American actor Rob Riggle brings his entertaining and comedic chops to Australian screens on new reality show, ‘Holey Moley’. But what many viewers may not know about the former ‘Modern Family’ star is that he was a United States Marine Corps Reserve officer for 23 years.

In fact, it’s this previous role that serves as his connection to royalty with Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex.

Channel 7

‘Holey Moley’ star Rob Riggle served in the US Marine Corps Reserve for 23 years.

Back in 2014, Meghan, who wasn’t with Prince Harry at the time, joined a tour for the US nonprofit USO (United Service Organisations) which offers support to US service members and their families.

The 2014 Chairman’s USO Holiday Tour visited troops in Spain, Italy, Turkey, Afghanistan and the United Kingdom. Also on the tour was Rob, who had joined the United States Marines in 1990 before retiring in 2013. 

In a throwback photo shared by the @SussexRoyal Instagram account in November 2019, Meghan and Rob were seen standing next to each other. ‘Glee’ actor Dianna Agron, country singer Kellie Pickler, former Chicago Bears NFL linebacker Brian Urlacher and former Washington Nationals baseball pitcher Doug Fister were also in the photo. 

The official caption next to the image said Meghan “met with service personnel and their families” during the tour across the five countries”, and that “she was proud to recognise their service to the country”. 

But it seems Rob, 50, and Meghan also had an opportunity to develop a new friendship while on tour. 

In an interview with The Chalkboard in 2015, Meghan said Rob gave her some book recommendations. 

When asked what was on her ‘reading list’, Meghan responded: “Wild and The Power of Patience, which Rob Riggle just told me to read (he and I just recently went on a USO Tour together traveling to six countries in seven days including Afghanistan, to thank the troops for their service)”. 

Now fast forward more than five years and Meghan and Prince Harry are living in Los Angeles with their son Archie. Meanwhile Rob, who has starred on ‘Saturday Night Live’, ‘The Daily Show’ and ‘The Hangover’, is now on Australian screens on ‘Holey Moley’.

Channel 7

‘Holey Moley’ stars Matt Shirvington, Rob Riggle and Sonia Kruger

The reality show, which smashed TV ratings with its premiere on Monday night, involves pro-golfers and everyday people putting their best swing forward in an extreme mini golf competition series.

With golf holes named Dutch Courage, Slip ’n Putt, Putter Ducky, Dragon’s Breath and Uranus to name a few, the hilarious antics only continue as Rob and Australian athlete Matt Shirvington deliver lively play-by-play commentary. 

‘Big Brother’ presenter Sonia Kruger is the host, while golfing great Greg Norman serves as ’Holey Moley’s resident golf pro.

‘Holey Moley’ continues on Tuesday and Wednesday at 7:30pm on Channel 7.

Supplied/Paul A. Broben

‘Holey Moley’ involves pro-golfers and everyday people putting their best swing forward in an extreme mini golf competition series.

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