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Meghan Markle says she's proud of Prince Harry for setting 'beautiful' feminist example to son Archie

·Royal Correspondent
·6-min read
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Meghan Markle has said she is proud of the “beautiful” feminist example her husband Prince Harry is setting to their son, Archie.

Meghan, 39, was speaking to lifetime feminist campaigner and journalist Gloria Steinem in an informal garden chat for Makers, which promotes women’s empowerment through real stories.

The pair discussed feminism, and in response to Steinem saying “you can be feminist and be a guy”, Meghan replied: “Like my husband! I love that when he just came in he said, ‘You know that I’m a feminist too, right Gloria?! It’s really important to me that you know that.’”

She added: “And I look at our son and what a beautiful example that he gets to grow up with a father who is so comfortable owning that as part of his own self-identification.

“That there’s no shame in being someone who advocates for fundamental human rights for everyone, which of course includes women.”

Meghan Markle interviews Gloria Steinem at home in California. (Photo by Matt Sayles; copyright The Duke and Duchess of Sussex)
Meghan Markle interviews Gloria Steinem at home in California. (Photo by Matt Sayles; copyright The Duke and Duchess of Sussex)

Steinem, 86, praised the prince’s “nurturing” style of fatherhood, saying Archie will “grow up knowing it’s okay to be loving and nurturing”.

Read more: Meghan Markle tells Gloria Steinem she's glad to be in LA 'for so many reasons'

The Duchess of Sussex met Steinem, who she called her friend during the interview, to discuss the importance of voting ahead of the 2020 presidential election.

It’s one of several recent statements the duchess has made encouraging people to use their vote, including one where she said “if you’re not voting, you’re complicit”.

Meghan Markle interviews Gloria Steinem at home in California. (Photo by Matt Sayles; copyright The Duke and Duchess of Sussex)
Meghan wrote for Yahoo: 'If you don’t vote, you don’t exist.' (Photo by Matt Sayles; copyright The Duke and Duchess of Sussex)

Reflecting on the filmed Makers conversation, Meghan wrote for Yahoo: “‘If you don’t vote, you don’t exist.’

“These words from Gloria have stuck with me since she first spoke them during this conversation.

“Since we’ve become friends, we’ve spoken of our shared beliefs surrounding women’s rights, the need for representation, and the very timely conversation surrounding voting.

“I firmly believe that we vote to honour those who came before us and to protect those who come after us. Ms Steinem, my friend Gloria, is one of the women I honour when I vote.

“I hope you enjoy our conversation as much as I did, and that it allows you to reflect on who inspires you to vote as we approach this upcoming election. Your voice matters. Please use it.”

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 26:  Gloria Steinem on stage during the 2020 Athena Film Festival awards ceremony at The Diana Center at Barnard College on February 26, 2020 in New York City.  (Photo by Lars Niki/Getty Images for the Athena Film Awards)
Gloria Steinem, here in New York in February, has been a feminist campaigner for decades. (Getty Images)
The couple joined from the home they're staying in in LA. (QCT)
Meghan has mostly made zoom appearances, like this one earlier this year with the Queen's Commonwealth Trust, since returning to California. (QCT)

Read more: Meghan Markle's history of campaigning against racism – from her early acting days to royal court cases

While the events Meghan has associated herself with have been non-partisan, Steinem has previously been associated with Democratic presidential candidates, and endorsed Hillary Clinton at the 2016 election.

Steinem mentioned the Democrats during the conversation, saying: “Really, we’ve been rescued by women of colour in all of our recent elections because of a vote of conscience and compassion. The heart of the Democratic party has been Black women, actually, and now there is a potential Vice President who is Black and that’s exciting.”

Meghan responded: “I’m so excited to see that kind of representation. You know, for me, being biracial –growing up, whether it was a doll or a person in office, you need to see someone who looks like you in some capacity.

“As many of us believe, you can only be what you can see. And in the absence of that, how can you aspire to something greater than what you see in your own world? I think maybe now we’re starting to break through in a different way.”

The pair also shared concerns around voting suppression, with Meghan referencing a conversation she had with Democratic politician Stacey Abrams about how to prevent it.

It’s not uncommon to see queues at polling booths on voting days in the US, with some people waiting in line for hours in order to cast their vote.

Meghan said: “If you’re a person of colour and you’re in line, for potentially hours on end, and during that time someone tries to intimidate you to tell you that you should get out of line because you might be under surveillance – or any number of intimidation tactics that are so scary.

“And then you think, ‘You know, it’s not worth it.’ You decide to step out of line and relinquish your right to vote. That’s bad enough, but then there’s a ripple effect because whoever is in the back of the line says, ‘Whatever they did to them…I don’t want that to happen to me.’

“That, I think, is so frightening. But I wonder how we circumvent that and how we get people to feel empowered.”

Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex(R) and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex(L) stand on the stage at the British High Commissioner residency in Johannesburg where they  will meet with Graca Machel, widow of former South African president Nelson Mandela, in Johannesburg, on October 2, 2019. - Prince Harry recalled the hounding of his late mother Diana to denounce media treatment of his wife Meghan Markle, as the couple launched legal action against a British tabloid for invasion of privacy. (Photo by Michele Spatari / AFP) (Photo by MICHELE SPATARI/AFP via Getty Images)
Meghan, here with Harry on their South Africa tour in 2019, has previously said her husband is a feminist. (Getty Images)

Read more: The Royal Family's most feminist moments

The two women also discussed a motto which is inscribed on a bracelet given to Meghan by Steinem, of ‘linked not ranked’.

Meghan said: “It means everything to me on every level; we are linked not ranked.”

Meghan closed the conversation by thanking Steinem for her “wisdom and inspiration”.

Before Meghan married Harry, she had called Donald Trump, the Republican president of the US “divisive and misogynistic”.

While Royal Family members tend not to vote, they are not expressly banned from doing so, but avoid it in order to stay political neutral.

Meghan is likely to continue with events which encourage people to vote, but it’s been reported they are not a “warm up” to her being associated with any specific candidate.

There were calls for her to be stripped of her royal title because of her comments about voting, but she is not the first member of the Royal Family to encourage people to participate in democracy.

Even the Queen has spoken about voting, following the low turnout at the 2003 Welsh Assembly elections.

In a speech to Welsh Assembly members, she said: “It is vital to the health both of the United Kingdom and of Wales that our democratic institutions flourish and adapt.

"Elections are the fundamental means by which everyone can participate in the business of government.

"I share your concerns that we must encourage all our people to exercise their right to vote. This is a real challenge now before us all.”

The Makers conversation between Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex and Gloria Steinem is available to watch now.

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