Since taking a step back from their roles as senior members of the royal family, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have set their sights on humanitarian efforts through various partnerships and their Archewell foundation. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been making a few appearances to discuss their causes and lend their platform to a variety of meaningful charities. More recently, however, the Duchess of Sussex has been putting her efforts behind advocating for parental leave, and her recent statement on the subject echoed a very familiar sentiment shared by her late mother-in-law, Princess Diana.
During her conversation with Andrew Ross Sorkin, the editor-at-large, columnist, and founder of DealBook with the New York Times, Meghan was asked about those cold calls she’s been making to U.S. Senators as part of her parental leave advocacy effort, and whether she has “any anxiety about getting involved in politics.” With her response, the mom of two articulated how she doesn’t see parental leave as inherently political at its core. “I don’t see this as a political issue, frankly,” she said.
“There’s certainly a precedent amongst my husband’s family, and the royal family of not having any involvement in politics. But I think this is, I mean, paid leave, from my standpoint is just a humanitarian issue.” Invoking the humanitarian aspect of the fight for parental leave sounded incredibly familiar. Indeed, it was actually back in January 1997 when, during her advocacy work to ban landmines, Princess Diana shared a very similar sentiment.
When asked if she was surprised by the political reaction to her work, particularly her visit to Angola, Diana shared a very deliberate rebuttal. “I saw it merely as a distraction,” she said, referencing the response. “I’m not a political figure; I am a humanitarian figure and always have been and always will be.” While some have drawn comparisons between Meghan and Princess Diana in the past, this is yet another example of how both women, in positions of privilege and influence, wanted to use their platforms for good. It’s a striking resemblance, one that simply echoes how important public service was, and is, to both women.
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