Meghan Markle turns 39 on Tuesday, and like last year, the Duchess of Sussex’s celebration could also be a low-key one this time around as well.
Last year, Markle celebrated her 38th birthday at Frogmore Cottage in Windsor, England with close family members. It was her first birthday since becoming a mother to Archie.
Markle and her husband, Prince Harry, will be celebrating the milestone in the U.S. this time after the Sussexes quit as senior working royals earlier this year. Their last appearance as working members of the royal family was on March 9 when they joined the Queen at the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey.
In March, Markle and Harry shifted from their temporary home in Canada and set up a permanent base in Los Angeles, California. Since their move, they have not been out much due to the global coronavirus pandemic.
As the Duchess of Sussex turns 39 years old, here’s a look at some of her powerful and inspirational quotes.
In a speech to commemorate the 125th anniversary of women’s suffrage in New Zealand in 2018, Markle said feminism was about fairness.
“Women’s suffrage is not simply about the right to vote for women, but also about what that represents: the basic and fundamental human right of all people, including those members of society who have been marginalized whether for reasons of race, gender, ethnicity or orientation, to be able to participate in the choices for their future and their community,” the duchess said.
During one of her first tours as a working royal, Markle delivered a speech at the University of the South Pacific in Suva, Fiji, and spoke about the importance of education to women and children in developing countries.
“Everyone should be afforded the opportunity to receive the education they want, but more importantly the education they have the right to receive. And for women and girls in developing countries, this is vital,” she said.
“When girls are given the right tools to succeed, they can create incredible futures, not only for themselves but for all of those around them. And while progress has been made in many areas across the Commonwealth, there is always scope to offer more opportunities to the next generation of young adults, and specifically to young women,” she added.
On the stigma surrounding menstruation:
In an article for Time magazine in 2017, Markle spoke about period poverty and touched upon the difficulties girls in a developing country like India face.
“As a female in India, the challenge of survival begins at birth, first overcoming female feticide, then being victim to malnourishment, potentially abuse, and lack of access to proper sanitation facilities. Why, if she is able to overcome all of these challenges and finally get to school, should her education and potential to succeed, be sacrificed because of shame surrounding her period?” she said.
In a 2016 Elle article, Markle spoke about the responsibilities that come with fame.
“With fame comes opportunity, but it also includes responsibility – to advocate and share, to focus less on glass slippers and more on pushing through glass ceilings. And, if I’m lucky enough, to inspire,” she said.
On being mixed race:
“To describe something as being black and white means it is clearly defined,” Meghan said in a 2015 essay for Elle. “Yet when your ethnicity is black and white, the dichotomy is not that clear. In fact, it creates a grey area. Being biracial paints a blurred line that is equal parts staggering and illuminating.”