Meghan Markle Delivers Keynote Speech at One Young World Summit Opening Ceremony

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Meghan Markle gave a light-hearted laugh as she delivered the keynote address at the One Young World Summit in Manchester in 2022.

The Duchess of Sussex delivered the opening address from Bridgewater Hall in Manchester on September 5. The One Young World Summit, taking place this week from September 5-8, aims to “explore themes ranging from conflict prevention and gender equality to health, oceans and ethical leadership.”

“It’s really nice to be back in the UK and it’s really nice to be back at One Young World with all of you,” Meghan began the keynote address. “As you’ll probably hear a lot this week, and as we just heard, you’ll hear all sorts of things – some very heavy, some very uplifting. But the resounding ghost I think you will hear is that you are the future.”

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“But I want to add that you are also the present,” she continued. “You are the ones driving the positive and necessary change that is needed around the world right now, and for that I am so grateful to be in your company today.”

Meghan, who has been a counselor at One Young World since 2014, thought about attending her first summit in Dublin nearly eight years ago. “At that time, I was probably a lot like you in many ways. Young, ambitious, advocating for the things I deeply and deeply believed in. And also looking around and wondering, ‘How on earth did I get here?’” she said.

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“During that dinner there were about 20 to 30 people accompanying us. And there I was, the girl from To grabMeghan said, as both she and the crowd burst out laughing.

“I was so overwhelmed by this experience… I was so nervous,” she said. “I doubted myself and wondered if I was good enough to be there. What I did in the world, while important and meaningful as far as I saw it, deserved to sit at this table? But One Young World saw in me what I fully wanted to see in myself. They saw in me just as I see in you: the present and the future.”

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The Duchess also shouted at her husband, Prince Harry, during her speech, expressing her excitement that he was attending this year’s summit. “I joined you in London in 2019 and by then it’s fair to say that my life has changed quite significantly. I was married now and I was now a mother,” she explained. “My worldview had grown exponentially, by seeing the world community through my child’s eyes.”

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry attend the opening ceremony of the One Young World Summit 2022

(Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Meghan continued: “I am thrilled that my husband can join me here this time, to see firsthand my respect for this organization and all it offers and achieves.”

“One Young World has been an integral part of my life for so many years before I met him, so to meet again here on UK soil with him by my side feels like it all comes around,” she added.

Meghan Markle delivered her speech in an all-red ensemble with matching red heels. The Duchess looked sophisticated in a Valentino Silk Tie-Neck Blouse, accessorizing the look with gold earrings and a sleek ponytail.

This evening, One Young World brought together 2,000 young leaders and delegates from 190 countries to “inspire and empower them to build a fairer and more sustainable world” through four days of speeches, panels, networks and workshops. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are expected to meet with a group of delegates who are doing “excellent work on gender equality”.

The opening ceremony also saw performances by Manchester-based musicians, dancers and performers such as The Untold Orchestra, The KTNA, Esther Koch and The Aim Sky High Company.

Meghan Markle wears red Valentino silk blouse at One Young World Summit

(Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Since its launch in 2009, the global charitable organization has striven to develop young leaders working to solve the world’s greatest challenges, including climate change, human rights violations, sexual violence and mental health.

The One Young World Summit marks the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s first visit to the UK since the Queen’s platinum anniversary celebrations in June. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s tour in September is designed to focus on a number of charitable projects close to their hearts.

Following the One Young World Summit in Manchester, the Sussexes will travel to Germany on Tuesday to celebrate a year until the 2023 Invictus Games take place in Düsseldorf. The pair then return to the UK on Thursday for the WellChild Awards in London.

The couple would stay in their former home, Frogmore Cottage on the Queen’s Windsor estate for the duration of their stay. The couple were spotted on Monday afternoon in the back of a black Range Rover, driven by two bodyguards, as they drove through the grounds of Windsor Castle.

Prince Harry’s cousin – Princess Eugenie – currently lives in Frogmore Cottage with her husband, Jack Brooksbank, and their one-year-old son, August. In June, Eugenie reportedly left the house to allow the Sussexes to stay at Frogmore Cottage with their children during the anniversary celebrations.

It’s unclear if the trip will include a meeting with the Queen, who is currently taking her summer break at Balmoral in Scotland. During their stay, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will also be a short walk from Prince Williams and Kate Middleton, who recently moved their family to Adelaide Cottage on the Windsor Estate.