Throughout history, we have witnessed various social roles which are general obligations conceptualized by people. The roles for genders, authorities, royal entities, etc. were set and people followed them without question. Among these roles, royal families have the most uncompromising norms which can never be reversed. However, there come a few people who pledge not to blindly follow traditions and break the norms. In this blog, we will read about a powerful young female who became a member of the most celebrated royal families in the world, The British Royal Family. Let’s wear our royal hats and read about the life of The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle. A lady who has transformed the royal family and is working towards changing lives across the globe.
“It is really important that young women are reminded that their involvement matters and that their voice is heard. Even if it feels small, it can really make an impact.”
This Blog Includes:
Growing Up Brave and Bold!
Born in the City of Angels, Los Angeles, Meghan’s father Thomas was a photography and lighting director, and her mom- Doria was a yoga instructor and clinical therapist. Since childhood, Meghan was bold and voiced her opinions against women objectifying. She staunchly stood up for women’s rights and at the young age of eleven, Markle wrote a letter to Hillary Clinton to raise her objection about the advertisements that portrayed women bogged down by greasy cookware. This brave staples to the change in the language and content of that advertisement.
Meghan Markle went on to pursue her passion for acting and graduated from the Northern University of Communication with a bachelor’s in ‘Theater and International Relations’. However, her journey through the white-dominated Hollywood wasn’t smooth. Her first opportunity in acting came in 2002 when she got a guest role in the TV series, General Hospital.
The First Big Break as Rachel in Suits
In 2011, Markle became part of the TV series ‘Suits’ and played the role of a paralegal named Rachel Zane. The series revolved around the legal drama centres and Manhattan corporate law firm. The show was critically acclaimed and was received brilliantly by audiences. In 2017, during the taping of the seventh season of Suits, the USA network announced that Markle will be leaving the show, following her engagement with Prince Harry.
“With fame comes opportunity, but it also includes responsibility.”
The Royal Chapter
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle met in Toronto, where most of the Suits’ episodes were filmed. This led the news to make headlines due to the popularity of the couple, with Markle topping the most google searches list for 2016. However, some of this attention started to turn sour, and Kensington Palace had to issue a statement requesting people to respect the couple’s privacy.
On 27 November 2017, Prince Harry and Markle announced their engagement. The royal family congratulated the couple and a few months later, announced the royal wedding. Even though the royal family seemed to welcome the news, Markle was met with resistance due to her history.
In 2018, Markle again made global headlines by breaking royal protocol. During her trip on International Women’s Day, she met a ten-year-old girl, who said to Markle that she dreamed of becoming an actress. Meghan gave a hug to the girl thus violating the handshake-only rule.
On October 15, 2018, the couple announced they were expecting their first child. On May 6, 2019, Markle gave birth to a baby boy, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. Markle also revealed that she had suffered a miscarriage in July 2020. On 14 February 2021, the couple announced they were expecting their second child.
Taking A Step Back
After a holiday season in Canada, the royal couple announced that they were planning to step down from their roles of seniority in the royal family and work towards becoming financially independent. In a public statement, Buckingham Palace confirmed that the Duke And Duchess of Sussex will no longer use honorific his/her highness and would no longer receive public funds. The Queen later released a statement, expressing her support and stating that she was “particularly proud of how Meghan has so quickly become one of the family.” On March 31, 2020, the couple closed their @SussexRoyal Instagram Account and signed off from their royal duties.
“I think the biggest part of being a girl boss, in the office or at home, or anywhere you go is just knowing your value.”
The Stand For Gender Equality
“Women need a seat at the table, they need an invitation to be seated there, and in some cases, where this is not available, they need to create their own table. We need a global understanding that we cannot implement change effectively without women’s political participation”
Ever since her childhood, Meghan was a strong advocate of gender rights and equality. She also served as the United Nations Women’s Advocate and has always been vocal about women’s rights. She also used social media and her position to take a stand in support of gender rights and has worked with an NGO called World Vision. During this time, she visited Rwanda and South Asian countries which were the base of her article in TIME magazine in which she briefly talked about the impact social opinion of menstruation can have on a woman’s future.
The Oprah Interview
Markle, from the beginning, was open about the challenges she faced as the Duchess of Sussex. During her recent interview with Oprah Winfrey, the couple addressed the tabloid issue. Markle talked about the issues she faced due to her race and revealed that some members of the royal family were concerned with her skin colour and the couple’s mixed-race child.
“In those months when I was pregnant … we have in tandem the conversation of, you won’t be given security, not gonna be given a title and also concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born.”
She confessed that being in the royal palace resulted in mental trauma and suicidal thoughts. She also revealed that this was among the factors that led the couple to step down from their royal positions.
Like her late mother-in-law, Princess Diana, Meghan Markle certainly has a progressive approach who showed the world that being a princess doesn’t just include wearing a crown. Markle has made a mark in the royal family, while at the same time upholding its legacy, keeping her head high and voicing what she feels. A woman who is transforming lives around the world, Meghan Markle has inspired millions to stand up against crises and act against social taboos.
For this international women’s history month, Leverage Edu salutes such empowering women from our latest series ‘Her Purpose’ featuring 62 Inspiring Stories of Women Leaders around the world! Click here to check out our tribute to these empowering female leaders!