During her tour of South Africa, Duchess Meghan (née Markle) took some time to commend female activists and politicians who have done everything in their power to make a difference.

“I was recently reminded that the first one up the mountain often gets knocked down the hardest, but makes way for everyone behind them,” the 38-year-old royal said during her speech according to The Sunday Times. “You must keep at it and know that you are working for this generation and the next, and also continuing the legacy of the generations of great women before you.”

Meghan Markle

Some incredible women in attendance for the speech included Sophia Williams-De Bruyn, who was just 18 when she led a march of thousands of women in Pretoria to protect against segregation in 1956 — the Duchess of Sussex called her “an inspiration.” “These brave women have been able to see how their struggle can pave the way for so many,” the former actress continued.

“We can learn a certain amount from the outside, by tracking it through the news, but it’s not the same as being able to truly understand what it’s like on the ground,” Prince Harry‘s wife added. “Much of my life I have been advocating for women and girls’ rights, so this has been an incredibly powerful moment to hear first-hand from all of you.”

“The leadership and strength shown by these women is remarkable, and at a time when the issue of gender and gender-based violence is at the forefront of people’s minds, I hope their voices will resonate and not only give comfort but also create change,” Meghan said. “This is not just a South African issue, this is a global problem that can only find solution with the attention and work of everyone, regardless of gender, status, politics, race or nationality.”

Meghan Markle
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The Suits alum has been quite open while on her tour — she even touched on being a mom and a royal. “She talked about being a mother and having duties as a duchess and fulfilling what her heart desires — and that it can’t just fade away now that you’re a duchess,” Matsi Modise — the founder of skills training company Simodisa — revealed of her chat with Meghan. “That you have to be true to who you are.”

“She radiates grace and she is taking this task that she has with such grace. A lot of us have done amazing things as founders, but meeting a royal is quite daunting. She made it easy,” Matsi added. She is an easy-going royal!”