Meghan’s Surprise Visit to Robert Clack School for International Women’s Day

On Friday, the Duchess made a surprise visit to Robert Clack School of Science in Dagenham.

Meghan is presented with a bouquet of flowers from a couple of the students as she arrives.

Video below of Meghan arriving

 

The Duchess made the special visit to the school to mark International Women’s Day.

It was 50 years ago that women in Britain won the right to equal pay. It began with the Ford sewing machinists strike of 1968 and one inspiring group of women from the Ford Motor plant in Dagenham, England walking as part of a pay settlement because they were  considered “less skilled than men”. The women made car seat covers and as stock ran out the strike eventually resulted in a halt to all car production.

Below, female machinists on strike from the Ford plant in Dagenham attend a women’s conference on equal rights at Friends House in Euston on 28th June 1968.

Embed from Getty Images

Two years later in 1970 the UK Parliament was forced to pass the Equal Pay Act, protecting and supporting working women ever since.

A film that documented the historic event entitled Made in Dagenham, was released in 2010.

Meghan described the group of women strikers as having “the strength to really stand up for something that they knew needed to be done.”

Below, Meghan with Geraldine Dear, one of the strikers (left) and students from the school.

She also met the town’s next generation of female role models, and talked with young women and men about the women who inspire them.

Below, Meghan receives a jacket from students of the Debate Society who are preparing for the Model United Nations competition in Budapest.

In this video clip from iTV’s Lizzie Robinson, Meghan can be heard speaking to the students about how impressed she is by their accomplishments.

The Duchess also attended a school assembly of 700 students were she made a heartfelt speech.

Meghan’s speech from Town & Country

“When we thought about what I wanted to do for International Women’s Day this year, for me it was incredibly important to be with the women of our future. And that is all of the young women here, as well as the young men who play a very large part in this. Specifically coming to your school made a lot of sense for me because of this social justice and the impact that it’s rooted in.”

“No matter how small you might feel, how low you may feel on the ladder or the totem pole, no matter what color you are, no matter what gender you are—you have a voice, and you certainly have the right to speak up for what is right.”

She continued, “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.”

The Duchess invited one “brave young man” from her audience to go up to the stage to speak about why International Women’s Day was important to him.

As seen in the clip below, Aker Okoye, 16, took on the challenge, kissing the Duchess on the cheek as he took to the podium and leaving her wagging her finger in mock disapproval as he told his school friends: “She really is beautiful, innit.”

Aker’s speech from the Telegraph

“I had to speak the truth there,” he added. “For me, International Women’s Day is a reminder that it’s not only me that is part of my life.

“It reminds me that there’s a countless amount of people in my life: lots of strong women who uplift me as a man. I know it could be seen as weird for women to uplift men and men to uplift women, but it happens, we’re all human. I want that to be remembered.

“International Women’s Day is a reminder to everyone that women can do it all and do do it all.

“This is more of a message to all you guys. Maybe this Sunday could be the one day we don’t look at women as objects.

“I just want International Women’s Day for all of us to be a reminder of how strong our community is with women inside.”

The room burst into cheers and applause as Aker turned and gave Meghan a hug.

The Duchess seemed very impressed with this young man’s words and added —

“Well done. Very well said. And incredible confidence, won’t you all agree?”

Now for what Meghan wore for the visit.

Meghan wore a new jacket by ME+EM. It is the Belted Fringe Boucle Jacket in cream, $485. The company notes that the jacket will be restocked in April.

She had on a white scoop neck t-shirt beneath her jacket. We are unsure of the brand as it’s hard to tell with limited details in photos. Below are a few suggestions.

This white t-shirt from the California-based company Cuyana, a brand the Duchess favors, is a good suggestion. It is their Slim Scoop Neck, $45.

It is a Pima modal blend and also comes in black.

Another suggestion is the Lavender Hill boat neck reversible tee in white, $51. It is a modal and cotton blend tee that comes in a variety of colors.

Meghan first wore the t-shirt in July 2018 during the couple’s Dublin Ireland visit.

We are also unsure about the brand of capri or crop pants Meghan wore. We will update the post if we happen to find out more information on these.

The Duchess’ shoes were new and are the Jennifer Chamandi ‘Lorenzo’ 85 two-tone leather pumps, $745. More sizes available here.

The shoes have a 3 1/2 inch heel, are done in a beige nappa leather with a black slanted nappa leather toe and can be worn two ways: with or without the leather strap threaded through the ‘Eye of the Needle’ in the heel.

Meghan carried a new bag by Regina Pyo. It is the designer’s ‘Nane’ bag in cotton weave ivory, £295 ($385 USD). The bag is also available at Saks Fifth Avenue, $395.

The Duchess also had on a new necklace for the event. It is the Edge of Ember – Kismet charm pendant, starting at $105.

The pendant is done in gold vermeil (18k gold plated, sterling silver) and has a four leaf clover next to a lucky number 7 on it. The charm itself retails for $105 with variety of chains to choose from for an additional price.

She also had on her Jennifer McCormack ‘Chi Chi’ bracelet which we first saw at the Endeavour Awards on Thursday evening.

Finally today, The Queen invited The Duke and Duchess to join her for church services this morning at the Chapel of All Saints in Windsor.

UPDATE 9 March: Meghan can be seen wearing a fascinator and a navy or black and white long sleeved dress.

We’re thinking that Meghan wore the Givenchy pencil-styled midi dress with white contrast from the SS 2019 Collection.

Our thanks to Elizabeth of Meghan’s Fashion for the suggestion of the first dress style, The Givenchy square neck dress, marked down to $796, that led to this find by Laura on Twitter.

Her earrings are from V by Laura Vann. They are the Daphne circle drop earrings, $160, in sterling silver and feature black enamel with a synthetic emerald and 18K yellow gold plating.

She may also be wearing her Stephen Jones fascinator previously worn in July 2018 for RAF 100. It appears the Duchess may have turned the fascinator so that it sits across her head (ear to ear) than how she previously wore it (front to back of head). The below photo shows Meghan wearing the fascinator in 2018.

Reminder that we are back here tomorrow morning for Commonwealth Day!

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We leave you with this video clip from Sussex Royal in honor of International Women’s Day!

LINKAGE:

  • Read more about The Dagenham Women’s Strike of 1968 here.
  • See the film that documented the women’s strike event entitled Made in Dagenham.
  • The Telegraph’s article is here.
  • People’s article is here.

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8 COMMENTS

  1. Truly amazing! She looks absolutely lovely, these pieces are classic, chic and elegant. I need everything she’s wearing!

    • Hi Blanche, That’s a great suggestion, however the J. Crew Hayden do not have belt loops and the pair Meghan is wearing have belt loops. Thanks! Susan, C

  2. I love that jacket. It looks so comfortable! I don’t know why. Perhaps they just don’t work on tall women? I’m the same height as Kate but I’m short waisted/longer legs and have to be careful with capri/crop pants or I look ridiculous in them. Regardless… Meghan hit the right note on everything she wore for her last days as senior royal.

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  3. This was my favorite look this week! I love the spring neutrals (that jacket! That bag!) and the stylish but classic shoes are adorable. Add in the slim black pants, beautiful blowout, and pretty jewels, and she looks fabulous! I will miss her regular appearances for sure.

  4. What a fantastic mini-tour this has been for Meghan. She has knocked it out of the ballpark on all her outfits. I just love seeing her interact with the kids at this event – the way she is looking at the one young girl as the girl reads from her paper is just adorable. This outfit is great, and those shoes! Wow!

  5. You know, it’s not that she never makes a misstep, but really, overall her style is on point. She has a way of making classics look modern. For instance, those straight-leg crops are very much on trend, but the ladylike spectator pumps and Chanel-inspired blazer make keep them firmly in “timeless elegance” territory.

    And she really has a gift for accessories. I don’t know that I’d choose that bag for myself, but it’s cute and different and spring-like. The Laura Vann earrings I LOVE; I realize they’re not “real” gems, but I’d never know it. They look super-upscale but also modern, and I love the black enamel with the “emerald.”

  6. I love that she invited the young man to share why IWD is important to him. I think most boys and men often feel that IWD is a day when they should be quiet and just let the women have their day (at least the decent ones who don’t blather on about Men’s Day!), but inviting them in and encouraging them to take an active role in appreciating and uplifting women is a great way to inspire them to join in, instead of just watching. If we’re ever to defeat sexism and misogyny, we need men, too. And this is a great step in the right direction.

    Also love that she went out of her way to study a historical event and came up with a creative way to tie it to IWD and the future of feminism.

    Love the outfit. Shoes are my fave.

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