In a complete role reversal, the Duchess of Sussex asked a Nelson Mandela University student and her friends to pose for a picture with her so she could send it to her friend, former U.S. first lady Michelle Obama.
“I still cannot believe it,” Sithembele Ncube, 25, said after her royal encounter with Meghan Markle, who is married to Prince Harry, Queen Elizabeth’s grandson and sixth in line to the British throne, The Sowetan reported on Sept. 29.
Ncube met up with the royals in Cape Town on Sept. 28 during the pair’s first tour in southern Africa.
“She just asked to take a picture with me to send to Michelle Obama [wife of former U.S. president Barack Obama],” Ncube said.
Ncube, a computer science honors student, belongs to the Obama Foundation, which strives to inspire, empower and connect people to change the world. She’s been part of the organization since the start of 2019.
“The royals had invited a few youth organizations to meet them and I went as part of the African Leaders initiative [part of the work of the foundation],” said Ncube, who attended a reception for Meghan and Prince Harry at the British High Commissioner’s residence in Cape Town on Heritage Day.
Asked how she had felt when meeting the duchess, Ncube said she was simply lost for words.
“Meghan was more relaxed than I thought she would be. I thought she would have many rules on how to address her and I thought she would not want to take pictures,” Ncube said. “What stood out the most for me was how thoughtful, kind and approachable she was — talking to her felt like I was talking to my big sister. She just asked to take a picture with us so she could send it to Michelle. I was gobsmacked because I am a huge fan of Michelle as well.”
Ncube said she would never forget the experience.
“Meghan really has a passion for women and women’s issues,” Ncube said. “She made it a point to talk about the importance of centering women in the development of Africa in order to make a positive impact.”
The picture Meghan sent to Obama has been posted on the former first lady’s Instagram account.
Ncube joked that Michelle Obama could be the next well-known person she would meet.
The British royal couple and their son Archie began their royal tour of southern Africa in Cape Town on Sept. 23.