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Meghan Markle makes surprise appearance on America's Got Talent final – details

The Duchess of Sussex had a special message to send

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Jenni McKnight
Jenni McKnightUS Lifestyle Editor
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The Duchess of Sussex shocked viewers of America's Got Talent on Wednesday after she made a surprise appearance on the show.

Meghan sent a special video message during the show's finale to fan favourite Archie Williams after being touched by his heartbreaking story.

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Archie was wrongly convicted for a crime he didn't commit and served 37 years in prison as a result.

WATCH: Meghan Markle made a surprise appearance on America's Got Talent

After hearing his story, Meghan and Prince Harry wanted to send him a special message.

In the video clip, Meghan said: "I just wanted to let you know that we've been so moved by your story, and we have been cheering you on every week, and it's not just because we're partial to the name!

"So a very special message to you that I will probably be saying all of my life, but on this night it is specifically for you: Archie, we are proud of you, and we are rooting for you, and we can't wait to see what you do. We're in your corner."

Archie was just 22 when he was convicted back in 1983 for crimes, including attempted murder, against a 31-year-old woman. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole in East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana.

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The Duchess said she had been moved by Archie's story

His mother, sister, and a family friend all testified during the trial that he was home asleep. It was also revealed during the trial that none of the fingerprints collected at the crime scene matched with Archie's.

Speaking previously on AGT, the 59-year-old – who wowed the judges, including Simon Cowell, with his rendition of Elton John's Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me – said: "I knew I was innocent, I didn't commit a crime.

"But being a poor black kid, I didn't have the economic ability to fight the state of Louisiana."

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Archie wowed AGT audiences with his beautiful voice

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In 1995, after years behind bars, Archie got in touch with The Innocence Project, an organisation dedicated to exonerating the wrongly convicted through DNA testing and advocating for criminal justice reform.

It took over ten years for DNA evidence to be tested again as Archie had to wait "for Louisiana to pass a law entitling convicted people to access DNA testing after trial to prove innocence".

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Archie Williams was released from prison in 2019

Finally, on March 14, 2019, fingerprint analysis proved Archie's innocence and a man named Stephen Forbes, who had died in 1996, was linked to the crime.

Seven days after the fingerprint analysis was completed, Archie was released from prison.

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