The Duchess of Sussex—who shares son Archie Harrison, 4, and daughter Lilibet "Lili" Diana, 2, with husband Prince Harry—got candid about her concerns for the next generation growing up in the digital age during a panel at Project Healthy Minds' World Mental Health Day Festival in New York City on Oct. 10. Though her children are still too young to be going online, Meghan noted that "social media isn't going away" and what was built to create community "has devolved" into a platform that can take a serious toll on mental health.
"Being a mom is the most important thing in my entire life—outside, of course, being a wife to this one," the 42-year-old shared as she gestured to Harry, 39, according to People. "But I will say I feel fortunate that our children are at an age, again quite young, so this isn't in our immediate future, but I also feel frightened at how it's continuing to change and this will be in front of us."
"They say being a parent, the days are long but the years are short, so it worries me," continued Meghan, whose Archewell Foundation has been working with parents who lost children due to mental health challenges connected to social media use, "but I'm also given a lot of hope and energy by the progress we've made in the past year."
She added, "Everyone is affected by the online world and social media. We all just want to feel safe. I'm confident that with more ears and awareness and visibility of what is really happening, we can make some significant change together."
It was a sentiment shared by Harry, who co-founded the Archewell Foundation with Meghan in 2020. "I think for us, for myself and my wife with kids growing up in a digital age, the priority here is to again turn pain into purpose," he told the audience at the mental health summit, "and provide as much support as well as a spotlight and a platform for these parents to come together, to heal, to grieve and to also collectively focus on solutions so that no other family anywhere has to go through what they've been through."
The panel was just one of the events Meghan and Harry participated in to mark World Mental Health Day. Before taking the stage, the couple also visited The Marcy Lab School in Brooklyn to meet with teens who are preparing for careers in tech.
"My husband was asking about online spaces because it's a place where so much community can be built, but there's also so much vulnerability," Meghan said during a conversation with students, per a press pool report. "There's a lot of saturation and, as parents, we can be hopeful knowing that your bright minds...will be seen, valued and growing in the right direction."
For more quotes about parenthood from Meghan and Harry, keep reading.