Meghan is a Duchess who wears clothes that cost more than our cars and jets around the globe in private planes, but she took us all back to her pre-royal days with a story about her college experience. On Day Nine of the Oceania tour with Prince Harry, Meghan gave a speech to students and faculty at the University of the South Pacific and got real about the privilege of university.
“As a university graduate, I know the personal feeling of pride and excitement that comes with attending university, from the moment you receive the acceptance letter to exams you spend countless late nights studying for,” she said. “I am also fully aware of the challenges of being able to afford this level of schooling for many people around the world, myself included.”
Meghan talked about her own efforts to work and put herself through college - she attended Northwestern University in Illinois - with the help of scholarships and expanded on the financial impacts higher education can have on the less fortunate.
She added that higher education is something that should be available to everyone, not just the wealthy.
“Everyone should be afforded the opportunity to receive the education that they want, but more importantly the education that they have the right to receive,” Markle continued. “And for women and girls in developing countries, this is vital.”
The Duchess concluded her address by announcing two new grants offered to the University of the South Pacific and Fiji National University to run workshops to empower female faculty and encourage young girls to follow in their footsteps and pursue academia.
Harry and Meghan have both been vocal about empowering women and youth to reach their full potential. After the university engagement, Meghan cast off for her first solo event of the 16-day trip – a morning tea at the British High Commissioner’s Residence. At the luncheon, the Duchess met several women’s groups and learned about the United Nations Women’s initiative, “Markets For Change.”
The project works to empower women in marketplaces throughout Fiji, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu by ensuring they are “safe, inclusive and non-discriminatory environments” and “promoting gender equality.”
At the High Commissioner’s Residence The Duchess of Sussex met leaders advocates and role models from across Fijian society — including people involved in women’s empowerment. #RoyalVisitFiji pic.twitter.com/A5JP34Xqzq— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) October 24, 2018
Following the tea, Meghan traveled to the Suva Market to meet with the women empowered to run their own small businesses thanks to the UN program. Unfortunately, her trip was cut short after just over five minutes because of “security issues.” The palace reportedly had to rush Meghan out after the crowds got too chaotic.
The Duchess spent just six minutes in the market and only met a handful of people. She should have been there around 20. There were huge crowds but they were being kept back by the police. It was very hot and humid, however, so perhaps that played a part in their decision.— Rebecca English (@RE_DailyMail) October 24, 2018
The consensus among reporters is that Kensington Palace isn’t taking any chances when it comes to mama-to-be Meghan's health and safety and we can’t really blame them on that one. First priority has to be keeping mom and baby safe.
She may not have been able to complete her solo outing, but the Duchess did look totally incredible. In a floral wrap dress complete with pom-pom tassels and accessorised with a local handbag, the same wedges (gasp!) she wore earlier in the tour and a floral hair accessory, Meghan was radiating comfortable elegance.
Garlands for Meghan pic.twitter.com/9aaEoalePV— Rebecca English (@RE_DailyMail) October 23, 2018
While Meghan was off being inspired by hardworking women, Harry was at his own solo engagement. The Duke traveled to the Colo-i-Suva Forest Park for its dedication to The Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy – a group of protected forests marked by the royal family for conservation. Harry met with children, locals, volunteers and representatives from sustainable tourism initiatives before planting an endangered tree and unveiling the commemorative plaque.
"All of you depend on this beautiful piece of rainforest in some way. This delicately balanced eco-system serves you so well and there is an obligation to protect it for the benefit of the next generation." — The Duke of Sussex at today's @QueensCanopy unveiling #RoyalVisitFiji pic.twitter.com/qFms3kNoyU— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) October 24, 2018
"I am truly delighted and grateful today to see you celebrating and honouring this extraordinary gift of nature. On behalf of Her Majesty, it is a great pleasure for me to welcome Coli-i-Suva to The @QueensCanopy." — The Duke of Sussex #RoyalVisitFiji pic.twitter.com/uloc8lmzFY— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) October 24, 2018
Joining traditional mat weaving at the spectacular Colo-i-Suva National Park in Fiji — today The Duke of Sussex unveiled the site as part of The @QueensCanopy. #RoyalVisitFiji pic.twitter.com/by2Dt1sATU— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) October 24, 2018
Earlier in the day, Harry also visited the Fiji War Memorial and laid a wreath in honour of Fijian soldiers and veterans. Thousands of Fijians have served and are currently serving in the British Military.
Links between the British Military and Fiji continue to this day, with 1350 active Fijian servicemen and women — The Duke met veterans from the Republic of Fiji Military Forces and the Royal British Legion Fiji. #RoyalVisitFiji pic.twitter.com/DystlfyR0k— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) October 24, 2018
It was a pretty hectic but successful day for both of the Sussexes. Hopefully Harry, Meghan and Baby Royal can get some rest before doing it all again tomorrow.meghan markleprince harry'royalstrending