She is a television star, humanitarian campaigner, the most Googled actress of 2016 and the girlfriend of a prince. To this CV, Meghan Markle can now add “exceptional young leader”.
Miss Markle graces the new edition of Vanity Fair magazine in a feature celebrating the global leaders of tomorrow.
The 35-year-old girlfriend of Prince Harry was one of 1,300 delegates from across the world who attended the One Young World forum in Canada. She was selected for a photoshoot on Ottawa’s Parliament Hill, alongside Mary Robinson, the former Irish president.
Miss Markle was invited in her capacity as UN Women Advocate for Women's Leadership and Political Participation, global ambassador for World Vision and gender equality campaigner.
“The energy is palpable and to be able to be part of that is an honour,” she told the writer of the Vanity Fair piece, Fatima Bhutto.
Canada is a second home to the actress, as it is the location for Suits, the television series in which she plays a trainee lawyer. It is screened on British television, but Miss Markle remained largely unknown to the British public until her romance with Prince Harry.
Her campaigning began at a young age, however. As an 11-year-old, she reportedly wrote to First Lady Hillary Clinton to complain that a soap advertisement was sexist.
She now combines humanitarian work with acting. “While my life shifts from refugee camps to red carpets, I choose them both because these worlds can, in fact, co-exist. And, for me, they must,” she has declared.
The One Young World forum is a UK-based charity founded in 2009. It gathers “the brightest young leaders from around the world, empowering them to make lasting connections to create positive change”. Other delegates at the event included Emma Watson, the actress and campaigner.
Kate Robertson, co-founder of the charity, said the young people involved are “curious, courageous and action-oriented… you’re laying down a future investment that says, ‘This lot will make a difference and the right kind of difference’.”
The latest edition of People magazine contains an interview with, Lindsay Roth, Miss Markle’s best friend.
It is not known if Miss Markle sanctioned the interview, but she is unlikely to be disappointed by its contents. “I don’t know many people who are as generous and supportive as Meg is,” said Miss Roth.
“I think people assume that when someone gains notoriety they change. But she’s still the same girl I met years ago, with the same values and priorities. She’s selfless, and that’s just a part of who she is and who she was raised to be.
“We should all strive to handle the ups and downs of our lives as gracefully, smartly, elegantly, positively, realistically and graciously as Meg has.”