Duchess Meghan revealed her emotions at her last solo engagement as a senior member of Britain's royal family.
The Duchess of Sussex got emotional as she said goodbye to staffers at Buckingham Palace, where she met with students Monday in her role as patron of the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU).
"Meghan made her final hugs with some of the close staffers and it was difficult for her to remain composed after what had been an emotional week," said ABC News royal contributor Omid Scobie, who attended Monday's event. "Holding back the tears was tough. For her, it was a moment that she could be vulnerable."
The event, details of which were released Wednesday by the palace, was held Monday morning before Meghan and Prince Harry attended the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey, their final engagement as working royals.
Meghan met with students from 11 Commonwealth countries who are studying issues ranging from cleaning up plastic pollution in the world's oceans to helping to build more sustainable cities and supporting economic growth, according to Buckingham Palace.
"She knows what she's talking about," Timothy Biswick, a University of Leicester research fellow from Malawi, said about Meghan in a statement released by Buckingham Palace. "It's not just coming here and listening to us, she knows what she's talking about in terms of climate change."
"She was talking about things in quite some detail so you know that this person knows what they are talking about and are passionate about it," he said.
Meghan, a Northwestern University graduate, took over the role of royal patron of ACU from Queen Elizabeth in January 2019. It was one of four royal patronages she took on after marrying Prince Harry in 2018 and becoming the Duchess of Sussex.
Meghan plans to continue her work with all four patronages after March 31, when she and Harry will step down as working royals.
In their new roles, the Sussexes will no longer use their HRH titles, will also no longer represent Queen Elizabeth and no longer receive public funds for royal duties, freeing them to earn money on their own.
They also plan to spend the majority of their time in North America, though they are keeping their Frogmore Cottage home in the U.K.