like her are getting a ton of extra attention lately, too, including one woman from Washington, D.C. Lukwesa Morin just won a Meghan Markle look-alike contest.
Morin, a student at Johns Hopkins University and a part-time model, came out on top in a Meghan Markle look-alike contest from the dating site BeautifulPeople.com. And since Markle got engaged to Prince Harry in November, Morin says the number of people tell her she looks Markle has skyrocketed; although the comparisons have been there since Suits started airing.
"I get a mix of 'girl from Suits' to 'Prince Harry's future wife," Morin tells Bustle via email. "People come up to me saying I either have resemblance or look identical. I don’t believe I look identical, but I do see some similarities." (Personally, I think she looks more like Malia Obama from some angles than the duchess-to-be, but it sounds like I'm in the minority.)
Morin is just as beautiful as the next member of the royal family, and among their similarities is that they are both of mixed race heritage — the 25-year-old's father is French and her mother is from Zambia, according to an interview she did with the Daily Mail (and which also features more photos).
Still, though she doesn't think she's a dead ringer for Markle, Morin entered the contest because of the prize, which she says was a voucher for the winner to any store of their choice. The contest was judged by artist Alison Jackson, who is known for her portraits of celebrity look-alikes. According to the Daily Mail, Jackson said of Morin: "Lukwesa has a striking similarity to Meghan. I can see why she’s frequently mistaken for her. She’d make a great professional lookalike and I hope to be able to work with her on a future shoot."
So, would Morin want to be a professional stand-in? She says that she's definitely interested in "events, engagements, and media opportunities," but that it's not exactly what you might think. "[Being a look-alike] doesn’t mean you lose your identity for living in the shadow of another individual. It’s just a media gig that involves allowing a look-alike to take the place of an individual for publicity or media," she says. "It is all a matter of perception." And, she says, she's, of course, more than just a look-alike.
The similarities between Markle and Morin aren't just skin-deep: Both women have an active passion for philanthropy. Morin told Yahoo Style about her humanitarian work. "Most recently, I worked as an environmental consultant for The World Bank," she said. "I led an entire mission project to Lesotho alongside the United Nations World Food Program in 2016 in efforts to rehabilitate a disaster stricken country."
And although Morin is now officially a doppelgänger for Markle, they don't have the same taste in me. "Even my own mom has said, ‘Oh my gosh, if only Prince Harry met you first!'", she told the Daily Mail, but she admitted that she's "not a big fan of redheads" and has "never dated a redhead." Well, looks like that's one area where she and Markle are not alike.