Tuesday, 14 July 2020

Duchess Meghan Tells Girls Up Summit: "We're Meant to Be Building Each Other Up"

The Duchess of Sussex gave a powerful keynote address for the second day of the virtual Girl Up Leadership Summit, saying: "We are not meant to be breaking each other down, we are meant to be building each other up. Despite what some might say, this re-imagining is not a zero sum game, where one side wins and the other side loses. Not at all. It is mutually beneficial and better for everyone. Because of that, that path to get there will take all of us: it will take girls and women, it will take men and boys; it will take those that are black and those that are white collectively tackling the inequities and structural problems that we know exist."


Meghan encouraged all those listening to use their voices and outsize negativity: "I believe we are on the precipice of transformation. We can accelerate the pace of change, and you know what? We don’t have to be satisfied with the current speed of progress. What’s more, I think it’s important to acknowledge the paradox of how this progress is both aided and impaired by our digital space. Your generation is often referred to as the digital natives, and you understand that our online world has the power to affirm and support as much as it does to harm. So use your voice 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: just noise. But your voices are those of truth - and hope. And your voices can and should be much louder. I know that you have already done so much and made so many people’s lives better. The moment we are living through right now asks all of us to do more. It’s a moment where your voices - and your action - have never been more urgently needed."


Referencing her own journey, the Duchess said:  "Often, it’s fear that paralyzes us and stops us from being brave and being bold. But don’t underestimate that you have some of those answers within. Don’t underestimate your ability to push through the fear. You have - rooted in your convictions - the ability to craft a world that you know is just and kind. Your gut will tell you what’s right and what’s wrong; what’s fair and what's unfair. The hardest part - and it was the hardest part for me - is to chase your convictions with action."


More from Harper's Bazaar:

'The duchess has been following the Girl Up summit since its first day on July 13, where Michelle Obama spoke about the importance of girl’s education in a special message. For Meghan, taking part was a no-brainer. “Her message is clear: girls must be empowered to set the agenda, own the conversation on the issues they care about, and be driving forces for change in communities across the world,” a source close to Meghan tells BAZAAR. “What she is saying—about reimagining the status quo—reflects what so many young women across the world are already doing. It is a message on how this generation has already positioned itself.”
Concluding her remarks, and the “Time Is Now” Women in Leadership plenary session, Meghan gave one final motivational boost to the young people watching. “If you look at the breadth of the issues we’re facing right now, it’s easy to get overwhelmed, I understand,” she said. “So be where you are in the moment. The growth and change you’re pursuing might not feel like anything day-to-day, but when you look back, I promise you’ll see it all adds up.”

Meghan cited examples of inspirational women "like Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who brought New Zealand together to swiftly and boldly tackle COVID-19." Meghan and PM Ardern bonded immediately during the Sussexes 2018 tour of New Zealand. The PM gifted Meghan a pair of earrings which were described as being "for a sister with a brave and bold brave streak". Jacinda later met the Duchess privately at Kensington Palace. She praised Meghan's "warmth and grace" during the tour, and added her "admiration" for the schedule Meghan undertook during the early stages of her pregnancy.


Meghan closed by making a promise: "I will be cheering you on, so will my husband, so will Archie, as you all continue marching, advocating, and leading the way forward."


You can watch highlights from today's summit below. It's packed with fascinating conversations, insights and incredible women.


Girl Up was founded by the UN Foundation in 2010 as an initiative to help support UN agencies that focus on adolescent girls. Their leadership development programs have impacted 65,000 girls through 3,500 Clubs in nearly 120 countries and all 50 US states. Their areas of focus are gender violence, gender equality, education, STEM for social good, and sports.


Of course Meghan previously served as UN Women's advocate for political participation and leadership. I've been thinking for some months now we may see her take on a similar role with the organisation. During a stirring and memorable speech at the 2015 UN International Women's Conference, Meghan received a standing ovation from the audience, which included Ban Ki-Moon, for her powerful words on gender equality. "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. Let us work at it. Together. Starting now."


The summit attracted a number of female leaders and change-makers who shared their concern and the challenges facing women and girls during the pandemic. "Yesterday Michelle Obama spoke passionately about the plethora of issues facing women. We know from past crises like Ebola that the struggles...many girls already face are worsened in times like this. Violence at home, child marriage and teen pregnancy. We can't let these girls be forgotten during this crisis. The stakes are just too high. When we give girls the chance to learn, we give them the opportunity to fulfil their potential, build healthier families, and contribute to their countries and economies for generations to come."


Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said: "For the last decade Girl Up change-makers have been a force for change. Now in the midst of this pandemic and a global reckoning around justice and equity, your voices and ideas are more important than ever. If we're serious about building a better, stronger, fairer, world, we have to be serious about investing in girls."


It's interesting because I was writing a post about an address Crown Princess Mary of Denmark gave to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva yesterday on my other blog and she very much conveyed so many of the points we've heard from this summit. Mary spoke of concerns regarding the "dire consequences" for women and children, citing "disruption of health services" including "life-saving maternity services" and "the breakdown of supply lines including contraception and medicines". "Hope of a better future does not end in crisis. Women and girls as an afterthought simply won't do." This is an area the Crown Princess has worked heavily in for years. I was reminded of the litany of negativity Meghan faced for making similar remarks and thought it another shining example of how she was very much both continuing work from before her marriage and indeed using her role and her voice to support women and girls. The double standards really are startling. In the avalanche of abhorrent media treatment, it's incredible how her attempts to harness her role for vital issues was used against her. It's not controversial, it's not political, it's about basic human rights. Quite simply put, and as Hillary Clinton famously said, "human rights are women's rights and women's rights are human rights".

"We make better communities and a better world for ourselves step-by-step. The pace of those steps is getting quicker. It’s in looking at the aggregate, looking at the big picture, that you can see how far we’ve progressed." 
- Meghan, Duchess of Sussex

One certainly sensed Meghan was very much at home giving this speech and sharing her views on the path forward. When she spoke of the importance of "building each other up", it reminded me of something she said several years back: "I'm not interested in competing with anyone. I hope we all make it." Meghan has taken those beliefs forward and is using her platform to support women and girls - something that has always been at the very heart of her work.

The Meghan's Mirror team suggest the Duchess wore the Adam Lippes Pintucked silk crepe de chine top. The bright blue piece was reduced to $148 before selling out at The Outnet. Meghan is very fond of the striking shade and has worn it on several occasions.


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We also have a brief update to share from Lithuanian based brand Magic Linen from their Instagram page: 

"Meghan Markle choosing our Toscana dress is an amazing achievement and a huge validation for our brand. And yet, it caught our little company off-guard. We are completely stunned by the amount of orders we are receiving from you. Thank you so much. Our team is rescheduling summer vacation and rushing back to fulfil all your orders, but since all of our products are handmade to order, for the next few weeks we will have longer processing times. We ask you for forgiveness and patience while we are catching up. Please also note that we are in the transition period with our sustainable packaging and we are doing everything we can to ensure our products arrive to you in our eco-packaging but we are still finishing some of our older stock of non eco packaging, we thank you for your understanding."

The $76 Toscana dress is an asymmetrical, sleeveless and loose-fitting style with a high-low hem. The dress is handcrafted from high-quality linen. It's available to order with free shipping in sizes XS-XL at Etsy. As noted above, there will be a delay in orders due to exceptional demand.


The original post covering the appearance with background on Magic Linen is here. It's wonderful news for the brand.

113 comments:

  1. Fantabulous and astoundingly inspiring speech for girls, women, boys and men. The eloquence and intelligence with which she speaks is thoughtful and commendable, and I hope it falls on many ears to listen, feel, think and then act with conviction to propel change. Duchess Meghan is one of the bravest women I know.

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  2. Like the new style of Meghan.... any ideas on this blue top??

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    1. Hello, I just updated the post. It looks like an Adam Lippes piece :)

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  3. Thank you, Charlotte, for this wonderful post. It's inspiring to see and hear Meghan being fully her impressive self again. She seems to be learning to treat all the negative stories as noise to be ignored, and to get on with her life and her purpose. She has so much to give the the world and the many changes we need. I will enjoy seeing her future impact.

    R

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  4. Waouh!
    Brillant speech eloquent, from the heart.
    Harry must be so very proud of Meghan.

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  5. Meghan's participation, her "colleagues" at the event, and Charlotte's reporting are just amazing! I am seeing that it was foolish to try to harness MEghan into the RF system. I'm not putting the RF down -- they have a history and a plan and no doubt an aim of how they wish to proceed. They have a decided purpose. Kate does a great job and should be a wonderful queen plus. And they are all moving forward from the relatively restrictive roles of past generations. But Meghan was building herself for 36 years and needed to be free. And wonderful Harry for finding that she completes him. I did not know about Meghan until she started to date Harry. I went to The Tig, which is just the sort of blog I dislike, but I loved hers. It was so intelligent and honest and kind. Like her, I guess.

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  6. what a word! Meghan is an asset

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    1. She is stunning, glowing, effortlessly, eloquent our duchess Sussex, duchess of hearts .
      I am so proud of her.we live her ❤❤

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  7. She really stood out and had no equal in the British royal family. It’s a shame they couldn’t support her, she was a great asset, what a gem.

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  8. I thought the whole morning featured a terrific lineup of compelling and inspirational speakers. I enjoyed every single speaker. I particularly enjoyed Pryanka Chopra. Her story-telling wa excellent and really drew the listener in and I liked her chatty style. Meghan’s speech was so full I I had to listen to it twice. It was compelling and inspirational, although I thought it could have been a bit more structured. I think the ways she gives the girls to look at things to gain perspective was very important.

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    1. I also found Pryanka`s speech the most interesting and inspirational.

      Eva from G.

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  9. Forgot to add -- her hair!!! So beautiful, and lovely with her special blue top.

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  10. This is the type of impact Meghan wants to have, and her exodus from the confines of the royal family will give her greater opportunities in future to continue to speak out and work for the causes that she really cares about. It’s great to have a female royal of colour who is a true champion of women who can appeal to many. Despite the pandemic, she has shown that she is still committed to fulfilling her role, and it speaks volumes that she is highly sought after to take part in global events like this, alongside other female world leaders. She won’t be silenced by the negativity, nor will she be rushed to prove anything to the naysayers. On a superficial note, she looks absolutely stunning. Her makeup is beautiful and her long dark hair is so lush.


    Thank you for continuing to cover the duchess. This is a great place to get news without the unnecessary sensationalism and noise.

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    1. You remember how the tabloids claimed Meghan was irrelevant. The forgot that in 2016, Meghan visited Ireland as the One World Youth Ambassador and many Irish met her. The also forgot that the TIG had more followers than the KP Instagram account and that it was Meghan that boosted that account by 200% when she became a royal. Meghan never intended to stop doing what she started as a little girl.

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    2. Harry is the same. They have the same values.

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  11. Just a comment about the need to have some sort of playgroup for Archie. This is certainly very important and is the downside of moving to another country away from family and friends. Meghan does have her mother nearby although the need for younger play mates is still there. In spite of their so-called "fame", once the lockdown is over they could certainly set up a playgroup in their own home with a range of children from different backgrounds and ethnicities to ensure Archie is brought up to appreciate differences and understand the difficulties ordinary people experience. I recall the Queen's mother organised a Girl Guide group in Buckingham Palace so her daughters could have contact with other children. And of course all the current royal children attend regular preschools and go on to elementary and secondary schools in UK. Los Angeles must
    surely have suitable places for Archie to attend in future.

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    1. Are, you serious? Meghan has many LA friends, some were at her wedding at some were pageboys and bridesmaid. Having a playgroup for Archie is a problem for the tabloids but a non-problem for Meghan and Harry. The tabloids is hoping somebody leak information so that they can spy on Archie. At this time with the pandemic, playgroups are problematic.

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    2. I stand corrected that it is not a problem at the moment and of course they are locked in even more now. I had been reflecting on the report that they were worried about Archie not having any children of his own age to interact with, but maybe that was just a media beatup like most of the stuff we read. however it is a fact that apart from Doria there is no wider family in the vicinity once the pandemic is over with and that is sad for them.

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    3. I'm sute a city as large and diverse as LA has lots of resources and schools. Unfortunately, it's also stay-at-home time there, as in many other places. I didn't realize that the UK had lowered the COVID rate so greatly -- the US, naturally, is having a continued crisis.

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    4. Susan in Florida17 July 2020 at 17:53

      Sorry friends , a play group during a pandemic isn’t going to happen.

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    5. And it is horrifying to read that they are being pestered by people flying drones and helicopters low over their leased house trying to get pictures of Archie. That is according to their recent court case. This is a new round of persecution of this young family and worse than what was happening previously in UK or Canada. It really struck me as very sad to read that, according to their disposition, that Archie hasn't been outside their Los Angeles property in weeks. At least in Vancouver they could take him for walks or to the beach! Kate was always able to take her babies out in the pram in Kensington Gardens without undue attention and the same would apply to Windsor Great Park. If I was in the Sussex shoes I'd be getting back to the privacy of Frogmore Cottage as soon as I could.

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    6. Do you really believe that...?

      Meghan wasn't happy to frogmore.
      She was isolated , only and unhappy.

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  12. Power woman Who will continue to thrive, in all the adversity she faces , remember there is strenght in numbers and we are strong ladies Big up Meghan Markle aka Duchess of Sussex.

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  13. We can all take inspiration from Meghan's speech today. As always impeccably delivered with great resolve, engagement and sincerity. Her many talents when on display in the public arena are a constant reminder of the true loss she is to the RF for years to come. I found it interesting that she was introduced as Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex. I am sure that was done with her approval. A very feminist approach in my opinion as an introduction. I don't recall her using her maiden name with her title through marriage before. I may be wrong. She looked just lovely as usual.

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  14. We're very lucky to have Jacinda here in NZ, and it makes me happy that Meghan mentioned her in the speech. Life is almost back to normal, which I'm particularly glad of as someone who works in the healthcare industry. I watch the news and talk to my friends who live overseas - particularly the ones who live in the USA - and it's surreal how different things are.

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  15. oh i love the talks and of duchess meghan and all the speakers their all insipring its like listening to speakers and their flatform

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  16. Firstly thank you Charlotte for your blog and updates. I did not know of your other blog (you referenced when talking about CP Mary) I now look forward to reading that one too!
    I can't reconcile that Meghan found life within the BRF so difficult. She is a smart and articulate woman and I just can't seem to understand that life in the institution was so unbearable that she and Harry had to leave it what a loss and shame they have and I agree with some of the comments AlisonUS has made here. But she continues with her work and does do it so well and she will be an influence in the world. Now on to fashion lovely blue top this color is stunning on her, I'm not a fan of her hair today. Sue in WA

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  17. Thanks so much for this great post Charlotte. Meghan looks beautiful and I love her words she spoke with class and eloquence and it is always a joy to watch and listen to the amazing First Lady Michelle Obama.

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    1. Michelle Obama is always a huge treat! What a glorious woman! She has a lot in common with Meghan -- they both had a lot of disgusting racist things said about them, she had to be "appropriate" for their role, they are both very intelligent, .... I love Michelle's post-presidency looks, especially her hair styles. She looks beautiful, always.

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  18. Thank you Charlotte for this post. Just two comments now that Meghan has begun the next stage of her life could we perhaps put her past lives behind us. They are well and truly over and to me seems pointless rehashing each time Charlotte posts. Secondly as Meghan projects herself as a very modern woman of strength and equality I would like to see her use her own name as most strong women do. To my mind privileged titles bestowed on marriage seem very much at odds with what Meghan Markle said to the young women today and also at odds with a very modern independant American woman.

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    1. The speech was interesting to listen to.
      Im also confused why someone who is feminist and equality is so important to her continues to use her title that represents quite the opposite of what she wants to be known for.
      I hope they found a different background wall to film the videos, this brown shiny wall is just so distracting.
      Love the color of her top but don't care for the heavy make up, she doesn't need it as she is naturally beautiful.

      Eva from G.

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    2. it is not at odds with what she said if one use's one privilege for betterment of society. Meghan has not change from the little girl to the adult wrt to social justice and humanitarian efforts. The only change is that she expanded her influence by building a global fan base , the TIG, that was larger than KP instagram account. When she joined the BRF, she boosted the KP IG by 200%. Meghan is saying use what ever platform / tiles that expand one's influence to do good.

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    3. I have been wondering about her use of Megan Markle since she and Prince Harry stepped down as senior royals. Upon her marriage, she became “Meghan, Her Royal Highness, Duchess of Sussex“ and is listed as such on Archie’s birth certificate. (Her occupation is listed as Princess of the United Kingdom as she is officially a princess, just as Katherine is, taking the title from their husbands). When Prince Harry and Meghan stepped down, they retained the HRH part of their titles but as part of their agreement with the RF, will not use them. Therefore, she would be Meghan, Duchess of Sussex. I do not know how surnames are handled in the UK, but in the US, you have a legal name that is registered at birth and it can be changed at any time for a variety of reasons (marriage, divorce, adoption, or just a desire to be called by a different name). You can also call yourself whatever name you like, even if you do not change it legally. For example, the Duchess of Sussex’s legal name is Rachel Meghan, but she refers to herself as Meghan. Since no one but those closest to her knows, possibly Markle is still her legal surname in the US, she may have changed it back to Markle legally, she is using it again because she likes it and/or wants to retain her family name. I question the comment about using her name along with her Sussex title as “...one’s privilege for the betterment of society” and “...to do good.” Much of what is happening in the world today is about the desire for equality and many are very much against using any type of privilege to get ahead. Meghan Markle is such a recognizable name all over the world. I know they are still loved members within the RF, just not “senior royals”. It just seems odd to me that she continues to use a title at all.

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    4. Well said FilbertSheep.

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    5. I am not confused at all due to one of the points of feminism is to not be defined by anything or anyone. So... why should a royal be defined by a title given by marriage? Some women choose to keep the "Mrs" even their husband's last name after divorce... why? because it's a choice. That's the point... women get to choose, no judgement. Vive la difference!

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  19. Her past life also includes her soap manufacturer and Hilary Clinton letters as well as her much-publicised UN appearance. Should those also be buried in the past? History, personal or public, contains the good, the bad, and sometimes the ugky. To allow only an edited version gives us a slanted and often warped view. For example, I spent my most impressionable early years in a South-adjacent state. The version of "The War Between the States" I heard then was almost unrecognisable from the version of "The Civil War" I later heard, taught in Northern schools.
    The past is never over but the view must remain balanced.
    I agree that the use of titles (and crowned stationary) doesn't mesh with her current image she projects in inspirational speeches..

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    1. my grandfather's grandmother was born in 1851 in Arkansas and lived to be 98 years old. She told her grandchildren stories that they passed down to me; I have great difficulty to this day reading about the 1860's in the USA

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    2. Actually my point being the other women stand as themselves not Michelle Obama former First Lady of the US etc and they have all achieved and had other lives but for none of them is it necessary to harp on what went before.

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    3. Ah! So glad you clarified your remark, Libby. I apologise for my mis-interpretation. Every once in awhile, I get knocked off my soap box.

      It is scary to think what different interpretations can be made from the same remark. The 70's might seem a cliche now but there was an effort to understand a speaker/writer's actual intended meaning. "...and by that you mean...?" Think of Alan Alda in MASH and other forums. It seems now that social media is based on immediately responding to and reacting emotionally to meanings that sometimes weren't intended. A lot of grief caused from that. Anon 16:49

      Arizona Girl- what a marvelous oral history resource!
      You are not alone:amongst many people there are still feelings initiated during that time that have been passed on to succeeding genetations... just within famlies. Schools perpetuated a personal sort of history as well.

      Back on the soap-box:
      That sort of embedded web of memories almost becomes part of one's being. This is some of what the various equal rights efforts must deal with- embedded feelings and memories. They cannot be remedied by inspiring speeches (speaking to the choir) or passing laws. One must give those speeches in front of those who need to learn, risk being hissed and booed, maybe a few rotten tomatoes -- scary though that may be. ( once in-person speeches resume.)
      I do think that industries such as film, television, and advertising can and have already helped to shift some of these deep-seated feeling and attitudes. Compare tv series and films of the fifties to those of the present day. What a contrast in all areas of equality issues! I think Meghan obliquely referred to this in her "wait for it" statement.
      As all those forums were part of the perpetuation of inequality, it seems right that they should lead the effort toward equity. Anon16:49

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    4. The use or not use of titles are irrelevant. They do not change one's personality. That 10 year old social conscious girl has not change her passion, but she has mature them in the changing world. Title or no title her message is the same. If someone has a different interpretation or acceptanc based on titles, then the problem is with them and not with Meghan.

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    5. So true
      You are right

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  20. Charlotte, thank you for not only connecting us to all these powerful speeches, but for also putting this event, and Meghan’s speech, in the context of Princess Mary’s speech.
    A big chunk of what I have learned about Meghan and her work begins with your excellent reporting!
    Renee

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  21. I very much agree with posters who say she should not use a title, BUT in her case, I want everyone who had hoped to get rid of her to know that she is still part of the RF, etc. I think using the title is the best way to do that, because people won't read details. Also, as Harry says about the "magic," it's still a little extra way to get attention when it is needed.

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    1. Allison
      You are right !
      Meghan is feminist ..but she is always the wife of Prince Harry duc of Sussex..!
      What is the problem?
      Why her title duchess do you mind?
      Duchess Meghan and Feminist Meghan aren't antinomical.
      It's my opinion.

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    2. Ditto! Even after Diana and Fergie got divorced they still retained a royal title. Meghan is STILL married to a prince! Titles have no bearing wether or not one is a feminist. Let's not forget in one of Meghan's royal engagements she mentioned that Harry is a feminist! What more proof does one need? Even in the US, a divorced woman may retain her husband's last name and be referred to as a "Mrs" if she wishes and no one puts her down because of it or confronts her about not being a feminist.

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  22. A lot of speeches and inspiring messages by different women leaders. It is a treasure that keeps multiplying. Right when I thought the messages from the known names are interesting, but where are the girls who are receiving the encouragement from "the big sisters"? ( Lynn, Hillary, Pryanka, Michelle, and Meghan), it turned out the young leaders discussions, interviews, inspiring and courageously forward thinking communication kept appearing from one video to another, and then ended up taking me to you tube. I can say that my after-work hours were well used. Each "Big Sister" had connected globally, locally, and/or internationally. I discovered to follow the new ones, and to continue appreciate the ones whose messages I had followed from time to time.

    One common theme that I remember is: “It is within you” and “perseverance”. I am sure there is much more, and some of the speakers and those interviewed had authored books. That is something to check into.

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  23. If she did not take her husband's last name by marriage, or is not known commonly as Mrs. Meghan Markle, then she can use whatever title she retained in the culture of her marriage and tradition. In this case, it happens to be Duchess. Marriage is still a very important institution. Hillary Clinton is still Secretary of State by the virtue of her former career. Like most activists and/or feminists including Meghan point out, feminism means equality, freedom and justice. It does not necessarily mean disregard a part of who you are.

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  24. The irony that she only has a platform because of her marriage is not lost on some of us. That she and Harry and Archie will be cheerleaders from their 18 million dollar rented mansion is not lost on some of us. I'll be cheerleading everyone on from my tiny home in FL. Not married to a wealthy prince. Go Everyone!

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    1. Sounds like you didn’t know of Meghan before she married Harry until the tabloids stirred up all the hate.

      People who married into royalty like Kate Middleton or Sophie and famous people like Melinda Gates for example weren’t known initially. That doesn’t make them lesser for later on using their platform to do good things.
      Meghan has an established career and her social platforms before Harry but in order to discredit her, she is made to be a nobody until her marriage.

      That’s not “irony”. That’s gaslighting.

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    2. Why you decrease Meghan only as Prince Harry 's wife ?
      She is an humanitarian and feminist before her wedding with
      Harry.

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    3. Florida Moxie, unlike everyone other married in royal, MILLIONS of people around the world knew Meghan, who had her own platforms before even meeting Harry. If Diana, Camilla, Meghan, Sophie had never married in, no one would’ve ever known about them. Meghan was on an internationally syndicated tv show, with millions of followers across her social media platforms and blogs.

      And so what if her marriage increased her profile? Being married to Barack Obama increased Michelle’s profile, doesn’t make her any less of an inspiration.

      Hope you keep the same energy for the royals billion dollar properties subsidized by taxpayers. Why so pressed about Living conduit a NOT subsidized by the public?

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    4. They can not stay in any regular apartment, they’ve been hunted by press everywhere.

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    5. Florida Moxie: Income inequality and lack of a level playing field in America existed long before Prince Harry fell in love with a millionaire working actress. Your situation is one that millions of people all over the world would envy. An apartment of your own with electricity, and clean drinking water, is a paradise to the poor. The President of the United States bills the government when he stays in one of his own hotels or golf clubs. That's taxpayer money. Be mad about that.

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  25. Just a response to some comments: Meghan addressed the UN on gender equality before she ever met Harry, and also had an impactful body of humanitarian work. Also, Michelle Obama is often referred to as a former first lady. And I see nothing wrong with people using their influence and position to help others. For example, the best way to help the poor is not necessarily give up all one's money and influence and become poor yourself.

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    1. Inspiration and training , rather than plain money is best for the poor.

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    2. The difference is that Michelle Obama has not spoken out critcally against the role of the Presidency of the USA or has criticsed the office. She has not claimed that the office has kept her from thriving or that she was left alone with the press intrusions and vile comments that came with such a public role. She rose above it and made it work. And, as far as I am aware she doesn't define herself or presents her self as the former First Lady, even if that role built up her platform. Many Meghan fans don't understand why she uses a title given to her by an instition she has publicly criticised on a very personal level and in the end parted way with. It is a bit like still using an old business card, after you left a company with some bad public remarks about your former employer and started self employment.
      You pointed out that she did a lot of work before she even met Harry. So why not using just your name again if that has worked before? It just feels off to some.

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    3. Michelle Obama has lived in republic..it is the great difference .

      Delete
    4. According to one of our national entertainment channels named after a woodland animal, Michelle Obama hates America. She has been attacked mercilessly, just like Meghan. She writes of her feelings about this in her excellent book, "Becoming", and she certainly has felt free to criticize our institutions, as is the right of every American citizen.
      These tedious comments about the titles Harry and Meghan retained by permission of Queen Elizabeth ought to have ended long ago. The Royal Family was quick enough to snip the HRH off Fergie and Diana's titles; and to refuse it outright to the Duchess of Windsor. Diana criticized the family and the monarchy and some say, caused damage to the institution. Fergie used her title for commercial gain.
      Harry and Meghan are titled members of the British Royal Family until the current or future head of the family says otherwise. End of story. In case someone has forgotten, the late Duke of Windsor, the former King Edward VIII was a Nazi collaborator and didn't lose his title. I am just curious what distinction is being made with all this carping about the Sussexes?

      Delete
    5. Well spoken. You are right

      Delete
  26. I agree with your comment.

    Just like a lot of people and Harry , Meghan was known by thousands people on the series. Their marriage Give them, a visibility and strenght to help the most disadvantaged outside the firm.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Meghan didn't just give a powerful speech, she will continue to promote, and follow through to Keep young girls and women encouraged to remain a significant powerful focus globally. Your feminism shines through a beacon of hope ....������

    ReplyDelete
  28. Becca in Colorado17 July 2020 at 16:47

    I honestly don't see why Meghan's title is any issue. Doesn't it still help to show people of color what is possible for them? That a mixed race woman is still, for better or worse, a member of the British Royal Family? The Duchess of Sussex seems like a business title to me. I also think it illustrates that someone from a very antiquated institution can still break the mold and push society towards a more inclusive future. And yes, the title does help spread the message, although as many have already pointed out, Meghan was successful in her own right before marrying Harry. That should not be discounted.

    Meghan seems to be quickly finding her feet after the last few turbulent years. Let's just celebrate that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The idea of it being a business title is great; I like it!

      Delete
    2. @Becca: the problem with this comparison is, that no company would let you use that title after you publicly criticsed them and partially blamed them for your mental health problems. They also wouldn't let you use it, after you stopped working for them and started a new job (in this case, self emplyoment).
      The BRF has a very complicated and interesting dynamic as the Firm and the Family are completely intertwinded. The titles given seem like symbols of appreciaton and their personal relationships never stand alone but always with a comtext of hirachy in the firm. It is pretty messed up and I defenitely wouldn't want to trade.
      Giving back their titles or have them taken away shouldn't mean anything in terms of their personal relationships with the family. If they are mere business titles- they don't need them outside the firm (don't think you are implying they couldn't make it as just Harry and Meghan abd therefore need it). Sadly, I think all parties and the tabloids would see such a step as a personal one. I actually do hope, Harry and Meghan decide to completely cut the business ties and operate without a royal title. It will free them of being called hypocrites and coattail riders and they can finally built a truly individual profil. Holding a title means you will be messeaured against what is expected of a BRF title holder. And times have changed, title holders all over Europe define their roles and public profile new, as the public is much more aware of how unfair this privilege atually is (which has led to pretty high bars of what is expected of the privileged). People look more closely and their judgement has more impact as the governemnts can actually end those monarchies. I think the title does actually hold them back and will limit the perception of them. Especially in Harry's case, I think breaking free could open his world up to new opportunities he cannot even imagine.
      C.

      Delete
    3. H&M are relatable to the public so their royal titles have never seem to "hold them back". Evidently the younger generation and the people they connect through their humanitarian work do not seem to care. As reports have noted, they are just so grateful when H&M show up to help wether previously in the UK or currently in the US.
      One example: as Charlotte has reported, Father Boyle said to LA Magazine "The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were just Harry and Meghan to the hommies". Another example: when Meghan reached out to Althea Bernstein, the President and CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of Dane was so impressed with Meghan he is reported as saying Meghan almost sounded like a seasoned counselor, and on another post he mentioned having a second conversation with Meghan to talk about ideas and that if she ever wanted to work at the Boys & Girls club, she would have a job. In a nutshell, please do not worry about H&M. Title or no title, they are an intelligent, modern, humanitarian power couple and no one - not even the tabloids - could ever take that away from them.

      Delete
    4. Waouh
      I agree with your comment.

      Delete
    5. Hilary Clinton - has a law degree, held Office of First Lady, served as an elected Senator, and was US Secretary of State.

      Michelle Obama - has a law degree, worked in non-profits, hospitals, and academia, held the Office of First Lady, and runs a foundation supporting Girls Opportunity Alliance.

      Meghan Markle - has a communications degree, worked in game shows and acting, had a blog focusing on beauty, fashion, and travel where she earned money endorsing products. In her spare time she supported non-profits. She married Prince Harry and was given a title by his Grandmother as a gift for that marriage.

      In the above, screen shots, Hilary and Michelle are identified by their profession. Meghan is identified by who she married and the title the Grandmother gave them upon marriage. For whom they are no longer representing in the world. Why not put "Feminist, Former Actress and Blogger." The word "Duchess" is not a profession, a qualification earned, nor indicative of an elected office. And she never did anything for the Sussex community.

      It just seems strange to be identified by an arbitrary title that was a marriage gift.

      Delete
    6. Although you can seemingly come through as a serious realist, who puts it as it is, I hope you are also capable of another aspect of the value in communication,lifestyle blog, and acting skills.

      The whole world does not think the way you do, may be some %. If we stay to the topic of this platform itself, she had been a long time and passionate advocate of gender equality, which includes equal pay for equal work. Each lady who had the leadership speaker role reached a cross section of various audiences at this Girl UP Summit. It also happens to be a year Meghan had been very much in the news. She had been inspired, and/ or looked up to Hillary and Michelle. Priyanka had been a friend. If nothing else, for people who have similar out look like yours, at the very least be considerate of the thousands of fans who also happen to look up to Meghan. A person can reach a certain level of success through different ways and still be on the same platform, income, “comparable title” (by any other name), acclaim etc.

      Yes, she is a skilled speaker among other things. That is one of my favorite qualities of Meghan although I realized for me personally, it turned out her speeches in front of audiences are the more natural and better-connected ones. She may be a communication major, she is also a skilled speaker, not all comm majors are skilled speakers. She is also open and seems easily able to connect to an international people and is adaptable. She is ambitious and has enormous ability to overcome adversity and rise above it. The lifestyle blog reflects her lively outlook which spices up life and connects people. It is not lost on you how many millions of paper magazines on lifestyle had been sold through the ages.

      The point is her life and whatever work (activist, actress, blogger, wife of a prince, the authentic Meghan with, before, or without Harry, humanitarian, mother, duchess) had been able to reach and influence people, and has her own audience. She does not and should not necessarily be compared with the two former first ladies who exclusively happen to have had active work life prior to their office of the first lady. Michelle and Hillary are the modern examples of FLOTUS. Eleanor Roosevelt was able to elevate her humanitarian advocacy and outreach through communication as the wife of a former president. What matters is the accomplishment, influence and how many people that person is able to reach, has an audience base which finds the positive in that “leadership”, “actress”,---and “duchess” ( it is more than a title for the remaining number of countries whose system and tradition is still influenced by monarchy). The world is much bigger and more complex than to be boxed into the modern woman’s job title or the traditional royal tittle. Meghan is a work in progress and in transition; we don’t know when or if she will use the title. In the meant time, continue being your authentic self; it takes the world uniqueness to appreciate the difference. Don't forget to post if and when you change your mind too, and don't totally disappear. It was nice to see you here again.

      Delete
    7. Lovely comment, Anon 15. Sensitive, kind, diplomatic. You made some valid points, as well.
      And I agree- I am enjoying Moxie's return, too.

      Delete

    8. Florida Moxie23 July 2020 at 06:01
      By the way, as to your comparison of work life of MO and HC to that of Meghan, here it is. Meghan played a character of an upbeat paralegal who studied to become a lawyer. She worked in Suit TV series for seven years. There are many people in real life who take a profession and work to elevate it to the highest degree. Most likely her character had inspired real life people. The TV and movie industry is very much not only a part of American culture, it is also part of the literally world. When it is good and right, it influences real life positively. You can not underestimate her work prior to her next life (UK royalty). Michelle Obama studied law, and credit to her honesty, she typically says, I am not necessarily my profession. She now has a Spotify pod cast, and that is in the line of work in communication. Meghan’s lifestyle blog informed, entertained, and included fashion and travel. Most of all this is a self-made person who must be an optimist to continue forward in her choice and independence while teaming up in marriage and family life. There are times I had questioned her judgement especially in her own family matters, but it is undeniable this is a person who has the ingredients of some inspiring qualities.

      Delete
    9. Mytwocents25 July 2020 at 01:47
      Thank you - it came from a genuine feeling. Moxie has the usual way of making me irritated
      at the first round of reading her comments, then sending me into searching for her justification. I send my self into my own thoughts, partly defending the opposite of her justification because I especially had found her ways of demeaning either Kate or Meghan annoying. I admit to enjoy the process of thoughts from anger to finding out how I feel about a topic I would not have given attention actively in my mind.

      Delete
    10. So the difference is:
      Hilary Clinton - lawyer, represented the US abroad
      Michelle Obama - lawyer, represented the US abroad
      Meghan Markle - pretended to be a lawyer on TV - married Prince Harry - while representing his country in South Africa - made a documentary focused about themselves and their feelings.

      I don't have any ill will towards Markle at all. She shows up to different charities to help out. She publicizes it. Whether to encourage other folks to support those same charities or to add to her resume and up her profile - what does it matter?

      I think she and Harry are in a bit of a pickle. They are financed through Charles and at age 71 who knows how long he'll have control of the purse strings. Since they went rogue (in South Africa) and then with their "big announcement" separating from royal duties - they'll not likely ever be offered a role in the UK again. When William inherits the Duchy of Cornwall - he'll have no motivation or obligation to support Harry - he'll be focused on his own progeny. Charles will have the Duchy of Lancaster and the Crown purse - but that is heavily monitored. I hope I live to see who inherits Highgrove.

      Here's an interesting question - is Harry bright enough to manage finances? He's never had to. He's certainly got charm in spades, but his background is in military and flying. Never went to college. All his housing and expenses paid for. In all his charity work he certainly wasn't the finance guy - he wouldn't have had time with all his moving about from one thing to another.

      And if you are not dialed in to the highest reaches of UK government and UK Society, what do you bring to the table as a speaker. Your experience in military combat and your experience in acting? Have you just become a novelty for folks with money to splash out? Or are you planning careers in motivational speaking? Who can afford you in this Covid Economy? And what opportunities are there with social distancing taking place? Who is in the market for global cheerleaders?

      Delete
    11. Florida Moxie, you have always seemed to present a counterpoint on both Meghan's and Kate's blog and while I haven't always agreed with your position, you bring up some very important/valid points that Meghan super fans aren't wanting to hear. I voiced my opinion many times back about this motivational speaker venture and how disingenuous it feels in this time (or any other for that matter) that speakers can pull in such high dollars on one hand, then espousing charitable causes on the other. While Meghan is by far the more articulate and can make eloquent speeches, she will need to reign in (no pun intended) her focus to not just speak platitudes, but actual plans to enact them. They (H&M) seem to have crossed over to that Hollywood pesudo culture that believes we want to hear them talk about how to be charitable, while living very privileged lives. I too wonder who IS in the market for global cheerleaders? Meghan's credibility is certainly elevated when she is associated with the likes of Michelle Obama and Hiliary Clinton who certainly have seasoned careers; likening Meghan's role on a television series as an attorney for seven years is not the same level, and many others who actually live their of charitable selflessness without having an article written on them every other hour. Whether anybody wants to admit it, her royal status has elevated her and given her more of a platform, but I think she and Harry are a little enamored of themselves and their popularity. This is not what I would have wished for either of them, and any concerns voiced seem to come from a place similar to a parent who would want to be sure that their child's actions and decisions have been carefully thought out with regard to consequences. Not all differences of opinions are criticisms and many of us are concerned how any of this negative press serves anybody.

      Delete
    12. Don't worry for them enven it your concerns can be justified .
      Trust them. They are responsables of their actions. They will succeed.

      Delete
    13. I appreciate Moxie’s comments and I would like to see this comment posted to show her some support.

      Delete
  29. Susan in Florida17 July 2020 at 17:51

    One of the points of feminism is that women are not defined by their husbands but can take the man’s name if they wish. Secretary Clinton used her maiden name in her law practice, and until her husband ran for President. It was her choice. I don’t care for some of her political stances , however ... she was the first woman to be nominated by a major US political party and RUN for US President. It was a big accomplishment. Meghan was well known before her marriage, if she wants to use her name, or a title from her marriage , it’s fine with me. No one was correcting the press when they said ‘Kate Middleton’ for over ten years. I took my husband’s last name. I use the title Mrs. The point is , we can decide.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Spot on Susan.

      Delete
    2. @ Susan, Precisely! So true! I could not have said it better myself! Why criticize Meghan when everyone else gets to do whatever they want with a name and/or title? What is the problem?

      Delete
  30. On a lighter note....... Anyone wondering if Meghan is pregnant! :)

    Becca USA

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  31. Replies
    1. Me, too. Both of the last two new clothes have been very loose and flowing. I doubt they would tell "us" this time until they just had to.

      Delete
  32. They are right.

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  33. It is not quite correct that Meghan was the first person of another race to marry into the royal family. One of the Duke of Gloucester's daughters married a New Zealand Maori earlier, although I understand they are now separated. They have two children with Maori names I remember. Mixed marriages are so common in New Zealand that it is an absolute non issue here. In fact mixed people often prefer to claim their Maori side rather than the Pakeha one because they are proud of their ancestry.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Two of the most admired women in the world, Michelle Robinson Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton have endorsed this cause, and the younger, lifelong activist Meghan, Duchess of Sussex has joined them. This is a fight that will take time to win but women and girls have powerful allies in these three. Each of these women had a successful career and many accomplishments before they married. Obama and Clinton struggled with giving up their birth surnames ("maiden names", so quaint) and did so under the pressure of their spouses's political aspirations. The weight of a 1000 year-old monarchy would have fallen on Meghan had she chirped, "I'd like to be plain Meghan Markle, please" at the with HM. I do't think either Meghan or Harry give a fig about their titles - Harry in particular has made a point of this - but they have been granted them within the archaic family structure they inhabit. Non-working royals, the York daughters come to mind, and Edward's children, have titles. Mystified by the obsession with Meghan.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It’s been explained a lot here by other posters. Other non working royals don’t go criticizing the institution and using the titles at the same time.

      Delete
    2. It become's an obsession

      Delete
    3. +1 greybirdk.

      This is a post about supporting girls and women supporting and lifting each other. Yet the comments here show how much work needs to be done still.

      Why can’t people who dislike Meghan so much let others be positive about her?These naysayers go to extraordinary length to find something to criticize Meghan for while similar actions and words by other royals get praises like when the same posters gushed over on the Kate blog. Disturbing.

      Delete
    4. I am wondering, in a very non-critical way, why Beatrice uses HRH but Harry cannot. She is a nonworking royal like Harry is now. Is it just a punishment for Harry? I know that other cousins do not use HRH, but seems like Harry is like Eugenie and Beatrice now. I am curious whether this follows a rule or just is what it is. :)

      Delete
    5. I am finding it still hard to be supportive of the RF when they seem to be so supportive of each other -- now. I think a lot of the abuse came from aides who didn't want Meghan to have her voice, but there is so much togetherness now and it was so lacking before H&M left.

      Delete
    6. @ Allison in US, or why can Princess Michael publish her books under HRH, Princess Michael of Kent but there's huge concern about Harry profiting off of his royalty? If we dig deep into various policies, protocols and traditions of the royal family we would see that they only apply to certain people in certain instances but are not enforced across the board. No wonder why family members don't trust each other or at this point even like each other, when it's one set of rules for certain members and another set of rules for other family members.

      Delete
    7. Lauri, it does seem a little capricious! Of course, there is nothing else like a royal family -- not just a family but not a business but not a nonprofit. And about Meghan's criticism -- I don't see the actions of Harry's cousins being of any concern to the press. They might show someone delivering some meals but no one hounds Zara's husband or Autumn and Peter or Edo. When you keep hitting something, it may finally react.

      Delete
    8. Lauri, what topics do Princess Michael's books cover?

      Delete
  35. Dear Charlotte, what a fantastic event!
    This is the great thing about Meghan for me - I learn a lot about humanitarian and charitable efforts worldwide. Of course I could educate myself differently but like for a lot of people I find it easier to connect with such issues through somebody I like. Meghan can adress and highlight these issues faster and with more efficiency.

    Another thing I learn on this blog is that Meghans remark „we are meant to build each other up“ is desperately needed. Meghan gave a very good speech, I liked Pryankas very much and what are we doing? Going wild about the use of titles.
    I feel modern feminism is about building sisterhood and brotherhood and modern feminism does not deny Marriage, titles etc. but is about having a choice. Meghan and Harry chose to be working royals and under almost unbearable circumstances took a different choice. That is a very feminist statement - not to suffer Silently but to take responsibility for yourself. They offered to support the reign of Elizabeth II but were stripped of basically everything except their titles.
    I feel that they want this bridge between their past and their future because that is their life experience and it honours this.

    And on a lighter note. I hope Meghan is pregnant and enjoys a different pregnancy with lots of time for herself and her growing family.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Kristina: How beautifully put, Kristina- "They offered to support the reign of Elixabeth II but were stripped of basically everything except their titles. I feel they want this bridge between their past and their future because that is their life experience and it honours this." You have put their actions into context so well. Thank you for articulating that.

      Delete
  36. I agree with your comment.

    Meghan is inspiring for young people

    Meghan & Harry will be a model for the future générations and even Princess Charlotte & prince Louis.
    The monarchy will evolve over time.

    God save them.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Please share the https://camfed.org/InspiredByMeghan/ campaign. Let's drown out all the noise and help as many people as we can just like Meghan would want us to do. Because at the end of the day that's who she is for us fans: a remarkable woman who inspires us to do and be better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Excellent information about CamFed!

      Delete
    2. Very good initiative. I' have
      already given.
      That more important . It's an unifying project.

      Delete
  38. You are right. Meghan is very inspiring.
    She is a woman of hearts.she is woman of solutions.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She is indeed a woman of both hearts and solutions!

      Delete
  39. UK titled Prince(s) do not use/have surnames, they’re usually given dukedoms so they, their wives and children get to use them. The Duchess of Sussex has the right to continue using her title that is her marriage name, and she is still married. Even divorced royal women kept their marriage titles, eg. Diana Princess of Wales, and Sarah Duchess of York. So her marriage to Prince Harry elevated her profile; the same can be said of all the other married/divorced royal wives.
    Also, Mrs. Michele Obama uses her married name, and so does Mrs. Hillary Clinton. Their marriages US Presidents also elevated their profiles, and that doesn’t reduce their accomplishments.
    What I see is people seem to have a problem with Meghan using her marriage name, and jump to every Meghan thread to derail the conversation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So what you are saying is you have no problem with a woman who espouses equality, using a title that implies rank? In a United Nations summit? For a nation she does not represent? Which references a land she never administered for?

      They do have surnames - Mountbatten-Windsor. Which is Archie's surname.

      Delete
    2. Right Florida Moxie. How dare she? Look at Prince Phillip. Umm, well maybe not because it’s Greece and Greece is fine without kings and queens. Europe is full of these old titles that make Americans who like kings and queens, duke and duchesses keel over. Disney keeps cranking out these blockbuster tropes for a reason.

      Delete
    3. You do know Prince of Wales doesn’t administer Wales. Same with Exeter, Cambridge, Norfolk, Northumberland and all these ridiculous title holders. We aren’t living in the 1300’s with serfs, vassals and feuding baronies and kingdoms.

      Delete
    4. @FloridaMoxie - As I said UK titled Prince(s) do not use/have surnames.
      Archie, Lady Louise, and James use the surname Mountbatten-Windsor because they are not titled.

      Delete
    5. Harry and Meghan could very well use another surname. They have plenty too choose from. They could use Mountbatten Windsor (which is their legal surname if I recall correct) or maybe still plainly Wales. A Dukedom, which is nothing more than a symbolic title that only has significance inside the BRF, isn't necessary. Princess Anne doesn't have one, and she and her family do just fine.
      Harry got the title as a gift for his marriage, so of course he and Meghan are entitled to use it. But that is not the point of the criticism. People seem to missunderstand that.
      Harry and Meghan have made strong remarks against the institution of the BRF. They have criticised the structure, the hirachy, certain offices and members (staff as well as family). In the end they decided to leave the official part of the institution because they didn't like what was on offer. People do question why they use the title to promote themsleves if they don't even represent the BRF anymore. And that goes against Harry as well as Meghan. I certainly do. I also think Sarah should stop doing this. This is a general problem the BRF has with ex-working members that are now pursuing different careers. I am pretty sure we will see a change and a new handling in the future.
      C.

      Delete
    6. Well said C. and I agree with you, believe there will be a change in how this is handled in the future. Anything done now would just be misinterpreted, and there does need to be clarity. Different times call for different measures.

      Delete
    7. At this point I’m more worried about Andrew.

      Delete
  40. Another thought is that Harry is STILL Prince Harry and the Duke of Sussex and he may wish his wife to be afforded the same courtesy. He obviously, and rightly so, wishes Meghan to have the same rights as other family members.

    ReplyDelete
  41. You are right. Why is she attacked Evrytime ?
    What is her crime ?

    ReplyDelete
  42. I love that the Queen birthday wishes to Meghan said "the Queen and The Duchess," reminding everyone that she is STILL a member of the Royal Family. I thought that was very clever of her. :)
    I wish we could see more of H&M but the pandemic does not allow people to be out mingling, plus it's no longer their "job." Son, I hope.

    ReplyDelete

Welcome to Mad About Meghan! We do so look forward to reading your thoughts. Constructive, fair debate is always encouraged. Hateful, derogatory terms and insults are not welcome here. This space focuses on Harry and Meghan, not any other member of the Royal family. It's not the place to discuss politics either. Thank you for reading, we look forward to your comments :)