"Those in the halls and corridors of places of power — from lawmakers to world leaders, to executives — all of those people, they depend on you more than you’ll ever depend on them,” the Duchess of Sussex told viewers.

By Isabel Jones
Jul 14, 2020 @ 1:36 pm
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Meghan Markle may have stepped down as a senior member of the royal family, but her influence as a public figure has only grown in the months since her and Prince Harry’s departure from the U.K.

On Tuesday, the Duchess of Sussex gave an inspiring virtual speech for Girl Up’s 2020 Leadership Summit. Appearing on camera, Markle wore her hair longer than we’ve seen it in the past, straight and parted down the center in face-framing layers — a style reminiscent of the ‘70s.

Credit: GirlUp/Youtube

But the influence we speak of was not exclusive to the royal’s ‘do. Markle’s speech hit hard on truths that people at the highest levels of society are often reluctant to share.

“Those in the halls and corridors of places of power — from lawmakers, to world leaders, to executives — all of those people, they depend on you more than you’ll ever depend on them,” she told viewers. “They know that all of you, at a younger age than any modern comparison, are setting the tone for an equitable humanity — not figuratively, literally. This is a humanity that desperately needs you — to push it, to push us, forcefully, in a more inclusive, more just, and empathetic direction.”

“You are standing up and demanding to be heard, yes, but you are also demanding to own the conversation,” she continued. “Another thing about those lawmakers and leaders and executives I mentioned earlier … Now many of them don’t listen until they have to, because the status quo is easy to excuse and it’s hard to break, but it will pull tightest right before snapping.”

“Keep challenging, keep pushing,” Markle advised, “make them a little uncomfortable because it’s only in that discomfort that we actually create the conditions to reimagine our standards, our policies, and our leadership — to move towards real representation and meaningful influence over the structures of decision-making and power.”

Markle concluded her speech with a call to action. “Don’t be afraid to do what you know is right,” she said, "even when it’s not popular, even when it’s never been done before, even if it scares people, and even if it scares you.”

“I will be cheering you on, so will my husband, so will Archie, as you all continue marching, advocating, and leading the way forward.”