We may never know if she truly had the audacity to demand there be an air freshener at her wedding, an unverified demand the Daily Mail branded “dictatorial.” But through a clip that’s making the rounds on Twitter, we do have proof — on video! — of a time she was exceedingly lovely to a fan.
Watch the video in question below. Story continues after the video.
Before she married Prince Harry, Meghan was an actress living in Toronto and working on the TV show, “Suits.” She volunteered at a charity helping homeless people, adopted a rescue dog, and had already served as a UN Women’s Advocate for Women’s Political Participation and Leadership.
In March 2016, a little more than two years before she joined the royal family, Meghan appeared on AOL’s Build Series in New York. (Quick disclosure: AOL/Build is owned by Verizon Media, the company that also owns HuffPost Canada.)
When the conversation turned to social media, Markle talked about how she’s used the internet to connect with fans — then goes on to shout out one particular audience member by name, run through a list of her accomplishments, and personally hand her a letter she wrote.
The two hug and then chat briefly, while Emily — who told Meghan via Twitter that she’s headed on an aid mission to Costa Rica — also gives her a letter, which Meghan seems genuinely excited to receive. “It’s so good to finally meet you,” Meghan says.
She goes on to tell the moderator that she feels “a really big responsibility” to use her celebrity status for good.
“If you have this kind of job, and you have an opportunity to have a profile where people are listening to what you’re saying, I really, truly think you need to be saying something that’s valuable,” she said.
Meghan has clearly had a social conscience for a long time. At age 11, she wrote a letter to Procter & Gamble questioning why their ad for dish soap specifically targeted women. Within a month, they changed the wording of their ad from “women all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans” to “people all over America.”
She volunteered at a soup kitchen throughout high school, interned at the American embassy in Argentina, volunteered at a homeless charity during her time in Toronto, and visited Rwanda on a humanitarian trip for World Vision before she entered the royal family. These are all major accomplishments, although they rarely come up in the articles painting her as petty or manipulative.
Of course, actors and other public figures craft their images all the time, and we’re not pretending to know anything about what Meghan Markle is actually like in her private life. But if you’re judging her purely by what she’s done in public, particularly in the face of some blatantly racist media outlets, there’s certainly enough out there to suggest she’s a pretty impressive person.