British Royal Family

Doing it for the girls: How three generations of royal women have supported girls’ rights

''Young girls' potential is being squandered.''

By Maddison Leach
Royal women have been supporting girls causes for decades now, from promoting education equality to changing the conversation around periods.
As we mark the International Day of the Girl Child this year, we're looking at the three generations of royal ladies who have gone above and beyond to support girls.
From the Duchess of Cambridge and Duchess of Sussex, to the late Princess Diana and even Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, here's how they've been championing girls' rights.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge

Duchess Catherine is changing the game for girls in the UK through her dedicated work around the early years.
For the last decade, the duchess has been pushing for research and awareness around how social challenges affect the earliest years of a child's life.
There's no denying that girls face unique struggles, even in their youngest years, and Kate's work will hopefully pave the way for change that will benefit girls across the UK.
Duchess Catherine's work around the early years will benefit young girls across the UK. (Getty)
In 2020 she launched her landmark Early Years Survey, which received more than 500,000 responses from around the world.
Now, she's continuing her work in the area, having recently opened The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood in June.
The hub will continue to push for increased awareness and progress around the early years, something that can truly benefit young girls in the UK.

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex

Duchess Meghan has been advocating for the rights of women and girls since long before she became a member of the royal family.
She campaigned against a sexist commercial as a child after seeing how it encouraged young boys to engage in misogynistic behaviour towards girls.
As an adult, she served as a global ambassador for World Vision and an advocate for the UN, through which she did great work with girls in developing nations.
Duchess Meghan has been a vocul supporter of girls rights for years. (Getty)
Meghan travelled to Rwanda and India in the 2010s to support programs that encouraged education for girls and destigmatised menstruation in local communities.
"Over the years, The Duchess has worked in developing communities, such as in Rwanda and India, to find the hindrances to girls' ability to go to school and furthermore to stay in school," read a caption on the Sussex Royal Instagram before she quit the monarchy.
After that, she published an essay urging for more open conversation around periods to break down the stigma that can severely affect young girls going through puberty.
"Beyond India, in communities all over the globe, young girls' potential is being squandered because we are too shy to talk about the most natural thing in the world," she penned in the piece for TIME Magazine.
The Duchess of Sussex has pushed the importance of uplifting girls around the world. (Getty)
"We need to push the conversation, mobilise policy making surrounding menstrual health initiatives, support organisations who foster girls' education from the ground up."
Even now, she is vocal about the importance of uplifting young girls and encouraging them in every aspect of their lives.
"It's not just about girls going to school and becoming smart women, it's knowing that those smart girls become influential women and that ends up changing the world for the better," she said on International Women's Day in 2019.

Princess Diana

The 'People's Princess' well and truly earned her title, using her royal status to support a whole host of charitable and humanitarian causes.
She shared a particularly special bond with the children she met through her work, her gentle, nurturing character shining through every time she interacted with them.
Photos showed her cuddled up to little girls with HIV/AIDs, sharing tender moments with girl victims of landmines in Angola and putting smiles on the faces of sick children.
Princess Diana had a special bond with children, like this young girl with HIV/AIDs. (Getty)
As patron of The Royal Marsden Hospital and Great Ormand Street Hospital, she often spent time with young girls battling terrifying illnesses – many of them terminal.
"I make the trips at least three times a week, and spend up to four hours at a time with patients holding their hands and talking to them," she once said of her visits, via Harper's Bazaar.
"Some of them will live and some will die, but they all need to be loved while they are here. I try to be there for them."
Diana dedicated much of her time to supporting battered women and children as well, working hard to end the cycles of violence that so often hinder girls' futures.
The Princess of Wales' nurturing side shone through whenever she met young girls. (Getty)

Queen Elizabeth II

The Queen made a ground-breaking decision in 2011 following Prince William's marriage to Duchess Catherine that would change the course of history for royal girls.
For centuries, British succession laws meant that younger brothers took precedence over their elder sisters in the line of royal succession.
No longer content to allow girls to be bumped down in the family line by their younger brothers, the Queen signed the Succession to the Crown Act.
The Queen changed the game for royal girls in 2013. (Getty)
Announced in 2013, the act came into effect in 2015 when Princess Charlotte was born, ensuring that when she had a baby brother, her place in the line of succession wouldn't change.
Prince Louis was born three years later and became the first royal son to sit behind his sister in the line of succession, making history.
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  • undefined: Maddison Leach