Autumn Brewington, a freelance journalist in Washington, was an editor at The Post from 2001 to 2014.
Meghan Markle is poised to change the British royal family, but her biggest impact will not come from her biracial heritage, or the fact that she is American, or even that she is divorced. It will come from her outspokenness.
Before Markle, 36, became a global celebrity through her royal romance, she engaged the media as an actress and personality. She documented her meals, pets and outings on Instagram and her “lifestyle brand” website, the Tig. Lighter entries included a March 2016 post on travel in which she confessed to cleaning airplane surfaces with antibacterial spray, praised probiotics and lauded a $900 carry-on bag.
Markle shut down the Tig last spring; her Instagram and Twitter accounts were deleted a few months ago. But even if she no longer shares her everyday experiences, her transparency about her tastes and habits makes her accessible to the masses in a way that none of her soon-to-be in-laws are. So does her long history of voicing opinions on more substantive matters.
When she was 11, Markle wrote to Proctor & Gamble and then-first lady Hillary Clinton, among others, about an Ivory soap commercial that said “women are fighting greasy pots and pans.” The ad, which Markle considered sexist, was later changed to say “people,” and she was profiled by local news.
As an adult, Markle became an advocate with U.N. Women and an ambassador for the children’s charity World Vision. In 2015, she reflected publicly on being biracial and her encounters with racism. “While my mixed heritage may have created a grey area surrounding my self-identification,” she wrote, “keeping me with a foot on both sides of the fence, I have come to embrace that. To say who I am, to share where I’m from, to voice my pride in being a strong, confident mixed-race woman.”
She later wrote that “I’ve never wanted to be a lady who lunches; I’ve always wanted to be a woman who works” and that she was raised to be “a young adult with a social consciousness to do what I could and speak up when I knew something was wrong.”
Markle published an essay last spring — while dating Prince Harry — on how the stigma surrounding menstruation inhibits opportunities for girls