Meghan Markle Made a Surprise Visit to a School for Women’s Day

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex is already showcasing what kind of work she is interested in as she steps away from the British royal family. Since announcing Megxit with her husband, Prince Harry in early January, the duchess has been in Canada away from the U.K. spotlight.

However, Meghan has recently returned to the U.K. to carry out her final duties as a working member of the British royal family. Since well before Meghan married into the royal family, she has been an advocate for women globally. Back in 2015, she spoke at the UN Women’s conference about the dire need for women’s equality, rights, and education.

To mark her final International Women’s Day as a working royal, Meghan chose to speak at a local U.K. school highlighting women’s achievements. It proves that this work will always be at the forefront of the duchess’ work.

Meghan Markle kept many of her final royal visits a secret

Considering the fact that the spotlight on their lives and the continued scrutiny was one of the main reasons why the duke and duchess have decided to step back, we can get why Meghan is being more private moving forward. Though we knew the duchess would join Prince Harry for their final duties, we had no ideas what her schedule would be like in detail.

Ahead of her return, an insider told BAZAAR.com, “Meghan will be conducting something private and patronage-related meetings during her time in London.”

This is how Meghan Markle spent International Women’s Day

On March 6, the Duchess of Sussex surprised 700 students at Robert Clack Upper School in Dagenham during their special assembly about the importance of empowering women. The students had no idea who their surprise guest was until Meghan arrived at 2 p.m. Co-ed students from sixth through 12th grade lined up to greet the duchess.

Meghan chose the school because it’s located in the same district of the landmark sewing machinists strike in 1968. During the strike, female workers at the Ford Motor Plant walked out over unfair pay which ultimately led to the passing of Britain’s Equal Pay Act in 1970.

In addition to making her speech, the duchess also took the time to pose with students and making the #EachforEqual campaign pose.

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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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Inside Meghan Markle’s International Women’s Day speech 2020

The Duchess of Sussex had some impactful things to say to the students. “Coming to your school made a lot of sense for me because of this social justice and the impact that it’s rooted in,” she said, “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. I encourage and empower each of you to really stand in your truth, to stand for what is right—to continue to respect each other.”

Meghan also hinted at why it’s so important to have her voice back, even if it meant departing the royal family. “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,” Meghan said. “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.”