'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 paid tribute to her family in her keynote address in Manchester
Meghan paid tribute to her family in her keynote address in Manchester. Picture: Alamy

By Daisy Stephens

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.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

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".

Read more: William 'avoiding Harry until after his memoir is out because he doesn't trust him to keep talks private'

Read more: Harry and Meghan 'arrive in UK for whirlwind trip after flying commercial'

"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."

Meghan said she was "thrilled" Harry was at the summit with her
Meghan said she was "thrilled" Harry was at the summit with her. Picture: Alamy

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?"

Meghan delivered the keynote speech to delegates in Manchester
Meghan delivered the keynote speech to delegates in Manchester. Picture: Alamy

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?"

Harry and Meghan moved their family to California in 2020
Harry and Meghan moved their family to California in 2020. Picture: Alamy

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.

Read more: Harry and Meghan have 'no plans' to meet William on UK trip despite staying 'minutes way'

Read more: Queen to miss Highland Games event as monarch contends with mobility problems

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.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

A heart-broken family has cremated the wrong body after a mix-up by the Grange University Hospital in South Wales

Wrong body cremated after shocking South Wales hospital mix-up, as board apologises to the family

Russia Ukraine War

Soviet-era statue of Red Army commander taken down in Kyiv

Stephen Fry has said he feels "self conscious" going out without his walking stick which he has been using since his recovery from a fall in September. Credit: Alamy

Stephen Fry admits feeling 'self-conscious' using cane after recovering from agonising fall off O2 stage

Undated handout photo issued by Metropolitan Police of Lianne Gordon. A 16-year-old boy has been charged with the murder of Lianne, who was shot dead in Hackney, east London, the Metropolitan Police said. Issue date: Friday December 8, 2023.

Boy, 16, charged with murder of Lianne Gordon and two counts of attempted murder in Hackney shooting

Cop28 protests

Opec ‘panicking’ as Cop28 talks focus on possible fossil fuel phase-out

A bizarre fight broke out after a man tore down a Palestinian flag

Man rips down Palestinian flag in London before driver intervenes to stop him and ladder fight breaks out on street

Recep Tayyip Edrogan

Erdogan accuses West of ‘barbarism’ and Islamophobia over war in Gaza

Brits are facing Storms Elin and Fergus

Britain faces two storms as Elin and Fergus bring 70mph gusts and flooding with fresh yellow weather alerts issued

The Queen supported the idea of Harry keeping security after Megxit

Queen wanted Harry to keep security despite prince's claim he was 'forced' to leave UK after it was downgraded

Gatwick Airport has been hit by an ATC fault

Passengers delayed for hours after Gatwick Airport hit by air traffic control fault

Fire at hospital

Deadly fire breaks out at hospital near Rome

Brits are facing Storm Elin

Storm Elin: Brits face 55mph gusts and flooding as fresh yellow weather alerts issued for UK in bleak weekend

Met Police are investigating the violent robbery

Horrific CCTV shows two women unleash 'shocking and terrifying' assault on 20-year-old and rob her bag in North London

A mammoth £201m prize has been won in the EuroMillions

Lucky ticket holder scoops £201m in EuroMillions draw - was it you? Full draw details revealed

Gaza air strike

Israel presses on with Gaza bombardments as war enters third month

Kim Jong Un

Allies urge stronger international push against North Korea’s nuclear programme