"All of you, the young women and young men here today, will continue paving the way for a better and more compassionate future," Meghan Markle wrote in a letter to the Robert Clack Upper School

By Gabrielle Chung
March 11, 2021 07:42 PM
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LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 06: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex
Meghan Markle and a student at the Robert Clack Upper School.
| Credit: Ben Stansall-WPA Pool/Getty Images

Meghan Markle left some words of encouragement for the next generation of thinkers this International Women's Day.

A year after visiting the Robert Clack Upper School in the town of Dagenham in East London in honor of the March 8 holiday, the Duchess of Sussex, 39, wrote a heartfelt letter to their students on Monday, urging them to "learn about the trailblazing women who came before us."

"It was this time a year ago that I had the pleasure of meeting so many of you during my visit to celebrate International Women's Day and mark the 50th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act," she began in the note, which was released by the school on Thursday. "I look back on that day with such fond memories, and think of you all frequently, especially recognising how difficult it's been for students and families during the past year."

Meghan Markle
Meghan Markle visiting the Robert Clack Upper School on March 8, 2020
| Credit: Chris Allerton

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"This International Women's Day, in collaboration with the work of our non-profit organisation, Archewell Foundation, we are encouraging everybody to participate in real acts of compassion for the women in their lives and their community. One suggestion we have is to take a moment to learn about the trailblazing women who came before us," Meghan shared, adding that she's been "recently thinking about Geraldine Dear," one of the original strikers who championed for equal pay in the 1960s.

"Without women like Geraldine, who formed part of the original group of women advocating for equal pay, so much of what we do now wouldn't be possible," she continued. "By knowing and appreciating legacy, we can—and you can—find inspiration to create legacy."

Meghan Markle
Meghan Markle visiting the Robert Clack Upper School on March 8, 2020
| Credit: Chris Allerton

"All of you, the young women and young men here today, will continue paving the way for a better and more compassionate future," Meghan wrote, before giving thanks to the student body for her memorable visit last year.

"Small acts of compassion have the power to make a real and lasting difference, and I thank all of you for the kindness you provided me during my visit," she added. "I also thank you for the memories you gave to me that I still hold and cherish."

In her letter, Meghan also revealed that she's kept the gift she received from students and brought it with her when she moved back to the United States with Prince Harry and their 1-year-old son Archie.

"P.S. I still have the Debate Society team jacket you gave me with me here in California and wear it often," she wrote. "Thank you again for thinking of me!"

In honor of International Women's Day, Meghan and Harry, 36, also penned a letter to Luminary Bakery — an independent London bakery that aims to empower women, who have been the victims of violence or sex trafficking, been in the prison system or been homeless, by teaching them how to bake — and thanked them for their charitable work.

The sweet note was posted by the bakery on Monday.

"Across the world, we've seen how families, and especially women and mothers, have been disproportionately affected by the impact of COVID-19. Yet, whilst facing multiple and complex challenges presented by the pandemic, you have continued to serve your community and act with compassion throughout," the letter read.

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"We are honoured to know such an amazing and inspiring group of women. And we're thinking of you often," Meghan and Harry wrote.

"Your strength and dedication to your community will never go overlooked," they added. "Sending our very best, from our family to yours, and celebrating you today and every day."