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Meghan Markle talks baby, feminism and Twitter at IWD forum - best moments

The Duchess joined a panel discussion

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Ainhoa Barcelona
Ainhoa BarcelonaContent Managing Editor
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meghan markle arrives for iwd© Photo: Getty Images

Before she joined the royal family, the Duchess of Sussex was a well-known feminist who spoke about the importance of gender equality and women's rights. And on Friday, Meghan marked her first International Women's Day as a royal by joining a panel discussion convened by The Queen's Commonwealth Trust. The event, hosted at King's College London, brought together a group of influential ladies who spoke about the issues affecting women today.

Meghan, who is heavily pregnant with her first child, was joined by singer Annie Lennox, model Adwoa Aboah, former Prime Minister of Australia Julia Gillard, founder of Let us Learn Chrisann Jarrett and Angeline Murimirwa, executive director of the Campaign for Female Education in Africa and cofounder of CAMA, a pan-African network of young female leaders. Senior editor of The Economist Anne McElvoy chaired the panel. Let's take a look at Meghan's latest engagement…

meghan markle sixties dress© Photo: PA

The pregnant royal dressed her bump in a white-and-black mini dress by Reiss that featured a wacky pattern. She wrapped up with a black blazer and finished her monochrome look with black stilettos.

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students wait for meghan markle© Photo: PA

The Duchess arrived at King's College London shortly after noon on Friday. Meghan waved to crowds, including several students, before going inside to speak at the panel discussion.

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meghan markle touches baby bump© Photo: Getty Images

The mum-to-be cradled her baby bump as she arrived.

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Keep flicking through our gallery for all the photos!

meghan markle and panellists© Photo: Getty Images

Meghan and her fellow panellists discussed the importance of International Women's Day, and the spotlight it can bring to obstacles which still affect female empowerment across the world, including access to education and limitations within employment.

meghan markle cradling baby bump on panel© Photo: Getty Images

The Duchess was described by the panel's host as "a royal not afraid to embrace full-on feminism". When asked how her pregnancy was going, Meghan replied: "Very well. It's funny, I'd actually been joking these past few weeks I'd seen this documentary on Netflix about feminism and one of the things they said during pregnancy was 'I feel the embryonic kicking of feminism.' I loved that. So boy or girl, whatever it is, we hope that that's the case."

meghan markle wearing monochrome dress© Photo: Getty Images

When asked to comment on the newspaper headlines describing her feminism as "trendy," Meghan replied: "I don't read anything, it's much safer that way, but equally that's just my own personal preference because I think positive or negative it can all sort of just feel like noise to a certain extent these days, as opposed to getting muddled with that to focus on the real cause.

"So for me I think the idea of making the word feminism trendy, that doesn't make any sense to me personally, right? This is something that is going to be part of the conversation forever."

Asked if she looked at Twitter, Meghan revealed: "No, sorry no. For me that's my personal preference."

meghan markle centre of panel© Photo: Getty Images

Meghan, 37, spoke in front of an audience of students, opinion formers and young leaders. She explained what motivate her in speaking out about female empowerment and why she is passionate about the issue on International Women's Day.

"It would be impossible for me to sit back and not do something about it. And I think, you know, looking at my role, and I'm very very privileged to have now with the QCT, just expands that platform to be able to go to 53 Commonwealth countries and do this level of work all across the globe because again, it is about global feminism, it is about a parity and equality for all of us. It started at 11, but still feels like it's just beginning!" said Meghan. 

Just hours before her appearance, she was named vice-president of The Queen's Commonwealth Trust. Her husband Prince Harry is the current president, while Her Majesty is the royal patron.

meghan markle posing with panel

The panel also discussed the positive opportunities that come when women are given wider access and equal opportunity, whether that's in the UK or elsewhere in the world.

meghan markle talking at iwd panel© Photo: Getty Images

The panel was hosted by The Queen's Commonwealth Trust, an organisation that champions, funds and connects young leaders around the world who are serving their communities, providing solutions to problems, and hope, employment and self-employment opportunities for others.

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