Meghan Markle Makes Impassioned Final Speech on Her Royal Tour of Africa

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are waving goodbye to southern Africa on the last leg of their jam-packed ten-day royal tour, but not without giving us allllll the feelings.

Their last stop saw the Sussexes meet with Nelson Mandela's widow, Mrs. Graça Machel, in Johannesburg, with Markle rewearing a special dress for the occasion. The duke and duchess also gave empowering final speeches to conclude their massive tour of South Africa, Angola, Botswana and Malawi.

markle harry final speech
Karwai Tang/Getty Images

The duchess wore her House of Nonie dusty pink trench dress (the same dress she wore when the couple attended an exhibition marking the centenary of Nelson Mandela's birth in London in July 2018) to give a passionate send-off speech about making a change in an "aggressive" world. She delivered her address immediately after Prince Harry's speech at the Creative Industries and Business Reception at the British High Commissioner's residence in Johannesburg on October 2.

Her first speech on the royal tour included a very personal note, one that struck a resonant chord with the crowd and around the world: "While I am here with my husband as a member of the royal family, I want you to know that for me, I am here with you as a mother, as a wife, as a woman, as a woman of color and as your sister."

Needless to say, we waited with bated breath for the final speech (especially after the recent news that Markle is suing a British tabloid for publishing a personal letter of hers), and we were not disappointed. 

“I remember being a young girl watching TV and seeing what was happening in the world, and frankly, often feeling despair. When you constantly see and hear negativity, it can be overwhelming; you can feel powerless, and lost, you can feel different, confused, or like you just don’t belong," Markle said.

The duchess said she was sure there was a young boy or girl watching her speech who felt the same way.

"So, this is for you," Markle said passionately.

"In a world that that can seem so aggressive, confrontational and dangerous, you should know that you have the power to change it. Because whether you’re here in South Africa, at home in the U.K., the U.S. or around the world, you actually have the power within you to change things, and that begins with how you connect to others."

She said that during her and Harry's time in South Africa, she learned that regardless of "society’s expectations of masculinity or femininity, or how we divide ourselves by race or faith or class or status" that everyone "has value" and "deserves to be respected."

meghan markle africa final speech
Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Markle concluded the speech with a quick "thank you," as she joined Prince Harry off to the side of the podium. A proud duke applauded her alongside the 300-person crowd, and the duchess gave another bashful "thank you" to him as she looked down at her hands. Maybe even Markle gets a little nervous on stage? 

Who are we kidding? She's definitely the Duchess of Eloquence.


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