meghan-markle

Meghan Markle's sweet gesture to teenager recovering from brain tumour 

The schoolgirl said she had been inspired by one of Meghan's speeches

Danielle Stacey

A brave teenager, who has had several operations to remove a brain tumour, has received a private voicemail from the Duchess of Sussex. Aleyna Genc, 14, was taken aside by the Duke of Sussex, 35, during his visit to Nottingham Academy on Thursday so he could show her the special message from Meghan.  

WATCH: Prince Harry meets Aleyna Genc in Nottingham

The schoolgirl told Press Association she had been writing to Meghan, 38, for around two years after the Duchess inspired her during a UN speech on women in 2015, in which the former actress said: "It is said that girls with dreams become women with vision. May we empower each other to carry out such vision – because it isn’t enough to simply talk about equality."

After listening to the voicemail from the Duchess, Aleyna said: "I've been lettering with Meghan for around two years now and she sent me a little voicemail and I listened to that. I just sent her a letter because she made a speech and that was the one that really inspired me - her UN women's speech. I just wrote to her to say how much it inspired me, and we have been lettering ever since."

WATCH: Prince Harry and Ed Sheeran bond over ginger hair in brilliant new video for World Mental Health day

Meghan gave a speech at the Step It Up For Gender Equality event in 2015

The teenager also gave Harry a toy dog for Archie, revealing: "He said thank you and that he loved it. He said he would love it because he hasn't been able to sleep because of Archie for the past few days." The Duke and Duchess, along with five-month-old Archie, returned home from their ten day tour of Africa last week. Nottingham is a special place for the couple as they toured the city in November 2017 as their first official visit following their engagement.

Harry visited two community initiatives in St Ann's Nottingham, which aim to improve the opportunities for young people and support them from becoming involved in youth violence and crime through a combination of early intervention, mentorship, and training: EPIC Partners mentoring at Nottingham Academy, and Community Recording Studio (CRS). 

MORE: The surprising picture Prince Harry picked for his 35th birthday card reply

Prince Harry at Nottingham Academy

At Nottingham Academy, he met year seven and year eight students who are benefiting from the mentoring scheme which encourages young people to better understand their thoughts and actions. He then joined a school assembly with Year 11 students who, within their Personal, Social and Health Education lessons, have been focusing on keeping their minds healthy and how to handle feelings of being overwhelmed. Harry then stopped at Community Recording Studio, a charity that teaches young people film and video skills as well as music, and provides access to professional equipment and key industry contacts.

Earlier on Thursday, he unveiled a hilarious video sketch with Ed Sheeran on Sussex Royal's Instagram in support of World Mental Health Day, giving fans a peek of Princess Eugenie's Kensington Palace home in the process.

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