Meghan Markle delivers her first speech on UK soil since departing the royal family

''It is very nice to be back in the UK''
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Meghan Markle has given her first speech in the United Kingdom since departing the British royal family in 2020 with husband, Prince Harry.

The Duchess of Sussex said “it is very nice to be back in the UK” during her speech for the One Young World conference in Manchester, with Prince Harry happily watching from the crowd.

They left the royal family in January 2020. (Image: Getty)

“You are the future. But I would also like to add to that: you are the present. You are the ones driving the positive and necessary change needed across the globe now, in this very moment,” she said to a crowd of more than 2,000 people.

“It was several years ago in 2014 that I was first invited to be a counsellor at One Young World and in many ways, at the time, I was probably a lot like each of you – young, ambitious – advocating for the things that I deeply believed in and also wondering, how on earth did I get here?

“I was the girl from Suits, surrounded by world leaders, humanitarians, prime ministers and activists I had such a deep and long-standing respect and admiration for.”

Her striking red outfit is believed to be by Valentino. (Image: Getty)

Meghan confessed she was “overwhelmed” by her first experience but held on to her place card which had her name printed on it for proof she belonged there, “because, in truth, I wasn’t sure if I belonged.”

During her speech, she discussed Prince Harry and their children, Archie and Lilibet – who could not join the couple in the country for the conference. The last time the whole family had been in the UK was for Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee.

“I am thrilled that my husband is able to join me here this time. To be able to see, and witness firsthand, my respect for this organisation and all that it provides and accomplishes.

Meghan also discussed gender equality. (Image: Getty)

One Young World has been an integral part of my life for many years before I met him so to meet again here, on UK soil, with him by my side makes it all feel full circle.”

The Duchess also mentioned how drastically her life had changed since first joining One Young World, including marrying into the royal family.

“It’s fair to say my life changed rather significantly,” she said.

“I was now married and I was now a mum. My world view had expanded exponentially, seeing the global community through the eyes of my child.”

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