Meghan Markle leaves US hotel where she was guest speaker at ‘power of women’ charity event

Meghan Markle is pictured leaving hotel in the US where she was guest speaker at ‘power of women’ charity event hours after British ex-counter terror chief revealed she faced ‘very real’ threats to her life in the UK

  • Meghan Markle, 41, spoke at the event on Tuesday evening in Indianapolis   
  • The sold-out charity benefit charged $5,000 for tables of up to 10 people 
  • Attendees saw Duchess in conversation with moderator Rabbi Sandy Sasso 
  • Event was hosted by the Women’s Fund of Central Indiana at Marriott hotel

Meghan Markle was spotted leaving an Indianapolis hotel where she spoke on the ‘power of women’ at a $5,000-a-table dinner thrown in her honour last night – hours after police in Britain said there had been credible threats to her life.

The Duchess of Sussex, 41, jetted into the Midwest from California to be interviewed on-stage during the event billed ‘The Power of Women: An Evening with Meghan’.

The royal was billed to appear with Rabbi Sandy Sasso, the first woman rabbi ordained by the Reconstructionist Judiasm movement at the event at the Marriot Downtown Hotel in Indianapolis last night. 

Tickets for the event cost a whopping $500 per head, with any photography or recording on the night banned. She was on stage as William and Kate, the Prince and Princess of Wales, flew into Boston for a three-day visit to the US culminating in the Earthshot Prize awards ceremony on Friday night.

Meghan Markle points as she leaves a 'power of women' event in the US  last night - where people paid $5,000 per table to hear her speak

Meghan Markle points as she leaves a ‘power of women’ event in the US  last night – where people paid $5,000 per table to hear her speak

Meghan was the main speaker and guest of honour at the event in the Midwest

Meghan was the main speaker and guest of honour at the event in the Midwest

But some shots appear to have leaked on to social media – and appeared to show framed pictures of Meghan on her own, or with Harry, being handed out as gifts to a table of guests.

William and Kate jet into Boston for three-day US visit

Boston’s landmarks will be lit up green by the Prince and Princess of Wales when they begin a three-day visit to the US culminating in the Earthshot Prize awards ceremony.

William and Kate begin their first official overseas trip since the death of the Queen with a welcome event outside Boston City Hall attended by Michelle Wu, the city’s mayor.

From Speaker’s Corner the couple will formally begin the countdown to Earthshot, being hosted by Boston on Friday, by lighting up City Hall and other prominent buildings green.

Superstar singer Billie Eilish will lead a stellar line-up for the awards ceremony, founded by William to recognise and scale-up environmental solutions to repair the planet.

Other acts to feature are Annie Lennox, Ellie Goulding and Beyonce proteges Chloe x Halle, performing at the MGM Music Hall in Boston.

A royal source said: ‘The prize has become the Prince’s Superbowl moment of the year, and he looks forward to continuing to use the platform each year to shine a light on some of the most impactful projects doing amazing things around the world to save our planet’s future.’

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It is not known how much Meghan will have been paid for the appearance, if at all, however PR experts believe she could earn up to £1million per speech in the US.

It came as a British police chief said they had investigated many credible plots against the Duchess of Sussex that threatened her life.

Outgoing Scotland Yard Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said the threats received against Meghan were ‘very real’, calling them ‘disgusting’.

He told Channel 4 News there were serious threats emanating from far-Right groups in this country, adding: ‘If you’d seen the stuff that was written and you were receiving it… the kind of rhetoric that’s online… you would feel under threat all of the time.’

When asked if there was a genuine threat to Meghan’s life more than once, Mr Basu replied: ‘Absolutely. We had teams investigating it. People have been prosecuted for those threats.’

The former head of royal protection was asked to characterise the threats that Meghan and Harry received, responding: ‘Well, disgusting. And very real. I’ve talked publicly for many years about the threat of extreme Right-wing terrorism in this country.’

The interview was broadcast yesterday on Mr Basu’s final day in office before he retires.

He did not name the cases involved, but his interview appeared to have taken the force by surprise last night.

The Indiana event drew supporters from across the state, and perhaps even further, with one group traveling from Ivy Tech Community College in Lawrenceburg, about 100 miles southeast of Indianapolis. 

‘A strong team of @IvyLburgBville women philanthropists traveled to Indianapolis to attend the Power of Women event,’ the school tweeted. ‘Remarkable event this evening!’

The benefit was hosted by the Women’s Fund of Central Indiana, a special-interest fund of the Central Indiana Community Foundation, a registered non-profit.

Prior keynote speakers at Women’s Fund benefits include former first lady Michelle Obama, who drew a crowd of more than 12,000 people at the home arena of the Indiana Pacers in 2018, according to organizers.

Markle leaves the benefit, which was hosted by the Women’s Fund of Central Indiana, a special-interest fund of the Central Indiana Community Foundation, a registered non-profit

Markle leaves the benefit, which was hosted by the Women’s Fund of Central Indiana, a special-interest fund of the Central Indiana Community Foundation, a registered non-profit

Markle is seen departing the event, which was closed to press and banned recording

Markle is seen departing the event, which was closed to press and banned recording

The Women's Fund website said that it aims 'to be the most influential organization creating transformative and sustainable change for women and girls'

The Women’s Fund website said that it aims ‘to be the most influential organization creating transformative and sustainable change for women and girls’

Markle is seen leaving the event after speaking on stage in a conversation with Rabbi Sandy Sasso, the first woman rabbi ordained by the Reconstructionist Judaism movement

Markle is seen leaving the event after speaking on stage in a conversation with Rabbi Sandy Sasso, the first woman rabbi ordained by the Reconstructionist Judaism movement

People line up in a walkway to enter a charity event at the Marriott Downtown in Indianapolis, where Meghan Markle was the guest speaker

People line up in a walkway to enter a charity event at the Marriott Downtown in Indianapolis, where Meghan Markle was the guest speaker

Who is Sandy Sasso? 

Sandy Eisenberg Sasso is the first woman to have been ordained a rabbi in Reconstructionist Judaism.

She was ordained by the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Philadelphia, on May 19, 1974. 

As one of the few women rabbinical students, Sasso naturally became a leader in defining women’s changing roles within Judaism.

 Sasso holds title to many firsts as a female rabbi. 

She is also the author of many children’s books on religious topics.

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Attendance figures for Tuesday’s event were not immediately clear, but the largest ballroom at the Indianapolis Marriott has a maximum capacity of 2,500.

The Women’s Fund website said that it aims ‘to be the most influential organization creating transformative and sustainable change for women and girls.’ 

The fund this year gave grants totaling $150,000 to 12 groups engaged in education, mental health, and career mentoring services for women and girls, according to the website.

The online description for the event said: ‘Women’s Fund is proud to welcome Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex, to Indianapolis.

‘The Duchess is a mother, feminist, and champion of human rights. She is a lifelong advocate for women and girls, a constant thread she weaves through humanitarian and business ventures.

‘Rabbi Sandy Sasso, an acclaimed writer and community leader, will serve as moderator for the evening. 

‘Rabbi Sandy Sasso is the first woman rabbi ordained by the Reconstructionist movement and previously served at Beth-El Zedeck in Indianapolis.

‘Tables for Power of Women are available for purchase to groups and organizations that support the mission of Women’s Fund.’

The event has been organised by the Women’s Fund of Central Indiana – a non-profit which assists local woman experiencing hardship or disadvantage.

The Duchess is following in the footsteps of other celebrities with the appearance – other keynote speakers have included former first lady Michelle Obama.

Experts previously predicted Meghan could earn up to £1 million for giving a speech.

In 2020, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex joined New York-based Harry Walker Agency, which represents the Obamas and the Clintons. 

The Duchess of Sussex, 41, was interviewed on stage at the event on Tuesday night in the ballroom of the Marriott Indianapolis Downtown

The Duchess of Sussex, 41, was interviewed on stage at the event on Tuesday night in the ballroom of the Marriott Indianapolis Downtown

Meghan, who is currently living in her $14 million California mansion with Prince Harry after quitting royal duties, was seen leaving the event dressed warmly in a black button-down coat

Cameras and press were banned from the charity dinner, and few details of Meghan's remarks have emerged

Meghan, who is currently living in her $14 million California mansion with Prince Harry after quitting royal duties, was seen leaving the event dressed warmly in a black button-down coat

Attendance figures for Tuesday's event (pictured) were not immediately clear, but the largest ballroom at the Indianapolis Marriott has a maximum capacity of 2,500

Attendance figures for Tuesday’s event (pictured) were not immediately clear, but the largest ballroom at the Indianapolis Marriott has a maximum capacity of 2,500

Supporters are seen at the charity event hosted by the Women’s Fund of Central Indiana, which was billed as 'The Power of Women: An Evening with Meghan'

Supporters are seen at the charity event hosted by the Women’s Fund of Central Indiana, which was billed as ‘The Power of Women: An Evening with Meghan’

It comes as it was announced Duchess of Sussex will be interviewed on-stage during the event billed '"The Power of Women: An Evening with Meghan"

The Duchess of Sussex will be interviewed on-stage during the event billed ”The Power of Women: An Evening with Meghan’

PR expert Mark Borkowski told The Sun the pair will ‘clean up’. They plan to be available for talks on social issues including racial justice, gender equality, the environment and mental health, according to the LA Times.

‘I’m surprised they haven’t done this sooner. It will be one of the great income generators for them. The speaker’s circuit is a natural safe space for them to plunder,’ he added.

The Harry Walker Agency has high profile clients, many of whom are friends of the Duke and Duchess, including Prince Harry’s environmentalist friend Jane Goodall and Oprah Winfrey.

Others include Meghan’s best friend Serena Williams and the actor Tyler Perry – whose $18million (£15million) Beverly Hills mansion they are living in.

News of Meghan’s latest appearance emerged as she faced a backlash for saying Deal or No Deal ‘reduced her to a bimbo.’ 

‘I ended up quitting the show. I was so much more than what was being objectified on the stage. I didn’t like feeling forced to be all looks. And little substance,’ the Duchess said of her 34-episode stint on the show.

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