Meghan Markle's great-grandmother worked here

Cleveland's Hotel St. Regis (CSU)

(Cleveland) - Excitement is brewing about Prince Harry's marriage to American actress Meghan Markle, but little is known about her family's Cleveland connection. 

The Plain Dealer is reporting that Netty Arnold, Markle's great-grandmother was an elevator operator at Cleveland's prestigious Hotel St. Regis during the first half of the 20th Century. 

The hotel was located at East 82th Street and Euclid Avenue in a neighborhood called Millionaire's Row. 

Netty Arnold was employed there when Hotel St. Regis opened in 1905, and stayed until 1959. It's where Arnold met her husband James, who was a bell hop. 

Cleveland State professor of Urban Studies and Business Dr. Richard Klein says Hotel St. Regis was one of many elegant lodgings in Cleveland and around the country that catered to the rich and famous. 

Klein says that fact that Netty Arnold worked there for over 50 years indicates it was a highly prized position, and that Arnold was a highly trained professional. 

Hotel St. Regis only allowed whites to stay there, and Netty and James were African-Americans, but Klein speculates that both were probably were able to foster contacts with many people in upper class society.

(Photos courtesy Michael Schwartz Library, Cleveland State University)

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