Meghan, Duchess of Sussex. Picture: AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, has praised New Zealand on its 125th anniversary of giving women the right to vote.

The 37-year-old royal - who was known as Meghan Markle before marrying Prince Harry in May this year - gave a moving speech on Sunday as she visited Government House in Wellington, New Zealand, for a celebration of the historic milestone which saw the country become the first in the world to allow women to vote.

Meghan - who has been known for her feminist views and activism for many years - praised the country for the "impact" its decision had on other country's views on women's suffrage.

She said: "We are proud to be able to join you tonight in celebrating the 125th anniversary of women's suffrage in your country. 

"The achievements of the women of New Zealand who campaigned for their right to vote, and were the first in the world to achieve it, are universally admired. In looking forward to this very special occasion, I reflected on the importance of this achievement, but also the larger impact of what this symbolises."

The former 'Suits' star spoke about the wider change this has brought for feminism in the modern day, as she said the actions of the past have made way for the fight for "the basic and fundamental human rights of all people".

She added: "Because yes, women's suffrage is about feminism, but feminism is about fairness. Suffrage is not simply about the right to vote but also about what that represents: the basic and fundamental human right of being able to participate in the choices for your future and that of your community, the involvement and voice that allows you to be a part of the very world that you are a part of. 

"Women's suffrage is not simply about the right to vote for women, but also about what that represents: the basic and fundamental human right of all people, including those members of society who have been marginalised whether for reasons of race, gender, ethnicity or orientation, to be able to participate in the choices for their future and their community."

Meghan then praised New Zealand once again for "paving the way" for women across the globe.

She concluded: "So bravo, New Zealand, for championing this right 125 years ago - for the women who well deserve to have an active voice and acknowledged vote, and for all of the people that this effort has paved the way for globally. We all deeply thank you."