The sign that Meghan Markle was never going to be ‘silent or silenced’ forever came years before she stepped back from royal life

There's a subtle sign that Meghan Markle was never going to be ‘silent or silenced’ forever as she showed how 'communication' was important

The sign that Meghan Markle was never going to be 'silent or silenced' forever. Seen here she attends day two of the Invictus Games 2020
(Image credit: Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage via Getty)

There could have been a sign that Meghan Markle was never going to be “silent or silenced” forever years before she stepped back from royal life. 

Ever since Prince Harry and Meghan Markle “stepped back” as senior members of the Royal Family they’ve been outspoken about life in the royal spotlight. The first of their shocking revelations came in March 2021 just over a year after their last official engagement on Commonwealth Day 2020. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex sat down with Oprah Winfrey for a “tell-all” interview and fans saw Meghan discuss how she’s “always valued independence” and had “always been outspoken, especially about women’s rights”. 

The Duchess described the “irony” of the past four years since she became a working royal and said she went “silent”, to which Oprah responded with the famous question, “Were you silent or were you silenced?”. Meghan replied that it was the “latter” and it seems there was a sign that she wasn’t going to just stay “silent” forever shortly after she married Prince Harry.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and the Duchess of Sussex depart after their wedding ceremony

(Image credit: Photo by Jane Barlow - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Before their Windsor Castle wedding in 2018, Meghan Markle’s Coat of Arms was created and it paid tribute to her self-proclaimed “outspoken” nature. According to the Royal Family website she “worked closely with the College of Arms” to create a design that was “personal and representative” of her. 

Whilst the blue background of the shield on it represents the Pacific Ocean and two golden rays across it reflect the sunshine of her home state of California, it’s several other details that seem to highlight a desire to speak about things that are important to her. The statement at the time explained that the three quills on it “represent communication and the power of words”.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle speak on stage at Global Citizen Live

(Image credit: Photo by Gotham/WireImage via Getty)

Traditionally on the Coat of Arms for royal wives there are two Supporters on either side, one representing the husband and one for themselves. On Meghan’s Coat of Arms she has the lion for Prince Harry and hers is a songbird with wings “elevated as if flying and an open beak”. It’s stated that “with the quill [it] represents the power of communication”. 

The focus on communication and the power of words is significant. It showed what truly mattered to the Duchess of Sussex and could perhaps have predicted that the restrictions that often surround what a royal can share or comment on publicly might have been challenging for her. 

Since she and Prince Harry left and settled in their Santa Barbara mansion after years where Meghan claimed she was “silenced” the pair have both been very open about royal life and issues and causes close to their hearts. 

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex speak onstage at the 2022 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Ripple of Hope Gala

(Image credit: Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for 2022 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Ripple of Hope Gala)

Communicating their royal experience to fans via their Oprah Winfrey interview, Netflix docuseries and Spotify podcast seems to have been very important to both Meghan and Prince Harry. During her chat with Oprah, Meghan recalled watching Disney’s The Little Mermaid at Nottingham Cottage and likened herself to Ariel.

“I was like, 'Well I'm here all the time I might as well watch this,' and I went, 'Oh my God, she falls in love with the prince, and because of that, she loses her voice,'” explained Meghan. "But in the end she gets her voice back."

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with seven years of experience working in digital publishing. Her specialist areas including literature, the British Royal Family and knowing all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and every streaming service out there. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, you can find Emma cooking and watching yet more crime dramas.