When President Donald Trump was elected, it was clear that Ivanka Trump wasn’t qualified to work in the White House. She had never shown interest in policy or politics.Ivanka was more focused on the family brand, on sitting in a fake television boardroom with her father, on lying about how many units in the erstwhile Trump SoHo had been pre-sold. She’d even dipped her toe into lifestyle blogging.
Ivanka wanted to be a princess, a denizen of photo-ops and collectible dishes Middle America can order from Parade magazine, like Princess Diana. A person beloved and celebrated like royalty, and immune to the critical eye of the political media. Problem is, there’s no “princess” position in the executive branch.
After her marriage to Prince Harry, Meghan Markle will be stepping away from politics to focus on her royal duties. But the years before her royal courtship were characterized by advocacy and grit.
Markle first publicly advocated for women and girls when she was just 11 years old, when she started a letter-writing campaign against an ad that suggested only women perform housework. The campaign got the attention of NickNews. Per the AFP, her role as a global ambassador for World Vision Canada took her to Rwanda and fostered her advocacy for children in other developing countries. She’s written about global stigma around menstruation, and spoken at the UN for International Women’s Day in 2015. During that talk, the self-described feminist said “Women need a seat at the table, they need an invitation to be seated there, and in some cases, where this is not available, they need to create their own table.”
Ivanka and Markle have interacted before. Markle, like Ivanka, used to run a lifestyle blog. Hers was called “Tig.” While it was deleted this past April, old entries are still available via the Internet Wayback Machine. Markle actually interviewed Ivanka for her blog in 2015 (over email) but was liberal with praise, calling Ivanka “staggeringly beautiful” and “incredibly savvy and intelligent.” “I always remember Ivanka being different,” Markle wrote. “She wasn’t dancing on tables as a teenager or releasing pop albums. She wasn’t running amuck publicly, swearing and being smacked with DUIs.” Markle wrote that she and Ivanka had made plans to get drinks the next time they were both in New York City, noting that she’d order what Ivanka ordered, so intense was her desire to emulate her success.
But perhaps Ivanka would rather have what Meghan is having. “I’ve never wanted to be a lady who lunches,” Markle wrote in 2015. “I’ve always wanted to be a woman who works.”