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Meghan Markle: You realize ‘your voice matters’ even more ‘when you’re not able to exercise it’


Meghan Markle is suggesting that she appreciates speaking out now more than ever after years of being restricted in what she could express publicly as a member of the British royal family.

The California-born Duchess of Sussex, who married Prince Harry in 2018, spoke as part of Fortune magazine’s Most Powerful Women Next Gen summit on Tuesday. Asked by Fortune’s Emma Hinchliffe about her support of the Black Lives Matter movement and how she was once “more limited” in what she was able to talk about, Markle replied, “I think there’s an incredible opportunity for everyone to recognize that your voice matters. And I think you realize it more when you’re not able to exercise it.”

“So regardless of my experience over the last few years compared to anyone’s experience, you can’t take for granted the ability you have as a woman to be able to be heard,” added the former actress and mom to 1-year-old Archie.

Markle, 39, and her husband, 36, left their full-time work at the House of Windsor earlier this year and moved from Britain to California. She has since spoken out more on social issues and voting rights, saying last month that Americans must “reject hate speech” and “misinformation” ahead of the presidential election.

According to the British royal family’s official website, as head of state, Queen Elizabeth and her family must “remain strictly neutral with respect to political matters, unable to vote or stand for election.”

Asked last month about Markle’s comments on voting in the November election, President Trump bristled. 

“I’m not a fan of hers, and I would say this, and she probably has heard that. I wish a lot of luck to Harry because he’s going to need it,” Trump said at the White House.

In a letter last week sent to British Ambassador to the U.S. Karen Pierce, Rep. Jason Smith (R-Mo.) argued that Harry and Markle’s political remarks were inappropriate, accusing the pair of using their official titles to interfere in the election.

“I try to be very clear with what I say, and to not make it controversial, but instead to talk about things that seem very straightforward, like exercising your right to vote,” Markle said Tuesday, in response to a question about how motherhood has changed her thoughts about leadership.

“I think that’s as simple as it comes, and as necessary as it comes,” she continued. “And to that point as a parent, I can enjoy all the fun, and silliness, and games with my son, but I wouldn’t be able to feel proud of myself as a mom if I didn’t know that I wasn’t doing my part to make it a better place for him.”

Tags 2020 2020 election Donald Trump Fortune House of Windsor Jason Smith Meghan Markle Meghan, Duchess of Sussex

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