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Meet Misha Nonoo – the Jewish ‘matchmaker’ who brought Harry and Meghan together

Misha Nonoo is the Jewish best friend of Ms Markle who introduced the actress to the prince

    2015 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Awards

    When it comes to matchmakers, you can’t do better than those of the Jewish persuasion.

    Or at least that’s what Prince Harry and Meghan Markle may think, as news emerges that they appear to have been set up by their very own yenta.

    Designer Misha Nonoo is the Jewish best friend of Ms Markle, and is said to have introduced the actress to her prince in 2016.

    The royal couple were keen to protect their “matchmaker’s” identity in their first official interview after they announced their engagement this week.

    Speaking about her, without giving away any names, Prince Harry said: "It was through her and then we met once and then twice back to back two dates in London, last July.

    "And then it was I think about three, maybe four weeks later that I managed to persuade her to come and join me in Botswana.

    "We camped out with each other under the stars - she came and joined me for five days out there, which was absolutely fantastic."

    However, despite the attempts to protect her identity,  Ms Nonoo – who was born in Bahrain to an Iraqi father and English mother -  is no stranger to public praise.

    In 2013, she was named on Forbes' exclusive “30 under 30” list of influential young people.

    She was raised in London and educated in Paris. Now based in New York, she is a fashion designer, who has her own clothing line.

    Her ready-to-wear styles are a favourite of Ms Markle - who wore a Misha Nonoo Shirt during her first public appearance with Harry, at the Invictus Games - as well as fellow actresses Emma Watson and Cate Blanchett. Her designs are said to be elegant, versatile and timeless.

    Tamara Corin, stylist and former JC fashion editor, said: "It's no surprise Meghan Markle is a big fan of Misha Nonoo's designs.

    “Her clothes are made to be elegant, versatile and  never go out of fashion.

    “Nonoo pioneered Instagram fashion shows and is a strong player in keeping fashion modern and available for all through social media.

    “One thing is for sure, as both a friend and talented designer that enhances Meghan's effortless style, this is definitely not the last we'll be hearing Nonoo's name."

    Ms Nonoo became the first fashion designer to debut a runway collection on Instagram in 2015 and shared her autumn line on Snapchat the following year.

    In 2016 the designer was named by the National Council of Jewish Women New York as one of its three “Women Who Dared”, a title given to prominent Jewish female figures.

    The council said her “upbringing exposed her to a diverse collection of references, which gave her a deep fascination for exploring the tension that exists between two contradictory forces” and praised her “entrepreneurial spirit”.

    Speaking to the Crains New York business website, Ms Nonoo said: “Some people tend to put down fashion and see it as something frivolous, but the one thing that every single person, every single day, has to do is get up and get dressed.

    "I love how you can express your individualism through clothing."

    Ms Nonoo is divorced. She was once married to British socialite Alexander Gilkes, the co-founder of New York based online auction house Paddle8. Mr Gilkes knows Prince Harry from Eton and is said to be good friends with his cousin Princess Eugenie - who worked for Paddle8.

    Ms Nonoo, expected to be a guest at Ms Markle’s wedding, attended Prince William's wedding to Kate Middleton in 2011.

    Her aunt is Houda Ezra Ebrahim Nonoo, the first female Bahraini ambassador to the United States and the first Jewish ambassador of any Arab country. 

    Also tipped as the possible matchmaker, is a friend of Prince Harry.

    Violet von Westenholz, the daughter of a British baron, has been suggested as the one friend who arranged a blind date for the couple.

    Ms von Westenholz is the daughter of former Olympic skier Baron Piers von Westenholz, who is a close personal friend of the Prince of Wales.

     

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