Meghan Markle is billed as ‘a visionary female leader’ and bestselling author on festival line-up alongside Brooke Shields and Katie Couric – where the Duchess will discuss ‘breaking barriers, challenging stereotypes, and a healthier society’ Meghan Markle has been described as a ‘visionary female leader’ ahead of her appearance on a star-studded panel at the opening day of the SXSW festival in Texas alongside actress Brooke Shields and author Katie Couric. The Duchess of Sussex, 42, is set to appear at the annual event tomorrow and is expected to discuss ‘breaking barriers’ and ‘challenging stereotypes’ as she addresses social media use. South by Southwest, also referred to as SXSW, is an annual festival that celebrates the convergence of technology, film, music, education and culture, being held from March 8-16. Meghan is the headliner of the keynote event on Friday, which is also International Women’s Day. According to organisers, the session is presented by Harry and Meghan’s Archewell Foundation and The 19th, a US nonprofit newsroom that reports on gender, politics and policy. The Duchess of Sussex has been named on a star-studded keynote panel on the opening day of SXSW festival in Texas Brooke Shields, 58, is to appear on the panel alongside Meghan Markle at the festival tomorrow It marks the latest in a string of public appearance for Harry and Meghan in recent weeks, including a trip to Vancouver (pictured) Announcing its panel of ‘visionary’ women, the festival confirmed the session would focus on the dangers and mental health issues associated with social media users amongst teenage girls. The session, titled Breaking Barriers, Shaping Narratives: How Women Lead On and Off the Screen, will be moderated by Errin Haines, host of The Amendment podcast, and also attended by pop culture expert Nancy Wang Yuen. Alongside the fellow participants, Meghan will also talk about the importance of representation in media and entertainment. In a statement, the organisers said: ‘Women’s representation in media and entertainment has come a long way, but there’s still much to be done, especially for women of color and mothers. ‘Social media’s omnipresence has raised the stakes, creating an often dangerous environment which has led to serious mental health issues for teenage girls in particular. ‘On International Women’s Day, we’ll hear from visionary female leaders at the forefront of news, media, entertainment and philanthropy who are breaking barriers, challenging stereotypes, and working toward a healthier society on and off our screens.’ The appearance is the latest of a series of public engagements by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, the latest of which saw Meghan appear in London via video for the opening of a new wing of the animal charity Mayhew. The announcement was in honour of her late friend Oli Juste, with the Duchess saying the dog trainer’s sudden death had left her heartbroken. Katie Couric is also sharing a platform with Meghan Markle at the opening day of SXSW Nancy Wang Yuen (pictured) is an American sociologist who appeared on Meghan Markle’s Archetypes podcast in 2022 A photo shared on Harry and Meghan’s new website, – the subject of controversy because of the prominence of its royal branding – showed a beaming Duchess in a beige coat crouching down and petting a dog. READ MORE: Revealed: Archetypes podcast guest, award-winning race journalist and US actress who is descendant of British and French royalty will join Meghan Markle on star-studded keynote panel of SXSW festival in Texas Earlier in February, she made dumplings with female Afghan refugees, before a clip of the visit was posted on the Archewell Foundation website last Monday. Her video message for the charity came days after Prince Harry reportedly told friends he wanted to step back into royal roles to support his father, King Charles III, during his treatment for cancer. But royal aides have dismissed the idea, saying there is ‘no way back’ for the prince into the royal fold. The royal family are in the midst of a health crisis since the monarch stepped back from public engagements during treatment, with the Princess of Wales also out of action until at least after Easter as she recovers from abdominal surgery. To add to the dearth in working royals available for engagements, the Prince of Wales last week pulled out of a memorial service for his godfather King Constantine of Greece with just an hour’s notice due to a ‘personal matter’. Queen Camilla, 76, is also currently taking a brief respite after stepping up her royal duties in the aftermath of her husband’s diagnosis. Prince Harry and Meghan are pictured on their trip to Vancouver last month ahead of next year’s Invictus Games Meghan’s podcast Archetypes is being relaunched after she signed a new contract with Lemonada Media Harry and Meghan have not undertaken any royal duties since they moved to America in 2020 Meanwhile Prince Harry and Meghan have had no royal duties since they moved to America in 2020 and ceased their lives as working royals. Harry rushed over to the UK to visit his cancer-stricken father in the days after his diagnosis – but saw him for just 45 minutes before the monarch departed London for Sandringham, leaving the prince to stay overnight in a hotel before his return to the US. His wife Meghan and the couple’s children, Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet, remained at their California home. The couple recently returned from a trip to Vancouver, Canada, where Harry spoke with media about the upcoming Invictus Games next year. Hugh Forrest, SXSW co-president and chief programming officer, said: ‘Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex, Katie Couric, Brooke Shields, Nancy Wang Yuen, and Errin Haines are the perfect finishing touch to eight days of remarkable Keynote Speakers. ‘We are so honoured to host this distinguished group on International Women’s Day for a significant discussion on the importance of representation in media and entertainment.’ One of the stars sharing the platform with the Duchess, Nancy Wang Yuen, previously appeared on Meghan’s Spotify podcast Archetypes. The podcast ran for one season, but has since been renewed for a relaunch after the Duchess split from the streaming platform and signed a new deal with Lemonada Media. Founded in 1987, South By Southwest is known for its conference and festivals on tech, film and television, music, education, and culture, describing itself as an ‘essential destination for global professionals’. Previously announced featured speakers and panellists at this year’s festival include Selena Gomez, Kirsten Dunst and Sydney Sweeney.

This content was originally published here.