USA Network has confirmed that Meghan Markle will leave Suits after the show’s seventh season. Markle has played Rachel Zane, a savvy paralegal-turned-lawyer, since season 1 of the legal drama.

Markle’s planned departure from Suits is far from shocking. Rumors and reports have indicated that season 7 would be Markle’s last as Zane – and there have been similar rumors about Patrick J. Adams, who plays Mike Ross, Zane’s fiancé. But after yesterday’s news that Markle will be marrying Prince Harry, the actress’ eventual exit from the show has become official.

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Deadline reports that a statement from USA Network, after congratulating Markle and Prince Harry on their engagement, said, “Meghan has been a member of our family for seven years and it has been a joy to work with her. We want to thank her for her undeniable passion and dedication to Suits, and we wish her the very best.” The network wasn’t alone in congratulating and thanking Markle. Aaron Korsh, the show’s creator, and Adams were among those involved with Suits to tweet their support of the actress.

In addition to the royal wedding set to take place at England’s Windsor Castle in May, Markle is possibly preparing for Rachel Zane’s wedding to Mike Ross on Suits. Because the seventh season will be the last chance for the engaged couple to finally exchange vows, it’s tough to imagine the wedding not panning out. Indeed, finalizing the union of one of the show’s more captivating duos would be an apt swan song for Markle’s seven-season run.

Spending seven seasons on a TV show is no small feat, and Markle deserves the praise that she has received for her commitment to Suits. And there’s much to appreciate in the show more broadly, too. Jessica Pearson (played by Gina Torres) is a woman of color who thrives in a position of great power. Rachel Zane, similarly, is a woman of color who determinedly climbs the ladder at her firm. Even for those who don’t quite love legal dramas, it’s refreshing and important to see non-white, non-male characters succeed in settings typically reserved for white men. Markle’s presence on Suits will be missed, but there’s no reason to expect the show to miss any steps upon her departure.

That assumes, of course, that USA Network will order an eighth season of the show. The network has yet to do so, but signs point to a renewal.

Next: Suits Season 7 Finale Will Set Up Gina Torres Spinoff

Suits season 7 will return from its midseason break in early-2018.

Source: Deadline

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