The Duchess of Sussex was greeted by huge cheers from students at City, University of London on Thursday afternoon, when she made her first engagement with the Association of Commonwealth Universities as their Patron.
Meghan braved the cold in a black, caped Givenchy coat (first seen at the Remembrance service in November) with a handkerchief pleated skirt and nude court shoes.
She ditched her signature messy bun for a sleek topknot and accessorised with herÃ‚Â Dean Davidson signature midi knockout stud earrings.
The Duchess met with students from the Commonwealth now studying in the UK and learned how access to higher education has transformed their lives.
As a university graduate, Meghan is a strong advocate of accessible education for all, and as part of her and HarryÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s visit to Fiji last year, sheÃ‚Â announced new Gender Grants for ACU member universities in the Pacific to fund new learning initiatives aimed at empowering female university staff and promoting gender equality.
She actually attended a private meeting with the ACU at KingÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s College London back in December, before her patronage was announced.
At the time,Ã‚Â Professor Laura Hammond from SOAS University of London tweeted: Ã¢â‚¬Å“We had an excellent discussion about how research can tackle the problems of slavery and human trafficking. Thanks to HRH Duchess of Sussex for joining us!Ã¢â‚¬Â
During Meghan and HarryÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s royal visit to Fiji last October, Meghan alsoÃ‚Â spoke about the challenges of paying for an education:Ã‚Â Ã¢â‚¬Å“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.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“And, without question, it was worth every effort.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã‚Â She added: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Everyone should be afforded the opportunity to receive the education they want, but more importantly the education they have the right to receive.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The ACU is one of the patronages passed to her by the Queen, who held the appointment for over 30 years. The other is the National Theatre, which Meghan visited on Wednesday to find out more about the education and community work they do.
Tomorrow, she and Harry are taking a trip up to Bristol,Ã‚Â where theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll be making stops at the Old Vic and Empire Fighting Chance,Ã‚Â a charityÃ‚Â which aims to fight the impact of deprivation on young peopleÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s lives through boxing.
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