Yes, She Can Do it All: Meghan Markle’s New Definition of Royalty

When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a princess. I wanted the lavish clothes, the whimsical voice, and the indisputable beauty that all princesses seemed to possess. To no one’s surprise, my first introduction to “royalty” was that of the Disney franchise. In this franchise, princesses came in all different forms. They were mermaids, animal whisperers, warriors, and far more. But in retrospect, the storylines of these early movies weren’t as inspiring as one would think. In movies like Snow White and Sleeping Beauty these two women were solely revered for their beauty and grace, regardless if they had any qualities outside of that. To make matters worse, they had to be saved by a prince because they were portrayed as helpless.  

I’m in no way implying that at the age of five, I was analyzing these films as closely as I am now. However, upon realizing just how influential film can be in the development of self, my opinions of early Disney movies have shifted. Through these subtly misogynistic story lines, the term “damsels in distress” became normalized if not arguably glorified. It wasn’t until movies like Mulan, Princess and the Frog and Moana that women were encouraged to be their own heroes. The beauty of these new princess were secondary if not tertiary to their many other qualities. They completely dismantled the notion that in order to a princess, you had to dress or act a certain way. These women were strong, independent, and brave. Though fictional characters, these princesses showed young girls that they have the power to do phenomenal things. 

Duchess Meghan Markle is a real life princess. Though stunning and constantly adorned in expensive clothes and jewelry, she too inspires women to break the boundaries that society has set forth for them. Marrying into the most famous family is far from easy. She has the entire world looking at her, expecting her to be perfect all of the time. Due to the fact that she is legitimate royalty, she has to maintain a level of regality that supersedes any First Lady in the US. This requirement can be extremely overwhelming because magazines constantly scrutinize virtually every aspect of her life. Something as trivial as re-wearing an outfit makes headlines in a matter of minutes. Unfortunately, people seem far more concerned with what she is wearing than what she’s doing to make the world a better place. Though her beauty and grace are undeniable, her actions as Duchess are what truly make her an inspiration. As a fervent proponent of women’s rights, Markle has not let her personal sacrifice overshadow what she views as important. Moreover, she is not afraid to be herself regardless of what the Royal Family or society has to say about it. In staying true to what she believes in and making a conscious effort to enact substantial change around the world, Markle has redefined what it means to be a princess.