Meghan Markle Makes Surprise Appearance During 'CNN Heroes' Special

Meghan Markle

The Duchess of Sussex appeared during the televised special to celebrate the most inspiring people of the year.

Meghan Markle is celebrating the quiet heroes who made a big difference this year. The Duchess of Sussex made a surprise appearance during CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute on Sunday, and lent her voice to the celebration of difference makers.

"In a year that has been universally challenging for everyone, I am inspired by stories of compassion in our communities," Markle shared in the heartfelt introduction. "Across the country, people have put their own needs aside to come together to support the collective well being of those around them."

Markle recalled how, at the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March, the world rapidly shifted gears 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?'" Markle said. "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."

Markle praised the men and women who dedicated their time, energy and resources to bring food to people who were at high-risk, and to families who found themselves food-insecure because of job loss or COVID-19. It was the moments of love and humanity this year that "reminded so many that they are 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 those around them did not have to suffer in isolation," Markle concluded. "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 OK."

Markle and her husband, Prince Harry, have been living in Montecito, California, amid the pandemic, along with their 1-year-old son, Archie. The pair have also been active when it comes to giving back and their philanthropic endeavors.

In April, the couple went door to door to hand out meals to chronically ill residents in LA with Project Angel Food, and the cause has been something close to Markle's heart throughout the pandemic.