Culture

Prince Harry, Meghan Markle greet fans in English city

Prince Harry, Meghan Markle greet fans in English city”

It is a staple of British royal life - an outdoor meet-and-greet with enthusiastic locals, often in relatively mundane locations, and replete with potential pitfalls.

Prince Harry's fiancee Meghan Markle was praised as a "complete natural" after her public life began with accomplished appearances meeting well-wishers, charity workers and students.

A day later Kensington Palace confirmed that Meghan would be applying to become a British citizen and was keen to get out and visit parts of the country that she will now call home.

Meghan took her first royal engagement in her stride, receiving gifts from the crowd.

Everything went to plan - there were no awkward encounters, the snow that has buffeted some parts of the United Kingdom this week held off, and Markle seemed to be at ease with the flag-waving and camera-wielding residents of Nottingham who had gathered since early in the day to secure the best spots.

Grinning the former Army officer, who travelled with his partner to Nottingham by train, replied "It's great, isn't it?", when the man said the word "unbelievable?", Harry responded "unbelievable". He was like "Oh, hi, hi", and Meghan shook my hand... "I thought: Harry's bringing his bird so I brought mine". What if I told you that these two wonderful things had an unexpected connection?

Libby Morton, a university student from Minnesota now studying in the United Kingdom, said she turned out on Friday because Americans "absolutely adore the royal family". "I'm going to be here for the royal wedding, for the royal baby and its kind of a dream come true", she added.

Prince Harry, Meghan Markle greet fans in English city

Nottingham is believed to be close to Harry's heart, with his communications secretary Jason Knauf saying the prince is "looking forward to introducing Ms Markle to a community that has become very special to him".

There were chants of "Harry, Harry" and "Meghan, Meghan" as people held up phones to snap pictures of the newly engaged couple on their first walkabout.

Their first stop was to a World AIDS Day event put on by the Terrence Higgins Trust at the Nottingham Contemporary arts centre.

During the event the prince and Ms Markle listened attentively, as they were shown a UK Aids Memorial Quilt, one of 48 nationally whose different patchwork panels made by friends and lovers pay tribute to those lost to HIV/Aids.

They then jumped in a black Range Rover and headed to the Full Effect youth project at Nottingham Academy.

Harry and Ms Markle chatted with Full Effect mentor Chantelle Stefanovic, 30, who recently spoke about the issues facing children and young people in St Ann's at the inaugural summit of the Obama Foundation in Chicago attended by Harry.



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