Meghan Markle has sent a heartfelt letter to the Robert Clark School, in Dagenham, the day after her bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey.
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The Duchess of Sussex visited the school last year to mark International Women's Day and to recognise the 50th anniversary of equal pay legislation in the UK.
During last year's visit, Meghan met Geraldine Dear, who had worked a machinist in the nearby Ford factory where the fight for equal pay began.
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Workers at the factory went on strike in 1968, after learning they would be paid 15% less than male workers in similarly skilled jobs at the factory.
The strike eventually led to a change in legislation, with the Equal Pay Act 1970.
In the letter, Meghan wrote: "It was this time a year ago that I had the pleasure of meeting so many of you during my visit to celebrate International Women's Day and mark the 50th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act.
"I look back on that day with such fond memories, and think of you all frequently, especially recognising how difficult it's been for students and families during the past year."
She set out how through her non-profit organisation, the Archewell Foundation, she was encouraging people "to participate in real acts of compassion for the women in their lives and their community" including by learning about the "trailblazing women" that came before them.
The Duchess of Sussex visited the school last year on International Women's Day
Recounting her experience with Geraldine, Meghan continued: "I've spent time recently thinking about Geraldine Dear, who joined us last year and is such an inspiration to all of us.
"Without women like Geraldine, who formed part of the original group of women advocating for equal pay, so much of what we do now wouldn't be possible."
The Duchess set out how by honouring these trailblazers, people could "find inspiration to create legacy" and ultimately lead to a more "compassionate future."
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She thanked the staff and students at the school for the "kindness" they showed her during her visit and shared a fond memory that had remained with her.
Meghan paid tribute to "trailblazing" women
"I don't think we'll ever forget when I asked that young man—Aker—to come on stage to share what International Women's Day means to him and how he honours the women and girls in his life," Meghan recalled.
"He had a few thoughts that had us all laughing!"
She sweetly finished the letter by writing: "P.S. I still have the Debate Society team jacket you gave me with me here in California and wear it often. Thank you again for thinking of me!"
The letter came a day after Meghan's bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey where the Duke and Duchess of Sussex revealed that were expecting a baby girl.
The Duchess recently revealed she and Prince Harry were expecting a baby girl
Speaking about the news, a jubilant Prince Harry said: "To have a boy and a girl, what more could you ask for? Now we have our family, the four of us and our two dogs."
The couple also admitted that they were open to expanding their family to have two more children.
Their daughter, due in the summer, will be a younger sibling to one-year old Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, who was born on 6 May 2019.
A spokesperson for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex first confirmed that Meghan was pregnant with a statement reading: "We can confirm that Archie is going to be a big brother. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are overjoyed to be expecting their second child."
Her Majesty, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales and the entire family are said to be delighted and wish them well.
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