Meghan Markle gave an insight into her reading list in an unearthed interview from 2013, five years before she tied the knot with Prince Harry. The former Suits actress spoke about her character, Rachel Zane, on the US legal drama. Asked how much of herself she found in the ambitious attorney, Meghan had some intriguing points to make.
“I think each of our personalities have really become peppered into our characters,” she told Esquire. “I’m a foodie in real life, so the creator made Rachel a foodie.
“There are certain elements about my sense of humor that have started to become much more of Rachel’s character.
“We pride ourselves on being well-educated,” she added of herself and her on-screen persona. “And we don’t want to sell ourselves short.”
The interviewer then noted that it sounded as though Meghan had been reading Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In.
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“Exactly. I’m actually just finishing up Lean In — it’s funny that you mention that book,” Meghan (now the Duchess of Sussex) replied.
She went on to joke about the book and its accompanying movement, which urged women in business to “lean in”, take risks and be ambitious, speaking up, gaining confidence and laying down boundaries with their demands.
“When I came to visit Esquire’s offices, we were talking about writing a sequel,” she said.
“It’s like Lean In, and once you were exhausted from leaning in, that’s when you’re just tipping over. So it’s Lean In, Tip Over, Lay Down. If we did a whole trilogy, that’s what it would be,” she quipped.
Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead was published in 2015 and became an international bestseller.
It centres around the author’s own experience in successful businesses and explored what women can do to effect change and promote women’s empowerment in the workplace as well as teaching female readers how to help themselves.
In Lean In, the Facebook boss also takes a sensitive approach to the difficulty of balancing motherhood and paid employment.
Among other things, Lean In exploited women’s imposter syndrome and the way assertive women are labelled as “bossy”.
Seven years after Meghan revealed she was finishing the book, she and Prince Harry have made their final appearance as senior royals as they prepare to separate themselves from the Royal Family and their former duties in order to carve out a new path for themselves.
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Meghan and Prince Harry’s unhappiness really came into focus in their interview with journalist Tom Bradby for the documentary Harry And Meghan: An African Journey, in which she opened up about the pressure of media scrutiny of the couple.
When asked gently about the impact it’s had on her mental and physical health, Meghan replied candidly: “It’s hard.
“Look, any woman, especially when they are pregnant, you’re really vulnerable and so that was made really challenging,” she continued. “And then, when you have a newborn, especially as a woman, it’s a lot.
“So you add this on top of just trying to be a new mum or trying to be a newlywed. It’s, um… yeah. I guess — also thank you for asking, because not many people have asked if I’m okay.
“But it’s a very real thing to be going through behind the scenes,” she added.
“And the answer is — would it be fair to say, ‘Not really okay’? It’s really been a struggle?” the interviewer asked.
“Yes,” she replied quietly.
Just a handful of months after the interview, Meghan and Prince Harry announced they would be splitting from the Royal Family, stepping down from their duties as senior royals and working to become financially independent, as well as dividing their time, along with their son Archie, between the UK and Canada.
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