Meghan takes a dig at the Queen, asks girls to challenge those in power and make them 'a little uncomfortable'
Meghan Markle has given her first public speech since stepping back from the senior royal duties in March. On July 14, the 38-year-old joined Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, Priyanka Chopra to address the Girl Up 2020 Leadership Summit. In a pre-recorded video, Meghan denounced the treatment by “those in the corridors of power”.
The former ‘Suits’ actress spoke to the Summit from her rented Los Angeles home as part of a session called "The Time Is Now". She said: “I want to share something with you. It’s that those in the halls and corridors and places of power, from lawmakers and world leaders to executives, all of those people, they depend on you more than you will ever depend on them. And here’s the thing: they know this. They know that all of you, at a younger age than any modern comparison, are setting the tone for an equitable humanity. Not figuratively, literally. This is a humanity that desperately needs you. To push it, to push us, forcefully in a more inclusive, more just, and more empathetic direction.”
Meghan continued, “To not only frame the debate, but be in charge of the debate—on racial justice, gender, climate change, mental health and wellbeing, on civic engagement, on public service, on so much more. That’s the work you’re already out there doing.”
The Duchess of Sussex was the final speaker for the day. The virtual meeting was reportedly attended by around 40,000 people aged 13 to 22 across 172 countries. In her speech, Meghan also emphasized the power of voice to “build each other up”. “use your voices both on-and-offline to do just that—build each other up, support each other. There will always be negative voices and sometimes those voices can appear to be outsized, and sometimes they can appear to be painfully loud. You can and will use your own voices to drown out the noise. Because that’s what it is—it is just noise. But your voices are those of truth. And hope. And your voices can and should be much louder,” the mother-of-one stated.
Meghan and Prince Harry left the palace earlier this year to live a financially independent life. They are currently living with their one-year-old son Archie at Tyler Perry's $18million Beverly Hills mansion. In her speech, she said: “Your gut will tell you what’s right and what’s wrong, what’s fair and unfair. The hardest part—and it was the hardest part for me—is to chase your convictions with action.”
“Another thing about those lawmakers and leaders and executives I mentioned earlier. Now many of them, better or worse, they don’t listen until they have to because the status quo is easy to excuse and it’s hard to break. But it will pull tightest right before snapping,” Meghan said, adding: “Women have always historically gotten a lot of, “Well, that isn’t how it’s done” or “Yeah, that’s an idea, but let’s do this instead. But when do we hear that as women? We hear that in the moments we challenge the norms.
"So if that’s the case, I say to you, keep challenging, keep pushing, make them a little uncomfortable. Because it’s only in that discomfort that we actually create the conditions to reimagine our standards, our policies, and our leadership; to move towards real representation and meaningful influence over the structures of decision-making and power.”