The Duchess of Sussex sent royal fans wild when she debuted a sleek new hairstyle during a live speech at a digital global leadership summit yesterday.
Meghan Markle, 38, appeared via video link from home to speak about the fight against gender and race inequality in an address to young women around the world for the UN initiative Girl Up.
Followers were quick to take to Twitter to praise her ‘flowing hair’ and said it is part of her return to ‘celebrity hotness’ now that she is living in the US and has left royal life.
Celebrity hairstylist James Johnson told FEMAIL that the stunning new look gives Meghan a ‘professional’ feel but maintains a level of ‘coolness’ befitting of her Los Angeles lifestyle. He also pointed out that the style is easy to do at home and makes her look more ‘current’ like an influencer, rather than a royal.
Social media users were divided over how Meghan was able to achieve the latest look, with some speculating she might be wearing extensions.
However others noted Meghan has naturally ‘thick, long hair’ and that straightening would give the appearance of additional length.
Meghan Markle, 38, appeared via video link from home to speak about the fight against gender and race inequality in an address to young women around the world for the UN initiative Girl Up. Royal fans went wild over her sleek, long locks (pictured), which a celebrity hairstylist James Johnson said gives her a ‘professional’ yet ‘current’ look perfect for her LA lifestyle
Social media users were divided over how Meghan was able to achieve the latest look, with some speculating she might be wearing extensions. However others noted Meghan has always had naturally ‘thick, long hair’ and that straightening would give the appearance of additional length. Pictured, Meghan wearing her hair down in January (left) and in September last year
One tweeted: ‘Meg has a thick, full head of hair. It’s naturally curly so when she blows it out straight, it’s going to be much longer.’
Another added: ‘Meghan has always had long thick hair. I remember atter she had Archie her hair was so long. I do not believe those are extensions.’
Disagreeing, one user posted: ‘I love Meghan but she’s def wearing extensions, which there’s nothing wrong with that, her hair is shorter in those pics of them at the dentist a few days ago.’
Offering his professional opinion, Mr Johnson said he thought it was likely Meghan had added extensions, explaining they’re a brilliant way to enhance natural thickensss and add volume into the hair.
He continued: ‘Meghan’s straight hair is the easy at home sleek look. Having like this is still elegant and professional yet still delivers a level a coolness to match her LA vibe! Keeping the ends blunt helps make the hair look thicker
‘The hair makes her look more influencer than royal as it’s more youthful and current.’
Overall the appearance was met with widespread excitement from fans, who said Meghan was a ‘queen’ and had returned to her ‘celebrity hotness’. One tweeted: ‘Meghan Markle bringing full Los Angeles celebrity hotness for the UN speech. No more royal hairstyles, covered shoulders or minimal make-up. She is back!’.
Royal fans took to Twitter to debate whether Meghan had achieved her look with extensions. The majority seem to believe that it was simply her natural locks straightened
Body language expert Judi James noted the engagement was significant as it represented the ‘relaunch’ and ‘rebrand’ of Meghan.
Dressed in a cobalt blue top, Meghan spoke in front of a plain wall at Tyler Perry’s LA mansion, where she is currently staying with Prince Harry, 35, and Archie, one.
She told participants that they must challenge world leaders and executives to fight major issues including racial injustice and gender inequality, as well as gun violence, mental health awareness, and the reform of the criminal justice system.
Quoting the Dalai Lama, Meghan said that she, her husband and Archie would be cheering change-makers on, as she continued: ‘I challenge you to broaden that feeling. The Dalai Lama famously said, “Compassion is the radicalism of our time.”‘
The duchess also addressed the ‘power’ of social media, noting that it has the potential both to ‘aid’ and ‘impair’ the fight for justice.
‘Our online role has the power to affirm and support as much as it does to harm,’ she noted. Speaking about dealing with negativity in all forms, Meghan shared her advice for how to handle it, both in person and online, telling the summit participants that they must learn to drown out the ‘noise’ of negative voices and prioritize positivity.
Judi James described the LA native’s appearance as redesigned and rebranded, describing her as ‘fully emerged from the royal experience and is back on track’ (Meghan is seen with Harry at a final royal engagement in March at Westminster Abbey in a more demure look)
Fans quickly shared their excitement over Meghan’s impressive appearance, with one writing: ‘Meghan Markle bringing full Los Angeles celebrity hotness for the UN speech
‘We are not meant to be breaking each other down,’ she said. ‘Build each other up, support each other.
‘There will always be negative voices. Drown out that noise. Because that’s what it is, it is just noise. Your voices can and should be much louder.’
Analysing the footage for FEMAIL, body language expert Judi James described Meghan as having ‘fully emerged from the royal experience and is back on track and on form as a confident and inspirational speaker in her own right’.
She continued: ‘This was a very redesigned and rebranded Meghan, with her body language suggesting she has now fully emerged from the royal experience and is back on track and on form as a confident and inspirational speaker in her own right.
‘Meghan’s gesticulation was more ‘guru’ than Hollywood actress and wife of a prince.
‘The way her cheeks rounded in a calm smile at the start showed happy confidence to be there addressing her young audience and throughout her speech she avoided showboating or over-congruence, both of which are trait-traps that less experienced and less adept speakers often fall into, using over-exaggeration to try to hammer their messages home.
Elsewhere one shared a meme of Rihanna wearing a crown, and remarked: ‘She’s just so effortless with it.. my goodness!’
‘Instead Meghan spoke with a calm and warm tone, using long blinks and a raised index finger to suggest wisdom and empathy. Her finger pinch gesture flagged up precise thought and a desire to give advice from a place of experience and when she pulled her hands into fists she showed a desire to create change.’
She continued: ‘Her eye-gaze commanded the camera and when she told her audience to ‘Chase your convictions with actions’ she coupled it with small but dramatic pauses and the slow, calm blink.
‘This was possibly Meghan’s most important speech to date, alongside the likes of women like Michelle Obama, and it was clear she was more than up to the challenge.
‘She was at her most confident here and the way she ended with a praying hand clasp pointed at the camera means her message of support should have inspired a whole new audience.’
Meghan Markle’s speech extracts
‘It’s such a joy to speak to you today. To young women around the world who aren’t just poised to change the world; but have already begun changing the world. Last month I had the chance to speak to the 2020 class at my high school alma mater, which is an all-girls school in Los Angeles. I said that they shouldn’t see their graduation as an ending, but rather the beginning. The beginning of a journey where they can now harness their work, their values, and skills – all the skills they’ve learned – to rebuild the world around them.’
‘I say to you, keep challenging, keep pushing, make them a little uncomfortable. Because it’s only in that discomfort that we actually create the conditions to reimagine our standards, our policies, and our leadership; to move towards real representation and meaningful influence over the structures of decision-making and power.’
‘Despite what some might say, this reimagining is not a zero-sum game, where one side wins and the other side loses. Not at all. It is mutually beneficial and better for everyone.’
‘Your generation is often referred to as the digital natives, and you understand that our online world has the power to affirm and support as much as it does to harm. But we are not meant to be breaking each other down; we are meant to be building each other up. So use your voice both on-and-offline to do just that—build each other up, support each other.
‘There will always be negative voices and sometimes those voices can appear to be outsized, and sometimes they can appear to be painfully loud. You can and will use your own voices to drown out the noise. Because that’s what it is—just noise. But your voices are those of truth. And hope. And your voices can and should be much louder.’
‘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, 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 what’s unfair. The hardest part—and it was the hardest part for me—is to chase your convictions with action.’
‘I will be cheering you on, so will my husband, so will Archie, as you all continue marching, advocating, and leading the way forward.’
Girl Up, which has the motto ‘uniting girls to change the world’, revealed that the royal was set to appear at its virtual 2020 Global Leadership Summit last week, sharing the news on its social media platforms.
Meghan was a keynote speaker at the online event, which began on July 13 and is set to continue until July 15.
It is the latest in a series of public steps taken by Prince Harry and Meghan as they shift the focus of their royal work towards racial equality and social justice.
The Girl Up Global Leadership Summit is part of an initiative started by the UN, which is ‘dedicated to securing equal opportunities for underprivileged adolescent girls in developing countries such as Ethiopia, Malawi, Guatemala, and India’.
A spokesperson for Girl Up confirmed to DailyMail.com that speakers are not paid for their time, and all take part in the summit on a volunteer basis.