Meghan, Duchess of Sussex is continuing to win fans in New Zealand and all around the world.
After making a stunning entrance during a traditional Maori ceremony with husband Prince Harry earlier on Sunday, the 37-year-old delivered a powerful speech on Sunday evening at a Government House reception hosted by the Governor-General of New Zealand. The mum-to-be marked 125 years since women were given the right to vote in New Zealand with a moving speech about feminism.
The former actress began her speech with a Maori greeting.
“Tēnā koutou katoa,” she told the crowd, meaning hello to you all. “We are proud to be able to join you tonight in celebrating the 125th anniversary of women’s suffrage in your country.
🇳🇿 “Bravo New Zealand for championing this right 125 years ago – for the women who well deserve to have an active voice and acknowledged vote, and for all of the people that this effort has paved the way for globally." — The Duchess of Sussex, as she and The Duke joined PM @JacindaArdern for a reception hosted by @GovGeneralNZ Dame Patsy Reddy to celebrate the 125th anniversary of women's suffrage in New Zealand. #RoyalVisitNZ
“The achievements of the women of New Zealand who campaigned for their right to vote, and were the first in the world to achieve it, are universally admired. In looking forward to this very special occasion, I reflected on the importance of this achievement, but also the larger impact of what this symbolises.”
Meghan said that while women’s suffrage is about feminism, feminism is also about fairness. She also explained that it’s not just about the right to vote, but also what it represents.
“The basic and fundamental human right of being able to participate in the choices for your future and that of your community,” she continued. “The involvement and voice that allows you to be a part of the very world you are a part of. And women’s suffrage is not simply about the right to vote for women, but also about what that represents.”
She explained that it’s a basic and fundamental human right of all people – regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, or sexual orientation – to participate in the choices for their future and community.
“So bravo New Zealand, for championing this right 125 years ago — for the women who well deserve to have an active voice and acknowledged vote, and for all of the people that this effort has paved the way for globally,” Meghan said. “We all deeply thank you. In the words of your suffragette Kate Sheppard, ‘All that separates, whether race, class, creed, or sex, is inhuman, and must be overcome.’”
Meghan wore a stunning navy cocktail dress by designer Gabriela Hearst valued at $3,430 (US$2,495, UK£1,900) for the evening. Complete with delicate cap sleeves, it was the perfect outfit for the event. Hearst is famous for including political statements in her designs and has been inspired by feminists in the past.
Both the Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry met with New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern during the evening and happily greeted guests who were in attendance of the reception. They touched down in New Zealand just hours after bidding farewell to Australia.
“Our greatest thanks to the people of Australia for the warmest of welcomes, the amazing Aussie hospitality, and for the kindness and inspiration we’ve felt from all of you along the way,” they wrote in a post shared by Kensington Palace.
Our greatest thanks to the people of Australia for the warmest of welcomes, the amazing Aussie hospitality, and for the kindness and inspiration we’ve felt from all of you along the way. We have really enjoyed meeting so many of you Down Under and look forward to returning one day soon! — Harry and Meghan 🇦🇺🇬🇧🐨
“We have really enjoyed meeting so many of you Down Under and look forward to returning one day soon! — Harry and Meghan.”