The ribbon carried a Xhosa message of solidarity neatly written in black: “Simi kunye kule si si mo - Harry & Meghan September 26, 2019” (‘We stand together in this situation’).
The moment of respect was authentically powerful in that it was conducted without any grandstanding in front of the global media pack tracking her and Prince Harry’s South African tour.
In fact, no one would have known of the duchess’s poignant act of solidarity in bustling Claremont at around 11am on Thursday were it not for four keen-eyed high school pupils who stumbled across Markle tying the ribbon while they were walking to a café in Imam Haron Road.
“Meghan was dressed casually in a white shirt and blue jeans and she had her head down and her hair was hanging across part of her face so we almost didn’t recognise her,” said one of the 17-year-old Livingstone High pupils, Shaima Khan, bubbling with excitement minutes after their chance encounter. “She blended in. She looked like just another woman on the street.