Inside Meghan Markle’s secret visit to mark International Women’s Day

  • Marie Claire is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission on some of the items you choose to buy.
  • 'You have your mothers, sisters, girlfriends in your life. Protect them. Make sure they are feeling valued and safe'

    Meghan Markle recently returned to the UK following her and Prince Harry’s step-down from royal life and, on Friday, undertook a surprise engagement to mark International Women’s Day (8th of March).

    The Duchess of Sussex addressed pupils at the Robert Clark school in Dagenham during assembly (can you imagine a member of the royal family rocking up to your school assembly? Us neither).

    ‘You have your mothers, sisters, girlfriends in your life,’ she said, speaking directly to the boys in the room. ‘Protect them. Make sure they are feeling valued and safe.

    ‘And let’s all just rally together to make International Women’s Day something that’s not just on Sunday, but frankly feels like every day of the year.’

    ‘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,’ she continued. ‘And that is all of you young women here, as well as you young men who play a very large part in this.’

    The Duchess of Sussex then invited the school’s head boy, Aker Okoye, on to the stage, where he proceeded to give Meghan a cheeky kiss on the cheek. ‘She really is beautiful, init’, he told the room – met with a laugh and wag of the finger from the duchess.

    The 16-year-old then addressed the room himself: ‘International Women’s Day is a reminder to everyone that women can do it all and do it all.

    ‘This is more of a message to all you guys. Maybe this Sunday could be the one day we don’t look at women as objects. I just want International Women’s Day for all of us to be a reminder of how strong our community is with women inside.’

    Well said!

    On International Women’s Day, here’s to us all supporting women from every walk of life.

    Reading now