Meghan, Duchess of Sussex has opened up about the loss of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II and the “legacy” she has left behind, describing her husband’s grandmother as “the most shining example” of female leadership.
In an interview published Wednesday by Variety, Meghan spoke of the “deep gratitude” she felt to have spent time with the late monarch, who died last month at the age of 96.
The duchess had been due to be honored in the 2022 class of Variety’s Power of Women for both her philanthropic and creative work – including the podcast she hosts, “Archetypes.” The original interview was conducted ahead of that, but the duchess spoke with the magazine again following the Queen’s death.
The duchess, who posed for a series of pictures with the magazine, spoke of the “outpouring of love and support” she’s witnessed.
“What’s so beautiful is to look at the legacy that his [Harry’s] grandmother was able to leave on so many fronts. Certainly, in terms of female leadership, she is the most shining example of what that looks like,” she said.
“I feel deep gratitude to have been able to spend time with her and get to know her. It’s been a complicated time, but my husband, ever the optimist, said, ‘Now she’s reunited with her husband’.” The Queen’s husband, Prince Philip, died last year at the age of 99.
Recalling fondly her first official engagement with the Queen, Meghan told the magazine she “had a nice warmth with the matriarch of the family.”
When asked how the family was processing the loss, she responded: “In big moments in life, you get a lot of perspective. It makes you wonder what you want to focus your energy on. Right now, we feel energized and excited about all of the things we’ve been building toward. We’re also focused on our foundation. So much of the work we do includes the philanthropic space.”
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced in January 2020 that they were stepping back as working members of the royal family, moving to North America soon afterward.
Meghan spoke about the couple’s life in California, sharing details about what it’s like to work from home and their penchant for fast food.
“My husband’s favorite is In-N-Out. There’s one at the halfway point between L.A. and our neck of the woods. It’s really fun to go through the drive-thru and surprise them. They know our order,” she said.
When asked what the biggest misconceptions about herself are, the duchess replied: “I think that what happens, looking in from the outside, when there is this much noise, is that you become dehumanized. But if you remember that someone is a human being, then you don’t treat them, talk about them, look at them the same way.”
She went on to say that she hoped her “Archetypes” podcast would allow people to see that she is a “real person” who “laughs and asks questions and approaches things with curiosity.”
Meghan also ruled out a return to her career as an actor, saying: “I’m done. I guess never say never, but my intention is to absolutely not.”