Why Meghan Markle's latest venture is a full circle moment for the Duchess

The Duchess of Sussex has been campaigning for women's rights from a young age

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex's Archewell Foundation announced a multi-year global partnership with Procter & Gamble on Tuesday, and for Meghan, it links back to her childhood when she first spoke out for women's rights.  

The partnership with the American multinational consumer goods firm will focus on gender equality, more inclusive online spaces, and resilience and impact through sport.

The Archewell website said: "Archewell Foundation believes that with community, and through compassionate service to others, we can unleash systemic cultural change.

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"In service of doing this, and building more compassionate communities, Archewell Foundation announced a multi-year global partnership today with Procter & Gamble."

The statement added: "Through Archewell Foundation, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are on a mission to build a more equitable and just future for women and girls.

"In this partnership, Archewell Foundation and P&G will put a priority focus on gender equity."

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The Duchess hosted an International Women's Day panel in 2019

When Meghan was just 11 years old, she wrote to Procter & Gamble to object to sexism in a dish soap commercial which included the line: "Mothers around America are fighting greasy pots and pans."

She decided to write letters asking for the 'sexist' language to be changed from 'women' to 'people', and the company subsequently amended the language used in the advert.

Meghan actually spoke of the story in her International Women's Day speech in 2015. She said: "My 11-year-old self worked out that if I really wanted someone to hear me, well then I should write a letter to the First Lady."

She added: "And a few weeks went by and to my surprise I received letters of encouragement from Hillary Clinton, from Linda Ellerbee, and from Gloria Allred. It was amazing."

On the soap company changing the wording in the advert, Meghan said: "It was at that moment that I realised the magnitude of my actions. At the age of 11 I had created my small level of impact by standing up for equality."

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Meghan with pupils from Robert Clack school in Dagenham

Throughout her philanthropic work and when she joined the royal family in 2018, Meghan has continued to campaign for women and girls' rights.

Last year, before she and Prince Harry stepped back as senior royals, Meghan made a surprise visit to an East London school to mark International Women's Day. To mark this year's event, the Duchess wrote to the students she met to encourage them to continue to celebrate trailblazing women in years to come.

In 2019, she participated in an International Women's Day panel discussion hosted by the Queen's Commonwealth Trust, where she spoke passionately about the importance of empowering women.

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