Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle haven't had the most typical of relationships, Erin Lindsay explores a thoroughly modern match
Being married to a member of the royal family means entering into an entirely different way of life, one where your relationship, your behaviour and your past are constantly scrutinised. The public can be a cruel judge of character and it's tough to win them over when you're marrying one of their most beloved public figures.
Luckily for Middleton and Markle, they've fitted into the family quite nicely already. Both women are already loved by the public for a number of reasons. They embody the 'Cinderella story' that has been an enduring collective fantasy; the idea that a normal girl with no aristocratic connections could become a princess one day. More importantly, both Middleton and Markle are reinventing what it means to be a modern royal spouse; they don't wait in the background to be spoken to or shy away from advocating for the causes they value. They realise their influence as women in positions of power and are making sure to live up to their titles, and this was no more evident than in their first public appearance together.
Prince William, Kate Middleton, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle all attended the Royal Foundation Forum in London, which is an occasion to mark the charitable efforts of the younger members of the royal family and discuss their progress. The forum was established by the two Princes to distinguish their work from the rest of the royal Family and works with charities such as United for Wildlife, the Invictus Games, Heads Together, the Cyberbullying Taskforce, the Endeavour Fund, and Full Effect. Markle has been a long time advocate for women's rights and equality, and used her time on stage at the Forum to highlight her excitement at the recent #MeToo and #TimesUp campaigns.
"Right now with so many campaigns, like #MeToo and Time’s Up, there is no better time to really continue to shine a light on women feeling empowered and people really helping to support them, men included in that," she said. With recent controversy surrounding Kate Middleton's decision not to wear black to the BAFTA Awards this month as a symbol of solidarity with Time's Up, it was nice to see an establishment of support for the movement by the royal couples. Middleton herself has worked with charities since she married Prince William in 2011, many of which have been children's charities.
It's easy to see why the public are so drawn to Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton - they possess an easy confidence, they publicly show affection and love to their partners – unusual for royal couples – and they are outspoken and active in their advocacy work. The royal family have historically been all about keeping up appearances, but these women are bringing something fresh to their roles.