What You Need to Know: Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama to Meghan Markle on public pressures: maximize your impact

Former first lady Michelle Obama has some advice for Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, on how to handle the pressures that come with such a high-profile, public position as a British royal. After all, she should know following her eight years in the White House under near-constant public scrutiny.

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In an interview in the January issue of “Good Housekeeping,” Obama shared the advice she would give Markle about her new role. Markle wed Prince Harry in May in a lavish wedding ceremony at Windsor Castle.

“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 told the magazine.

Obama embarked on a tour for her new book, “Becoming,” in November and advised the new royal-mother-to-be to take it slowly.

“My biggest piece of advice would be to take some time and don’t be in a hurry to do anything. 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. I think it’s OK – it’s good, even – to do that,” she said.

>> Related: Michelle Obama announces 'Becoming' 10-city book tour

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 21: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, chef Clare Smyth (R) and kitchen co-ordinator Zaheera Sufyaan (2L) as she visits the Hubb Community Kitchen to see how funds raised by the 'Together: Our Community' Cookbook are making a difference at Al Manaar, North Kensington on November 21, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Photo: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

The former first lady and attorney also said Markle should explore issues about which she’s passionate.

“What I’d say is that there’s so much opportunity to do good with a platform like that – and I think Meghan can maximize her impact for others, as well her own happiness, if she’s doing something that resonates with her personally,” she said.

>> Related: Meghan Markle’s ‘Suits’ character ties the knot with co-star in her final episode

Both women have a similar goal to help empower women and girls around the world.

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