Why Meghan Markle will be a valuable addition to the House of Windsor

Prince Harry has popped the question - and the A-list actress said yes!

27 November 2017 - 00:00 By Pearl Boshomane
Meghan Markle.
Meghan Markle.
Image: George Pimentel/Getty Images

It's official: Prince Harry has become engaged to US actress Meghan Markle with the marriage due to take place in the spring of 2018, according to a statement by Prince Charles.

Before she was splashed all over the tabloids as Prince Harry's girlfriend last year, Markle talked on air to Larry King about her work as a UN advocate for women's rights.

When King asked the Suits actress if she thought Saudi Arabia had the worst record in this area, she gave an informed, considered and tactful answer that would be the envy of any diplomat.

“What’s challenging when you ask a question like that is that you have to take into account the cultural context. So when you’re looking at places that have a dual legislation … the government but also a religious law, there are certain standards that are quite different," she said.

“So to say ‘the worst’ is challenging because I don’t wanna put that judgment on some things that certain cultures are comfortable with. But in terms of women certainly feeling disabled to have the same rights [as men], yes Saudi Arabia would be a strong one to mention.”

What a tactful answer. Markle was so careful not to be a cultural imperialist and not to fall into that trap that many western feminists often fall into – that of wanting to ‘save’ Muslim women from their burqas and headscarves.

Her ability to be diplomatic and measured while in the spotlight was emphasised when King later insulted her by saying that she was too good-looking to be taken seriously as a human rights advocate. A visibly unimpressed Markle smacked the host down verbally without losing her cool one bit.

That interview alone is evidence that Markle will be a valuable addition to the House of Windsor.

There are other reasons why Prince Harry should marry Markle. She is smart, worldly, aware of her privilege, empathic and confident.

Prince Philip she is not. This is not a woman who would have royal spin doctors trying to do damage control because of a PR disaster she created. As an accomplished actress, she knows how to handle the media.

And, like Harry, Markle is quite the humanitarian, so images of her hugging orphans wouldn't feel as staged as they do with some royals.

She's also rather chic and stylish: always a plus.

• This article is adapted from one originally published in the Sunday Times Lifestyle magazine in June 2017.