COVID-19: Meghan says women ‘disproportionally affected’ by pandemic in first TV appearance since Oprah interview

The Duchess of Sussex has appeared on TV for the first time since her and Prince Harry’s tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey.

Meghan pre-recorded a video message for the Global Citizen VAX Live concert, where she said women had been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

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The event, televised on Saturday night in the US, was in aid of the international vaccination effort and also featured performances from Jennifer Lopez, Eddie Vedder, Foo Fighters, J Balvin and H.E.R.

In her message, the Duchess of Sussex said: "The past year has been defined by communities coming together tirelessly and heroically to tackle COVID-19.

"We’ve gathered tonight because the road ahead is getting brighter, but it’s going to take every one of us to find our way forward.

"As campaign chairs of Vax Live, my husband and I believe it’s critical that our recovery prioritises the health, safety and success of everyone – and particularly women, who have been disproportionately affected by this pandemic."

The heavily pregnant duchess added: "Women, and especially women of colour, have seen a generation of economic gain wiped out.

"Since the pandemic began, nearly 5.5 million women have lost work in the US, and 47 million more women around the world are expected to slip into extreme poverty."

Meghan said: "My husband and I are thrilled to soon be welcoming a daughter.

"It’s a feeling of joy we share with millions of other families around the world. When we think of her, we think of all the young women and girls around the globe who must be given the ability and the support to lead us forward."

Earlier this week, Harry and Meghan wrote an open letter to the chief executives of pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca urging them to redouble their support for the UN-sponsored Covax programme.

The couple have called on all firms to temporarily suspend intellectual property rights applied to COVID vaccines, and for a "global public-private collaboration" so production methods for the jabs can be shared.

The Sussexes’ intervention into the global debate about the vaccine rollout came on the second birthday of their son Archie, and separately they have asked those wanting to mark this to donate funds which will support Covax.

Harry and Meghan’s interview with Winfrey left the royal family in crisis after they alleged that the monarchy was a racist and uncaring institution.

The couple claimed a member of the family, not the Queen or the late Duke of Edinburgh, made a comment about the colour of their son’s skin, and revealed that the duchess had suicidal thoughts during her time as a working royal, but that her approaches to the monarchy for help were turned down.

Harry returned to the UK for Prince Philip’s funeral last month, but Meghan stayed in the US as she is heavily pregnant with the couple’s second child.

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