Just call her “Super Woman.”
Before she became a successful actress in Suits and went on to marry Prince Harry, Meghan Markle was following her moral compass and speaking out against issues, suggesting she’ll push for equality as a royal.
Meghan was inspired to change a TV commercial at the age of 11, after having seen a Procter & Gamble commercial that advertised its Ivory dishwashing soap solely to women.
The commercial for the soap struck her as unfair and insensitive when she heard, “women all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans.”
“I don’t think it’s right for kids to grow up thinking these things, that just mom does everything,” the then 11-year-old said during an interview with Nick News uncovered by Inside Edition.
Meghan’s social studies class had been assigned to watch commercials and assess them. The assignment led to a monumental moment for the future royal.
“I said, wait a minute how could somebody say that?” Meghan said in the interview. “Just about one out of every three commercials is going to say something that’s going to hurt somebody’s feelings.”
Instead of letting more people feel hurt, Meghan decided to write to the company and asked them to change their slogan from “Women all over America” to “People all over America.”
Days later, the commercial aired on TV again, this time with the slogan, “People are fighting greasy pots and pans with Ivory care.”
About 20 years after seeing the commercial, Meghan gave a speech about the moment at the United Nations, saying, “I remember feeling shocked, and angry and also just feeling so hurt. It just wasn’t right and something needed to be done.
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The future Duchess of Sussex went home and told her father, Thomas Markle, who encouraged her to write letters to “the most powerful people I could think of.”
“My 11-year-old self worked out that if I really wanted someone to hear me, well then I should write a letter to the First Lady,” Meghan said at the UN. “So, off I went, scribbling away, to our First Lady at the time, Hillary Clinton.”
She also wrote letters to celebrity attorney Gloria Allred and Nick News anchor Linda Ellerbee.
“At the age of 11, I had created my small level of impact by standing up for equality,” Meghan continued.
Her younger self would agree, telling Nick News, “If you see something that you don’t like or offended by on television or any other place, write letters and send them to the right people and you can really make a difference, not just for yourself but for lots of other people.”
Even before her star-studded royal wedding on Saturday, Meghan hinted at the type of example she’ll set as a royal. In lieu of wedding gifts, the couple asked for donations to a group of charities making a difference in the U.K. Among them: StreetGames, a nonprofit that works with girls in a small sports center in a disadvantaged area of Cardiff; and CHIVA, which raises awareness of the challenges faced by children born with the condition or coping with the loss of parents.
“I think what’s been really exciting as we talk about the transition of this out of my career, but into the role, is that, as you said, the causes that have been very important to me I can focus even more energy on,” said the former Suits actress in her first joint interview with Harry in November. “Because very early out of the gate I think you realize once you have access or a voice that people are going to listen to, with that comes a lot of responsibility, which I take seriously.”
She continued: “And at the same time I think in these beginning few months and now being boots on the ground in the U.K., I’m excited to just really get to know more about the different communities here, smaller organizations who are working on the same causes that I’ve always been passionate about under this umbrella. And also being able to go around to the Commonwealth, I think it’s just — it’s just the beginning.”