The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have officially reached the end of their royal tour of South Africa, Botswana, Angola and Malawi, and despite being the final day the couple showed no signs of slowing down, packing the day with a ton of engagements.
In one of her final engagements for the tour at Johannesburg's High Commission, where she and Harry were joined by guests to celebrate the business and investment relationship between the UK and South Africa, Duchess Meghan gave a stirring speech reflecting on the emotional poignant and spiritual moments she's experienced during the tour.
"Over the past 10 days our family has had emotional moments, we've had poignant moments, we've had spiritual moments; we've met inspirational leaders in every walk of life, and we've been treated to incredible food, music, and dancing. But above all, we have been able to meet people that are the rocks behind the sort of work that really means so much to us," she told the guests.
"It has been affirming to learn that we're not alone in the things that we believe in, and the principles we hold so dear. No matter how different our lives may seem, Africa, you have made us feel part of your community, of our shared community."
Meghan also shared that her personal mission for the tour had been to meet South African women from all walks of life – particularly at a time when the nation was facing a gender-based violence crisis.
"As someone who has been a longtime advocate for women's and girls' rights, I worried about what was happening, and my intention on this tour was to meet with women across South Africa to listen and to learn," she said.
She also spoke about how inspired she feels after meeting everyone and that talking, listening and learning from them has been a life-changing experience.
"From students to politicians, from apartheid campaigners of the '50s to teenagers on a beach, from the mothers with HIV providing health care to their community, and to the entrepreneurs who are driving the business of the future – they all showed me a power and solidarity that, in this moment, in this time, all women, and all people, can take strength and inspiration from," she said.
"Because these amazing African women have discovered self-belief and found their worth."
Earlier in the day Harry and Meghan stepped out hand-in-hand, reunited after Prince Harry had spent the last few days visiting neighbouring countries while Meghan has remained in South Africa, at the YES (Youth Employment Service) hub – a hive for creativity and social enterprise – in the township of Tembisa in Johannesburg.
There, the couple meet with young entrepreneurs and learned about the innovative businesses they've created including an entrepreneur growing organic produce using aquaponics and Blossom Care Solutions – a group of women making 80,000 sanitary pads every month for women in their community which are 100 per cent compostable and affordable – something Meghan is incredibly passionate about.
During the visit Harry gave a powerful speech, vowing to "stand up for what we believe".
"We will firmly stand up for what we believe," Harry told those gathered at YES.
"We are fortunate enough to have a position that gives us amazing opportunities, and we will do everything that we can to play our part in building a better world."
He continues, "We will always seek to challenge injustice and to speak out for those who may feel unheard.
"So no matter your background, your nationality, your age or gender, your sexuality, your physical ability, no matter your circumstance or colour of your skin – we believe in you, and we intend to spend our entire lives making sure you have the opportunity to succeed and change the world."
His impassioned speech comes just a day after he shared an emotional statement taking a stand against the "ruthless" treatment he says Meghan has received at the hands of the British tabloids – more specifically the Mail On Sunday, who the couple have taken legal action against, after the publication of a private letter Meghan wrote to her father, Thomas Markle.
"Unfortunately, my wife has become one of the latest victims of a British tabloid press that wages campaigns against individuals with no thought to the consequences – a ruthless campaign that has escalated over the past year, throughout her pregnancy and while raising our newborn son," Harry wrote in a powerful statement published to their official website.
"There is a human cost to this relentless propaganda, specifically when it is knowingly false and malicious, and though we have continued to put on a brave face – as so many of you can relate to – I cannot begin to describe how painful it has been."
Adding, "Because in today's digital age, press fabrications are repurposed as truth across the globe. One day's coverage is no longer tomorrow's chip-paper."
WATCH: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex's Royal Love Story. Story continues below...
Harry also compares Meghan's treatment to the tragic death of his own mother, Princess Diana, writing: "Though this action may not be the safe one, it is the right one. Because my deepest fear is history repeating itself.
"I've seen what happens when someone I love is commoditised to the point that they are no longer treated or seen as a real person. I lost my mother and now I watch my wife falling victim to the same powerful forces.
"We thank you, the public, for your continued support. It is hugely appreciated. Although it may not seem like it, we really need it."
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