Meghan Markle Has Given Her First Royal Tour Speech

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It’s already been a whirlwind royal tour for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, who are in the midst of a two-week adventure through Australia, New Zealand, Tonga and Fiji and just announced Markle’s pregnancy. On Wednesday, the focus was again on the Duchess of Sussex, who delivered her first official speech of the trip while visiting Fiji. Her focus: the value of education, especially for women. Markle opened up about her own journey to higher education, including paying for her degree.

“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,” she said in the speech. “And, without question, it was worth every effort.” (Markle attended Northwestern University in Chicago, IL.)

“Everyone should be afforded the opportunity to receive the education they want, but more importantly they have a right to receive,” she continued.

“And for women and girls in developing countries, this is vital. Providing them with access to education is the key to economic and social development. Because when girls are given the right tools to succeed, they can create incredible futures, not only for themselves but also for those around them.”

She followed her statements with the announcement of two new grants through the Commonwealth for local universities in Fiji, supporting the empowerment of female staff.

This is not the first time Markle has been a champion for women’s rights, having previously been a U.N. Women’s Advocate, Global Ambassador for World Vision and vocal advocate for improved access to feminine hygiene products in developing nations.

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