Meghan Markle stunned in an affordable trench dress this morning as she visited the University of Johannesburg.
Students cheered as the Duchess of Sussex arrived at one of South Africa’s top universities, on the final leg of the Royal tour.
During her visit, the 38-year-old addressed more than 20 academics in her role as patron of the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU).
Meghan looked incredible in a tan sleeveless trench dress from Banana Republic, which costs just £95, and has already sold out online.
Duchess Meghan arrives at the University of Johannesburg @go2uj, where she was greeted by Susana Glavan, Director of the British Council in South Africa, and Professor Tshilidzi Marwala. pic.twitter.com/ayNx7CzKzl
— Omid Scobie (@scobie) October 1, 2019
Meghan has left the @go2uj attendees to continue their roundtable discussion and receivers a briefing from Susana on @zaBritish’s gender work. Lots of students here cheering! pic.twitter.com/qnHpE2jKLp
— Omid Scobie (@scobie) October 1, 2019
During an impassioned speech at the university, Meghan said: “As Patron of the ACU it has been an incredible year, and now we are really working to advocate for what is truly and deeply meaningful to me on a personal level.”
“Education and higher education specifically is such a key element for growth, economic growth but also personal growth and development.”
“I think so much of what we should be talking about and energies we should be focusing on at ACU is supporting people to know that, if you don’t have the support that is necessary so you feel you can take the next step, then you are stunting your growth,” she continued.
“So much of that of course is having the support and scholarships and funding for students… That was the reason I was able to attend university at the same level you need to have that support on the inside for educators to be able to give as much as they can back to those in the educational system.”
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This morning, The Duchess of Sussex went back to college! Joining students and educators at The University of Johannesburg The Duchess was able to announce a new series of gender grants from the Association of Commonwealth Universities, of which she is patron. She was also able to announce four new scholarships to help students study in different commonwealth countries, allowing cross cultural understanding and an opportunity to deepen their educational studies abroad. One of the recipients of these grants shared his story of growing up on farmland in Kenya, where he paid for his education trading vegetables to cover schooling costs (cauliflower leaves to be exact!) He is now doing a research study on carcinogens in his country, its link to cancer – his work is helping to change practices and to save lives. The Duchess was so moved by the work being done across the education sector and to talk with such like-minded thinkers about the importance of access to education and the support needed internally. When the round table discussion this morning moved to the challenges faced in this sector and how daunting it can all seem, The Duchess said, “Sometimes access to education can seem so big, you wonder where to even begin? So you begin with one student, or one school, you simply begin. And that’s when we see change.” She continued by referencing a Martin Luther King Jr quote: “Take the first step… you don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” Since the ACU Gender Grants were launch in 2016, 28 universities in 17 countries have benefited with a minimum of 600 beneficiaries participating in workshops supported by the grants. #RoyalVisitSouthAfrica Photo ©️ PA images
The University of Johannesburg’s vice chancellor, Professor Tshilidzi Marwala, praised the Duchess after the event, and said: “Meghan will absolutely inspire women, partly because she is black.”
Meghan attended the event alone, as her husband Prince Harry is due to fly back from Malawi later today.
Tomorrow will mark the final day of the couple’s tour of Southern Africa, and the Duke and Duchess are expected to visit a township near Johannesburg.