Even while settling into life with Prince Harry and son Archie Stateside, Duchess Meghan continues to connect with young people in the United Kingdom.
To mark International Women’s Day this year, the Duchess of Sussex penned a heartwarming letter to students at Robert Clack School in Dagenham, London. Meghan famously visited the school last year, before stepping down as a senior working royal along with Harry, to mark the 50th anniversary of equal pay legislation in the U.K. In her letter, Meghan recalled her experience meeting with so many of the students and also encouraged them to continue celebrating trailblazing women in the years to come. The duchess also expressed empathy for the students who have needed to adjust to homeschooling over the last year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“It was this time a year ago that I had the pleasure of meeting so many of you during my visit to celebrate International Women’s Day and mark the 50th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act,” she began. “I look back on that day with such fond memories, and think of you all frequently, especially recognising how difficult it’s been for students and families during the past year.”
She continued, “This International Women’s Day, in collaboration with the work of our non-profit organisation, Archewell Foundation, we are encouraging everybody to participate in real acts of compassion for the women in their lives and their community. One suggestion we have is to take a moment to learn about the trailblazing women who came before us. … By knowing and appreciating legacy, we can—and you can—find inspiration to create legacy. All of you, the young women and young men here today, will continue paving the way for a better and more compassionate future. Last year, I told you that your voices have the ability to change the world. I hope that you are continuing to make your voices heard.”
Meghan also referenced a hilarious moment from her last visit, when a young student went onstage to speak about what International Women’s Day means to him and made sure to shout-out his not so subtle crush on the Duchess of Sussex.
“Small acts of compassion have the power to make a real and lasting difference, and I thank all of you for the kindness you provided me during my visit,” wrote Meghan. “I also thank you for the memories you gave to me that I still hold and cherish. Even the light-hearted ones. I don’t think we’ll ever forget when I asked that young man—Aker—to come on stage to share what International Women’s Day means to him and how he honours the women and girls in his life. He had a few thoughts that had us all laughing! But I think the true takeaway from that moment is the role that you young men play in helping women feel empowered, respected, and equal. I trust you are still doing the same and commend you for being on the right side of history. We are all in this together.”
Meghan finished her note by sharing that she still wears the varsity jacket gifted to her by the students during her previous visit.
“I have no doubt it has been incredibly challenging for all of you this past year as you have had to adjust to home-schooling. However, I’m thrilled the schools in the U.K. have reopened today and it gives me great pleasure to welcome you on your first day back,” concluded the duchess. “P.S. I still have the Debate Society team jacket you gave me with me here in California and wear it often. Thank you again for thinking of me!”
Read the duchess’s letter in full below.
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