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'They changed my life': Meghan pays tribute to Harry and son Archie in first UK speech since 'Megxit'
5 September 2022, 20:45 | Updated: 5 September 2022, 20:54
Meghan Markle has paid tribute to her family in her first UK speech since her and the Duke of Sussex moved to California, saying getting married and becoming a mother had "significantly" changed her life.
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The couple attended the One Young World summit for young leaders, and the Duchess of Sussex, a counsellor for the charity, gave a keynote address.
After recounting her 'overwhelming' first dinner as a counsellor in 2014, Ms Markle said at the next meeting in 2019 her "life had changed rather significantly".
She said she was "thrilled" Harry was at the event with her, and said becoming a mother had "expanded" her worldview "exponentially".
"I was now married, and I was now a mom," she told the audience.
"My worldview had expanded exponentially, seeing the global community through the eyes of my child.
"And I would ask - what is this world he would come to adopt?
"And what can we do, what can I do, to make it better?
"I'm thrilled that my husband is able to join me here this time, to be able to see and witness first-hand my respect for this organisation, this incredible organisation and all that it provides as well as accomplishes.
"One Young World has been an integral part of my life for so many years before I met him, so to meet again here, on UK soil with him by my side, makes it all feel full-circle."
Opening her speech, Ms Markle said it was "very nice" to be back in the UK.
"It was several years ago in 2014 that I was first invited to be a counsellor at One Young World," she went on.
"And in many ways, at the time, I was probably a lot like each of you.
"Young, ambitious, advocating for the things I deeply and profoundly believed in.
"And also, looking around and wondering - how on earth did I get here?"
She went on: "It's a lot, and at that dinner there were about 20 or 30 of us for the counsellors, and there I was.
"I was the girl from Suits and I was surrounded by world leaders, humanitarians, prime ministers and activists that I had such a deep and longstanding respect and admiration for."
She said she was "overwhelmed" and kept keepsakes for "proof that I belonged".
"I was so nervous," she said.
"I wondered if I was good enough to even be there, if what I was doing in the world... was it deserving to have a seat at this table?"
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex travelled to the UK for the first time since the Platinum Jubilee.
The duchess, who was dressed in a vivid red high-necked sleek trouser suit, smiled and held hands with the duke as they made their way through the auditorium to huge cheers.
The couple sat centre stage on a bench together as they joined One Young World counsellors to watch the flag bearers enthusiastically parading the flags of more than 200 countries during the opening ceremony.
Meghan, with her hair in a ponytail, swayed in time to the music, which included Dancing In The Streets and Respect, as she clapped her hands.
Former Suits star Meghan's speech on gender equality was her first in-person address in the UK since quitting as a senior working royal amid the Megxit crisis more than two years ago.
Meghan is a counsellor for the organisation, and the summit brings together more than 2,000 young leaders from more than 190 countries.
The couple were also meeting a group of summit delegates doing "outstanding work on gender equality", One Young World said.
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 and hinted that she can "say anything".
She said that "just by existing" she and Harry were "upsetting the dynamic of the hierarchy" before they stepped down as senior working royals in 2020.
The couple travelled by train from London to Manchester, and flew commercial from the US to the UK.
Next stop for them will be Germany, for the Invictus Games Dusseldorf 2023 One Year To Go event, which is taking place on Tuesday, before they return to the UK for the WellChild Awards in London, where Harry will deliver a speech on Thursday.