The royals have introduced some notable feminists to the family in recent years, including Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle, and it's refreshing to see. So how will they mark International Women's Day? Kensington Palace announced Meghan Markle's plans for celebrating International Women's Day, and they're a powerful display from a member of the British monarchy.
In a statement from the palace's official Twitter account, the royal family announced that Markle, 37, will be participating in a group discussion led by the Queen's Commonwealth Trust. The event, which "will bring together a special panel of female thought-leaders and activists," will be held at King's College London. Per the tweet, the panel will "discuss a range of issues affecting women today."
Markle reportedly plans to discuss inequality at work, access to education, and the good that can come from opening up more opportunities for women, Us Weekly noted. According to the outlet, she'll appear alongside Annie Lennox, who founded The Circle; Adwoa Aboah, the founder of Gurls Talk; Julia Gillard, the former prime minister of Australia; Chrisann Jarrett, who founded Let Us Learn; and Angeline Murimirwa, the executive director of Campaign for Female Education .
Markle has been open about being a feminist for quite awhile. During a February 2018 Royal Foundation forum, she said she disagreed "fundamentally" with the idea that women needed to "find their voices," according to Time. Instead, she said at the time, women "need to be empowered to use [their voices] and people need to be encouraged to listen." She also praised the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, saying there was "no better time to really continue to shine a light on women feeling empowered," the publication reported. People reported that she and her hubby were joined by Kate Middleton and Prince William at the event.
In a 2015 speech, now quoted in her royal family bio, Markle — a former UN Women advocate — said, "I am proud to be a woman and a feminist," Since marrying Prince Harry, she hasn't strayed from these values. She and her husband have been known to support organizations focusing on women and girls. In 2018, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex (before they were officially the Duke and Duchess of Sussex) traveled to Birmingham, England on International Women's Day to visit a school encouraging girls to go after STEM opportunities, according to the BBC.
Markle also supports Smart Works, where she made her first official stop when she began her royal duties in 2019, Harper's Bazaar reported. The organization helps unemployed women get back in the job market by getting them interview ready. During her visit with the organization, Markle helped 56-year-old Patsy Wardally pick out a potential interview outfit, which was caught on camera by royal reporters, according to the outlet. Speaking on the work Smark Works does, Markle said, "It's not just donating your clothes and seeing where they land, it's really being part of each other's success stories as women, right?"
Whether you're a fan of the royal family or not, you have to admire the former Suits actress' dedication to putting women first, even when it means shaking up tradition.