A Teenage Boy's Reaction To Hugging Meghan Markle Is Giving Us Life Today

Olivia Blair
Photo credit: WPA Pool - Getty Images

From ELLE

Meghan Markle made a surprise appearance at a school in Dagenham, Essex, to celebrate International Women's Day.

The Duchess of Sussex stopped by mixed secondary school, the Robert Clack Upper School, on Friday, two days before the celebrations, to address the pupils in an assembly devoted the Dagenham equal pay strike in 1968.

Wearing smart suit trousers and a belted, frayed-edge, bouclé jacket by ME +EM, and carrying a small bag by Rejina Pyo, the former actor spoke to the teenagers about the importance of standing up for their 'truth and what is right'.

'What's really key for all of you to remember, is especially looking at the people who paved the way for you to get to this point in your lives to be able to have the access that you do - it's not just an opportunity to continue that, it's a responsibility,' Meghan said.

'I encourage and empower each of you to really stand in your truth, to stand for what is right - to continue to respect each other.'

Meghan also addressed the boys in the room, encouraging 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. Make sure that they are feeling valued and safe.'

Photo credit: WPA Pool - Getty Images

Ahead of addressing the boys in the room directly, Meghan called upon the pupils for a male volunteer to join her and discuss the importance of International Women's Day.

Aker Okoye, 16, was pictured looking stunned as he greeted Meghan with a hug as he addressed the podium.

After joking, 'she really is beautiful innit,'Okoye said the day of recognising women, reminds him that 'it is not only me that is a part of my life and my own success, it reminds me that there's a countless amount of people in my life, lots of strong women who uplift me as a man... International Women's Day is a reminder for both men and women that women can do it all.'

Meghan then gave Okoye a hug (to screams from his classmates), while Meghan congratulated him on his comments.

Since arriving back in the UK after an extended break in Canada and the US, Meghan and Harry have attended two official engagements: The Endeavour Fund awards and the Mountbatten Festival of Music.

Later, today they will join the rest of the royal family at a Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey.

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