Meghan Markle joined the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and husband-to-be Prince Harry in the group’s first official speaking engagement. The four attended the inaugural Royal Foundation Forum, where they discussed the social, economic and political issues that matter to them personally, as well as their plans for the future.
Meghan used the opportunity to address the Times Up and #MeToo movements, encouraging women to feel empowered to speak up and make a stand. “You’ll often hear people say, ‘you’re helping women find their voices’. I fundamentally disagree with that because women don’t need to find a voice: they have a voice”, she declares. “They need to feel empowered to use it and people need to be encouraged to listen”, The Telegraph reports.
Meghan added that it was vital the momentum was upheld. “Right now in the climate we are seeing so many campaigns, I mean Me Too and Time’s Up, there is no better time than to really continue to shine a light on women feeling empowered and people really helping to support them, men included in that. It makes such a tremendous difference”, she said.
The former actress said she was excited to launch into charity work after her wedding to Prince Harry. “I guess we wait a couple of months and then we can hit the ground running. We can multitask, that’s fine!” Meghan will become a member of the Royal Family when she marries Prince Harry in May.
Before making a speech, Prince William told the audience that he and his wife were “particularly happy to be at our first Royal Foundation event with Meghan”. He then outlined his vision for conducting charity work on behalf of The Royal Foundation, saying they would use social media as a tool to create unity and promote their message. He added that rather than seeking “quick wins” they would “strive to make a long and lasting difference”.
The Duchess confirmed her husband’s comment, saying: “Since our roles are lifetime roles, our commitment to the work we do through The Foundation is genuinely long-term. It is an unusual and privileged position to be in, but I do think this long-term view will ultimately help us make a difference in the areas that we care so passionately about.” She also mentioned the importance of improving the mental health system, an issue particularly close to her heart. “The mental health of children and adults is one area where a long-term view will make all the difference to future generations.”
Prince Harry lightened the mood by joking about the group working together. “Working as family does have its challenges,” he laughed. “We’re stuck together forever now.” He added that the group were determined to create positive change. “We feel a tremendous responsibility to play our part in effecting societal change for the better.”
On the topic of family at work, Prince William added that: “When we work together, we are greater than the sum of our parts.” Meghan supported the Prince’s statement, saying they all brought something unique to the table. “If everyone’s thinking the same way how are you going to push the envelope, how are you really going to break through in a different sort of mindset?”
The four will continue their charity work over the years to come. Watch them speaking about their goals in the video below.
Imagery courtesy of Kensington Royal social media.