British Royal Family

Who are Meghan Markle's anonymous friends coming to her defence?

This week, five of Duchess Meghan's friends publicly came to her defence, but decided to keep their identities a secret. We've done some sleuthing to try and figure out who they could be.

By Rebecca Sullivan
It's no secret that Meghan Markle and her father Thomas Markle have a tumultuous relationship.
Ever since Prince Harry and Meghan announced their engagement, and in the lead up to the royal wedding, we've seen their family drama dragged up in public, with Thomas giving numerous interviews to the UK and US press about his Duchess daughter.
Not much of it has been pleasant, with Thomas going on the record to say he thinks his daughter is "terrified" of royal life and is putting on a "pained smile".
He even took a jab at her conservative outfits, questioning why she was dressing "like something out of an old movie."
Understandably, Meghan has had enough of her father expressing his feelings about her through the media.
This week, five of Meghan's best friends decided to tell her side of the story in an anonymous interview with People magazine.
They explained that Meghan penned a heartfelt letter to her father, explaining her issues, but his long reply ended with a request for a photo op with her.
"And she feels like, 'That's the opposite of what I'm saying. I'm telling you I don't want to communicate through the media, and you're asking me to communicate through the media. Did you hear anything I said?' It's almost like they're ships passing," a friend told People.
Her friends also told the magazine any reports of her "diva" or "difficult" behaviour are untrue.
It's believed Meghan's close friends would not have done this without the Duchess' blessing and the royal could have been working behind-the-scenes with her girlfriends on the story.
So who are these five women? While they spoke anonymously to People, speculation is mounting about their true identities.
We've done a deep dive explaining exactly who these secret sources could be.

The "friend from LA": Heather Dorak

Meghan and Heather well before the Duchess met Harry. (Instagram)
People quoted Meghan's "friend from LA" describing her visits to Harry and Meghan's cottage at Kensington Palace, saying she is a very hospitable host and a caring friend.
"We had a couple of days together recently. Her husband was out of town on work. In the room she made up for me, there was a candle lit by the bed, slippers and a robe. We were the only two in the house. It was our time. She made the most lovely meals. She made tea every day," the friend said.
"It was raining and muddy outside, so the dogs got all dirty, and she's wiping them off with towels. How much she loves her animals, how much she loves her friends, how much she loves feeding you, taking care of you — none of that has changed."
Some believe this pal could be LA Pilates instructor Heath Dorak, who has been friends with the Duchess for years.
She flew over to the UK for the royal wedding in May last year and the girlfriends are pictured in several old Instagram pics together.
The pair share a love of health and fitness. (Instagram)

The "former co-star": Sarah Rafferty or Abigail Spencer

Abigail Spencer (left) and Priyanka Chopra at the royal wedding. (Image: Getty)
One of Meghan's co-stars has wonderful things to say about her beautiful nature, in an attempt to put to bed some of the swirling rumours about Meghan's difficult personality.
"When you see her at walkabouts, when she crouches down to talk to the kids and genuinely has real conversations with people, that's Meg," said the former costar.
"That's how she crouches down with our kids at home. That's how she plays with them. That's how she engages with people and how she always has."
Several of Meghan's Suits costars attended her wedding to Prince Harry, including actress Sarah Rafferty, who stars as fabulous redhead Donna, and Abigail Spencer, who plays Harvey Specter's on-off love interest Scottie.
Sarah Rafferty at the royal wedding in May 2018. (Image: Getty)

The "former colleague": Jessica Mulroney

Jessica and Meghan pictured in 2016. (Image: Getty)
The close friends in Toronto in 2016. (Image: Getty)
Even though they met at work, Meghan and this "former colleague" are incredibly close.
"If I'm thrown some kind of curveball, I always think, 'I gotta talk to Meg.' We talk daily," the source told People.
"And the first thing out of her mouth is, 'How are the kids? How are you?' I'm not even allowed to ask about her until she finds out about me."
While they're now a lot closer than colleagues, Meghan and her former stylist Jessica Mulroney did technically used to work together.
When Meghan moved to Toronto to star on Suits, she worked with Jessica on her event looks and the pair quickly became friends.
Jessica's children were involved in the Duchess's wedding service and she helped Meghan with her veil while walking into the church.
She also travelled to Sydney with Harry and Meghan while they were in Australia for their royal tour.
WATCH BELOW: Samantha Markle talks her fractured relationship with Meghan

The "close confidante": Serena Williams

Meghan and Serena sharing a laugh. (Image: Supplied)
This "close confidante" has also visited Harry and Meghan at home in Kensington Palace, and spoke warmly about how low-key the couple are in real life.
"We've all been to their cottage," the friend said.
"It's small and she's made it cosy, but the perception of their lifestyle and the reality are two different things. Meg cooks for herself and Harry every single day."
This could very well be tennis star Serena Williams, who is a dear friend of Meghan's. The pair met several years ago and have remained close, with Meghan regularly sitting courtside at Serena's tennis matches, supporting her friend.
Serena certainly added fuel to the rumours that she is one of People's anonymous sources, posting this cheeky photo on her Twitter account with the caption, "sips tea".
Could it be an admission?
Serena Williams posted this image to Twitter today with the caption: "Sips tea". (Image: Twitter)

The "long term friend": Lindsay Jill Roth

Lindsay Jill Roth and Meghan go way back. (Image: Supplied)
The "long term friend" talked about Meghan's fraught relationship with her half-siblings Samantha Markle and Thomas Markle Jr.
"They have been made to appear as siblings who had this falling out, and that's not the truth at all. They were not a part of her life," the friend told People.
It's believed his long time friend could be Lindsay Jill Roth — Meghan's best friend from university.
Linsday has a history of talking to the magazine. Back in March 2017, she said despite time and distance, her and Meghan have always remained good friends.
"We're the kind of friends who can be 3000 miles away and still be talking about or thinking the same thing, and even texting each other the same thing at the same time miles away," she said.