It's been a whirlwind week for Meghan Markle. After a slew of engagements with Prince Harry and the royal family, Harper's Bazaar reports that she held her very last appointment at Buckingham Palace. Today marked Meghan's final day as a senior royal at the palace and she chose to mark the occasion by meeting with students from the Association of Commonwealth Universities, or ACU, a program that champions universal access to higher education.
"The value and importance of higher education is why it should be accessible to everyone, no matter your background," Meghan said.
The students were all working towards master's degrees or PhDs in the U.K. after earning scholarships from the ACU's Commonwealth Scholars, Chevening Scholars, and the ACU Blue Charter Fellow programs. Meghan, who was a scholarship student when she studied international relations and theater at Northwestern University, spoke about the amazing program and its ability to spread knowledge across the globe, since many of the ACU's alumni go back to their home countries and share the knowledge that they've gained in their academic pursuits.
"That’s what so powerful," Meghan said. "This incredible union and the ability to gain so much knowledge and to be able to take that back home."
During the event, Meghan spoke about the importance of engaging with real people, something that many royal fans saw her do during her various appointments, royal tours, and public appearances.
"I think it's so important to actually engage with people," she added. "I care about these things!"
Omid Scobie, a reporter that covered the Sussexes extensively, noted that Meghan cried as she said goodbye to her team. Without their positions as senior royals, Meghan and Harry's staff have been moved to other positions within the royal family or have found new jobs.
"I can't help but feel sad for the dedicated team members whose tireless efforts — to promote the couple’s work, launch landmark projects, and deal with the near-daily crises brought on by tabloid lies — have come to an abrupt end," Scobie wrote.
A source told Scobie that Meghan and Harry are feeling a mix of excitement and doubt, since they're stepping away from an institution that's overseen just about every aspect of their lives.
"The terrain may be a little different but their priorities are exactly the same as before," the source said. "Keeping the family, most importantly Archie, safe is what will make all of this worth it."