Meghan Markle has won praise for sending inspirational notes to sex workers in Bristol.
The Duchess of Sussex wrote phrases such as “you are brave” and “you are strong” on bananas as part of food packages that would be distributed to workers by the One25 charity, which she visited on Friday with the Duke of Sussex.
One25 specialises in helping women break free from street sex work through various initiatives, one of which is a drop-in service that provides 150 sex workers with nightly food bags.
The pregnant royal made an impromptu visit to the charity’s headquarters to help compile the bags and declared herself “in charge of the banana messaging” before asking for a Sharpie pen to write with.
Other messages written on the fruit included: "You are loved" and "You are special".
The affirmations were well-received by the charity’s volunteers, with one telling HELLO Magazine, "It sounds really cheesy, but little things like that when you are out, especially tonight, just to get that little thing that Meghan took her time out to write that one, it's lush.”
They added that the couple's decision to visit One25 was "heartwarming".
Speaking about the notes on Good Morning Britain, journalist Rebecca Reid concurred, telling hosts Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid: “I accept that it’s not necessarily going to pay your heating bill or help you buy shoes for your kids [...] but when you work in a job that is ignored, judged and stigmatised, being told that you are valid and important is a nice thing”.
Fans of the 37-year-old wrote praiseworthy messages on Twitter, saying that Markle’s notes were the perfect example of a simple but thoughtful act of kindness.
“The nice thing about the Meghan Markle’s banana messaging is that it’s an example of a simple act of kindness that anyone can do, even if they only have little,” wrote one person.
Another added: “Have to give Meghan Markle credit, not sure any other royals would write messages on bananas that are donated (amongst other food items and needs) to sex workers.”
But one former sex worker criticised Markle’s notes, telling The Sun “People out here struggle to eat and sleep and she gifts us some words on a piece of fruit. She has the means to help us more than that. It’s offensive, you know.”
This was not the view shared by an anonymous volunteer for One25, who told the newspaper that the Duchess’ gesture would have meant a lot to the women receiving the packages.
“The messages were lovely and sensitive,” they said.
“I think the women who would have received them would have appreciated it. Knowing there’s someone supporting them would mean a lot."
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