Meghan’s speech ‘very powerful’ despite royal exit
By Laura Elston, PA Court Reporter
The Duchess of Sussex’s impassioned black lives matter speech has been hailed as incredibly powerful, but could have been even more so if she had been a working royal, a royal commentator has said.
Penny Junor said the address Meghan gave to her old high school about the death of George Floyd in the US was “very moving, very touching”.
The royal writer added that Meghan, who no longer uses her HRH style, still remains part of the monarchy as a family member, despite stepping down from royal duties.
“I think it’s very powerful. It makes me sorry that she’s not speaking as a working member of the royal family,” the royal writer told the PA news agency.
“But it doesn’t matter, because she still is a member of the royal family.”
Meghan and the Duke of Sussex quit as senior working royals in March, a move dubbed Megxit, after their plans for a dual role earning their own money and supporting the Queen were deemed unworkable.
In a video message, the duchess told girls graduating from Immaculate Heart High about her “absolute devastation” at racial divisions and Mr Floyd’s death.
Mr Floyd died after a white police officer held him down by pressing a knee into his neck in Minneapolis on May 25, sparking days of protest in the US.
The duchess recalled witnessing the LA riots in 1992, and told students Mr Floyd’s life mattered.
She added of the situation: “I’m so sorry you have to grow up in a world where this is still present.”
Ms Junor added that Meghan speech’s carried so much weight because she was mixed race and royal.
“That’s why it’s so powerful. It’s a combination of who she is and what she is.”
Asked whether Meghan would have had the freedom to deliver the same address as a senior royal, Ms Junor replied: “I think she would … I think these are sort of exceptional times and exceptional circumstances.”
She added: “I do think she could have done it if she’d been here and it would have been perhaps even more powerful.”
Much has changed for Harry and Meghan since they said their vows in St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, on May 19 2018, in front of the royal family, celebrity guests and a worldwide television audience of millions.
The couple, who now have a one-year-old son, Archie, opened up about their struggles dealing with royal life and the intense tabloid interest, in a television documentary about their Africa tour in the autumn of 2019.
The couple, now living in Los Angeles where they have been amid the coronavirus outbreak, are preparing to launch their new charitable organisation Archewell.
Ms Junor added: “She is who she is. Harry is who he is. They happen to be living in America, but they do still have a voice.
“The more they use it for good like that, then I think the better.”