On her official royal biography, Meghan Markle declares "I am proud to be a woman and a feminist." And on her first official royal tour with Prince Harry, the Duchess of Sussex showed she is a woman of her word. From her clothes, her speeches, and, yes, even her bodyguard, Markle incorporated strong messages about empowering women and girls throughout her whirlwind 16-day trip to Australia, New Zealand, Tonga, and Fiji, reinforcing that she is the feminist princess we've been waiting for.
1. Her wardrobe
Throughout her royal tour, Meghan Markle made a bold fashion statement: women supporting women is en vogue. In addition to hiring stylist Jessica Mulroney to oversee all her looks for her royal engagements across the Pacific, the feminist princess also made sure to wear countless female designers including Karen Walker, Tabitha Simmons, and more.
In Australia, Markle wore a blazer from the clothing line of her good friend and MAKER Serena Williams. The tennis legend gave a shout-out to the princess for her support, bragging that she and the Duchess had the same wardrobe on Instagram .
A post shared by Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) on Oct 16, 2018 at 5:51pm PDT
During her speech in New Zealand, the Duchess wore a bespoke navy dress by Gabriela Hearst, a New York-based political activist and designer. Hearst's past clothing collections have been inspired by prominent feminists including U.S. Senator Kamala Harris and American political activist Angela Davis. The designer even created a line of handbags paying tribute to working women.
2. Her speeches
In her highly anticipated first official royal speech in Fiji, Markle turned the spotlight on girls' education. "When girls are given the right tools to succeed, they can create incredible futures," she said.
Markle stressed the value of education by relaying her own story of how she paid for her bachelor's degree at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.
"It was through scholarships, financial aid programs and work-study, where my earnings from a job on campus went directly towards my tuition, that I was able to attend university," Meghan Markle said to a group of college students. "And without question, it was worth every effort." Markle ended the speech announcing two grants that would go towards women's educational programs.
While in New Zealand, Markle spoke up for women's rights to mark the 125th anniversary of women's suffrage in New Zealand, the first country in the world where women secured the right to vote. "Women's suffrage is about feminism," Markle said, "but feminism is about fairness."
"Suffrage is not simply about the right to vote, but also about what that represents: the basic and fundamental human right of being able to participate in the choices for your future and your community," Markle said in front of a crowd that included the country's fearless feminist leader Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. The Duchess of Sussex also ended her speech by paying homage to Kate Sheppard, a New Zealand suffragette.
3. Her Bodyguard
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex hired a woman to replace Harry's former head of security, Sargeant Bill Renshaw. The guard whose name has not been released to the public for security reasons was reportedly hired months ago. While there was a flood of sexist commentary from media outlets covering the "mystery blonde" who was "armed and in killer heels," Markle's bodyguard is taken very seriously. She has been charged with not only ensuring the safety of the royal couple. She also oversees their entire police detail. While she's not the first female bodyguard in the royal family, the new princess is making a statement that gender equality comes hand in hand with her reign.