Ian Payne 4am - 7am
Meghan Markle makes first TV appearance since bombshell Oprah interview
9 May 2021, 07:45 | Updated: 9 May 2021, 13:49
The Duchess of Sussex has made her first TV appearance since the bombshell Oprah Winfrey interview with her husband Harry.
Speaking in a pre-recorded message for the Global Citizen VAX Live concert, Meghan Markle called for more support for women after the coronavirus pandemic.
The show aired on Saturday night in the US and featured performances from Jennifer Lopez, Eddie Vedder, Foo Fighters, J Balvin and H.E.R.
In her message, Meghan said: "The past year has been defined by communities coming together tirelessly and heroically to tackle Covid-19.
"We've gathered tonight because the road ahead is getting brighter, but it's going to take every one of us to find our way forward.
"As campaign chairs of Vax Live, my husband and I believe it's critical that our recovery prioritises the health, safety and success of everyone - and particularly women, who have been disproportionately affected by this pandemic."
The pregnant duchess added: "Women, and especially women of colour, have seen a generation of economic gain wiped out.
"Since the pandemic began, nearly 5.5 million women have lost work in the US, and 47 million more women around the world are expected to slip into extreme poverty."
Meghan, who appeared on TV for the first time since her and Harry's bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey, during which they confirmed their next child would be a girl, said: "My husband and I are thrilled to soon be welcoming a daughter.
"It's a feeling of joy we share with millions of other families around the world. When we think of her, we think of all the young women and girls around the globe who must be given the ability and the support to lead us forward."
Earlier this week, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex penned an open letter to the heads of pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca urging them to redouble their support for the UN-sponsored Covax programme.
The royal couple have encouraged all firms to temporarily suspend intellectual property rights applied to Covid vaccines.
They have also called for a "global public-private collaboration" so production methods for the drugs can be shared.
Harry and Meghan's intervention into the global debate about the vaccine rollout came on the second birthday of their son Archie. They have asked those wanting to mark this to donate funds that will support Covax.
Their recent interview with Oprah left the royal family in crisis after they alleged the monarchy was a racist and uncaring institution.
The couple claimed a member of the family, not the Queen or the late Duke of Edinburgh, made a racist comment about their son and said the duchess had suicidal thoughts but her approaches to the monarchy for help were turned down.