Michelle Obama’s advice to Duchess Meghan: ‘Don’t be in a hurry to do anything’

Today Show Day of the Girl

Does anyone know if Michelle or Barack Obama have even met the Duchess of Sussex? I don’t think they’ve ever met. But the Obamas are very big fans of Prince Harry, to the point where I always thought Michelle and Harry had little crushes on each other. If you ever want to see Michelle giggle like a schoolgirl, watch any of the joint interviews she did with Harry for the Invictus Games. So I believe that Michelle probably has some (positive) feelings about Harry marrying an American woman, and even more, an African-American woman. When Michelle was being interviewed by British Good Housekeeping magazine, of course she was asked about Meghan. And Michelle offered her some advice:

Speaking in the January issue of Good Housekeeping, Michelle revealed what she’d tell the Duchess.

“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. So 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 okay – it’s good, even – to do that.”

Michelle also believes in the importance of doing what you feel truly passionate about.

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

[From Good Housekeeping UK]

I understand what Michelle is saying and it’s good advice… for a first lady. You know what I mean? Michelle was already a mom, she already spent two years on the campaign trail and trying to balance everything in her life, so of course her advice would be “take a few months to decompress and understand where you are now.” The idea of giving yourself time to just make the mental adjustment is important, whether you’re a FLOTUS or a duchess or you’ve just moved to a new town or you’re starting a new job. But I also understand COMPLETELY why Meghan, in her particular position, felt the need to “hit the ground running” and start working so soon after she married.

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attends the Royal Academy of Arts to view Oceania

Michelle Obama UK visit

Photos courtesy of WENN, Avalon Red.

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35 Responses to “Michelle Obama’s advice to Duchess Meghan: ‘Don’t be in a hurry to do anything’”

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  1. Claire Voyant says:

    FLOTUS is right. Remember, she has spoken to Meghan in private settings and is fond of her, I believe. If she is telling Meghan this it is not random.

    • Olenna says:

      Michelle was not exactly telling Meghan this. While promoting her book, she was asked in this interview what advice she would give Meghan. Perhaps she wasn’t aware of the British media’s negative campaign against the Duchess but, personally, I wished she’d glossed over the question and saved her advice for a personal conversation. Her response to the interviewer has only brought on more baseless conjecture and ridicule towards both of them.

      • anna2222222 says:

        That’s how I felt too – given the narrative in the press about Meghan at the moment, it might have been kinder of Michelle to give a non-answer highlighting things Meghan has done right.

      • Claire Voyant says:

        You are right but my spider senses are tingling. Michelle is not off the cuff, imo.

    • wisdomheaven says:

      This interview was probably done months ago. People forget that magazine lay outs and interviews are done 2-3+ months in advance in many cases. So this isn’t Michelle responding to the current mess.

      • anna2222222 says:

        You’re absolutely right, I assumed it was a more recent interview because she’s on the book tour.

  2. Becks1 says:

    I understand what Michelle is saying, and I think Meghan is doing that, to be honest. She is working and doing appearances but I think we are going to see her really start to shine over the next year or so. I think the cookbook was just kind of like a “see what I can do” thing. I think she is taking her time, figuring out what she wants to be her focus, adjusting to her new life and the incredible vitriol sent her way every day, etc.

    I dont know if they have met but I imagine when they do they will have a lot in common. Two women of color who are being constantly scolded by those who think they need to stay in their place.

    • Anners says:

      I agree Becks – Meghan has been doing appearances, but hasn’t chosen her major focus. I think she’s hit the ground running, but is also taking the time to select projects that matter to her and that she can invest in for a long time. I hate that there’s such a market out there for hatred of this woman who, publicly at least, seems genuinely motivated, engaged, kind and caring. Wishing her all the best in this goldfish bowl of a life.

  3. Jessica says:

    Michelle had a 7 and 10 year-old who had to transition schools and lifestyles while her husband was POTUS. I can understand her hesitation to jump into something and she was criticized mostly by left-leaning feminists for focusing on her daughters the first year in office.

    Yes Meghan is pregnant but getting established in a handful of charities isn’t going to be too much for her. I recently found out Meghan graduated in 3 years (if this is not true please correct me) with a double major from Northwestern. I don’t care who you are I find that impressive.

    • lily says:

      I’m not sure why graduating in 3 years would be impressive? I mean, here in the UK, we all graduate in 3 years.

      • HHH says:

        Here in the US, most university programs are 4 year programs for a single degree and 4-5 years for a concurrent dual degree (for a double BA/BS or a mix of BA/BS and MS). Graduating in 3 years means being focused from the start and a compressed schedule with a much heavier workload.

    • JT says:

      I graduated in 3 years at age 18, and honestly, I gotta say, it’s really not that impressive in my case.

      I’m sort of in awe of the fierce defense of Meghan on this site. It’s a little cultish.

  4. Lala11_7 says:

    I adore Michelle…but what worked for her…perhaps don’t work for others…and if I were Meghan…as long as my man and the Queen signed off on what I was doing…I would go full force ahead…Because TIME is not promised to ANYONE!

    • Div says:

      Yep. I feel like Michelle’s advice was just take it slow and steady, which is good advice although not applicable to everyone (and better for First Ladies, imo), but it’s been twisted as some sort of criticism about Meghan by some for whatever reason.

      • Ainsley7 says:

        How is the wife of the head of state that drastically different from the wife of a representative of the head of state? At the end of the day, their behavior is still a reflection on the head of state.

    • EMc says:

      Yep! Seems to me she is doing exactly what she wants to be doing, and is happy to be doing it.

    • Mac says:

      Meghan knew she would be going on maternity leave fairly soon after getting married. It makes sense for her to hit the ground running to because she will be taking several months off less than a year after becoming a royal.

  5. Seraphina says:

    At first I thought the advice was for Kate and i immediatly thought: oh, that’s not an issue.

    I agree with MO, and mire importantly this will be a life long journey so taking time to ease in isnt really a bad thing.

  6. Leyton says:

    I get what she’s saying. Meghan’s been pacing herself very well I think. She’s not rushing into anything and she shouldn’t. Stick to what you like and know and build from there. I’m sure Meghan feels pressure to prove herself and I think that’s what Michelle speaks too.

    I do think Meghan’s project with the Hubb came organically and it was wonderful.

    Michelle could be a great role model for Meghan. They’re both navigating world that are traditionally not intended for women of their background. It’s a unique position to be in and very few know how they are feeling or what they go through.

  7. Sassy says:

    Meghan unfortunately isn’t going to get that adjustment time. If she goes another week without having an engagement people will start calling her lazy.

    • Rosie says:

      Not by me. Not by most people in the UK, it’s just royal watchers who count public engagements. Knowing she’s pregnant and has got to set up home a lot of people would give her a pass. That’s why Kate has got away with working at a snail pace…we don’t mind.

  8. Patty says:

    She should listen to Michelle. Whatever she’s doing, she’s rubbing a lot of people the wrong way. I call it new director syndrome. When a new director comes in, they always want to mix things up and do things their way without taking the time to understand the current norms. It’s fine if you’ve been hired to clean up a toxic work environment; but otherwise not so much.

    It probably would have been benefitted Meghan to learn more about what how things go within the BRF, the public pecking order, the real pecking order, etc. And better yet, get an understanding of British culture and society and the rules both spoken and unspoken. Probably would have prevented some of the bad press of late.

    • Div says:

      I do think Meghan might be mixing it up and not completely understanding British culture (American directness can be considered rude in other countries, and other countries don’t necessarily always understand the conservative British habit of dancing around an issue but not addressing it directly), but the problem is the work environment itself in the Firm is pretty toxic and the rules aren’t clearly set.

      Apparently the courtiers don’t like that Meghan used to not always wear panty-hose, and wore an off the shoulder dress, but Camilla and Kate have not worn panty-hose at times and Kate’s worn an off the shoulder dress. One can’t help but think they are cracking down especially hard on Meghan over the silliest of rules because she’s Black and American.

    • Maum says:

      To be honest I think whatever she does/has done she’s being set up for failure.
      For what it’s worth I don’t think she’s done THAT much yet. She had an overseas trip (huge success there but honestly with all the Brexit mess, not really covered here- apart from the Fail). The main thing is the Grenfell thing which is fantastic.
      But I bet you some people would probably say she hasn’t done enough!

      Then there’s the ‘pushy American sending email at 5 in the morning’ scenario.

      Not matter what she does she will be criticised for something. I think Michelle’s advice isn’t bad, but ultimately Meghan should just do what she feels comfortable with, and try not to read the papers too much.

    • MrsBump says:

      it’s a bit like the wife of the one of the directors joins the firm with zero prior experience and starts doing things her way.
      i think meghan’s experience as an actress is extremely valuable when she’s out in public , but she clearly doesnt understand the office dynamics.
      So MO’s advice here is really good. Take some time to understand how things work before trying to impose your style.
      Also in this case it is worthwhile to remember that the staff’s allegiance is always towards the leader of the pack and Meghan maybe a star in public, she is still a junior member of the family in the courtiers’ eyes

    • Rosie says:

      Agree, she’s not just married a man & his family, she’s married a 700+ Year old institution. It’s why Charles found it hard to find a bride, and Harry’s previous serious girlfriends opted out. It’s an awful job, but it has huge perks. She doesn’t have to go back to work 9-5, 3 months after giving birth or hustle for acting jobs. She never has to worry about her husband losing his job or her kids affording a home or finding work. She’s made for life.

      Is it too much for her to play by their rules? So what if she thinks they are stupid, the men in grey have forgotten more about running the firm than she will ever learn.

      • lily says:

        “She doesn’t have to go back to work 9-5, 3 months after giving birth or hustle for jobs. She never has to worry about her husband losing his job or her kids affording a home or finding work. She’s made for life.”

        So much envy in these types of comments. No wonder you’re all mad about the lifestyle Kate and Meghan lead and constantly drone on about taxpayer “dollars”. Maybe if you had married better, or if you and your partner had worked harder, you’d be enjoying the same, too. Plenty of regular women do.

  9. girl_ninja says:

    Lady O also has the perspective as a BLACK woman. Meghan is being painted as the “angry black woman.” And Mrs. Obama knows all to well living through that racist bullsh*t narrative.

    White peopleJealousy and insecurity are real!

  10. knowitall says:

    This is good advice from a woman who understands the landscape well.

  11. SlightlyAnonny says:

    Meghan has met Barrack but maybe not “met” Barrack. There is a picture making the rounds of Tumblr of a clearly starstruck and giddy (and really, who wouldn’t be?) shaking his hand it looked like it was from his presidential term so while she was on Suits.

  12. Rosie says:

    I don’t read it as the DOS is being painted as an angry black woman, more like a Hollywood diva with no respect for British way, which to me is worse. All women have the right to be angry we’ve been pushed around for long enough!!

    Maybe we hone in on what we hate, I’m sick to death of entitled celebs (don’t anyone mention the Beckhams) whereas you have maybe see one too many black women being criticised in the media.

  13. Catherine says:

    If you read “Becoming” you learn how hardworking and smart, and type A Mobama really is. She studied from past mistakes, she took Hillary’s advice: don’t try to make legislation as FLOTUS they will destroy you. So, Michelle used her charm, hard work and research to get corporations to agree on their own accord to reduce sugar in soft drinks, to reduce sodium. Mobama said she practiced for hours and hours for carpool Karaoke, she’s a planner and a perfectionist. She took a very slow, steady approach and then hit her stride and was Amazeballs as we all know. It’s a great example for all of us, but especially Meghan. The role she’s in now is so very foreign for Americans, she doesn’t represent the people: she represents the CROWN. Period. She represents the Queen, not the people. She’s got an enormous platform but a narrow way to use it. It must be a total mind fkkkkk. It’s old fashioned, but it’s a very old fashioned position she is in: her main job is to support her husband and the Crown. If she cannot do that successfully, the Firm will crush her like they did Diana and Fergie.

  14. Sv says:

    This interview was almost certainly given some time ago and in my opinion Meghan has already followed it. Remember before the cook book dropped the press having exhausted her family stories were staring to come after her for not hitting the ground running, and the response was that Meghan was taking her time and doing private meetings. She dropped one completed project to make a first impression and did the tour, but hasn’t announced a single patronage yet and her only solo engagement outside the cookbook was connected to the upcoming tour. Michelle didn’t mean take Duchess of Cambridge slow.