Meghan Markle Talks 'Authenticity' and Being 'Liberated' From Others' Opinions
By Antoinette Bueno
Meghan Markle is getting candid about blocking out her critics. The 39-year-old Duchess of Sussex spoke with Fortune senior editor Ellen McGirt at the magazine's Most Powerful Women virtual summit on Tuesday, where she opened up about speaking up about topics like Black Lives Matter and having people come after her.
Markle was asked about her advice to others with powerful platforms when it comes to taking risks when weighing in on current important issues. Markle said it was all about "being authentic."
"If you look back at anything I’ve said, it's really interesting, because what often ends up being inflammatory it seems, is people's interpretation of it," she said. "But if you listen to what I actually say, it’s not controversial."
She reflected on her speech in June to the graduating class of Immaculate Heart High School, her alma mater, in which she named victims of police killings, like George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Philando Castile and Tamir Rice. She said she spoke from the heart, instead of worrying about sounding polished.
"That is the takeaway that I have found, is if you don't listen to all the noise out there, and you just focus on living a purpose-driven life and you focus on knowing what your own moral compass is ... there are always going to be naysayers," she said. "I used to have a quote up in my room many, many moons ago, and it resonates now more than ever when you see the vitriol and noise that can be out in the world, and it's by Georgia O'Keeffe. And it's, 'I have already settled it for myself so flattery and criticism go down the same drain and I am quite free.' And the moment that you are able to be liberated from all these other opinions, of what you know to be true, then I think it's very easy to just live with truth and live with authenticity and that's how I choose to move through the world."
"If you listen to what I actually say, it’s not controversial."
Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex says we need a "reckoning" with how social platforms influence our lives and society. But, she says, "this isn't a dismissal of all things online." #FortuneMPWpic.twitter.com/iPaIyZydzZ
Markle also talked about the current coronavirus pandemic being a "reckoning" for everyone when it comes to realizing what really matters.
"For me, it's been amazing to spend time with my husband and watch our little one grow and that's where our attention has been," she said, referring to her husband, Prince Harry, and their 1-year-old son, Archie. "In addition to, of course, how we can be a part of the change of energy that so many people are craving right now and whatever we can do to help in that capacity."