Cheeky lad, 16, steals a kiss from Meghan Markle during her school visit to mark International Women’s Day


A SCHOOLBOY stole a cheeky kiss with Meghan then told cheering pupils: “She’s beautiful, innit?”

Aker Okoye, 16, bounded on stage when the Duchess sought a “brave young man” to talk about International Women’s Day.

Meghan Markle laughs as schoolboy Aker Okoye addresses school with his ice-breaker to her, as he talks about International Women’s Day
The Duchess wags her finger to jokily tick off Aker who cannot stop giggling

He greeted her with a peck on the cheek to screams from pupils. Meghan, 38, burst into laughter and jokily wagged her finger.

And when the noise calmed down, head boy Aker said into the mic: “She really is beautiful, innit?”

They also hugged at Robert Clack School, Dagenham, East London — where Meghan revealed ten-month-old Archie is starting to walk.

On Friday’s surprise visit — her final solo engagement as a royal — Meghan urged her young audience to “speak up for what is right”.

She also spoke to Geraldine Dear, 66, whose strike at the nearby Ford motor plant in 1984 finally paved the way for equal pay for women.

The Duchess told 700 adoring pupils: “Being in Dagenham is incredibly profound. Geraldine and the other women had the strength to really stand up for something that needed to be done.”

Wide-eyed and grinning Aker can’t disguise his surprise over the royal hug

“It’s the best example of no matter how small you might feel, what colour or gender you are, you have a voice — and you certainly have the right to speak up for what is right.”

“So I just encourage and empower each of you to really stand in your truth, to stand for what is right. To continue to respect each other.”

“You young men, to continue to value and appreciate the women in your lives. And set the example for some men who are not seeing it that same way.”

“You have your mothers, sisters, girlfriends. Protect them. Make sure they are feeling valued, and safe.”

Nervous Aker later apologised for his “ice-breaker” to Meghan.

He added: “I had to stand up. I thought, ‘This day means so much to me, it would be an insult for me not to speak’. My heart was racing.”

Pair hold clinch to the delight of fellow pupils at Dagenham school

“It’s very admirable that Meghan has come from the US to the UK. This is history making. It’s incredible, inspiring that she can have the strength of character.”

Speaking to HOAR on Sunday last night Aker added: “There were rumours a big name was visiting but nobody expected Meghan.”

“It was incredible. She was lovely and down-to-earth. She didn’t seem to mind me kissing her and saying she was beautiful. She laughed, along with the whole school.”

Dad Erick Okoye, 42, a professional driver, told HOAR he had no idea his son had kissed Meghan and joked he’d be “having words”.

Erick said: “He casually told us Meghan had been at the school. He said she was very friendly, and that he’d done a speech too.”

“But he never told me he kissed her! I can’t believe it. How cheeky! I hope he didn’t get in trouble. Was she OK about it? I hope so!”

Meghan was greeted at the school by pupils of the week Fiona Addai and Harvi Shehi, both 11.

The Duchess also likened the school’s mantra “Excellence for all, and from all”, to the idea of “equality for all and from all”.

The Duchess also sat with pupils for a lesson on female poets

Meghan told debating society students: “I’m so proud to be able to witness so much of this activism and energy.”

She sat with pupils for a lesson on female poets. And she and children held arms parallel in this year’s International Women’s Day symbol for equality.

Renee Palmer-Davies, 16, said: “Meghan is amazing, so humble.”


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