In 1993, Proctor and Gamble, the makers of Ivory dishwashing soap among other products, received a handwritten letter in fancy careful cursive that inspired them to change a word in one of their popular commercials. But the word wasn't just any word and the letter writer wasn't just any letter writer.
It just so happened that 11-year-old Meghan Markle's social studies class has been tasked with watching handpicked commercials that were frequently played at the time and dissecting the ads to see if anything in particular jumped out at them. At the time, Markle was not an actress or engaged to marry a prince or known by America for anything.
But then she made a decision after watching a series of commercials which targeted women specifically and launched her 11-year-old self into fame... with "Nick News", that is. "Nick News" was a children's news program hosted by Linda Ellerbee on Nickelodeon. Markle's letter to Proctor and Gamble, which asked the company to please change the commercial from "Women all over America" to "People all over America", got results and Nick News took notice.
They featured the little girl on their show and Markle said in an interview, “I said, wait a minute how could somebody say that? Just about one out of every three commercials is going to say something that’s going to hurt somebody’s feelings.”
Sources say that twenty years later, Markle, now a successful television actress, gave a speech at the UN in which she referenced her letter to Proctor and Gamble and the successful results. She stated, "I remember feeling shocked, and angry and also just feeling so hurt. It just wasn’t right and something needed to be done... At the age of 11, I had created my small level of impact by standing up for equality... My 11-year-old self worked out that if I really wanted someone to hear me, well then I should write a letter to the First Lady. So, off I went, scribbling away, to our First Lady at the time, Hillary Clinton.”
So, does former "Nick News" host Linda Ellerbee remember young Markle, now a future royal?
"It was absolutely clear that this young woman was strong in her beliefs," Ellerbee recently reflected on Markle. "It didn't matter if she was 11 years old. She believed in women. She believed in her own power. And she wasn't afraid to reach out and say, 'I want my power. I want my rights.'"