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For the second time in a month, the Duchess of Sussex sat down with Fortune, this time with the magazine’s associate editor, Emma Hinchliffe for its “Most Powerful Next Gen Summit” today.
The Duchess covered a wide swath of inspirational topics, sharing with attendees how she’s learned to chase her convictions with action.
“It’s not easy,” Meghan said. “That’s the first place all of us have to start with. Sometimes making the best decision for yourself and your family might not be the most popular one.”
Meghan, with her hair in a low ponytail and a batik print dress by Tracy Reese – Hope for Flowers, spoke again from her Santa Barbara sitting room – a familiar location for those watching Meghan’s recent appearances – and told Hinchliffe that —
“My faith is greater than my fear. It has to be greater than whatever fears are hindering you from taking that step.”
“That step,” of course, likely refers to she and husband Harry’s decision to leave the Royal Family earlier this year and relocate first to Canada, then to her native California, where they now reside in Montecito with their son, 17-month-old Archie.
“Your voice matters,” she said. “You realize it more when you are not able to exercise it. Regardless of my experience over the last few years compared to anyone’s experience, you can’t take for granted the ability you have as a woman to be able to be heard, and now with the platform that people have on social media to actually have that voice heard for a larger audience, I think it’s a huge responsibility.”
Meghan told Fortune that she doesn’t have social media and hasn’t for a long time. After she closed her personal accounts before marrying Harry, she and her husband had social media accounts under the handle @SussexRoyal that weren’t managed by she and Harry, Meghan said, but rather by a team that worked for them. She has no desire to have a social media presence, adding that her decision to stay off of the platforms is a helpful form of self-preservation.
“I have a lot of concerns for people that have become obsessed with it,” she said. “And it is so much a part of our daily culture for so many people that it’s an addiction like many others. There are very few things in this world where you call the person who is engaging with it a user.”
The Duchess, speaking to an audience of mostly rising female leaders, told those listening to be mindful of their retweets and reposts.
“As you’re out there building your brand, as you are out there engaging with friends online, just be conscious of what you’re doing,” she said. “Understand that it is not limited to that one moment – that you are creating an echo chamber for yourself.”
Meghan said all the work she does is to build a better world for Archie, saying when asked if motherhood made her more courageous or cautious —
“My gut is that is makes you more courageous. It makes you so concerned for the world they are going to inherit. At the same time, I am cautious of putting my family at risk by [saying] certain things – I try to be very clear with what I say, and not make it controversial…I wouldn’t be able to feel proud of myself as a mom if I didn’t know that I wasn’t doing my part to make it a better place for him.”
Meghan – and Harry as well – have been much more front-facing in the last month as they gear up to launch their Archewell organization and begin producing content for Netflix. But one constant remains, she said.
“Everything I’m doing is for Archie, our son,” Meghan said. “There’s a lot that I’m exciting about – certainly in creating programming and content that is conscious and inspiring and has a call to action and is uplifting. And I’m excited to be back home in the States and, hopefully as things start to open up a bit more with COVID, just to be back and engaging and interacting with people in a different way and in a way that will allow me to roll my sleeves up and really be boots on the ground back at home.”
Watch the video conversation below. (apologies for it being so small)
The What Meghan Wore Fashion Recap —
Unfortunately we don’t have any information yet on the dress or top that Meghan was wearing as well as her earrings. It appears to be a boho batik print in blue and white.
UPDATE! 14 October: Meghan’s dress is from Hope for Flowers by Tracy Reese – Navy Pointillist Swirl Tiered Maxi Slip, $328. The dress is no longer available as it is a Spring 2020 collection piece. You can view more photos of the dress here.
The dress is printed on Tencel™ voile and is lined in cotton lawn. Its adjustable straps and elasticized back make the fit easier than it looks.
Tracy Reese, who is based in New York, has had her own label since 1998. She has dressed Michelle Obama on a number of occasions and is also a favorite of Oprah Winfrey among a number of other celebrities. Tracy is also on the board of the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America, Inc.). Her sustainable brand focuses on ‘the health of people, planet, and equity in profit.’
UPDATE! 13 October: We found Meghan’s earrings! They are from Cuyana, the Luna Ear Jacket Earrings in 14k gold plated, $195. She also wore these earrings for her appearance on America’s Got Talent last month.
The earrings are made by hand in New York City. Cuyana’s jewelry is made from a core of recycled brass which lessens the impact from mining copper and zinc used to produce a brass alloy.
We will update the post with more information as soon as we have it!
Meghan’s fashion updates:
We have a few updates on pieces Meghan has worn in the past few days.
For the Malala Fund conversation on Monday, Meghan wore a bodysuit we’ve previously seen. It is the TUXE ‘Renegade’ bodysuit in black, $300.
She also had on, once again, her Cartier ‘Love’ bangle bracelet in gold and her Monica Vinader Linear Friendship Bracelet in gold, $175 and Prince Diana’s Cartier Francaise Tank watch in gold. See our previous posts for more information on these pieces here.
For Saturday’s Teenager Therapy podcast session, Meghan wore jeans by FRAME, the Le Garcon Crop Boyfriend Jeans in Covant, $220. Our post on the event is here.
Our special thanks to Stefarnia for the find!
For Meghan’s date night out in Montecito last week, it has been suggested that Meghan could be wearing a sweater by Cuyana — the Cashmere Crewneck in Camel with exposed seams, $145. Out post for this is here.
Meghan in Cuyana earrings for her appearance on America’s Got Talent last month.