Meghan Markle reportedly swapped secret messages with Matt Cardle just months before she met Prince Harry, only to be "ghosted" by the singer, it is claimed.
The Duchess of Sussex, 37, is said to have sent private messaged to the former winner of The X Factor after he followed her on social media in 2015, and even suggested they meet up.
A source told The Sun: "Matt followed Meghan initially in early 2015 because he thought she was a beautiful star from Suits.
"But he was stunned when she followed him immediately back and started messaging him. She said she was a big fan of his work.
Matt Cardle (PA)
"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.
"But then he met his girlfriend and knew it wasn't appropriate to keep talking to Meghan so he ended up ghosting her.
"It felt like there could have been a connection but the timing was wrong. He didn't reply to her last message."
Cardle, 36, remains in a serious relationship with 28-year-old Amber Hernaman.
Markle was living in London in 2015 following her split from first husband Trevor Engleson in August 2013.
The former Suits star celebrated her first wedding anniversary with Prince Harry on Sunday. The pair have just become parents to son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, who was born on May 7.
Cardle beat One Direction to win The X Factor in 2010 but like any winners of the show was dropped by his record label after 18 months. He became addicted to alcohol and prescription painkillers and checked himself into rehab at the end of 2013.
Wishing The Duke and Duchess of Sussex a very happy wedding anniversary.- The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) May 19, 2019
Today marks one year since Their Royal Highnesses exchanged vows at St George's Chapel in the grounds of Windsor Castle. pic.twitter.com/HomFjcOcGq
It has previously been claimed that Markle had said she was keen to meet a British man following her divorce and was also pursued by footballer Ashley Cole, the cheating ex-husband of Cheryl Cole.
The Duchess of Sussex was a regular user of Instagram right up until her relationship with Prince Harry was made public. The royal couple now share an Instagram account and have over 8 million followers.