Meghan Markle Encourages Girls to Speak Up In an Inspiring Keynote Speech

"The hardest part—and it was the hardest part for me—is to chase your convictions with action."

On Tuesday morning, Meghan Markle gave her much-anticipated keynote speech for the 2020 Girl Up Leadership Summit. It was Meghan's first formal public speaking event since she stepped down from the senior royal family with husband Prince Harry in January. In her inspiring speech, Meghan talked candidly about creating a world in which everyone is included—adding that she, Prince Harry, and Archie will be cheering from the sidelines.

It was amazing, to say the least. I don't know if that's because I haven't seen a non-paparazzi photo of Meghan in so long or the fact she was serving mermaid-hair realness while she delivered such an inspiring message, but I'm all over it.

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(Image credit: Courtesy)

A source close to the Duchesses said to royal reporter Victoria Murphy, "Her message is clear: girls must be empowered to set the agenda, own the conversation on the issues they care about and be driving forces for change in communities across the world."

Some of my favorite quotes of her speech:

"Believing in true equality is not enough — it's going to take more than belief, we have to work for it every day; even when it's hard and even when it makes others feel uneasy. We have to speak up for ourselves and we have to speak out for others who struggle to be heard."

"Your gut will tell you what’s right and what’s wrong; what’s fair and unfair. The hardest part —and it was the hardest part for me—is to chase your convictions with action."

She also commented on the Black Lives Matter movement:

"Girl Up members are organizing Black Lives Matter protests around the world, you are creating films to encourage your peers to become activist leaders, you are reforming the criminal justice system, you are telling your school boards we need more mental health resources for all ages, you are leading coalitions to end gun violence. You are standing up and demanding to be heard, yes, but you're also demanding to own the conversation."

And this:

"I will be cheering you on, so will my husband, so will Archie, as you continue marching, advocating, and leading the way forward.”

Needless to say, I'm inspired! You can read her full remarks here.

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Bianca Rodriguez is the Fashion & Luxury Commerce Manager at Hearst Magazines, covering fashion, beauty, and more for Cosmopolitan, Elle, Esquire, Harper’s BAZAAR, and Town & Country. In addition to spearheading commerce content across brands—from writing about wardrobe must-haves and sales at major retailers to strategizing—she is also an avid reader with a deep love and knowledge for books of all genres. More often than not, you can find her lounging with a good book on the weekend.