Meghan's act of kindness that made everyone go bananas

It's not often I take to my keyboard to write about bananas.

I've done it only once before, when the Duchess of Sussex baked some banana bread on the recent Australian tour to take to a picnic in a town called Dubbo.

I'm writing about bananas again because of what Meghan did last week while visiting a charity which supports women who are trapped in sex work in Bristol.

On the bananas in the charity food parcels for the women, Meghan wrote messages which included: “You are strong”, “You are special”, “You are brave”, “You are loved”.

The Duchess of Sussex's inspiring messages. Credit: PA

Since then, my social media notifications have exploded into an angry debate about what she did.

There have been discussions on TV shows about whether it made any difference.

Even posts online about whether it's safe to use a marker pen (or Sharpie as the Americans call it) to write on a banana.

Let's be clear, a member of the Royal Family wrote messages of support on the skin of a piece of fruit with the intention that it might give the tiniest bit of hope to the recipient.

Now social media is a wonderful thing - and it allows messages to spread far and wide in a blink of an eye.

But since Friday, some posts and articles have questioned whether it was an "appropriate" piece of fruit on which to write a message to women forced to work in the sex industry.

The Duchess of Sussex helped with packing the parcels. Credit: PA


Are we unable to acknowledge what the Duchess of Sussex was trying to do because of some infantile sniggering about the shape of a banana?

Other posts have focussed on whether the women would benefit from the messages and whether they take any inspiration from them - as intended by Meghan.

The Duchess herself said she got the idea from a "school lunch project" in the United States when messages were written on the bananas to make the kids "feel empowered".

She called it a "small gesture" and an "incredible idea".

And you'd find it hard to argue otherwise.

It was a gesture, and a small one, but for all we know, it was an act that could have meant something significant to the women for whom the gesture was intended.

And in any case, who does have a right to pass judgement on the circumstances which led to a women feeling like she has no other choice in life than to work on the streets?

Meghan visited the project with her husband, Prince Harry. Credit: Marc Giddings/The Sun

The truth is, we don't know if the women appreciated the messages - or even if they noticed them at all.

But it's difficult to see how an action with such positive intentions can be translated into something so negative.

Let's focus on the plight of those affected and the good work the charity, One25, does to support them.

And perhaps, on this occasion, we should all leave our judgements to one side.

  • One25 in Bristol helps women who are trapped in and vulnerable to street sex-work. More on their work can be found here.