Meghan Markle is British royalty now, but growing up she was considered the "ugly duckling" who struggled to fit in with other kids ... that's according to Meghan herself.
The Duchess of Sussex just dropped the latest episode of her "Archetypes" podcast -- and she chats with actress Mindy Kaling about her childhood challenges. When Meghan said she was no beauty, Mindy was shocked and almost disbelieving.
Meghan, seemingly looking to offer evidence, said she had "'massive frizzy, curly hair and a huge gap in my teeth" which motivated her to become "the smart one."
Meghan says, she went to the Hollywood Schoolhouse and an all-girls Catholic school in L.A., and she had a hard time at both ... explaining she would join clubs and fill up her schedule so she didn't have to worry about having friends.
"I never had anyone to sit with at lunch. I was always a little bit of a loner and really shy and didn't know where I fit in. And so I just became, well, I was like, okay then, I'll become the president of the multi-cultural club and the president of sophomore class and the president of this ... and French club."
She continued, "And by doing that, I had meetings at lunchtime, so I didn't have to worry about who I would sit with or what I would do because I was always so busy."
Mindy says she just always thought Meghan was "that one nice hot girl who has her head screwed on right."
As they say ... never judge a book by its cover, and Meghan says she's living proof.