Meghan Markle looked in high spirits as she arrived at the Royal Albert Hall this evening, just hours after a source close to her and Prince Harry told CNN the couple are ‘single-handedly’ modernising the monarchy.
The official opening of the 2019 One Young World summit, in Kensington, West London, was also Meghan’s first public appearance since an explosive ITV documentary in which she revealed scrutiny and media attention had left her feeling ‘vulnerable’.
Meghan, 38, attended without Prince Harry, in her role as vice-president of the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust, which is partnering with One Young World to bring 53 young leaders to the summit.
Tonight’s Royal Albert Hall event is described as a ‘global forum for young leaders’ and brought together 2,000 people from more than 190 countries.
Wearing a purple dress and sporting a broad smile, Meghan exchanged hugs and handshakes as she greeted admirers.
She also appeared keen to flash her wedding ring, holding her left hand out in front of her as she arrived at the London venue.
Her appearance comes just days after an emotional interview with ITV broadcaster Tom Bradby, where Meghan revealed her struggles to cope with the pressures of her new life since marrying Harry in May 2018.
And, earlier today, a source close to Harry and Meghan told CNN that the couple are ‘single-handedly’ modernising the monarchy, before slamming the ‘institution around the royal family’ for being unable to harness the couple’s full value.
Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, attends the Opening Ceremony of the annual One Young World Summit at the Royal Albert Hall in Kensington tonight
The Duchess of Sussex greets an admirer as she arrives at the event, which is described as a ‘global forum for young leaders
Meghan smiled broadly as she arrived at the event, which is determined to create the next generation of more responsible and effective leadership
Meghan’s appearance comes just days after an emotional interview with ITV broadcaster Tom Bradby, where Meghan revealed her struggles to cope with the pressures of her new life since marrying Harry in May 2018
The Duchess looked in high spirits as she arrived, wearing a purple dress and sporting a broad smile as she greeted admirers with handshakes and hugs
Meghan’s appearance comes just hours after a source close to her and Harry said that the couple were modernising the Royal Family
She also appeared keen to flash her wedding ring, holding her left hand out in front of her as she arrived at the event
In ITV’s Harry & Meghan: An African Journey, which aired on Sunday, Meghan also said she had tried to keep a ‘stiff upper lip’ under the media spotlight.
The Duchess revealed friends had warned her not to marry into the Royal Family, while Harry said he needed ‘constant management’ to deal with the pressures of his life.
The explosive documentary led to an outpouring of support for the couple, though they also faced criticism for their candid interviews.
Today, speaking to CNN, a source close to the couple defended them and said: ‘The institution around the British royal family is full of people afraid of and inexperienced at how to best help harness and deploy the value of the royal couple who have single-handedly modernized the monarchy.’
They then hit out at the ‘hysterical’ media reaction to the comments made by Prince Harry in an ITV documentary on Sunday about his brother William.
The couple are said to have a full schedule of engagements until mid-November – before taking six weeks off from royal duties over Christmas.
The Royal Albert Hall getting ready for Meghan Markle’s arrival for the official opening of the 2019 One Young World summit
The source close to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex (pictured) said the institution around the royal family is full of people ‘inexperienced’ at how best to ‘deploy and harness their value
The source, close to Harry and Meghan, launched a defence of the couple to CNN (pictured)
Spotlight: The engagement marks the royal’s first appearance since she revealed she feels ‘vulnerable’ in an explosive ITV interview that aired on Sunday night, pictured
It is understood their family time will include them flying to Los Angeles next month to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland.
The couple are then expected to spend their first Christmas with their son Archie, who was born in May, with the Queen and other royals at Sandringham in Norfolk.
Ahead of Meghan’s appearance tonight, the official Sussex Royal Instagram account shared a post highlighting the Duchess’ long-standing relationship with the One Young World (OYW) organisation.
Meghan also shared a throwback photo of her chatting to Justin Trudeau hours after he was re-elected as Prime Minister of Canada.
The Instagram post read: ‘The Duchess of Sussex will attend @OneYoungWorld opening ceremony this evening to continue her support for this amazing collective of global youth ambassadors.’
It continued: ‘Later this week The Duchess will hold a round table discussion with several of the OYW young leaders to address the issue of gender equity worldwide, and how we can all play our part to reach equality for all.’
Meghan first spoke at a OYW summit in Dublin in 2014 and returned two years later for the engagement in Ottowa alongside Mr Trudeau.
The Duchess of Sussex shared a throwback photo of Justin Trudeau hours after he was re-elected as Prime Minister of Canada. The snap shows Meghan, 38, chatting to Mr Trudeau, 47, at the One Young World summit in Ottowa in 2016. Meghan attended the 2019 summit today
Ahead of the summit, Meghan and Harry’s official Sussex Royal Instagram account highlighted the Duchess’ longstanding relationship with the global youth leadership organisation
Meghan first spoke at a OYW summit in Dublin in 2014, when she was still an actress (pictured)
Then starring in US legal drama Suits, Meghan attended the conference to deliver a speech to a group of global young leaders.
Meghan is thought to have befriended Mr Trudeau’s wife Sophie – a mutual friend of stylist Jessica Mulroney – while living in Toronto. She was based in the city while filming Suits.
The same post shared earlier today also featured a video of the duchess speaking at a previous event about empowering women.
She said: ‘I think what scares people is this idea female empowerment is somehow threatening. No, it’s not. Empower the women, you’re empowering the community.
‘And I think anything is possible, because with my small voice at 11 years old, we could do it – so I can only imagine what all of you are going to be able to do.’
The event tonight comes after it emerged Prince William and Harry have spoken to each other privately after Harry and Meghan bared their souls in the documentary.
Royal aides are said to have ‘concern’ about Harry and Meghan’s struggles, with William believed to be ‘worried’ about his brother who he feels is in a ‘fragile place’.
Prince Harry spoke of his mental health and relationship with brother William on ITV, saying they have ‘good days’ and ‘bad days’ and are travelling on ‘different paths’.
Royal aides are said to have ‘concern’ about Harry and Meghan’s struggles, with William believed to be ‘worried’ about his brother who he feels is in a ‘fragile place’. Pictured: the Duke and Duchess of Sussex with their son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor in Cape Town, South Africa
ITV began trailing the interview with Harry and Meghan towards the end of William’s own successful tour of Pakistan with his wife Kate (pictured together in Lahore)
Describing how William felt at seeing his younger brother clearly upset, a senior royal source said: ‘He is concerned, as anyone would be watching the documentary.’
William is also said to think the suggestion that Harry and Meghan want a six-week break from royal duties is probably a ‘good thing’ as they are in ‘a fragile place’.
But royal sources scotched talk of William being ‘furious’ about the timing of the programme.
ITV began trailing the interview towards the end of William’s own successful tour of Pakistan with his wife Kate.
One said: ‘Actually I just think there is a really deep sadness there. Things will never be the same again, clearly.’
Meghan received an outpouring of support from tens of thousands of people on Twitter last week after her interview discussing the hardships of motherhood.
#WeLoveYouMeghan’ became the top trending topic on the social media platform, with users offering positive messages in the wake of her media scrutiny.
A royal source told The Sunday Times over the weekend: ‘The Duke and Duchess have a full schedule of engagements and commitments until mid-November, after which they will be taking some much-needed family time.’