Meghan Markle is back in Canada and doing her thing!
In addition to spending time at a women’s center in Vancouver on Tuesday, the Duchess of Sussex also paid a visit to Justice for Girls, an organization that promotes social justice as well as an end to violence, poverty and racism in the lives of teenage girls who live in poverty.
ET spoke via Skype with Zoe Craig-Sparrow, the co-director of Justice for Girls, about Markle’s visit. While the 38-year-old royal did not bring up her husband, Prince Harry, or their 8-month-old son, Archie, she was excited to speak with the women about the organization’s mission.
Craig-Sparrow says she and the other ladies at Justice for Girls were especially grateful for Markle’s visit as it occurred in the middle of a snowstorm. The group sat down for tea with the duchess and chatted for about an hour and a half.
“The duchess was extremely kind and gracious and she put all of us at ease,” Craig-Sparrow recalls of the meeting. “She really was so well informed in all of the issues that we discussed and her passion for social justice was clear. We really honestly had a really enjoyable conversation with her — two-way discussion. We shared, we listened together and overall she made it such a pleasant experience.”
Continuing to gush over the visit, Craig-Sparrow adds, “We were all extremely comfortable with her.”
Craig-Sparrow repeatedly notes that Markle wasn’t the one doing all the talking during the discussion. “Meghan definitely asked questions of us and she asked some really great questions. We had the opportunity to share some information with her but she also had an incredible analysis and great insights to give,” she shares. “It definitely wasn’t a one-sided conversation. It was two ways and I learned a lot and hopefully, she learned some things too. We had a great time talking with her.”
What also impressed Craig-Sparrow was how genuinely interested Markle seemed about the organization’s efforts to help young women.
“[She] seemed really intrigued and passionate about Justice for Girls’ focus on young women and girls’ leadership,” she says. “Justice for Girls really, really focuses on growing and developing leadership skills in girls and focusing on that young women’s leadership is really critical. Meghan seemed really excited about that and it’s definitely something that we discussed.”
She continues, “Meghan discussed her past work with other women’s organizations and how important it was to engage with these organizations that are in the local communities that she’s in. We really just talked a lot about how the issues that girls here face are paralleled globally as well — and about the different connections and experiences that we’ve all had.”
Markle’s visit to Justice for Girls comes just a few days after she and Prince Harry announced their decision to step back as senior members of the royal family, become financially independent, and split their time between North America and the U.K.
While Markle is in Canada with Archie, the Duke of Sussex remains in England, and isn’t expected to return to his wife and baby right away as he has scheduled meetings to attend. So far this week, Prince Harry has spoken on behalf of two of his royal patronages, the Invictus Games and the Rugby League.
Here’s more on what the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are up to since announcing their step back from the royal family: