Former first lady Michelle Obama has drawn on her time at the White House to offer some sage advice to Meghan Markle, saying the newly-minted royal has a great opportunity to do good.
Speaking with British news outlet Good Housekeeping, Mrs Obama likened her former role as wife of the US president to Meghan’s new responsibilities after marrying Prince Harry and becoming the Duchess of Sussex.
Mrs Obama said Meghan, who is due to give birth in April next year, may find herself becoming overwhelmed by the expectations placed on her.
“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 said.
“So my biggest piece of advice would be to take some time and don’t be in a hurry to do anything.”
Mrs Obama, who is promoting her new memoir Becoming, said she was overwhelmingly consumed with safeguarding her children from the stresses of a new role at the White House.
“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. I think it’s okay – it’s good, even – to do that.”
She said Meghan would be most effective if she acted on her own terms.
“What I’d say is that there’s so much opportunity to do good with a platform like that and I think Meghan can maximise her impact for others, as well her own happiness, if she’s doing something that resonates with her personally,” Mrs Obama said.
She also said she found “great hope” in today’s young women who she described as “charging forwards” in sports, maths, science and technology.
She said she was particularly impressed at how this generation of women are “speaking up and speaking out, not just in classrooms but in the public arena at a young age”.