Michelle Obama has a world of wisdom up her sleeve, which she’s happily shared in her new memoir, Becoming. Fans often look to the former First Lady for inspiration and advice, but her latest guiding words are directed at a particular royal – Duchess Meghan, who, like Michelle, has found herself in a role that she may not have expected.
In 2009, the mother of two took up her post in the White House when her husband, Barack Obama, became President of the United States. Before then, she was a lawyer – likely never imagining a life as First Lady. While chatting with Good Housekeeping magazine, the activist and author said: "Like me, Meghan probably never dreamt that she’d have a life like this, and the pressure you feel – from yourself and from others – can sometimes feel like a lot."
She continued: “So, my biggest pieces of advice would be to take some time and don’t be in a hurry to do anything. I spent the first few months in the White House mainly worrying about my daughters, making sure they were off to a good start at school and making new friends before I launched into any more ambitious work."
As Michelle would know, having such a public platform can be very stressful, and the pressure around choosing patronages and making public speeches – as Meghan did three times while on her first royal tour with Prince Harry – can be daunting. “I think it’s okay – it’s good even – to do that … What I’d say is that there’s so much opportunity to do good with a platform like that, and I think Meghan can maximize her impact for others, as well as her own happiness, if she’s doing something that resonates with her personally.”
There’s no doubt that the Duchess of Sussex has made sure to start using her platform for good. Well before she said “I do” to Harry and became a member of the Royal Family, she was already doing just that. As a Hollywood actress, Meghan got involved in various charities that spoke to her heart, collaborating with the United Nations to shed light on gender-based issues, travelling to India and Rwanda with Wold Vision and helping out with Dove’s Self-Esteem Project in Toronto.
In 2015, the mom-to-be was lucky enough to meet Barack Obama in person and has always been a known supporter of him and his politics. On her now-defunct Instagram account, she shared an image of them together, writing: “Such a pleasure to meet you Mr. President @barackobama #grateful.”