In Brief

Michelle Obama shares advice for Meghan Markle

Former first lady urges Duchess of Sussex to ease into her new high-pressure role slowly

Michelle Obama has urged the Duchess of Sussex to take her time adapting to her new life in the Royal Family - advice that the former first lady says is drawn from her own experiences in the White House.

Obama, currently promoting her bestselling memoir Becoming, shared her insider tips during an interview with Good Housekeeping.

The former first lady, who grew up in a lower-middle class household on Chicago’s South Side, empathises with Markle’s experience of being thrown into a high-profile role amid intense public scrutiny.

“Like me, Meghan probably never dreamt that she’d have a life like this, and the pressure you feel - from yourself and from others - can sometimes feel like a lot,” Obama said.

“So my biggest piece of advice would be to take some time and don’t be in a hurry to do anything.”

She described how she adjusted to her role as first lady, initially setting time aside to find her feet before embarking on her high-profile social campaigns.

“I spent the first few months in the White House mainly worrying about my daughters, making sure they were off to a good start at school and making new friends before I launched into any more ambitious work,” she said.

“I think it’s OK - it’s good, even - to do that.”

Both women share a common interest in advocating for female empowerment. Obama says she finds “great hope” in the younger generations of girls and women, and is encouraging the pregnant Duchess to stay true to her causes close to her heart.

“There’s so much opportunity to do good with a platform like that - and I think Meghan can maximise her impact for others, as well her own happiness, if she’s doing something that resonates with her personally,” she said.

The former actor’s first months in the Royal Family have been dogged by rumours of tensions with fellow royals, notably the Duchess of Cambridge.

Kate was reported to have been left in tears following a confrontation at a dress fitting for Princess Charlotte ahead of Meghan’s wedding to Prince Harry in May. On another occasion, the two women were said to have clashed over Meghan’s supposedly high-handed treatment of palace staff.

It has been suggested that the personality clash is the reason for Harry and Meghan’s decision to leave Kensington Palace, the residence they shared with William and Kate, and set up home at Frogmore Cottage in Windsor.

However, the Palace has dismissed reports of any feuds within the family. In a rare public statement, a spokesperson flatly denied the alleged spat over staff, saying: “This never happened.”

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