On Friday, during her final tour of official royal duty, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex visited the Robert Clack Upper School in London. After a brief talk, she asked if there was a “brave young man” willing to step on stage to talk about the role of men and boys during events like International Women’s Day and 16-year old Aker Okoye accepted the challenge.
In a clip shared on the official Instagram account of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Okoye can be seen taking the stage and remarking, “She really is beautiful, innit?” At that, Markle laughed and wagged her finger at the young man. At the end of his brief remarks, Okoye turns to the Duchess who throws open her arms and gives him a big hug.
Okoye may have had doubts about the possible breach of royal etiquette, though. He wrote an apology note to the Duke of Sussex, which was shared in the British tabloid, The Sun, this week, and confirmed by Entertainment Tonight, who also interviewed the student.
“I hope you didn’t mind me cuddling your wife,” he reportedly wrote to Prince Harry, explaining that he was “just overwhelmed and shocked to see her arrive at my school” and he was “starstruck” by the encounter with the former actress. He added that Meghan Markle is “inspirational” and hoped to meet her husband one day. As for why he felt the need to write the note, he told ET that he “thought it was polite to do so.”
While it’s unlikely that the Duke would take umbrage at the good-natured hug, in Aker’s defense, it is clear that the Duchess initiated the friendly embrace, welcoming it with open arms.