Meghan Markle Held One Last Secret Engagement Before Leaving the Royal Family

Meghan Markle will be leaving the royal family after March 31, but her commitment to the Commonwealth remains unchanged. While the Commonwealth Day service was her final appearance alongside other members of the royal family, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, actually held a secret meeting with Commonwealth scholars prior to the main event. With Meghan back in Canada, here’s a look at her last engagement before leaving the royal family for good.

Meghan Markle
Meghan Markle | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Meghan Markle meets with Commonwealth scholars

Prior to appearing alongside Prince Harry at Westminster Abbey, Meghan convened with some Commonwealth scholars in what was her final secret meeting before heading back to Canada.

The Duchess of Sussex met with the scholars at Buckingham Palace to discuss some of the challenges that face the 54 countries that make up the Commonwealth.

Meghan hosted the meeting as the Patron of the Association of Commonwealth Universities and mingled with students from 11 nations, including India, Malawi, Cameroon, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Rwanda, Ghana, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, and Kenya.

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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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The students were grouped depending on their specialties, such as sustainable cities, climate and the environment, technology, and health innovation. According to Hello Magazine, Meghan Markle complimented all of the scholars on their work and said she was “thrilled” to meet with them.

“Even though the groups are divided, everyone is connected because of this very holistic approach to tackling climate change. I love how solution based you all are,” she stated.

Over the past few years, Meghan has been a vocal advocate for making education accessible for everyone. For her part, the former Suits star got a degree from Northwestern University and majored in International Studies and Theater.

Commonwealth scholars praise the Duchess of Sussex

After meeting with Meghan, several of the students complimented her on her expertise. Timothy Biswick, an ACU Blue Charter fellow, revealed that Meghan has plenty of knowledge in the field of climate change.

“She knows what she’s talking about in terms of climate change. She was talking about things in quite some detail so you know that this person knows what they are talking about and are passionate about it,” he stated.

Aside from environmental issues, Meghan Markle talked about making tourism sustainable and discussed the time she and Prince Harry backpacked in Botswana. The comments meant a lot to the students and made them feel as though Meghan truly cares about the Commonwealth.

Meghan Markle was named the Patron of the Association of Commonwealth Universities in January of last year. Queen Elizabeth held the post prior to Meghan.

The secret meeting was the final one of its kind for Meghan, who is set to officially leave the royal family on March 31. At that time, she and Harry will continue their new lives in Canada with their son, Archie Harrison.

Meghan Markle reunites with her son in Canada

After meeting with the scholars, Meghan attended the Commonwealth Day service alongside Harry and other senior members of the royal family, including Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles, Camilla Parker Bowles, Prince William, and Kate Middleton.

Once that event wrapped up on Monday afternoon, Meghan Markle returned to Canada as quickly as possible so that she could reunite with her son.

Harry, meanwhile, remained in the UK to finish his final rounds of royal engagements. This includes a meeting at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday.

Following March 31, Harry and Meghan will seek to become financially independent and will stop using their royal titles. It is unclear what the future holds for the Sussexes, but there is a chance they will return to the royal family at some point in the future.

Queen Elizabeth will review their decision to leave the monarchy in 12 months.

What has Archie Harrison been up to?

It will be interesting to see what Harry and Meghan do in the coming months. While fans wait for the next time they appear in public, Meghan recently opened up about how Archie is coming along.

During her appearance at Robert Clack School for International Women’s Day, Meghan revealed that Archie, who just turned 10 months old, is already trying to take his first steps.

“He’s exactly ten months today and he’s started trying to walk,” Meghan Markle shared.

The former actress later admitted that having a baby has “changed her life” for the good.

Meghan and Harry welcomed Archie last spring. Since then, the two have been very protective of him and rarely allow him to be seen in public. With the pair set to leave the royal family in the coming weeks, fans will likely see even less of Archie.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have not commented on the recent reports surrounding their exit.