Meghan Markle attends a meeting with academics of the Commonwealth Universities 

The Duchess of Sussex met academics and leaders for a meeting with the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) at City, University of London, in Islington, on Thursday. 

Meghan, 37, who is six months pregnant, wore an all-black ensemble and recycled the bespoke Givenchy coat she first wore on Remembrance Sunday in November 2017.

She teamed the ensemble with a black pleated dress with a high-low hemline for her first official visit with the ACU in her new role as Patron of the international organisation, which is dedicated to building a better world through higher education

Her hair was styled in a sleek top knot, a change from her go-to style of a ‘messy’ low bun, and she appeared to brave the cold with bare legs as she greeted members of the board.

Meghan is Patron of the Association of Commonwealth Universities, the world’s first and oldest international university network representing higher education across all 53 Commonwealth countries. 

Last month the duchess made a surprise appearance at King’s College for a meeting with the ACU, during which she discussed how higher education could address human trafficking and gender equality.

Education is a subject Meghan is passionate about, and in her first speech as a royal during her trip to Fiji last October, she recalled her own struggle to finance her higher education at the prestigious Northwestern University in Illinois, where she graduated with a joint Bachelor of Arts degrees in theater and international relations.

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The Duchess of Sussex met academics and leaders for a meeting with the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) at City, University of London, in Islington, on Thursday, wearing the black Givenchy coat she wore on Remembrance Day

The Duchess of Sussex met academics and leaders for a meeting with the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) at City, University of London, in Islington, on Thursday, wearing the black Givenchy coat she wore on Remembrance Day

The Duchess of Sussex met academics and leaders for a meeting with the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) at City, University of London, in Islington, on Thursday, wearing the black Givenchy coat she wore on Remembrance Day

And on Thursday a glowing Meghan looked in good spirits, cutting an elegant figure in the coordinated black ensemble with an asymmetric hemline, for her second engagement in what has been a busy week for the duchess.

Meghan wore the same bespoke coat when she attended the Remembrance Sunday and the Centenary of the Armistice Service at the Cenotaph, Whitehall, in November. 

Meghan, who is usually seen with her blow-dried hair in a sleek centre parting or in a messy low bun, opted for a high top knot for the occasion, which showed off her stunning diamond earrings.

Leaving her coat unbuttoned, Meghan revealed a glimpse of her blossoming bump as she waved at onlookers.

The only splash of colour to her coordinated black outfit were the nude court shoes she wore, appearing to opt for sheer tights or bare legs. 

She visited the prestigious university, which is one of the ACU’s 500 university members.

During the visit the Duchess will meet students from the Commonwealth now studying in the UK, for whom access to university has transformed their lives. 

By bringing universities, academics and students together from around the world, the ACU helps to advance knowledge, promote understanding, broaden minds and improve lives. 

Meghan, 37, who is six months pregnant, teamed the ensemble with a black pleated dress with a high-low hemline for her first official visit with the ACU in her new role as Patron of the international organisation, which is dedicated to building a better world through higher education

Meghan, 37, who is six months pregnant, teamed the ensemble with a black pleated dress with a high-low hemline for her first official visit with the ACU in her new role as Patron of the international organisation, which is dedicated to building a better world through higher education

Meghan, 37, who is six months pregnant, teamed the ensemble with a black pleated dress with a high-low hemline for her first official visit with the ACU in her new role as Patron of the international organisation, which is dedicated to building a better world through higher education

Meghan's hair was styled in a sleek top knot, a change from her go-to style of a 'messy' low bun, and she appeared to brave the cold with bare legs as she greeted members of the board

Meghan's hair was styled in a sleek top knot, a change from her go-to style of a 'messy' low bun, and she appeared to brave the cold with bare legs as she greeted members of the board

Meghan’s hair was styled in a sleek top knot, a change from her go-to style of a ‘messy’ low bun, and she appeared to brave the cold with bare legs as she greeted members of the board

Meghan wore the same bespoke coat when she attended the Remembrance Sunday and the Centenary of the Armistice Service at the Cenotaph, Whitehall, in November (pictured)

Meghan wore the same bespoke coat when she attended the Remembrance Sunday and the Centenary of the Armistice Service at the Cenotaph, Whitehall, in November (pictured)

Meghan wore the same bespoke coat when she attended the Remembrance Sunday and the Centenary of the Armistice Service at the Cenotaph, Whitehall, in November (pictured)

As a university graduate, Meghan is a strong advocate of accessible education for all, and as part of The Duke and Duchess’s visit to Fiji last year, she announced new Gender Grants for ACU member universities in the Pacific to fund new learning initiatives aimed at empowering female university staff and promoting gender equality.

This year, 2019, also marks the 60th anniversary of the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan and the launch of the Queen Elizabeth Commonwealth Scholarships, which build Commonwealth connections among students through education. 

Her Royal Highness will meet with past and current scholars to hear the impact of this prestigious scholarship scheme. 

During the visit, The Duchess will hear more about how the ACU is working to promote inclusion and access to education for underrepresented groups, and will speak to students about their research in the fields of sustainability, global health and peace and reconciliation.

On Thursday a glowing Meghan looked in good spirits, cutting an elegant figure in a coordinated black ensemble with an asymmetric hemline for her second engagement in what has been a busy week for the duchess

On Thursday a glowing Meghan looked in good spirits, cutting an elegant figure in a coordinated black ensemble with an asymmetric hemline for her second engagement in what has been a busy week for the duchess

On Thursday a glowing Meghan looked in good spirits, cutting an elegant figure in a coordinated black ensemble with an asymmetric hemline for her second engagement in what has been a busy week for the duchess

Established in 1913, the ACU is the world’s first and oldest international university network, with more than 500 member institutions in over 50 countries. It is the only accredited organisation representing higher education across the Commonwealth. 

The ACU champions higher education as a force for good in the Commonwealth and beyond. Among its key principles is the value of higher education to society – or its role ‘as a common good’ – and the conviction that this value is enhanced by international collaboration. 

The ACU manages international scholarship schemes, convenes universities to address key policy challenges such as climate resilience and peace and reconciliation, and promotes the role of universities in delivering the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Last month the Duchess of Sussex made a surprise appearance at a meeting of The Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) at King’s College London.

Meghan joined university leaders and academics to explore how higher education can address human trafficking, modern slavery and gender equality.

At the time Laura Hammond, professor of development studies at SOAS University 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!’

The ACU said the event was an opportunity to explore how higher education can help build a better world, with discussions on the role of universities in addressing human trafficking and modern slavery, gender equality and inclusion, peace and reconciliation, and climate change and resilience.   

Meghan reportedly spoke of her struggle to finance her higher education and her ‘personal feeling of pride and excitement’ when she studied for her degree.

She described the education of women and girls in developing countries as ‘vital’, and called higher education’s impact ‘incredible, impactful and pivotal’.

Meghan graduated from Northwestern University with a joint Bachelor of Arts degrees in theater and international relations in 2003.

In October the Duchess of Sussex discussed the importance of attending university in her first speech as a member of the royal family at the University of the South Pacific’s Suva campus in  Fiji.

Recalling her own experiences to students and staff, she remembered battle she faced to afford the fee- and the pride that came with being a graduate.

She said at the time: ‘As a university graduate, I know the personal feeling of pride and excitement that comes with attending university.

‘I am also fully aware of the challenges of being able to afford this level of schooling for many people around the world – myself included.

‘It was through scholarships, financial aid programmes 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.’

Wellwishers await the arrival of the Duchess of Sussex for a visit to the Association of Commonwealth Universities at the University of London

Wellwishers await the arrival of the Duchess of Sussex for a visit to the Association of Commonwealth Universities at the University of London

Wellwishers await the arrival of the Duchess of Sussex for a visit to the Association of Commonwealth Universities at the University of London

‘From the moment you receive your acceptance letter, to the exams you spend countless late nights studying for, the lifelong friendships you make with your fellow alumni, and the moment you receive your diploma.

‘The journey of higher education is an incredible, impactful and pivotal one.

‘Everyone should be afforded the opportunity to receive the education they want, but more importantly the education they have the right to receive. And for women and girls in developing countries, this is vital.

‘Providing them with access to education is the key to economic and social development.

‘Because when girls are given the right tools to succeed, they can create incredible futures, not only for themselves but also for those around them.’ 

Today’s engagement was Meghan’s second this week, after she attended the National Theatre on London’s South Bank today in her first official visit since succeeding the Queen as its royal patron.

On Friday she will travel to Bristol for a joint engagement alongside her husband Prince Harry, her third engagement of the week. 

Duchess of Sussex is pretty in peach at the National Theatre as she makes her debut as royal patron after succeeding the Queen 

The Duchess of Sussex met staff at the National Theatre on London’s South Bank on Wednesday in her first official visit since succeeding the Queen as its royal patron.

Meghan wore head-to-toe peach, teaming a £1,728 Brandon Maxwell mini dress with a matching £2,004 blazer, £440 Aquazzura pumps and a Carolina Herrera clutch.

Meghan arrived at the National Theatre in London on Wednesday

Meghan arrived at the National Theatre in London on Wednesday

Meghan arrived at the National Theatre in London on Wednesday

Her hair was styled in a high chignon with a sleek side parting, as she arrived to learn about the work of the institution and meet staff and apprentices working behind the scenes.

The duchess has an affinity with theatre having spent a decade working as an actress in television, where she was best known for playing lawyer Rachel Zane in the hit legal drama series Suits.

During her visit Meghan, 37, joined a workshop with members of the Pericles production before meeting apprentices working as technicians in different departments from carpentry to metalwork and painting.

Although Meghan spent ten years working in television, her background is in theatre; as well as a double major in theatre and international relations from Northwestern University, she volunteered at a performing arts after-school programme for children in underprivileged school districts in Los Angeles.

Earlier this month, following weeks of speculation, Meghan was officially announced as patron of the National Theatre, a post previously held by the Queen for 45 years. 

The duchess has previously spoken of her passion for using the arts to bring people from different backgrounds together, and her visit today will focus on the work that the NT does, as well as meeting some of the talented teams and apprentices working behind the scenes.

Each year, the National Theatre puts on a range of productions that play in London, on tour around the UK, on Broadway and across the globe.

In 2017 and 2018 alone, it staged 19 productions at the South Bank, ten across the UK, three in the West End and six internationally.

Its UK-wide learning and participation programme supports young people’s creative education through performance and writing programmes like Connections, New Views and Let’s Play.

The NT extends its reach through digital programmes including NT Live, which broadcasts the best of British theatre to over 2,500 venues in 65 countries, and the free streaming service On Demand In Schools, used by nearly 60 per cent of UK state secondary schools.

Founded by Sir Laurence Olivier in 1963, the NT first had its home at the Old Vic theatre, but relocated to its current home on the South Bank in 1976.

The Duchess of Sussex arrived at the National Theatre on London 's South Bank for her first official visit since succeeding the Queen as its royal patron. Meghan, who is six months pregnant, wore head-to-toe peach

The Duchess of Sussex arrived at the National Theatre on London 's South Bank for her first official visit since succeeding the Queen as its royal patron. Meghan, who is six months pregnant, wore head-to-toe peach

The Duchess of Sussex arrived at the National Theatre on London ‘s South Bank for her first official visit since succeeding the Queen as its royal patron. Meghan, who is six months pregnant, wore head-to-toe peach

 

  

 

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