Meghan Markle's First Royal Tour Speech Was All About Girl Power
Meghan Markle's first royal tour came with another first — in addition to her first baby gifts, of course — she gave a speech during her trip. Markle took the opportunity to address a few topics, but People reports that she touched on the importance for women all over the world to have access to education and added some thoughts on her own experiences in college.
“Everyone should be afforded the opportunity to receive the education they want, but more importantly the education they have the right to receive. 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," Markle said. "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.”
The speech took place at the University of the South Pacific Suva in Fiji, where she and Prince Harry were invited to watch a dance performance that addressed climate change and meet with students who were studying agriculture, women's education, and other subjects. The address took place after Markle offered the crowd a traditional greeting: "Bula vinaka!"
Markle didn't just extol the virtues of education, she got real. Proving to everyone that she's a relatable royal, she discussed her own experience in school and how she paid for it with scholarships and financial aid. It's tough to think about a bonafide duchess dealing with student loans, but it sounds like Markle's been there. As a graduate of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, she can undoubtedly relate to everything that the students around her were going through themselves.
"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," she explained. "It was through scholarships, financial aid programs and work-study where my earnings from a job on campus went directly towards my tuition — that I was able to attend university. And, without question, it was worth every effort."
This speech was only Meghan's second as a royal and judging from the reactions from the crowd, it was well-received. She also used the opportunity to announce two new grants for the school, both aimed at supporting female employees and staff.
“My husband Harry and I wish you all the very best of luck as you continue your studies and your work," she concluded. "Your efforts now will help to make a positive future for each of you and your communities at large."