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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 September 2018

Five things we learnt from Meghan Markle's new official royal website 

From her career to her new home and her history, here's what the royal family have to officially say about the new Duchess of Sussex

A snippet of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's official wedding photo, which was taken in Windsor Castle. AP 
A snippet of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's official wedding photo, which was taken in Windsor Castle. AP 

Meghan Markle is now formally Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Sussex, and with that comes an official page on the British Royal Family's website - Royal.uk.

The page appeared just this week, so here are five things we learned from it...

1. That she's a proud feminist

The first pull quote that sits across the Duchess' new official page on Royal.uk may (hopefully) signal the direction she plans to take her royal role in:

Meghan makes a statement on her new royal website. 
Meghan makes a statement on her new royal website.

This quote was taken from a speech she gave in New York in 2015 in her capacity as the UN Women's Advocate for Women's Political Participation and Leadership.

2. That she's always had an interest in politics and social activism

While Meghan studied theatre at the Northwestern University in Evanston Illinois, she also majored in intertnational studies. And, during her time at university she completed an internship at the US embassy in Argentina, where she leaned to speak Spanish (she also studied French for six years).

This is interesting given that now, as a member of the British royal family, she will not be able to vote or express a direct political opinion - she will have far more influence than she had before, however.

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The website also points out how the Duchess has been socially active from a young age: "Aged 11 she successfully campaigned for a company to alter their television advert that had used sexist language to sell washing-up liquid. Her Royal Highness also volunteered at a soup kitchen in Skid Row, Los Angeles from the age of 13-17. She continued to volunteer at the soup kitchen when she would return home to Los Angeles until the age of 22."

3. That the royal family acknowledges her work in Suits

While we all know that Meghan Markle appeared in seven seasons of legal drama Suits, it's interesting that her official page on Royal.uk features a whole paragraph on the role, and a still of her character:

A screengrab from the Duchess of Sussex's biography page on Royal.uk 
A screengrab from the Duchess of Sussex's biography page on Royal.uk

In fact, it's notable that Meghan's page includes a 'career' section, while the Duchess of Cambridge's goes straight from education to family life.

4. That her official home is now Kensington Palace

Prince Harry Meghan Markle pose for a photograph in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace. AFP 
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle pose for a photograph in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace. AFP

The website states that Meghan and Harry's official residence is now Kensington Palace - this is also the official London residence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. It is said that Harry and Meghan live in Nottingham Cottage, which is on the grounds of Kensington Palace. Meanwhile, the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh's official London residence is Buckingham Palace, and the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall's London home is Clarence House.

The Gloucesters and Prince and Princess Michael also call Kensington Palace their official home (remember, it's rather large).

5. That there is breadth and depth to her charity work

The Duchess' official page also details just how much time Meghan has committed to charitable causes in recent years, setting her apart from some, but not all, of her Hollywood and acting contemporaries.

She became a counsellor for One Young World in 2014 (an organisation that gathers young leaders to discuss pressing global issues); she became an advocate for UN Women in 2015, and went on a mission to Rwanda where she visited a refugee camp to meet women working on empowerment at a grassroots level.

She also became a Global Ambassador for World Vision in 2016, and that year she visited Rwanda to raise awareness for a clean water campaign, and then visited Mumbai in 2017, later writing an op-ed for Time magazine about the stigmatisation of menstrual health and its long-term effects on education.

A photo from Royal.uk of Meghan in India in 2017. 
A photo from Royal.uk of Meghan in India in 2017.

While it's not clear exactly when Prince Harry and Meghan first met, the rumours of them dating began in October 2016, meaning her official charity work likely began years before her royal journey commenced.

She will now be a patron of the Royal Foundation, which was set up in 2009 to enable William and Harry to, in William's words, "use our privileged position to make a real difference in the future to many areas of charitable work".

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