Meghan recalls ‘taking out the trash’ in first job at 14

The Duke of Sussex urged men to join the fight for female empowerment as the duchess spoke about her background during a visit to a Sydney school.

Meghan told pupils at Macarthur Girls High School that her upbringing and her first job “taking out the trash” helped form her into the person she is today.

The pregnant duchess said she felt “emotional” hearing the views of the pupils on equality as students showed off their projects, including making up boxes of supplies for women in need.

Royal tour of Australia – Day Four
Royal tour of Australia – Day Four

The girls have been taking an “integrated course” on top of their usual studies, to give them “21st century capabilities”, including creativity and critical thinking, with “a core focus on making a change in local communities”.

One project involved them putting together boxes of supplies to donate to vulnerable women via police stations and refuge centres, while another saw them create notebooks to pass forward for students to write about the women who have inspired them.

Meghan told the group of 14-year-olds: “You guys all remind me so much of myself when I was growing up.

“I went to an all-girls school, which was incredibly diverse as well.

“I think being around such empowered young women, it becomes something that you all just grasp onto to understand your world.

“It’s made you confident, well-spoken. You have an intention set to really do something to change the world, and you have to keep it up.

“It makes me so emotional. You’re doing really, really good work and I’m so happy that we’re here. We give you our full support.”

Royal tour of Australia – Day Four
Royal tour of Australia – Day Four

Harry, who is now said to identify as a feminist, told the girls he wants men to add their voices to the fight for equality.

“Men can help as well by getting involved, we have to,” he said. “We need to get men’s voices involved as soon as possible.”

The duke told the pupils of their important roles in changing society.

“Kindness and empathy lacks big time in the world,” he said. “It’s so great you are passionate about all of this.

“You realise this is the generation that’s going to make all the difference?”

Later in the morning, the royal couple were introduced to teenage boys and girls from the In League In Harmony project from the National Rugby League (NRL).

The programme aims to unite young people from diverse communities to be “advocates for positive change in their communities”.

One young man spoke to Meghan about his part-time job and she replied: “My first job when I was 14, I remember taking out the trash, all sorts. It gives you a good work ethic, right?”

Harry and Meghan were given an NRL Indigenous All Stars team shirt each, and a 2019 official game ball for their baby.

Visiting the National Rugby League's @NRLCommunity In League In Harmony programme at Macarthur Girls High school, which works to unite and empower young people to be advocates of positive change in their communities.

— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) October 19, 2018

The duke, sitting with a second group of youngsters, joked that he was “clinging on to my youth at the age of 34”, adding that he now looked to the younger generation for inspiration.

“We’re so lucky that wherever we go in the world, we’re finding young people like you guys.

“This sweeping wave of kindness and optimism and empathy that seems to be lacking in some of the previous generation. You guys get a kick out of that, right?”