Many consider Meghan Markle to be the perfect “Princess Charming” for the Duke of Sussex. However, their transatlantic love story almost didn’t happen. According to The Sun, the Los Angeles native had been texting with U.K. X Factor winner Matt Cardle mere months before she was introduced to the red-headed prince.
Cardle first shot to fame on the reality competition show in 2010, where the singer won first place — beating out mega-sensation One Direction — with his smash single “When We Collide.” The track became second biggest-selling single of 2010 in the U.K., with over a million copies sold, per Official Charts.
The connection first started when Matt followed the Suits actress on Instagram, according to The Sun‘s source.
“Matt followed Meghan initially in early 2015 because he thought she was a beautiful star from Suits.”
Cardle did not expect anything to come of a simple follow, but was pleasantly surprised when Meghan reached out.
“He was stunned when she followed him immediately back and started messaging him… She said she was a big fan of his work.”
The Deal or No Deal actress had allegedly been spending time in the United Kingdom in the wake of her divorce, in the hopes of meeting an Englishman. According to journalist Katie Hind, Meghan confessed that she had already caught the eye of one famous Brit: soccer star Ashley Cole. Cole had previously been married to Girls Aloud singer Cheryl.
“Matt couldn’t believe a Hollywood star like Meghan would even know who he was so he was very flattered and they chatted a little bit online before she suggested meeting up.”
However, the date never happened. Matt ended up meeting current girlfriend Amber Hernaman before he and Meghan could arrange a meet-up.
“Then he met his girlfriend and knew it wasn’t appropriate to keep talking to Meghan so he ended up ghosting her.”
Cardle has since credited Amber for helping him overcome his alcohol and substance abuse issues.
The source indicated that although though Meghan seemed lovely, the “timing” was wrong for the pair.
“It felt like there could have been a connection but the timing was wrong. He didn’t reply to her last message.”
However, the missed connection was for the best: Cardle is still happily in a relationship with Hernaman, and Meghan was free to meet future husband Prince Harry. The latter two met on a blind date set up by one of their mutual friends.
The pair made their relationship public in 2016 after secretly dating for six months, and just celebrated their first wedding anniversary on May 19. In addition, the duke and duchess welcomed their first child together, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, on May 6.