Meghan Markle and Harry ‘reassert UK ties’ with letter in wake of Oprah interviewMarch 12, 2021
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Meghan Markle, 39, sent an official letter to a UK school on the same day her and Prince Harry’s bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey aired in Britain. The Sussexes’s sit down with the US star was filmed in California where they have been based since stepping down as senior royals last year. According to a language expert, the Duchess’s first official letter since the interview sees her try to maintain a “presence in the UK.”
Meghan’s letter to Robert Clark School was shared on Twitter and read: “It was this time a year ago that I had the pleasure of meeting so many of you during my visit to celebrate International Women’s Day and mark the 50th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act.
“I look back on that day with such fond memories, and think of you all frequently, especially recognising how difficult it’s been for students and families during the past year.”
“This Internationational Women’s Day, in collaboration with the work of our non-profit organisation, Archewell foundation, we are encouraging everybody to participate in real acts of compassion for the women in their lives and their community.
“One suggestion we have is to take a moment to learn about the trailblazing women who came before us.”
Meghan revealed she had been “recently thinking about Geraldine Dear,” one of the original strikers who championed for equal pay in the 1960s.
She added: “Without women like Geraldine, who formed part of the original group of women advocating for equal pay, so much of what we do now wouldn’t be possible.
“By knowing and appreciating legacy, we can—and you can—find inspiration to create legacy.”
The letter continued: “All of you, the young women and young men here today, will continue paving the way for a better and more compassionate future.”
She then thanked the student body for her memorable visit last year, writing: “Small acts of compassion have the power to make a real and lasting difference, and I thank all of you for the kindness you provided me during my visit.
“I also thank you for the memories you gave to me that I still hold and cherish.”
Language expert Judi James analysed the Duchess’s letter for Express.co.uk and shared her findings.
The official letter was the first sent by Meghan since the Queen confirmed her and Prince Harry’s permanent step down as senior royals last month.
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According to Judi, it seeks to reiterate the couple’s lasting ties with Britain.
Judi told Express.co.uk: “The wording of this letter is interesting as it does give many hints about the Sussexes’s ongoing presence in the UK, in keeping with Harry’s claims that their life in the US was ‘Stepping back, not stepping down’.
“Meghan’s virtual presence is made tangible here.
“She tells the students ‘I think of you all frequently’ and that: ‘We are all in this together’.
“The phrase ‘…it gives me great pleasure to welcome you on your first day back’ is even more compelling in terms of her wanting to imply an actual presence, as though she is there in person to greet and host the students.”
According to Judi, Meghan employs a formal tone in the correspondence.
She said: “The letter is written in the format and style of a speech, suggesting she would expect someone to read it out on her behalf but worded to suggest she is there with them in the school hall.
“The main wording veers between some more formal reminders of important campaigns and work to be done and some deft personal touches.
“Meghan reminds them of International Women’s Day and the Equal Pay Act.”
The expert claimed Meghan takes care to plug her and Prince Harry’s new non-profit venture Archewell, in the letter.
Judi added: “She is meticulous in her reminder that her Archewell Foundation is ‘non-profit’, hinting at a perceived need to deflect any potential criticism.”
Meghan hints at the importance of speaking out in the wake of her interview with Oprah.
Judi said: “The phrase ‘I hope you are continuing to make your voices heard’ is especially relevant, given how many people got to hear Meghan’s voice on the Oprah interview.
“When she tells them ‘I told you your voices have the ability to change the world it is impossible to not hear that in the context of that interview.”
According to the analyst, Meghan implies “empathetic” language to get her message across.
Judi added: “Meghan also uses the word ‘compassion’ three times as well as other emotive words like ‘kindness’ ‘fond’ and ‘cherish’ to emphasise a caring and even maternal presence.
“She shows empathy when she speaks of how ‘challenging’ the past year has been and she also evokes a more amusing memory about how one of their students made them all laugh last year to enforce the impression of strong, ongoing bonds.
“One of the best ways to create lasting rapport is to remember people and to refer to actual memories or traits.
“It’s a charismatic technique that leaders often have and it makes people feel important and connections feel real, even after one meeting.”
Judi said Meghan’s use of language mirrors that of high-profile politicians.
She added: “It’s why we often see US politicians appear to pick people out in a large crown and point and wave and why royals will have someone to remind them of names and events when they are re-visiting a venue.
“Meghan really does seem to personalise here, even adding a P.S. to the bottom of her letter to let the students know that she still wears the jacket they gave her out in California.
“This is a powerful image and a very personal touch to add at the end of the virtual speech.”
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