Her royal engagement in Canada was always going to be an emotional affair. Now that she’s back home, the Duchess of Sussex is becoming even more aware of the harm that she could face from the ugly online trolling that can accompany any successful life in the public eye.
Meghan, married to Prince Harry, spoke to young people, who heard her speak about the importance of bystander intervention and speaking out against harmful online behavior. She shared her own experiences and how these have shaped her and she wants to make sure that they do the same for other women.
After meeting with the organization Social Bite and learning about its mission to reduce the risk of child poverty in the East End of London, Meghan helped lead an event focused on tackling sexting and online bullying. There were speakers at the event sharing their experiences to empower young people against bullying. Meghan showed her personal affinity for this issue because she has herself been the victim of online abuse. When she was known as Rachel Markle, her social media presence became the target of jibes by some men and women who felt she was not right for the role she played. Fortunately, she has been determined not to let that abuse get her down and has worked hard to create a positive impact in the community wherever she goes.
Meghan’s speech in Toronto was met with a smattering of protests, but the atmosphere there was one of complete peace as she spoke of helping to end social isolation. Canada clearly symbolizes many aspects of her new life, which is something she expressed to the women at the Social Bite event. She recalled that when she first came to Toronto, she had little idea what Canada really is and that her aim was to expand her knowledge of the country. Since then, she has met with many people whose lives have been touched by the organization’s work with young people. She has also met in person with many of those she has supported, both through speaking engagements and through Prince Harry’s public service sector.
It is no surprise that today’s events were an opportunity for Meghan to share her passion for the social issues she promotes. She is quite known for her work in encouraging young people to be active participants in their communities and beyond. She spoke about the power of inclusion and her own hard work in overcoming adversity when she was young. A word of caution, however, should be in place; a very young and quite inexperienced Meghan, as she was at the time, could have had a dangerous amount of mental energy invested in this drive to break down societal norms, which can sometimes target the vulnerable.