Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, spoke out Tuesday about how she deals with public criticism and seemed to subtly defend her recent controversial remarks about the upcoming U.S. election.
While speaking at Fortune's Most Powerful Women Summit 2020, Meghan was asked by senior editor Ellen McGirt how she handles the scrutiny that goes along with being a public figure and a powerful woman with a platform.
Before quoting the American modernist poet Georgia O'Keefe -- "I have already settled it for myself so flattery and criticism go down the same drain and I am quite free" -- the duchess said it's about being "authentic."
"If you look back at anything that I've said, it's really interesting because it often ends up, what ends up being inflammatory it seems, is people's interpretation of it. But if you listen to what I actually say it's not controversial," she said. "The moment that you're able to be liberated from all of these other opinions of what you know to be true, then I think it's very easy to just live with truth and live with authenticity, and that's how I choose to move through the world."
"If you listen to what I actually say, it's not controversial."September 29, 2020
Meghan, 39, and her husband, Prince Harry, 36, caused controversy in the United Kingdom last week for discussing politics, since members of the royal family are expected to steer clear of that arena. However, the couple, who have stepped down as senior working members of the royal family and relocated to California, appeared in a video for this year's TIME 100 list of most influential people, and encouraged viewers to vote.
"Every four years, we're told, 'This is the most important election of our lifetime.' But this one is," Meghan said in the video. "When we vote, our values are put into action, and our voices are heard."
Prince Harry joined her in the video tribute, saying, "As we approach this November, it's vital that we reject hate speech, misinformation and online negativity."
Neither advocated for a specific candidate.
At Tuesday's summit, Meghan was due to discuss "what it will take to create humane tech," according to the conference prospectus. ABC News understands that social media reform will be a key component in the couple's future endeavors and that their charity, Archewell, will be focused on creating compassionate, empathetic and strong communities -- both offline and online.
"Part of our focus with the Archewell Foundation is to just ensure that we are helping foster healthy positive communities -- online and off -- for our collective well-being," Meghan said.
"It's like we live in the future when you're talking about bots and trolls and all of these things," she continued. "It seems so fantastical, but that's actually the current state of affairs and that is shaping how we interact with each other online and off -- and that's the piece that's important. It is not just an isolated experience. It transcends into how you interact with anyone around you and certainly your own relationship with yourself."
She called for everyone to be responsible: "When you know something is wrong -- reporting it, talking about it, ensuring that the facts are getting out there -- I think that is one clear tangible thing that everyone could be doing."
Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex says we need a "reckoning" with how social platforms influence our lives and society. But, she says, "this isn't a dismissal of all things online." #FortuneMPW pic.twitter.com/iPaIyZydzZ— FORTUNE (@FortuneMagazine) September 29, 2020
McGirt also asked the duchess about her public support for the Black Lives Matter movement, referring to a graduation speech she gave to students at her former high school, Immaculate Heart, days after the death of George Floyd in police custody.
Meghan said she "really struggled" with what to say, and ultimately decided to just speak from the heart.
"I didn't sit down and write anything, and I didn't ask anyone for help with how I should word this. I was just in tears thinking about it," she said. "That's probably why it doesn't look polished. And that is why it doesn't feel perfect. But that's also why it is authentic."
Discussing the turbulent time the country is facing, Meghan added that "we're all going through a moment of reckoning and probably a reevaluation of what really matters."
However, amid all the chaos, she's also found happiness in the quality time she's spent with Harry and their 16-month-old son, Archie.
"It's been amazing to spend time with my husband and watch our little one grow and that's where our attention has been," she said.
Duchess Meghan explains how she handles constant scrutiny, criticism originally appeared on goodmorningamerica.com