Meghan Markle's Message To Teenage Boys In One Of Last Solo Royal Outings

The Duchess of Sussex has made a surprise visit to a school to deliver an International Women's Day message to men to "value the women in your lives".

In one of her last solo engagements as a working royal, Meghan spoke with delighted pupils at the Robert Clack Upper School in Dagenham, east London, and met one of the women who fought an historic equal pay battle in the nearby Ford car plant.

In a speech addressing the school's boys in particular, she urged them to "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."

"You have your mothers, sisters, girlfriends, friends in your life, protect them," she said.

"Make sure that they are feeling valued and safe and let's all just rally together to make International Women's Day something that is not just on Sunday, but frankly feels like every day of the year."

Meghan also marked the 50th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act on her visit to the school.

Britain's Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, center, poses with school children making the "equality" sign following a school assembly. Image: AP

Her choice of location was noteworthy as strikes in the 1960s by female sewing machinists at the nearby Ford Motor Plant triggered the passing of the legislation. That struggle was depicted in the 2010 film Made in Dagenham.

The Duchess of Sussex later asked for a male volunteer to explain their view on the importance of International Women's Day.

Head boy Aker Okoye, 16, jumped at the chance to take to the stage.

Greeting her with what appeared to be a kiss on the cheek, he told his fellow pupils: "She really is beautiful. I had to speak the truth there."

Britain's Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, left, smiles as head boy Aker Okoye, speaks in a school assembly. Image: AP

On Saturday night, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex received a standing ovation at the Royal Albert Hall as they attended one of their final public engagements before they step back as senior royals.

The couple arrived in matching red outfits for the Mountbatten Festival of Music, the duke wearing a Royal Marines officer's mess jacket and Meghan a red dress by London-based fashion label Safiyaa.

Harry is Captain General of the Royal Marines and the couple were greeted warmly when they arrived at the venue in South Kensington.

Prince Harry and Meghan, Duke and Duchess of Sussex attend The Mountbatten Festival of Music. Image: Sipa USA

The duke and duchess then received a long round of applause and a standing ovation from the audience as they took their seats in the royal box.

The Albert Hall performance marks the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War and the 80th anniversary of the formation of Britain's Commandos.

The concert also comes a day after Harry officially opened the Silverstone Experience in Northamptonshire, a museum charting British motor racing through the years, alongside Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton.



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The reaction was mixed as Meghan Markle made her first official public appearance since she and her husband announced they'd be stepping down as senior royals.

The couple also attended the Endeavour Fund Awards on Thursday evening to recognise the achievements of wounded, sick and injured service personnel.

The couple will step down as senior royals on March 31.