10 Things to Love About: Meghan Markle
Whether you watched the royal wedding on Saturday 19th May from the comfort of your living room, at a wedding-dress-wearing viewing party with your friends, via a video link from a Union Jack-adorned street, or not at all, here are 10 things you should know, and why we love the UK's new Duchess of Sussex...
1. Meghan is proud of her bi-racial heritage.
“Being biracial paints a blurred line that is equal parts staggering and illuminating. While my mixed heritage may have created a gray area surrounding my self-identification, keeping me with a foot on both sides of the fence, I have come to embrace that. To say who I am, to share where I’m from, to voice my pride in being a strong, confident mixed-race woman." Her African-American mother, Doria Ragland, proudly attended her daughter's wedding, although her Dutch-Irish father wasn't able to be present due to health problems.
2. She brought black to a white wedding.
On a day where all things old-fashioned could have dominated, Meghan and Harry's wedding day was a beautiful celebration of both of their heritages, with African American pastor Reverend Michael Curry's passionate sermon, a black gospel choir singing Stand By Me, and the most talented 19 year old cellist entertaining the congregation during the registry signing. There was no denying: the day was beautiful.
3. She showed the world a woman means business at the age of 11
... By writing to then-First Lady Hillary Clinton calling for change to a sexist TV commercial. The ad's tagline was 'Women all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans', and thanks to Meghan, her letter writing and TV interview that followed, she got giants Procter & Gamble to change the wording to 'People'. “If you see something that you don’t like or offended by on television or any other place, write letters and send them to the right people and you can really make a difference, not just for yourself but for lots of other people”, she said at the time. As a grown woman she later explained in a speech to the UN, “At the age of 11, I had created my small level of impact by standing up for equality.”
4. She considers Serena Williams the "confidante I would text when I was traveling"
... "The friend I would rally around for her tennis matches, and the down-to-earth chick I was able to grab lunch with." The two met at a charity football game in 2014 and "hit it off immediately, taking pictures, laughing through the flag football game we were both playing in, and chatting not about tennis or acting, but about all the good, old-fashioned girly stuff." Meghan now attends many of Serena's grand slams to support her pal, one of the world's greatest athletes. (Check out our 10 Facts That Sum-Up The Superwoman that is Serena).
5. Meghan created and ran a lifestyle website named The Tig for three years
She would write articles on food, travel, fashion and beauty and created a community of inspiration and support. On closing the site earlier this year, she told her followers to, "keep finding those Tig moments of discovery, keep laughing and taking risks, and keep being ‘the change you wish to see in the world.’ Above all, don’t ever forget your worth -- as I’ve told you time and time again: you, my sweet friend, you are enough. Thank you for everything.”
6. She is passionate about global issues
And became the Global Ambassador for World Vision Canada in 2016, and traveled to Rwanda for the Clean Water Campaign. "There’s a misconception that access to clean water is just about clean drinking water; which, of course, it is but it’s so much more than that. Access to clean water in a community keeps young girls in school, because they aren't walking hours each day to source water for their families. It allows women to invest in their own businesses and community. It promotes grassroots leadership, and, of course, it reinforces the health and wellness of children and adults. Every single piece of it is so interconnected, and clean water, this one life source, is the key to it all."
7. Meghan gave a powerful speech on Gender Equality at the United Nations Headquarters in 2014.
"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," she says during the speech. "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.”
8. She is proud to tell the world how her husband is HeForShe.
Both her and Harry attended a Women's Empowerment reception in April of this year, and during her first official visit to Wales, a young woman told Meghan she was glad there would be a feminist joining the royal family. Meghan immediately gestured to Harry, and declared, "He's a feminist too."
9. Meghan plans to continue campaigning for women's rights as a member of the royal family.
“I think right now in the climate we are seeing so many campaigns, I mean #MeToo and Time’s Up, and there is no better time to really continue to shine a light on women feeling empowered, and people really helping to support them – men included ... I guess we wait a couple of months and we can hit the ground running.” On spending a week in slum communities in India to learn about the challenges facing women and girls, she said of the experience, “I’ve never wanted to be a lady who lunches - I’ve always wanted to be a woman who works. This type of work is what feeds my soul, and fuels my purpose.”
10. She is a self-proclaimed foodie
... And although she tries to be a healthy California girl (check out her simple recipe for fish tacos) she knows it's about balance: "I try to eat vegan during the week and then have a little bit more flexibility with what I dig into on the weekends. But at the same time, it's all about balance. Because I work out the way I do, I don't ever want to feel deprived. I feel that the second you do that is when you start to binge on things. It's not a diet; it's lifestyle eating." Because of this, she's happy to profess her love for fries and wine! Now who doesn't love a girl you can share wine and fries with?