Meghan Markle speaks on gender equality at One Young World summit in Manchester

Meghan Markle spoke out about gender equality at the summit. Photo / Getty Images

Meghan Markle has delivered a speech on gender equality in the UK, marking her first in-person address in the country since quitting as a senior working royal more than two years ago.

She spoke as part of the One Young World summit, which brings young leaders together from all over the world, saying, “It is very nice to be back in the UK,” reports the Daily Mail.

Meghan also spoke about the “life-changing impact” of becoming a mother.

The Duchess of Sussex, 41, addressed a crowd of around 2000 in Bridgewater Hall in Manchester as Harry watched on.

She told the audience of delegates from over 190 countries that they “are the future, but also the present, driving the positive and necessary change needed across the globe.”

She continued, “My husband has long advocated for important and necessary impact in the world, focusing a huge part of his life’s work on the youth.

“So for both of us, bearing witness to the power you hold in your hands and the unbridled enthusiasm and energy that you have to see things come to fruition – it is just an absolute privilege.”

She used her speech to talk about perseverance, recalling when she joined One Young World in Dublin and worked with a young woman from Eritrea who had “fled [her home country] with bullets fired above her head “.

“I remember my shock, and I also remember her courage, my recognition of how much continues to go on each day with so many turning a blind eye.

“And yet despite all odds, she like so many still persevered.”

Meghan said she “doubted herself” when she became a counselor for the organization because she was just the “girl from Suits”.

“But One Young World saw in me what I wanted to see fully in myself, they saw in me just as I see in you the present and the future.”

She said that before she spoke, she was able to meet with some of the delegates at the event, calling them “incredibly inspiring” and adding that “resounding themes came up” about “representation, inclusion and access”.

“I am incredibly humbled to not just stand before each of you but to stand beside you.

“We often here people say the time is now but I’m going to double down on that by saying your time is now.

“The important work can’t wait for tomorrow.”