It turns out the actress was creating waves from a very, very young age.
When she was just 11 years old, Markle was asked to assess the messages of various adverts for a class project.
The advert for Ivory dishwasher soap caught her eye because of its gender-specific language. The voiceover said “women all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans”.
The young activist-to-be found offence with use of the word ‘women’, and with encouragement from her dad - who told her to write letters - she reached out to some people.
Markle wrote letters to the soap’s manufacturer Procter & Gamble, as well as civil rights lawyer Gloria Allred, Hillary Clinton (who was the First Lady at the time) and Nick News anchor Linda Ellerbee.
Ellerbee responded to the letter by sending a camera crew to interview her.
The young Markle said:
I don’t think it’s right for children to grow up thinking these things, that mum does everything.
As a result of her letter, the ad's wording was changed, replacing “women” with “people”.
Here she is, talking about it:
Markle went on to become a UN Women ambassador, and she mentioned this story during a speech for International Women’s Day in 2015.
My eleven year old self worked out that if I really wanted someone to hear me, well then I should write a letter to the First Lady. I also put pen to paper and I wrote a letter to my news source at the time, Linda Ellerbee, who hosted a kids news program, and then to powerhouse attorney Gloria Allred, because even at eleven I wanted to cover all my bases.
Finally I wrote to the soap manufacturer. And a few weeks went by and to my surprise I received letters of encouragement from Hillary Clinton, from Linda Ellerbee, and from Gloria Allred. It was amazing. The kids news show, they sent a camera crew to my home to cover the story, and it was roughly a month later when the soap manufacturer, Proctor & Gamble, changed the commercial for their ivory clear dish washing liquid. They changed it from ‘Women all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans’ to ‘People all over America’. It was at that moment that I realised the magnitude of my actions. At the age of eleven I had created my small level of impact by standing up for equality.