Meghan Markle made a surprise appearance the Wednesday night (Sept. 23) season finale of America’s Got Talent to offer some kind words for finalist Archie Williams.
The 60-year-old Baton Rouge, Louisiana, native didn’t win the crown during the two-hour season 15 coronation episode, but he did get to sing with gospel singer Marvin Winans on “Everything You Touch is a Song.”
And while Williams — who spent 36 years in prison on a wrongful conviction for a rape he didn’t commit — inspired the judges and viewers all season with his soulful vocals, his consolation prize was pretty amazing. In a special surprise video message, the Duchess of Sussex offered him some words of hope and love that clearly warmed Williams’ heart.
“Hi Archie, I just wanted to let you know that we’ve so moved by your story and we’ve been cheering you on every week and it’s not just because we’re partial to the name,” said former Suits star Markle, who is the mother of one-year-old son Archie with Prince Harry. “So, a very special message to you that I’ll probably be saying all of my life, but on this night it’s specifically for you: Archie, we are proud of you and are rooting for you, we can’t wait to see what you do. We’re in your corner, have a good night.”
With the help of The Innocence Project, Williams was able to overturn his case thanks to fingerprints found at the scene of the crime that matched those of a serial rapist. He was released from prison in March 2019 and his aching debut on the show in May with Elton John’s “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me” blew the judges away. He continued to impress in the final rounds of this year’s competition, with covers of Stevie Wonder’s “Love’s In Need of Love Today,” Westlife’s “Flying Without Wings” and, on Tuesday’s final performance show, the Beatles’ “Blackbird.”‘
Watch Markle’s appearance below.