Meghan Markle Delivers Inspiring Speech That Hints at Royal Exit: ‘Speak Up For What Is Right’

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex delivered a powerful speech to school children which has many believing she was making a subtle reference to her royal exit with Prince Harry. The Sussexes posted details of her speech, given at Robert Clack upper school in Dagenham, in which she encouraged the students to speak up for what they believe is right.

Meghan Markle speaks during a special school assembly at the Robert Clack Upper School in Dagenham ahead of International Women’s Day
Meghan Markle | Ben Stansall-WPA Pool/Getty Images

Meghan’s speech marks International Women’s Day

In honor of International Women’s Day, the Sussex Royal Instagram account featured some of the duchess’ speech, which included an empowering message.

A video showing the duchess’ visit included the caption: “Happy International Women’s Day! Here, a glimpse of The Duchess’ visit to the Robert Clack School to hear from the students on what IWD means to them, and how we can all uplift one another.”

In another post, the Sussexes recognized International Women’s Day, sharing a piece of history when women fought for equal pay. “In the face of great pressure, they stood firm, and two years later the UK Parliament was forced to pass the Equal Pay Act, protecting and supporting working women ever since,” the caption noted.

Meghan met with one of the strikers, Geraldine Dear, and visited with students at the Robert Clack Upper School.

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50 years ago, women in Britain won the right to equal pay. That monumental moment began with one courageous and inspiring group of women in a factory in Dagenham, England. In 1968, facing a pay settlement that declared them less skilled than men, the sewing machinists of the Ford Motor Company walked out on strike. In the face of great pressure, they stood firm, and two years later the UK Parliament was forced to pass the Equal Pay Act, protecting and supporting working women ever since. To mark International Women’s Day, The Duchess of Sussex visited Dagenham to meet with Geraldine Dear, one of the strikers, and spend time with students at the Robert Clack Upper School to meet the town’s next generation of female role models, and talk to young women and men about the women who inspire them. • “Being in Dagenham is incredibly profound. Because as you can see with Geraldine and the other women who had the strength to really stand up for something that they knew needed to be done. This is the best example of no matter how small you might feel, how low you may feel on the ladder or the totem pole, no matter what colour you are, no matter what gender you are, you have a voice, and you certainly have the right to speak up for what is right.” – The Duchess of Sussex A lifetime advocate and campaigner for gender equity, The Duchess joined a special assembly to celebrate this remarkable local story, as well as recognise the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of all women around the world. #InternationalWomensDay #IWD2020 #EachForEqual Photo © The Duke and Duchess of Sussex / Chris Allerton

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Her speech was inspiring

Meghan addressed the assembly of students with an inspiring message, beginning, “When we thought about what I wanted to do for International Women’s Day this year, for me it was incredibly important to be with the women of our future. And that is all of the young women here, as well as the young men who play a very large part in this.”

“Your school mantra, as you all know, is ‘Excellence for all, excellence from all.’ So, how does that apply in your minds to International Women’s Day?” Meghan continued. “I think in many ways it’s very much the same thing, this idea of excellence for all and from all, equality for all and from all.”

After bringing a male student to the stage to share his thoughts on the importance of International Women’s Day, Meghan shared, “I think that is the point — in many societies, it doesn’t matter where you are, it’s very easy to sometimes compartmentalize or silo this idea of International Women’s Day solely being about women, but it’s not. It’s about all of us.”

She shared how her visit was “incredibly profound,” noting, “Because as you can see with Geraldine and the other women who had the strength to really stand up for something that they knew needed to be done. This is the best example of no matter how small you might feel, how low you may feel on the ladder or the totem pole, no matter what color you are, no matter what gender you are, you have a voice, and you certainly have the right to speak up for what is right.”

Meghan made the day inclusive

Meghan further explained to her audience that she is hopeful that the message can be carried forward to every day. “What’s really key for all of you to remember is — especially looking at the people who paved the way for you to get to this point in your lives, to be able to have the access that you do — it’s not just an opportunity to continue that, it’s a responsibility,” she added.

Continuing her message that the day is about more than women, she shared, “I encourage and empower each of you to really stand in your truth, to stand up for what is right — to continue to respect each other. For young men, to continue to value and appreciate the women in your lives, and also set the example for some men who are not seeing it that same way. You have your mothers, sisters, girlfriends, friends in your life — protect them. Make sure that they are feeling valued and safe. Let’s all rally together to make International Women’s Day something that is not just on Sunday, but, frankly, feels like every day of the year.”