She said that ‘in the face of this devastating reality, we also saw the power of the human spirit and the remarkable ways that communities respond in challenging times’.
You can read her full speech below:
In a year that has been universally challenging for everyone, I’m inspired by the stories of compassion in our communities. Across the country, people have put their own needs aside to come together and support the collective wellbeing of those around them.
Back in March, the COVID-19 crisis hit hard, and overnight everything seemed to change. For many families, the impact of the pandemic has been catastrophic–and far too many were faced with a heartbreaking question: How am I going to put food on the table for my family.
But in the face of this devastating reality, we also saw the power of the human spirit and the remarkable ways that communities respond in challenging times. We saw the good in people, in our neighbours and in entire communities coming together to say they would not stand by while our neighbours went hungry. We saw communities standing up and taking action.
When kids’ lunch programs came to a halt, we saw our neighbours making sure that those children received the nutrition they need. And when those who are immunocompromised, or most vulnerable, couldn’t leave their homes, we as a community showed up to deliver the food they needed to their doorsteps. We know the value of food: as nourishment, as a life source, and in moments of crisis, the warmth of a meal can feel as comforting as a much needed hug–especially in the absence of human contact due to the social distancing we’re all experiencing.
These moments reminded so many that they’re cared for. Tonight we are celebrating these quiet heroes. Some of whom I know, and others that we applaud from afar. These individuals stood up and made sure the most basic needs of our communities were met. They made sure that those around them did not have to suffer in isolation. They nourished their neighbours in more ways than one. And they showed us, all of us, that even in the darkest times when we come together, we have the power to remind someone else that there is hope and that we will be okay.
While her words spread a message of hope, so did her jeweller. The Duchess wore a pair of gold Catherine Zoraida earrings shaped like swallows, a universal symbol of love and hope.
Interestingly, according to Reference.com, ‘the ancient Romans believed that the swallow was a totem bird for mothers in sorrow, and that it embodied the souls of children who had been lost in childbirth’.
The earrings cost approx. $215 AUD, and 10% of all sales go to the RSPB charity. They’re also made of eco silver, and we know Meghan is a fan of sustainable fashion.
This article originally appeared on marie claire U.K.