Prince Harry and Meghan Markle visit school in Harlem
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The Duchess of Sussex and her husband Prince Harry will be among a huge cast of stars lining up for Global Citizen Live: Music Festival for the Planet, which is aiming to “try and mobilise the world”. They will join the likes of Stevie Wonder, Ed Sheeran, Coldplay and Duran Duran in performing during the 24-hour long spectacle, with concerts happening across the globe. Lagos, in Nigeria, South Korea’s capital Seoul and New York’s Central Park are among some of the locations shows are set to be staged at.
Organisers hope it will help tackle poverty as well as raise awareness of the importance of COVID-19 vaccinations, with stars urging viewers to share the message on social media.
Meghan and Harry’s appearance in New York is highly anticipated, as it will be among their biggest since leaving the Royal Family in January 2020 to live in the US.
This week, the couple travelled to the Big Apple, from their home in California, spending time with locals in schools and on other outings.
The Duchess, 40, has become a highly accomplished speech writer and speaker throughout her career, which saw her become a household name thanks to her turn on acclaimed drama Suits.
While a senior member of the Royal Family, Meghan also used her position to highlight and champion a number of causes, including on the environment and women’s rights, through a series of impassioned speeches.
But prior to meeting Harry, and eventually marrying into the world’s most famous family, Meghan appeared to copy the words of fabled FLOTUS Eleanor Roosevelt.
Her remarks were delivered while the Duchess spoke of her own experience fighting against gender inequality on International Women’s Day in 2015.
Mrs Roosevelt, who was married to celebrated US President Franklin D. Roosevelt until his death in 1945, gave a speech back in 1951 on the Voice of America Broadcast.
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Within her speech, the ex-FLOTUS said: “It isn’t enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it.
“And it isn’t enough to believe in it. One must work at it.”
Decades later, Meghan used almost the exact wording in her speech, swapping the word “peace” for “equality”, and didn’t reference Mrs Roosevelt.
Meghan’s speech to the delegation said: “It isn’t enough to simply talk about equality. One must believe in it.
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“And it isn’t enough to believe in it. One must work at it.
“Let us work at it together, starting now.”
At the time, Meghan also held a position as the Global ambassador for World Vision Canada, and represented them in the Rwanda for the Clean Water Campaign in 2016.
Meghan’s speech was met with acclaim and huge admiration from the watching audience, and saw the Duchess of Sussex detail how at the age of 11 she “unknowingly and somehow accidentally became a female advocate”.
She continued: “It was around the same time as the Beijing conference, so a little over twenty years ago, where in my hometown of Los Angeles a pivotal moment reshaped my notion of what is possible.
“See, I had been in school watching a TV show in elementary school, and this commercial came on with the tagline for this dish-washing liquid and the tagline said, ‘Women all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans.’
“Two boys from my class said, ‘Yeah, that’s where women belong, in the kitchen.’”
Meghan added: “I remember feeling shocked and angry and also just feeling so hurt; it just wasn’t right, and something needed to be done.
“So I went home and told my dad what had happened, and he encouraged me to write letters, so I did, to the most powerful people I could think of.”
Highlights of Mr Wonder’s performance in Los Angeles will be screened on BBC One, from 4.30pm, on Sunday.
In the build-up to the event, organisers hailed the concerts as a way to spread the global campaign called a Recovery Plan for the World.
It reportedly focuses itself on five objectives, “ending COVID-19 for all, ending the hunger crisis, resuming learning for all, protecting the planet, and advancing equity for all”.
Organiser and philanthropist Hugh Evans said he hoped the concerts could show a moment of unity, tackling three major issues.
He said: “Firstly, with the global COVID-19 pandemic, secondly, with the fact that wildfires are raging all around the world as a result of climate change, and thirdly, with so many people out of work due to COVID-19.
“There are now 41 million people on the Horn of Africa who are facing the devastating effects of starvation.”
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