Sinead Burke was chosen by Meghan to be one of the cover stars of her ‘Forces for Change’ guest-edited September issue of British Vogue. The 29-year-old Irishwoman recalled how she was struck by Meghan’s respect and good manners when the two ladies were first introduced at a reception in Dublin last summer.
Ms Burke was born with achondroplasia, a type of dwarfism, and said she and Harry’s wife instantly bonded over their shared view of how fashion can be used to “symbolise power”.
The activist and influencer, who stands at 3ft 5in, told Royally Obsessed podcast: “When the Duchess of Sussex saw me the first thing that she did was come down to my level so that we could speak at eye-level.
“And it was done with such respect and with such care that I was incredibly admiring of somebody who would step outside of their own comfort zone in such a public way to ensure that another person feels at ease.
“We spoke about both being ambassadors to the charity One Young World. The Duchess had spoken in Ireland in 2014 and I also spoke on that stage.
“We spoke about the power of fashion to symbolise power but also its responsibility to impact upon culture around the world, be that the environment, be that intersectionality and inclusion or be that just aesthetics and the power of good design.”
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex had chosen Ireland as their first overseas tour two months after they were married.
Ms Burke, who campaigns for fashion labels to be more inclusive of people with disabilities, said she had no idea that a short conversation with Meghan would lead to one of her dreams being realised.
The Dubliner had made a list of goals when she was 18 and appearing on the cover of a fashion magazine, “never thinking it would happen”, was one of them.
She recalled: “I really had no idea at that moment, in that conversation, what could become of it but it was just these wonderful bundle of minutes to sit and talk with somebody with extreme influence, power and insight into how the world works.”
The Instagram star first became interested in fashion as a teenager when she grew frustrated with the lack of clothing choices available for adults of her height.
She started blogging about her passion for fashion and gave a TED talk which forced the industry to take notice of people like her.