As patron of The Association of Commonwealth Universities, one of the Duchess of Sussex's key causes is supporting girls’ education

By Erin Hill
September 29, 2019 10:07 AM
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Meghan Markle made a special surprise appearance as Prince Harry continued his royal tour of Africa in Malawi with an outing close to her heart.

The royal dad, who took son Archie, 5 months, on his first official royal outing earlier this week, paid a visit to the Nalikule College of Education on Sunday. Harry met with a network of young women who are supported to attend and complete secondary school with the help of UKAid scholarships through the Campaign for Female Education.

During his outing on Sunday, Harry saw first hand the impact of U.K. investments to ensure that girls obtain at least 12 years of quality education. The project is supported by the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust, of which Harry is president and Meghan is vice-president.

Although the Duchess of Sussex didn’t physically make the trip with her husband, she did Skype in!

As her face appeared on the screen, which was positioned for all to see, the group of young women burst into song, as Meghan could be seen clapping along with a big smile on her face.

Meghan Markle
PA Images
Meghan Markle
Dominic Lipinski/Shutterstock
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry

The royal dad is visiting Malawi after traveling to Botswana and Angola earlier this week. Early next week, he’ll return to South Africa to meet Meghan and Archie in Johannesburg for a few more days of outings before the family of three returns home to London.

Prince Harry
Dominic Lipinski/Shutterstock
Prince Harry
Dominic Lipinski/Shutterstock
Prince Harry

One of Meghan’s key causes is supporting girls’ education. She was named patron of The Association of Commonwealth Universities earlier this year. In December, Meghan spoke with a group of students and leaders at King’s College London as part of the ACU to discuss the importance and impact of higher education. She also got personal about her own college experience during a speech from her royal tour in Fiji last October.

“As a university graduate, I know the personal feeling of pride and excitement that comes with attending university,” she said. “From the moment you receive your acceptance letter to the exams you spend countless late nights studying for, the lifelong friendships you make with your fellow alumni to the moment that you receive your diploma, the journey of higher education is an incredible, impactful and pivotal one. 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.”

“Everyone should be afforded the opportunity to receive the education they want, but more importantly the education they have the right to receive,” she continued. “And for women and girls in developing countries, this is vital. When girls are given the right tools to succeed, they can create incredible futures, not only for themselves but for all of those around them. And while progress has been made in many areas across the Commonwealth, there is always scope to offer more opportunities to the next generation of young adults, and specifically to young women.”

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Before she became the Duchess of Sussex (and a film and TV star!), Meghan was a regular college student at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. She double-majored in theater and international relations, and was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority.

Meghan‘s former professor, Harvey Young, who had her in his “Studies in Black Performance” class in the spring of 2003, told the Chicago Sun-Times that she was a “respectful” student and thought she had a lot of potential in the industry.

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“She reminded me of a lot of our other very promising alumni, in that she was passionate about theater and really had a sense of self-confidence that you could imagine would allow her to weather the storms of the professional world,” Young said.