Meghan Markle continues charity work with surprise visit to Kings College London

Danielle Stacey
Royal Correspondent
The Duchess of Sussex at The ACU meeting at King’s College London (Instagram/@kensingtonroyal)

The Duchess of Sussex made a surprise appearance at a meeting with academics at Kings College London on Wednesday.

The Court Circular announced Meghan attended a meeting of the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU), but it was not made public beforehand.

At the event, the Duchess discussed how higher education can tackle issues such as modern slavery, gender equality and climate change with a number of university leaders, academics and international scholarship students.

Professor Laura Hammond from SOAS University of London tweeted: “We had an excellent discussion about how research can tackle the problems of slavery and human trafficking. Thanks to HRH Duchess of Sussex for joining us!”

Pregnant Meghan donned a black fitted short-sleeve sweater (believed to be from Hugo Boss) and Aritzia’s ‘Wilfred’ Cocoon coat.

It follows Meghan’s speech to students at the University of the South Pacific in Fiji on the royal tour in October.

Meghan giving her speech in Fiji (PA)

She spoke about the challenges of paying for an education:  “It was through scholarships, financial aid programs and work-study, where my earnings from a job on campus went directly towards my tuition, that I was able to attend university.

“And, without question, it was worth every effort.”

She added: “Everyone should be afforded the opportunity to receive the education they want, but more importantly the education they have the right to receive.”

It’s not the first time Meghan has attended an unannounced engagement. It’s understood that the Duchess has carried out a number of private meetings with various charities and organisations since marrying Prince Harry in May.

Mail Online reported that she is keen to focus on women in the developing world’ when she announces her first patronages as a royal in the new year. It was revealed she has met with CAMFED – the Campaign for Female Education – which aims to to eradicate poverty in Africa through the education of girls and the empowerment of young women. 

Meghan revisited the Hubb Community Kitchen in November (Getty)

It’s believed that Meghan wishes to ‘really get to know’ the organisations she wants to work with in order to make a ‘real and lasting’ difference.

That seemed to be the case when Meghan began meeting with the women of the Hubb Community Kitchen (whose area has been affected by the Grenfell tower fire) back in January. It wasn’t until September that it was announced that they had come up with the idea of a charity cookbook to raise proceeds to keep the kitchen open for longer.

The Duchess recently revisited the centre to see how funds from the publication are already making a difference.

Meghan’s sister-in-law the Duchess of Cambridge announced her first patronages in January 2012, nine months after her wedding to Prince William. They included Action on Addiction, East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices, the Art Room and the National Portrait Gallery.

While it has not been confirmed which organisations Meghan will become Patron of, it’s believed that she and Harry will continue their work as Commonwealth Youth ambassadors.