A teenager who hugged Meghan Markle and then stole a kiss when the royal visited his school has written to Prince Harry to apologise for “cuddling” his wife.
Aker Okoye, 16, said he was “just so overwhelmed and shocked” to meet the Duchess of Sussex when she came to Robert Clack Upper School in Dagenham on Friday.
Addressing the Duke, he said: “I hope you didn’t mind me cuddling your wife,” adding: “It was a pleasure to hear her speech and to speak in front of her as well.”
The cheeky head boy penned the note after he was pictured hugging the Duchess on stage after she invited him to speak.
In the letter, published in The Sun, the teenager also said he hoped to meet Harry one day, and wished the royal couple “good luck for the future” as they step back from senior royal duties.
The student jumped at the chance to meet former Hollywood actress Meghan who visited the school to mark International Women’s Day.
As he greeted her on stage he told his fellow pupils: “She really is beautiful, innit. I had to speak the truth there.”
Meghan burst into laughter, wagging her finger at him in mock admonishment and crossing her arms before praising Aker’s “incredible confidence”.
The teen said he was “starstruck” by the opportunity “to speak in front of someone so famous and important.”
He told the newspaper: “I’ve written the letter to make sure Harry doesn’t have a problem with it and to say sorry really and that I hope he didn’t mind.
“Meghan didn’t – she found it funny and I’m sure Harry will as well.
“When she asked which brave young man wanted to do a talk I jumped at the chance.
“I leapt up there. I thought it would be proper protocol to give her a cuddle.
“It’s all a blur.”
Addressing his fellow pupils on Friday alongside Meghan, he said: “I had to speak the truth there,” he added. “International Women’s Day is a reminder to everyone that women can do it all and do do it all.
“This is more of a message to all you guys. Maybe this Sunday could be the one day we don’t look at women as objects.
“I just want International Women’s Day for all of us to be a reminder of how strong our community is with women inside.”
To screams and applause, he gave Meghan a hug and left the stage as she said: “Well done. Very well said. And incredible confidence, won’t you all agree?”
Speaking afterwards, Aker said calling Meghan beautiful was an “ice-breaker”.
He added: “It’s different when you meet people in person from on TV. It’s a different feeling.
“Sorry about the ice-breaker, I don’t want to objectify women. It was amazing.”
Aker said on Friday he only learned the Duchess would be visiting towards the end of the school day, adding “it means a lot to have her here”.
During the visit, Meghan, 38, appeared alongside real-life “Dagenham Girl” Geraldine Dear, 66, who fought for equal pay at the nearby Ford factory.
The Duchess told the youngsters: “No matter how small you might feel… you have a voice and you certainly have the right to speak up for what is right.”
After a few moments of conversation with a class the Duchess walked out of the building to see a corridor of around 250 pupils who had been assembled to cheer their mystery guest.
Some guessed the Queen would be arriving, while others had sussed it was the Duchess of Sussex.
Other possibilities, student leaders later disclosed, included Boris Johnson , Jackie Chan, and Beyonce .
Harry and Meghan are due to take part in their last scheduled engagement later today when they attend the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey alongside other senior members of the royal family.
They will begin their new life as financially independent royals on March 31.