As part of the celebrations for International Women's Day, Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, surprised a group of students in Dagenham by visiting their school. While in the area, she also met with Geraldine Dear, one of the legendary strikers of the Ford Motor Company factory in the East London town, who pushed for equal pay for women.
At the Robert Clack Upper School, Meghan chatted to students about the women who inspired them. Speaking about the visit, Meghan said (in a caption posted to the @SussexRoyal Instagram account) that she found it a "profound" experience.
“Being in Dagenham is incredibly profound. Because as you can see with Geraldine and the other women who had the strength to really stand up for something that they knew needed to be done.
This is the best example of no matter how small you might feel, how low you may feel on the ladder or the totem pole, no matter what colour you are, no matter what gender you are, you have a voice, and you certainly have the right to speak up for what is right.”
One other person who found The Duchess' appearance in Dagenham profound was one 16-year-old schoolboy, Aker Okoye, who raised his hand when Meghan asked the students if there was "one brave young man in this room" who would like to come up [on stage] and share what he believes the importance of International Women's Day is.
When he reached the stage, Aker was greeted with a handshake from Meghan. Taking to the mic, he then cheekily noted, "She really is beautiful, innit!" To which The Duchess and the room of students all broke into laughter. We imagine he's since gone down as somewhat of a local legend.
After his speech, in which he outlined the significance of women raising men up and vice versa, Meghan gave Aker a congratulatory hug – and as you can see from this hilarious GIF, he was pretty chuffed by it.
the look on the face of cheeky London schoolboy meeting Meghan today pic.twitter.com/nhwjwExi65— Jim Pickard (@PickardJE) March 8, 2020
And once more in picture form.
This visit to London has also seen Meghan and Harry have a super cute reaction to a couple's proposal and will later today find them reuniting with Prince William and wife, Kate Middleton, for The Commonwealth Service.
Nice work, Aker. Not your average day at school, eh?
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