Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have kicked off International Women's Day together with their seventh royal engagement, a visit to Birmingham, England. Markle, who stepped out in J.Crew's sold-out tipped topcoat, was the most excited.
"It’s International Women’s Day. It’s perfect," Markle was heard telling a fan during the couple's walkabout.
Markle spoke at her last engagement, the Royal Foundation Forum, about how she wants to make women's rights the focus of her activist work.
"I hear a lot of people speaking about girls' empowerment and women's empowerment," Markle started. "You’ll often hear people say well, you’re helping women find their voices. And I fundamentally disagree with that because women don't need to find their voices, they have a voice. They need to be empowered to use it, and people need to be encouraged to listen. And I think right now in the climate that we’re seeing so many campaigns — I mean, #MeToo and TimesUp — there's no better time than [now] to really continue to shine a light on women feeling empowered and people really helping to support them…It [the spotlight] makes such a tremendous difference."
Prince Harry and Markle, who matched in navy, were extra affectionate, royal reporters noted. Some cute PDA moments were caught on camera, and at one point, Daily Mail's royal reporter on the scene, Rebecca English, wrote that Prince Harry purposely escorted 10-year-old Sophia Richards, an aspiring actress, out of the crowd over to meet Markle, who gave her a hug.
And both Markle and Harry bonded with a puppy:
Inside, Markle and Harry met the Stemettes, young girls in a program meant to help encourage them to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and math. Under Markle's coat, she's wearing Manolo Blahnik pumps, Alexander Wang trousers, and All Saints Ridley jumper. She's carrying an Altuzarra saddle bag.
As the royal Twitter detailed last week, Markle and Harry are "learn[ing] more about the work of two projects which support young people from the local community, The visit comes on International Women's Day, and the couple will firstly attend a @Stemettes event at Millennium Point which aims to inspire the next generation of young women to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. Prince Harry and Ms. Markle will then visit Nechells Wellbeing Centre to join The Royal Foundation's Birmingham @WeAreCoachCore apprentices as they take part in a training masterclass."
The couple's next event is this upcoming Monday. Markle is to attend Commonwealth Day service with the family and Queen Elizabeth II.
This story first appeared on ELLE.com.
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