International Women's Day speech – Meghan Markle says 'I feel the embryonic kicking of feminism'
The pregnant Duchess of Sussex has long championed women's rights – with today again seeing her speak out about issues affecting women.
She today was welcomed to King's College by several staffers – receiving a peck on the cheek from the familiar face of Lord Geidt, the former Private Secretary to Queen and The Queen's Commonwealth Trust chairman.
Wearing a £185 Reiss dress and £1,245 Alexander McQueen blazer, Meghan seemed in good spirits as she was ushered inside.
And Meghan seemed keen to chat about her pregnancy, saying it was going "very well".
She added: "It's funny, I'd actually been joking these past few weeks I'd seen this documentary on Netflix about feminism and one of the things they said during pregnancy was 'I feel the embryonic kicking of feminism'.
"I loved that. So boy or girl, whatever it is, we hope that that's the case."
Meghan was quoting American actress Lily Tomlin, who was featured in the Netflix series Feminists – What Were They Thinking?
The panel was hosted by the Queen's Commonwealth Trust, which supports and funds young leaders around the world who are working to tackle problems in education, health, the environment and sport.
And in a nod to the the former Suits actress' involvement, she was today announced as the Vice-President of The Queen's Commonwealth Trust.
The Queen is currently patron, and Meghan's husband Prince Harry is President.
WOMEN EMPOWERING WOMEN
Today's panel discussion saw Meghan speak alongside Lennox, the founder of The Circle, an organisation supporting and empowering women's lives around the world, while Ms Gillard is chairwoman of the Global Institute for Women's Leadership.
Other members of the panel include Adwoa Aboah, who set up the open social discussion platform Gurls Talk, Chrisann Jarrett, founder of the equal access to higher education campaign Let Us Learn, and Angeline Murimirwa, executive director of the Campaign for Female Education in Africa and co-founder of CAMA, a pan-African network of young female leaders.
Your strength includes knowing your vulnerabilities and your sense of self and security, and your confidence comes from knowing a woman by your side, not behind you, is actually something you should not be threatened about
Asked by the panel chairwoman about the selling of feminism to men and boys, Meghan replied: "I've said for a long time you can be feminine and a feminist, you can be masculine.
"And I think in terms of masculinity you understand that your strength includes knowing your vulnerabilities and your sense of self and security, and your confidence comes from knowing a woman by your side, not behind you, is actually something you should not be threatened about – as opposed you should feel really empowered in having that."
And she said she didn't read news or tweets about herself, saying: "I don't read anything, it's much safer that way, but equally that's just my own personal preference because I think positive or negative it can all sort of just feel like noise to a certain extent these days, as opposed to getting muddled with that to focus on the real cause."
The panel was chaired by Anne McElvoy, senior editor of The Economist and columnist with the Evening Standard.
Meghan has a track record of standing up for women's rights – even calling out a sexist advert when she was just 12-years-old.
Even at 18-years-old Meghan championed being a feminist, calling out radio host Tom Leykis for apparently talking about women "like they are pieces of meat".
The duchess has made women's empowerment a key part of her campaigning work and during her recent tour of Morocco, with the duke, told a group of female executives and entrepreneurs: "Women have to challenge everywhere in the world."
She also revealed husband Prince Harry was a feminist.
Meghan has been given the blessing of the Royal Family to use her position to fight for feminism.
The royal webpage includes Meghan's famous quote from a United Nations conference in New York in 2015 when she said: "I am proud to be a woman and a feminist".
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