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Revealed: Archetypes podcast guest, award-winning race journalist and US actress who is descendant of British and French royalty will join Meghan Markel on star-studded keynote panel of SXSW festival in Texas


Meghan Markle will be joined by a guest on her own podcast Archetypes, an award-winning race journalist and a descendant of British and French royalty as she speaks on a star-studded keynote panel for the opening day of SXSW festival in Texas.

The festival, officially named South by Southwest, celebrates the convergence of technology, film, music, education and culture and will see Meghan speak alongside stars Brooke Shields and Katie Couric

Actress Shields, 58, is the descendant of King Henry II of France, making her Queen Elizabeth II‘s 18th cousin once removed and the second-most royal celebrity in America. 

Meanwhile, Meghan will also appear on the panel – titled Breaking Barriers, Shaping Narratives: How Women Lead On and Off the Screen – with American sociologist Nancy Wang Yuen, who appeared on Meghan’s Spotify podcast in 2022. 

The pair discussed the ‘Dragon Lady’ trope and the ‘hypersexualization of Asian women in popular culture and beyond’. Meghan’s Archetypes podcast about female stereotypes ran for just one series before her lucrative deal with Spotify ended in 2023. 

The Duchess of Sussex has been named on a star-studded keynote panel on the opening day of SXSW festival in Texas

The Duchess of Sussex has been named on a star-studded keynote panel on the opening day of SXSW festival in Texas

Brooke Shields (pictured) is also named on the keynote panel which will take place on International Women's Day

Brooke Shields (pictured) is also named on the keynote panel which will take place on International Women’s Day

Nancy Wang Yuen (pictured) is an American sociologist who appeared on Meghan Markle's Archetypes podcast in 2022

Nancy Wang Yuen (pictured) is an American sociologist who appeared on Meghan Markle’s Archetypes podcast in 2022 

Errin Haines (pictured) is an award-winning race journalist who has written articles about Meghan Markle

Errin Haines (pictured) is an award-winning race journalist who has written articles about Meghan Markle 

Meghan, described by the festival as a ‘feminist and champion of human rights and gender equity and a New York Times bestselling author’, will be headlining the opening day keynote which falls on International Women’s Day. 

The session will also be moderated by Errin Haines, host of The Amendment podcast and award-winning race journalist. 

Following the royal engagement of Harry and Meghan, Ms Haines wrote an article for the Independent titled ‘ ”Coming to America was fictional, but this is going to be real”: Black American women react to Meghan Markle’s royal wedding to Prince Harry.’ 

American journalist and presenter Katie Couric will also appear on the panel on March 8. 

Meghan’s involvement at the festival will be the latest in a string of public appearances that Meghan and Prince Harry have made in recent weeks, the most recent of which saw the duchess appearing via video link in London to open a new wing of an animal charity.

This was publicised via the new Sussex.com website she launched with Harry, which instantly became controversial due to the prominence of its royal branding.

Earlier in February, she made dumplings with Afghan female refugees, before a clip of the visit was posted on the Archewell Foundation website last Monday.

The duke and duchess have also recently returned from a trip to the slopes in Whistler, Vancouver, where Harry gave a series of American media interviews ahead of next year’s Invictus Games.

Author Katie Couric will also be at the annual festival in Austin, Texas this month

Author Katie Couric will also be at the annual festival in Austin, Texas this month 

Prince Harry and Meghan are pictured on their trip to Vancouver last month ahead of next year's Invictus Games

Prince Harry and Meghan are pictured on their trip to Vancouver last month ahead of next year’s Invictus Games

Meghan followed that up with another ski trip with her friends Kelly McKee Zajfen and Heather Dorak in Powder Mountain near Salt Lake City in Utah

Hugh Forrest, SXSW co-president and chief programming officer, said: ‘Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex, Katie Couric, Brooke Shields, Nancy Wang Yuen, and Errin Haines are the perfect finishing touch to eight days of remarkable Keynote Speakers.

‘We are so honoured to host this distinguished group on International Women’s Day for a significant discussion on the importance of representation in media and entertainment.’ 

Meghan has been chosen by SXSW because she and the other guests are seen as ‘visionary female leaders at the forefront of news, media, entertainment, and philanthropy’.

They are also described as women ‘who are breaking barriers, challenging stereotypes, and working toward a healthier society on and off our screens’. The Duchess of Sussex was referred to as a New York Times bestselling author.

Meghan’s session will focus on ‘how the ubiquitous nature of social media is creating an often dangerous environment which has led to serious mental health issues for teenage girls in particular’.

Alongside the fellow participants, Meghan will talk about the importance of representation in media and entertainment, organisers have said. 

Founded in 1987, South By Southwest is known for its conference and festivals on tech, film and television, music, education, and culture, describing itself as an ‘essential destination for global professionals’. 

Harry and Meghan at an Invictus Games event in Whistler, Canada, on February 14, 2024

Harry and Meghan at an Invictus Games event in Whistler, Canada, on February 14, 2024

Previously announced featured speakers and panellists at this year’s festival include Selena Gomez, Kirsten Dunst and Sydney Sweeney.

Last year, Meghan spent International Women’s Day helping with a visit to a homeless shelter for pregnant woman, handing out essential supplies to expectant mothers on behalf of her Archewell Foundation.

Last month saw a flurry of announcements from the Sussexes.

The duchess signed a deal with Lemonada Media to record new podcast shows, and the company will distribute her previous series.

The couple also relaunched their Archewell website, the name of their foundation, rebranding it The Office Of Prince Harry And Meghan, The Duke And Duchess Of Sussex.

The announcement of Meghan’s latest public appearance comes after a royal expert claimed that the Sussexes could be putting off Americans with their ‘endless moans’ and attacks on the Royal Family.

Prince Harry and Meghan moved across the pond after quitting as senior royals and leaving Britain in January 2020. 

While attempting to start a new life in the US, the couple have starred in a Netflix docuseries, launched a controversial new website, released a book and held explosive interviews about the Royal Family.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are putting off Americans with their 'endless moans' and 'attacks' on the Royal Family , a royal expert has claimed

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are putting off Americans with their ‘endless moans’ and ‘attacks’ on the Royal Family , a royal expert has claimed

In a bid to branch out to the celebrity world, the Sussexes are often seen making appearances at glitzy events, including the ‘Bob Marley: One Love’ premiere in Jamaica in January.

But they were branded ‘insensitive’ for posing on the red carpet with Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness, who wants to ditch the monarchy.

Last month, Harry said King Charles’s cancer diagnosis could have a ‘reunifying effect’ on the family. He made a transatlantic dash to see his father at Clarence House on February 6 but they only met for around 45 minutes.

There had been reports that Harry was willing to return to a temporary royal role to help out the slimmed down monarchy, with Princess Kate also recovering from abdominal surgery. But palace aides later said there was ‘no way back’ for Harry.

Speaking about Harry and Meghan’s time since leaving Britain, royal author Angela Levin said even Americans are getting fed up with the couple’s ‘hypocrisy’ and whinging.

She told The Sun: ‘I think endless moaning puts off Americans because they like people who are go-getters rather than those who blame everyone else.

‘They also don’t like the attacks on the Royal Family especially as they so loved and admired the Queen.’



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