Could the Duchess of Sussex be more inspiring? While visiting Bristol today, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stopped at One25 Charity, an organization that supports sex workers and women on the streets struggling with addition, poverty, and violence. As she was preparing care packages, complete with food, clothing, first aid, and condoms, Markle made an impromptu move: She reportedly asked for a Sharpie marker and began writing inspiring messages on the bananas being packed.
“Oh actually, do you have a Sharpie marker? I have an idea," she says in a video captured by royal reporter Omid Scobie. "I saw this project this woman had started somewhere in the states, a school lunch program, and on each of the bananas, she wrote an affirmation or something to make the kids feel really empowered."
Once she was given a marker, Her Royal Highness began to write things like “You are loved,” “You are strong,” and “You are special.” She wrote a unique note on every single banana that was packed that day. “It's such a small gesture that makes a huge impact," she told volunteers at the time.
"It was very spontaneous,” said Anna Smith, CEO of One25, adding how touched she was by Markle’s engagement in the issues at hand. “She listened and heard that we don’t judge, we just offer our service. She totally got it,” Smith told Scobie.
There are approximately 72,000 sex workers in the UK, where prostitution itself is legal, and according to One25, there are around 150 women working on the streets of Bristol. Though there are laws to regulate sex work, many women working the streets must make risky choices and still face increasing violence. One25 hopes to help those who are struggling, providing the support they need to live a fulfilled life away from the streets.
Markle, who is expecting her first child, is making her final rounds before taking maternity leave early this spring. A longtime advocate of women’s rights, Markle became a UN Women's Advocate in 2015, and she committed to the female empowerment movement under the Royal Foundation charity in February 2018. One of her first patronages, the organization Smart Works, supports women looking for employment.