'You can be the visionary of your own life': Meghan Markle hails 'acts of service' as she accepts prestigious award

17 May 2023, 05:40 | Updated: 17 May 2023, 06:58

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry attend a glamorous New York gala on Tuesday night.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry attend a glamorous New York gala on Tuesday night. Picture: Getty
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Meghan Markle has urged women to be the "visionary of your own life" as she accepted a prestigious award in New York on Tuesday night.

Speaking at Ms. Foundation for Women's 'Woman of Vision' awards in Manhattan, Meghan told the audience: "It's just never too late to start. You can be the visionary of your own life. 

"You can charter a path in which what you repeat in your daily acts of service, in kindness, in advocacy, in grace and in fairness, that those become the very things that are recognised by the next wave of women, both young and old."

Prince Harry attended the awards alongside his wife, as did Meghan's mother Doria Ragland.

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Meghan Markle accepts Woman of Vision award
Meghan Markle accepts Woman of Vision award. Picture: Getty

Meghan also told the audience of a "funny" anecdote from when she was young, revealing she would come home from school and see Ms. Foundation's Ms. Magazine on the coffee table every day.

"It's funny because as a young girl, I would come home, I would settle in after a day of school, pull up my TV tray dinner, and I would turn on my evening ritual, Jeopardy!" she said. 

"And I would glance at the coffee table, where I would see an array of things. It could be the cat's collar, my homework, some mail that had just been brought in, and some magazines. The magazines said "Ms." on them.

Read More: King Charles 'wants to avoid distraction of Harry & Meghan drama’ and focus on duties post Coronation

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Doria Ragland and Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, are seen arriving to the "Woman Of Vision Awards"
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Doria Ragland and Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, are seen arriving to the "Woman Of Vision Awards". Picture: Getty

On the way up to accept her award, Alicia Keys' Girl on Fire was playing, with organisers revealing the Duchess of Sussex was rewarded for "lifelong advocacy for women and girls".

One of her close friends and American journalist Gloria Steinem, 89, was also at the words, whom Meghan paid tribute to.

Read More: Harry and Meghan's rift with 'furious' William and Kate 'never going to be healed'

"While I was familiar with most of your work before tonight, nothing could compare to the focus, the determination, the energy I feel from each of you, especially as we all bear witness to you standing in the elegance and the power of your strength," she said.

"And I remember them vividly because the pictures were different. There was a diversity that I hadn't seen as often, both of colour and of age, and the names were different. 

"There were Congresswomen, there were astronauts, and the topics were different. From mothering to being a working mom to heavier topics such as domestic violence, the poverty line, unearthing its roots, where it comes from, and matters of equity."

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex. Picture: Getty

The event comes amid several High Court trials involving the Harry in the UK.

The duke is attempting to bring a second legal challenge against the Home Office over his security arrangements when in the UK.

He is also bringing a contested claim against Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) over allegations of unlawful information gathering.

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