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Michelle Obama tells Meghan to ‘savour’ start of motherhood

The former first lady was interviewed by the Duchess of Sussex for fashion bible British Vogue.

Former US first lady Michelle Obama (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)
Former US first lady Michelle Obama (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

Michelle Obama has given the Duchess of Sussex some motherly advice – telling her to “savour” the early years of parenthood.

The former US first lady’s sage words were given when she was interviewed by Meghan for the latest edition of British Vogue magazine.

Mrs Obama was asked to take part in the magazine’s back page question and answer feature by the duchess, while they enjoyed a “casual lunch of chicken tacos” earlier this year when the royal was pregnant with son Archie.

The duchess, who has guest edited the September issue of the fashion bible, later sent the wife of former US president Barack Obama her questions which ended with the “wild-card” request – What is the most beautiful sound that you’ve ever heard?

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Michelle tells Meghan her teenage self would think husband Barack is ‘cute’ (Chris Jackson/PA)

Answering the question, Mrs Obama said about her daughters, who grew up during their father’s time in the White House: “When Malia and Sasha were newborns, Barack and I could lose hours just watching them sleep. We loved to listen to the little sounds they’d make – especially the way they cooed when they were deep into dreaming.

“Don’t get me wrong, early parenthood is exhausting. I’m sure you know a thing or two about that these days. But there is something so magical about having a baby in the house. Time expands and contracts; each moment holds its own little eternity.

“I’m so excited for you and Harry to experience that, Meghan. Savour it all.”

Archie was born on May 6 at the Portland Hospital in central London and the three-month old royal baby was christened at Windsor Castle early in July, in front of close family and friends.

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The Duchess of Sussex with son Archie (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Meghan focused on asking Mrs Obama a series of questions about being a parent, advice to her daughters and what her teenage self would think about Michelle today.

The duchess thanked her interviewee for sending the “kindest message on Mother’s Day this year” and asked “What has motherhood taught you?”

In response Mrs Obama said: “As mothers, we just don’t want anything or anyone to hurt our babies. But life has other plans. Bruised knees, bumpy roads and broken hearts are part of the deal.

“What’s both humbled and heartened me is seeing the resiliency of my daughters. In some ways, Malia and Sasha couldn’t be more different. One speaks freely and often, one opens up on her own terms.

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Barack Obama and the Duke of Sussex (Danny Lawson/PA)

“One shares her innermost feelings, the other is content to let you figure it out. Neither approach is better or worse, because they’ve both grown into smart, compassionate and independent young women, fully capable of paving their own paths.”

Quizzed about what inspired her to start the Girls Opportunity Alliance, a programme of the Obama Foundation that aims to empower adolescent girls through education, the former first lady said: “I formed the Girls Opportunity Alliance because I’ve seen the power of education in my own life. And I believe that every little girl, no matter her circumstances, deserves the opportunity to learn, grow and act on her knowledge.”

Mrs Obama said about her 15-year-old self: “She’d remind me there are still too many girls on the South Side of Chicago who are being shushed, cast aside or told they’re dreaming too big.

“She’d tell me to keep fighting for them. If I’m being honest, she’d probably smile about how cute my husband is, too.”

– The September issue of British Vogue is available on Friday August 2.

PA

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