Everything we know about Meghan Markle and Serena Williams' empowering friendship
Meghan Markle and Serena Williams brought their husbands on a royal double date last weekend. The two friends, both 36, joined Serena’s husband and Reddit founder, Alexis Ohanian to watch Prince Harry play in a polo match in Ascot.
Meghan will likely next be cheering on her tennis star pal, who is competing in Wimbledon this week. After her win on July 2nd, Williams was asked in a press conference about whether Meghan would be coming to watch her play. “I don’t know, we’ll see. If I keep winning,” Williams replied, laughing.
While the two women have been friends for years, they haven’t been at a major public event together since NY Fashion Week in 2016 (excluding the royal wedding, of course). Now that Meghan lives in London full-time (she and Harry are enjoying newlywed life at Nottingham College in Kensington Palace), their bond seems strong enough to survive the distance — and the spotlight.
Here’s what we know about their friendship.
1. They can be themselves around each other.
Meghan and Serena first met at the Super Bowl in 2010 and immediately hit it off. They also appeared together at the 2014 Super Bowl, competing in DIRECTV’s Celebrity Beach Bowl. They played former NFL pros for the prize, but made sure to make some time for fun on the sidelines.
As Meghan’s fame has skyrocketed, Serena has become a go-to resource. “Her personality just shines,” Williams told Vanity Fair. “I told her, ‘You’ve got to be who you are, Meghan. You can’t hide.”
Meghan revealed in a Vogue interview how much she admires the athlete, and dished on what kind of mother she’ll be. “She will be an amazing mom. The very best, because she is so attuned to balancing strength and sensitivity. Plus, given that she is pretty epic at karaoke, I think she’ll put her signature Serena spin on singing lullabies for the baby. I can’t wait for that!” Serena’s daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian, Jr., is now 10 months old.
2. They’re both passionate and driven.
Meghan and Serena are vocal about humanitarian issues. Serena is a known Black Lives Matter and LGBTQ advocate, and she became involved in domestic abuse prevention. Meghan has worked on issues of global gender equality for the U.N. and World Vision. And she’ll be focused on empowering women’s issues as part of her new royal duties as the Duchess of Sussex.
But that’s not what what they first bonded over, according to Meghan’s former lifestyle blog, The Tig. “We hit it off immediately,” Meghan wrote about their 2014 Super Bowl event. “Taking pictures, laughing through the flag football game we were both playing in, and chatting not about tennis or acting, but about all the good old fashioned girly stuff.”
3. They support one another.
Whenever Meghan and Serena hit a new milestone in their professional and personal lives, they always cheer each other on. Soon after they met, Meghan watched Serena win the U.S. Open and congratulated her on Instagram with a picture she took from the stands.
Meghan also attended Wimbledon in 2016 (around the same time as her blind date with Harry!) and the official launch of Serena’s clothing line NYFW 2016 a few months later. Meghan couldn’t go to Serena’s 2017 wedding because she was filming Suits, but Serena was on hand for Meghan’s big day. Meghan is expected to watch Serena play at Wimbledon again this year.
Based on Serena’s emotional Instagrams from the royal wedding, her love for the couple is real. In an interview with Good Morning America, the athlete raved about her friend, saying Meghan is “incredibly nice” and that she “couldn’t be happier for her.”
This article originally appeared on People.