Meghan Markle paid tribute to former Irish President Mary Robinson during a keynote speech at the One Young World summit in Manchester.
The Duchess of Sussex first met Ms Robinson at a summit in Ottawa, Canada in 2016. She said Ms Robinson is “one of the people I admire most”.
the previous suits star delivered the keynote speech at the humanitarian summit on Monday night, making it her first personal address in the UK since she quit as working queen more than two years ago amid the ‘Megxit’ crisis.
She also reflected on her first visit to Dublin with a delegation in 2014. During the visit she met a young Eritrean woman who described the “shocking” efforts she made to escape her homeland.
Ms Robinson, musician Sir Bob Geldof and Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham also gave keynote speeches.
Declaring it is “very nice to be back in the UK”, Ms Markle told young leaders: “You are the future… you are the present”.
Former actress Meghan told the 2,000 delegates how her life had changed when she joined the London Summit for the last time in 2019 – highlighting her role as a wife and mother – but without mentioning that she was a senior the year before had become king.
“I joined you in London in 2019. And by that point, it’s fair to say my life had changed quite a bit. I was married now and I was a mother now,” she said, leaving a pause at the end that was filled with great cheers from the audience.
“My world view had expanded exponentially and was seeing the global community through my child’s eyes,” she added, speaking of her son Archie.
The trip comes just days after Meghan’s controversial interview with The cut Magazine, in which she said it takes “a lot of effort” to forgive when asked if there was room for forgiveness between her, the royals and her own family, hinting that she could “say anything.” .
She said in the interview that she and Harry “just by existing” would “disrupt the dynamics of the hierarchy” before stepping down as senior working royals in 2020.
At Bridgewater Hall in Manchester on Monday night, Ms Markle spoke about the first time she was asked to become a consultant for One Young World in 2014 and a “pinch-me moment”.
“And there I was, the girl from Suits. I was surrounded by world leaders, humanitarians, prime ministers and activists for whom I had such deep and longstanding respect and admiration.
“And I was allowed in to sit at the table.
“I was so overwhelmed by this experience, I think I even saved my little paper placeholder with my name on it.
“Just proof: proof I was there, proof I belonged, because the truth was I wasn’t sure I belonged.”
She added that despite her “important and meaningful” work, she doubted herself, but said One Young World saw in her “the present and the future.”
“I was so nervous, I was doubting myself and wondering if I’m good enough to even be there?
“What I did in the world, even though I thought it was important and meaningful, was it worth sitting at that table?
“But One Young World saw in me what I wanted to see in myself. They saw in me, just as I saw in you, the present and the future.”
The Duchess told delegates: “You are the future, but I would like to add that you are also the present. They are the ones driving the positive and necessary change that is needed around the world, now, in this moment.”
But Meghan gave the final speech of the ceremony and declared the summit open.
It was the Sussexes’ first appearance in Britain since the Platinum Jubilee in June, when they made a brief appearance at Thanksgiving service and were not included in the lineup of working royals on the palace balcony.
During Monday’s trial, the pair sat side-by-side on a bench in the front row of the stage as they joined One Young World advisors to watch the flag-bearers enthusiastically parade the flags of more than 200 countries.
Meghan, with her hair in a ponytail, swayed to the beat of the music, which included Dancing In The Streets and Respect, as she clapped her hands.
Harry leaned forward a few times to whisper in his smiling wife’s ear.
Meghan cheered and said in her speech: “I’m thrilled that my husband can participate here this time.”
She added: “My husband has a long history of making important and needed impacts in the world and has focused a large part of his life’s work on youth.
“It’s just an absolute privilege for both of us to witness the power you hold in your hands and the unbridled enthusiasm and energy you have to see things come to fruition.”
The couple traveled by train from London to Manchester and flew commercially from the US to the UK.
The Sussexes have reportedly hired one of Harry’s former Metropolitan Police protection officers, now thought to work in the private sector, as part of their hurricane work trip security team.
The Duke is taking legal action against the Home Office over a decision not to allow him to pay for police protection for himself and his family while in the UK.
Harry and Meghan are staying at their home in Frogmore Cottage on the Windsor estate, but are not expected to meet up with the Cambridges, who have moved to Adelaide Cottage, less than 10 minutes’ walk away.
The next stop for the Sussexes will be Germany for the Invictus Games Düsseldorf 2023 One Year To Go event, taking place on Tuesday, before returning to the UK for the WellChild Awards in London, where Harry will address on Thursday.
One Young World co-founder David Jones told delegates Meghan was an “incredibly powerful voice for gender equality”.
Additional coverage from PA Media.
https://www.independent.ie/news/meghan-markle-says-mary-robinson-is-one-of-the-people-i-admire-most-in-keynote-speech-41963727.html Meghan Markle said in her keynote speech that Mary Robinson is “one of the people I admire most.”