Over a year ago it became official. The former Hollywood actress, Meghan Markle, got engaged to Prince Harry of the British royal family. It was both a celebratory and a monumental moment for the royal family as Meghan, a divorced biracial American, broke all stereotypes about what kind of people belonged in the royal family.
After many appearances, speeches, trips, and one hell of a wedding, the Duchess showed us that she is more than just another member of the royal family. Below are listed just a few ways that Meghan has made a mark on the monarchy in 2018. Here are, some of the ways Markle made her mark on the monarchy in 2018.
The royal family can’t weigh in on political issues—that’s why you don’t hear the Queen’s opinion on Brexit, and the reason why Prince Charles’s black spider memos such a big deal.
The Me Too movement isn’t and shouldn’t be thought of as a political movement, the royal family still approached the topic with some caution. Kate Middleton, for example, did not join the other celebrities by wearing black in support of the movement, instead, she opted for a dark green dress with a black sash. And, yes, Prince William alluded to it in his BAFTAs speech—“As president, I am proud of the leadership BAFTA to have shown on this; in a year which rocked the industry as many brave people spoke up about bullying, harassment, and abuse despite the risk to their professional careers and reputations”—but he didn’t name the movement.
Markle, however, took a clear stance during a February appearance. “I hear a lot of people speaking about girls’ empowerment and women’s empowerment—you will hear people saying they are helping women find their voices,” she said. “I fundamentally disagree with that because women don’t need to find their voices, they need to be empowered to use it, and people need to be urged to listen.
“Right now, with so many campaigns like Me Too and Time’s Up, there’s no better time to continue to shine a light on women feeling empowered and people supporting them.”
Declaring Herself a Feminist
Way before she ever met Prince Harry, Meghan was an advocate for women’s causes, going so far as having a speech at the UN about female empowerment. even delivering a passionate speech at the UN about female empowerment. (“It is said that girls with dreams become women with vision. May we empower each other to carry out such vision because it isn’t enough to simply talk about equality. One must believe it. And it isn’t enough to simply believe in it. One must work at it,” she said.)
And when she became a royal, she continues with her work on the cause. Her official royal family bio quotes her as saying, “I am proud to be a woman and a feminist.”
Showing Grace Under Pressure
I guess you could say Meghan had a more than stressful lead-up to her wedding. Days before the wedding, a media storm blew out of nowhere when it was revealed that her father, Thomas Markle, staged paparazzi photos of himself. Then he quit on the wedding, leaving her to walk down the aisle all alone. But Meghan, being the strong independent woman that she is, didn’t need an escort. Her solo walk down the aisle was one of the most touching moments of the wedding, as the beautiful and confident Markle walked the aisle to her very own Prince Harry at the altar. Prince Charles joined here, halfway there, in what could be perceived as a touching gesture.
Her Financial Honesty
The royal family can frequently seem that they are removed from everyday life. To be fair, how many normal people have castles and crown jewels at their disposal? Not Meghan though. While giving a speech at the University of Fiji, she spoke about college affordability and how she needed financial help just like the rest of us. “It was through scholarships, financial aid programs, and work-study—where my earnings from a job on campus went directly towards my tuition—that I was able to attend university. And without question, it was worth every effort.” It was a moment that reminded us that Meghan is just another normal human being like all of us.
Staying True to Herself in the Process
Before Meghan met Harry, she had a lifestyle blog, The Tig, and asocial media presence to go along with it. But soon all of her accounts, and it seemed a part of Meghan also. But luckily, the Duchess doesn’t need a blog to show off her love of food and cooking. One of her first big projects as a royal was a cookbook, Together, for which she wrote the intro. Then she even started posting her very own photos to the Kensington Palace social media accounts. It looks like the old Meghan Markle hasn’t gone anywhere after all.