Meghan Markle and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern have formed a strong bond since they met on the duchess' tour of New Zealand in 2018 and are in regular email contact, a new book has claimed.
Finding Freedom, the controversial biography of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle written by two British journalists, contains details of the pair's relationship and of Markle's friendships with other political figures, lending weight to the theory that she plans a move into politics herself.
The book describes Markle's relationship with Ardern, alongside Canadian First Lady Sophie Trudeau, Hillary Clinton and the Obamas.
They first met when Markle toured New Zealand and the Pacific in 2018, with new mum Ardern being impressed by the then-pregnant duchess' stamina.
"Pregnancy is an often-tiring time," said Ardern, "but the way she gave everything her all was incredible. She's an amazing woman and I'm so glad to have gotten to know her."
According to the authors, the pair have stayed in touch since the visit and Ardern sent a floral arrangement to Markle after the birth of her son Archie.
Markle also reportedly regularly wears the earrings given by Ardern during her tour, a pair of simple gold studs with a feather engraving on each by the Kiwi musician and jewellery designer Boh Runga.
Markle has publicly praised Ardern's leadership, telling a virtual conference earlier this year that the Prime Minister was an exemplar of leadership for her role in managing Covid-19 in New Zealand.
"We can take inspiration from women like Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern who brought New Zealand together to swiftly and wholly tackle Covid-19," she said.
The book also details Markle's friendship with Sophie Trudeau, wife of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
It claims that Markle befriended Trudeau in the early days of her relationship with Prince Harry to learn how the former broadcaster went from a TV star to "much-beloved First Lady".
"Sophie had given up a career in television, where she had been working as a correspondent on CTV's eTalk, to take on a more formal role alongside her husband as he hit the campaign trail," the authors claim.
"The pair became fast email friends, Meghan was interested to hear how Sophie had successfully made the move from an entertainment news correspondent to much-beloved First Lady, all while skilfully dodging controversy."
In June, a close friend of the duchess told the Daily Mail that she wants to use her platform to create change and hasn't ruled out a career in politics.
They said that Markle believes her decision to leave the UK "all makes sense to her now" because she believes she was "destined" to help fight systemic racism in the United States.