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Meghan Markle Delivers First Keynote Speech in the UK Two Years After Quitting Royal Duties


Two years after stepping down as a senior member of the British royal family, Meghan Markle delivered her first keynote speech in the United Kingdom on Monday. At the One Young World Summit in Manchester, she urged young leaders from around the world to “cement their place in history” by working to “create a better future”.

The address comes just a week after Markle’s sensational interview with The Cut where she talked about her life and the experiences she faced as a royal family member. Dressed in an all-red Valentino ensemble, the Duchess of Sussex addressed the 2,300 delegates present at the event and said, “I want to make that point because oftentimes I speak to young girls about the years ahead. About what you will do, about what you will have to adopt to fix from previous generations and also what legacy you will leave.” She added, “Too often in that, we neglect the point—you are doing it now. You, here, in this present moment, this is where it is all beginning. They saw in me just as I see in you, the present and the future.” Markle, who is a counselor for One Young World organization, continued to say that the present generation is the driving force of change and that she was happy to be amongst them. “You are the ones driving the positive and necessary change across the globe now, in this very moment,” she said. “And for that, I am so grateful to be in your company today.”

The mother-of-two also talked about the “nervousness” she felt when she was first invited to take part in the summit as a counselor in 2014. “I was the girl from Suits, and I was surrounded by world leaders, humanitarians, prime ministers, and activists,” she said. Markle shared that she was “thrilled” to be back in the UK with Prince Harry. “To meet again here on UK soil with him by my side makes it all feel full circle,” she said. “We often hear people say the time is now, but I’m going to double down on that by saying that your time is now. The important work can’t wait for tomorrow.”

Advocating the idea that young people hold power and can implement important changes, she explained how Prince Harry spent a good part of his youth creating an impact in people’s lives. “My husband has long advocated for important and necessary impact in the world, focusing a huge part of his life’s work on the youth.” She further explained, “So for both of us, bearing witness to the power you hold in your hands and the unbridled enthusiasm and energy that you have to see things come to fruition — it is just an absolute privilege.”

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