Meghan Markle took some time during her royal visit to South Africa with Prince Harry to pay tribute to a murdered teenager.
As People reports, the Duchess of Sussex made a low-key private visit to the Cape Town memorial honouring Uyinene Mrwetyana, a 19-year-old college student who was raped and murdered in a post office.
The duchess’ spokesperson confirmed her trip to the memorial, which was not part of her official itinerary but something she undertook with little fanfare, unaccompanied by the coterie of press and photographers typically on hand during royal visits.
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“Having closely followed the tragic story, it was a personal gesture she wanted to make,” the spokesperson told People.
According to People, Markle stopped at the memorial at the Clareinch Post Office, where Mrwetyana was murdered, and left a handwritten message reading: “Harry & Meghan 26th September 2019.” She also wrote, in the native language of Xhoas, “We stand together in this situation.”
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“Simi kunye kulesisimo” – ‘We stand together in this moment’ The Duchess of Sussex has tied a ribbon at the site where 19-year-old Cape Town student Uyinene Mrwetyana was murdered last month, to pay her respects and to show solidarity with those who have taken a stand against gender based violence and femicide. Over the last month in Capetown, protests erupted through the streets in outrage over GBV in South Africa. The Duke and Duchess had been following what had happened from afar and were both eager to learn more when they arrived in South Africa. The Duchess spoke to the mother of Uyinene this week to relay their condolences. Visiting the site of this tragic death and being able to recognise Uyinene, and all women and girls effected by GBV (specifically in South Africa, but also throughout the world) was personally important to The Duchess. Uyinene’s death has mobilised people across South Africa in the fight against gender based violence, and is seen as a critical point in the future of women’s rights in South Africa. The Duchess has taken private visits and meetings over the last two days to deepen her understanding of the current situation and continue to advocate for the rights of women and girls. For more information on the recent events in SA, please continue to follow our tour #AmINext
During her visit to South Africa, Markle gave a brief but powerful speech at Cape Town’s Nyanga township, explaining that even though she’s a royal on an official visit, that’s not quite how she views it.
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“On one personal note, may I just say that 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 colour, and as your sister,” she told the cheering crowd, via Elle. “I am here with you, and I am here for you.”