Meghan Markle wear’s her heart on her sleeve. She is hardly a shrinking violet. Long before she was “Harry’s girl” she was a force to reckon with. As a 12-year old she knew words matter.
While a student at the Hollywood Schoolhouse, young Ms. Markle objected to a dish soap commercial that included a line that leapt out as sexist, even to her 11-year-old self: “Mothers around America are fighting greasy pots and pans.”
Markle mounted a letter-writing campaign that got her featured on a Nickelodeon kids’ news show.
“I was wondering if you would be able to change your commercial to ’people all over America,’” Markle wrote in a letter to the Procter & Gamble, which did in fact change the ad’s language.
I read some of the criticism that P&G didn’t go far enough and only changed the word’s. It was a start. Recently I watched a Tina Fey interview with David Letterman where they discussed gender inequality and how she has helped change the culture. Becoming the head writer on SNL says a lot about Loren Michaels support to change the culture. Tina gave some great examples of how women in all aspects of the industry are giving it diversity. And emphasized why words matter when women collaborate with men. Women have put a brand new spin on what’s spun.
Meghan’s high school emphasized a Catholic ethic of service and social justice, seeking to turn each student into a “woman of great heart and right conscience” — a phrase her former teachers said Markle embodied, though like many of her classmates she was not Catholic.
Pollia, a school counselor, pushed Markle to overcome an initial timidity and volunteer at a Skid Row soup kitchen, which Markle would do for most of her last two years of school. In interviews nearly 20 years later she shared the advice that Pollia had given her: “Put the needs of others above your own fears.”
Markle had a head start before she got to Immaculate Heart. Her love of dogs will also served her well in her royal role. It already has, at least in her intimidating first meeting with the queen at Buckingham Palace. Meghan passed the Queen’s corgi inspection with flying colors. And, her rescue dog Guy, got the royal treatment when he road with the Queen to the wedding ceremony.
“The Corgis took to you right away,” Prince Harry said, looking at a laughing Markle during a joint interview in November. “For the last 33 years, I’ve been barked at,” he said, then gestured to his fiancée. “This one walks in, absolutely nothing. Just wagging tails.”
“Just laying down on my feet during tea,” Markle said.
Meghan’s celebrity status has given her new causes to pursue. This is one she is bringing out of hiding, global celebration of Menstrual Hygiene Day.
The fight to end the stigma around menstruation and make menstrual supplies accessible to all has been amplified by the voice of Meghan Markle. Here she is discussing the issue while in India on a “World Vision” mission.
Meghan, now the Duchess of Sussex, may be the first member of Britain’s royal family to highlight menstrual hygiene on her royal biography.
Prince Harry took Meghan on a three week “pre-engagement” trip to Botswana, where he spends time every year. Here she is celebrating at a new Rwanda bore well. It is rumored this is where they spent their honeymoon as well.
She’s about to find her stride by Harry’s side. Thus begins their legacies.