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Prince & Princess of WalesThe Sussexes

Meghan: “Women don’t need to find a voice – they have a voice but need to be listened to”

Meghan Markle has spoken about women empowerment and other issues close to her heart at the first annual forum to celebrate the success of The Royal Foundation.

Speaking at a roundtable discussion alongside Prince Harry and the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge, Meghan was asked about her thoughts on female empowerment by moderator Tina Daheley.

In response, Meghan said: “I’ve just been here for three months but for me, it is very important to hit the ground running, even if I am doing it quietly behind the scenes which is what I have focused my energy on thus far.

“It’s important to meet with the right people, meet with the organisations behind the scenes quietly, learning as much as I can so that I can maximise the opportunity we have to really make an impact.

“I think what’s interesting is I hear a lot of people say when speaking about women’s empowerment is that we need to help women find a voice.

“I fundamentally disagree with that because women don’t need to find a voice – they have a voice – they need to feel empowered to use it and people need to be encouraged to listen.

“Right now in this climate, we are seeing so many campaigns like MeToo, TimesUp, there is no better time than to really continue to shine a light on women feeling empowered, and people really helping to support them, men included in that – it makes such a tremendous difference.”

This was Meghan’s first official joint appearance with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. She has previously only made appearances alongside her fiance, Prince Harry.

A Royal Foundation spokesperson said: “We are delighted to welcome Meghan to the Foundation. She has always shown great drive and compassion for making a difference in the world, and we are excited to embark on important projects together.”

Taking to the stage at the event to deliver his opening address, Prince William said that he was “particularly happy” to welcome Meghan to the fold.

The Duke continued and thanked his parents, The Prince of Wales and Diana, Princess of Wales as well as his grandparents, The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh for showing him the importance of putting “compassion and duty” first.

He said: “Both our parents had provided for us an example of diligence, compassion and duty in all they did. Our grandparents, The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh, have made support for charity central to their decades of service to the nation and The Commonwealth.”