Duchess Meghan and Prince Harry return to UK to promote charities and causes
She took to the catwalk in a monochrome red ensemble with red pants, blouse, scarf and pumps, her hair pulled back in a long ponytail. Harry, looking sideways, wore a navy blue suit and tie.
The Duchess waved to the cheering crowd and said it was ‘very nice to be back in the UK’
Meghan recalled her first appearance at the event in 2014. “I was the daughter of ‘Suits’ and I was surrounded by world leaders, humanitarians, prime ministers and activists for whom I had such deep and longstanding respect and admiration,” she told delegates. “And I was invited to take a seat at the table.”
The crowd shouted in approval as they looked at her husband and smiled. “Being here on British soil, with him by my side, comes full circle,” Meghan added.
She spoke about representation, inclusion and access, and commended participants for being ambassadors for shifting the global perspective “to one of curiosity rather than criticism.”
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It is the second time Harry, 37, and Meghan, 41, have visited Harry’s homeland in two months, following a brief trip in July for Queen Elizabeth II’s grandmother’s Platinum Jubilee . They made just one public appearance then and spent most of their time behind closed doors with their children, Archie, 3, and Lilibet, 1, at Frogmore Cottage in Windsor. (This time the the children are not with them.)
They haven’t said if they plan to follow the same low-key approach beyond their three announced public appearances – which include stops in London and Düsseldorf, Germany – for charity. they described as “close to their hearts”.
The couple, who now live in California, also briefly visited the UK in April, en route to attending the Invictus Games in the Netherlands. They dropped by for a quick chat with the Queen at Windsor Castlebut have never been seen in public.
The Sussexes should not expect to be welcomed with open arms for this visit – especially not by the British media, which greeted their arrival with headlines describing them in terms such as “tragic” and “delusional”.
Almost two-thirds of Britons are unfriendly towards the couple, according to a recent YouGov poll.
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Nor should anyone expect a warm reunion with Harry’s royal connections, including father Prince Charles and brother Prince William.
Key parents are out of town or busy. The 96-year-old Queen, who is at her Scottish holiday castle Balmoral, is struggling with ongoing ‘mobility’ issues.
She had to withdraw from attending her beloved Braemar Gathering, the nearby 900-year-old Highland Games event she never missed during her 70-year reign. Charles and his wife, Duchess Camilla, and the Queen’s daughter, Princess Anne, attended in his place.
The Queen will remain at Balmoral and spend Tuesday fulfilling her constitutional duty as head of state to swear in Liz Truss as the new head of government to replace outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
This is the first time in his reign (14 prime ministers) that this transition has taken place outside of London.
Meanwhile, the relationship between the Sussexes and the Royal Family remains frosty following their great start to 2020 and jaw-dropping TV interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2021.
And looming on the horizon is Harry’s “intimate and sincere” memory, should be published by Penguin Random House by the end of the year.
For months, royal commentators wrung their hands that Harry’s book would be complete attack on his family and on the monarchya chance for him to release pent-up resentment over how “the institution” treated him, his wife and his late mother, Princess Diana.
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Love them or hate them, few Britons are indifferent to Harry and Meghan, it seems.
“I wonder why they come”, read one of many titles in the Daily Mail last week about the couple’s visit.
A tabloid interviewed people on the street in Manchester ahead of the Sussexes’ appearance on One Young World.
“They are not welcome” Helen Jones, 52, a longtime resident of the UK’s second-largest city, told the Express. “I don’t know why they decided to come back, I don’t think they are very popular here.”
But they’re still popular with at least some charities and socially responsible organizations, such as the One Young World summit, described as a conference of more than 2,000 of “the brightest young leaders from all countries and sectors, working to accelerate social impact”. ”
On Tuesday they will go to Düsseldorf to promote “One year before” for the next Invictus Gamesto be held there in September 2023. International Sports Competitions for Wounded Warriors and Veterans was founded by Harry in 2014 and continues to be one of his most admired causes.
On Thursday, the couple will return to London to attend the WellChild Award, the annual gala of a charity that helps support seriously ill children and their families. Harry has been its patron since 2007.
Harry and Meghan’s US-based Archewell team gave few details about what else the couple might be doing during the visit, nor did they discuss the sensitive issue of their security protection while they are in the UK
Harry, who cited security threats as one of the reasons for their departure, is in dispute with the government over whether he and his family should be given top-level royal protection and who should pay the price. when in the UK.
Harry and Meghan can count on at least some fan support this week: aspiring young world leaders. Sick but brave children. And wounded warriors who push each other in athletic competitions. For now, that may be enough.
Contributor: Kim Willis
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