All Hail the Duchess of Sussex


So it's the Royal Wedding Weekend and there are a lot of words flying around; from opinions like 'there is a danger Harry and Meghan could overshadow William and Kate' to information about Meghan's history as a humanitarian, everyone is plugged in - and, after a while, so was I!

After complaining in gogglebox style for about an hour at this ITV documentary of random never-before-seen people giving their hot-takes on the royal couple, I found a particular section interesting -- and that was Meghan's advocacy for women's rights.

It all started in her pre-teens, at the age of 11. Meghan saw a Procter and Gamble ad with the slogan "Women all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans". Dissatisfied by this, especially as it insighted sexist comments from her male classmates, the young Meghan Markle wrote a letter to Procter and Gamble, Gloria Allred (attorney), Linda Elerbee (the host of Nick News) and Hillary Clinton (then first lady). Not long after, the three women wrote back to Meghan, pledging their support and soon after that the ad was changed to "people all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans" - better! (although I gather they still only used women in the ad)

From there she has continued in her advocacy, gaining a role as UN Women's Advocate for Political Participation and Leadership. What stood out to me most in the documentary I watched was her fight against the stigma of periods in India, as I had just been discussing this with my boss the day before. She wrote an essay for Time outlining the setbacks of young girls as they begin puberty, and how the conversation is avoided due to the stigma surrounding periods.

Markle argues that "we need to push the conversation" and "rise above our puritanical bashfulness when it comes to talking about menstruation" and I agree! As we empower girls through enhancing their opportunities for education, we must not shy away from the natural monthly occurance of a period. The stigma and the cost of menstrual hygiene products, unfortunately, means that periods need to be 'addressed', so lets address it!

As well as her work with several different organisations, such as World Vision Global, Meghan Markle also pioneered her own personal blog The Tig. Sadly (for us) she's pulled it down, but the main message of the blog promoted positivity and self-empowerment. This message is received loud and clear in her farewell message where she encourages those who visit the page to keep being "the change you wish to see in the world". Poignantly, she finished by saying "Don’t ever forget your worth – as I’ve told you time and time again: you, my sweet friend, you are enough"

So, there it is, even though I'm a little salty I wasn't the woman to capture the Prince's heart, it gives me much joy that he's in the (seemingly) capable hands of Duchess Meghan!

If, like me, you are only just learning all this about Meghan, give her essays a read and also watch her address UN Women, back in 2015 - I kid you not, I literally cried!

Meghan's essays

for TIME

for Elle UK

SOURCES:

Who is Meghan Markle

Meghan Markle - actress, blogger, UN women's advocate

Feminist Meghan Markle Is a Long Time Advocate for Women, Including at the UN

How Meghan Markle became an advocate for women's rights at the age of 11

5 Ways Meghan Markle Has Advocated for Women's Health