Thursday 13 December 2018

Meghan Markle proves to be a breath of fresh air in breaking this one royal rule

Meghan Markle attends the first annual Royal Foundation Forum held at Aviva on February 28, 2018 in London
Meghan Markle attends the first annual Royal Foundation Forum held at Aviva on February 28, 2018 in London
Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry's fiancee Meghan Markle attend the first annual Royal Foundation Forum held at Aviva in London, February 28, 2018 . REUTERS/Chris Jackson/Pool
Meghan Markle attends the first annual Royal Foundation Forum held at Aviva on February 28, 2018 in London, England
Caitlin McBride

Caitlin McBride

Meghan Markle is continuing to make her own stamp on her royal role before her wedding to Prince Harry in May.

The Suits star's foray into the British royal family has been delightfully unpredictable, with a litany of indications she will be maintaining her independence in her new role.

In addition to her refreshingly modern dress sense and public displays of affection with her fiancé, Meghan broke one of the biggest rules in the royal family rulebook - don't get involved in politics.

Members of the royal cannot vote and are forbidden from speaking publicly on any political issue; so stringent is the rule that Kate Middleton caused a stir last month at the BAFTAs when she didn't wear black in solidarity with other women in attendance in support of Time's Up.

Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry's fiancee Meghan Markle attend the first annual Royal Foundation Forum held at Aviva in London, February 28, 2018 . REUTERS/Chris Jackson/Pool
Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry's fiancee Meghan Markle attend the first annual Royal Foundation Forum held at Aviva in London, February 28, 2018 . REUTERS/Chris Jackson/Pool

But Meghan is forging her own path, which balances her personal passions and newfound international influence, which makes her all the more endearing for royal watchers.

In her first appearance alongside Harry, Kate and Prince William at the inaugural Royal Foundation Forum held at Aviva in London on Wednesday, she spoke at length about #MeToo and Time's Up, a fitting cause to champion in her most high profile appearance to date.

"You'll often hear people say, 'well, 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. They need to feel empowered to use it and people need to be encouraged to listen," she said.

"And I think right now, with Me Too and Time's Up, there's no better time to shine a light on women feeling empowered and people really helping to support them."

Britain's Prince Harry (L) and his fiancee US actress Meghan Markle attend the first annual Royal Foundation Forum on February 28, 2018 in London. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / Chris JacksonCHRIS JACKSON/AFP/Getty Images
Britain's Prince Harry (L) and his fiancee US actress Meghan Markle attend the first annual Royal Foundation Forum on February 28, 2018 in London. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / Chris JacksonCHRIS JACKSON/AFP/Getty Images

The conversation has divided opinion, with most modern fans applauding her using her voice - after all, technically, she isn't in the royal family until May 19 - while others have expressed their disappointment.

Markle has been an advocate for female equality her entire life, when she was 11, she famously wrote a letter to then US first lady Hilary Clinton expressing her distaste in an advertisement for a dish ashing brand with the tagline, "Women all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans".

"I don’t think it’s right for kids to grow up thinking that…only mom does everything. How could someday say something like that," she said.

As an adult, with thanks to her high profile on Suits, she became a UN women's advocate for Political Participation and Leadership and delivered a powerful speech in 2015 in support of this.

(L-R) Britain's Prince Harry, his fiancee US actress Meghan Markle, Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge attend the first annual Royal Foundation Forum on February 28, 2018 in London. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / Chris JacksonCHRIS JACKSON/AFP/Getty Images
(L-R) Britain's Prince Harry, his fiancee US actress Meghan Markle, Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge attend the first annual Royal Foundation Forum on February 28, 2018 in London. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / Chris JacksonCHRIS JACKSON/AFP/Getty Images

"I am proud to be a woman and a feminist," she said at a UN Women conference. "A wife is equal to her husband, a sister to her brother. Not better, not worse. They are equal.

"Women make up more than half of the world’s population and potential, so it is neither just nor practical for their voices, for our voices, to go unheard at the highest levels of decision-making."

Meghan Markle is truly delivering in being the royal shake-up she had been poised to be.

Online Editors

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