Meghan Markle and Prince Harry all smiles after final royal engagement ahead of Megxit
By MIRROR |
1 year ago
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have completed their final ever royal engagement before they quit the Royal Family and start their new lives Canada.
Making their swansong as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, the couple joined the rest of the Royal Family at Westminster Abbey for the annual Commonwealth Day Service.
However they were not part of the Queen's procession, as they were last year, and were shown to their seats with the rest of the guests.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge also skipped the formal entrance in a last minute change to plans, made after the order of services were printed.
Meghan looked stunning in emerald green Emilia Wickstead for her final royal engagement and chatted to guests and met with children after the service.
The Sussexes and Cambridges were not sat on the same row.
Meghan was seen to mouth “hi” and give a small wave to William and Kate, followed by a “hello”, as the Cambridges took their seat in the High Altar in the row in front of the Sussexes.
After the service, Meghan and Harry appeared to keep their distance from Kate and William, as they met with guests including Anthony Joshua and Craig David.
Prince Harry broke with coronavirus guidance for the event, which told people to avoid contact.
The Duke of Sussex however elbow-pumped the singer, while Meghan went in for a hug with Alexandra Burke.
Prince Charles however kept his distance as he was seen offering guests a namaste gesture as opposed to shaking their hands.
It's the first time Meghan and Harry have been seen publicly with the Royal Family since they announced their plans to quit.
Their decision is said to have caused a lot of anger and upset behind Palace walls, and they reportedly didn't consult their relatives before releasing their shock statement.
Announcing the news on their Instagram page in January, they said they want to "carve out a progressive new role within this institution".
Meghan and Harry flew back to the UK from Canada last week to carry out a farewell tour before the official Megxit date of March 31.
They've carried out a number of engagements, including a number of secret visits, as they say goodbye to their charities and patronages.
They have done two joint visits, including a glitzy event on Saturday night which saw Harry don his full Captain General uniform for what could be the last time.
Meghan wore a matching red dress for the annual Mountbatten Festival of Music at the Royal Albert Hall in South Kensington.
The couple received a long round of applause and a standing ovation as they took their seats in the royal box.
Meghan also gave a powerful speech at Robert Clack Upper School in Dagenham in mark International Women's Day, where she encouraged students to "fight for what they believe in".
Royal expert Phil Dampier, who wrote a book about the couple, told The Sun that Meghan's speech was a "clear signal she felt she was standing up for herself when she quit the Royal Family".
As part of their decision to step down, Meghan and Harry plan to become financially independent and will be free to earn their own money without the limitations of HRH titles.
However they've sparked fury by insisting the taxpayer should fund their security “based on the Duke’s public profile by virtue of being born a royal, his military service, the Duchess’s independent profile”.
The bill could soar to Sh2.651 billion (£20million) a year - sparking a huge row about who will have to cough up to pay the bill.
Senior officers are understood to be drafting emergency plans to double the protection team guarding the couple and their son Archie, ten months, who have all been in separate places recently.
It comes as police have been left stretched due to a decade of Tory cuts, and experts fear the move will put resources under even more strain.
Former Met protection officer Dai Davies said: “In their current state the plans are unworkable.
“Harry and Meghan’s situation has called for a complete ripping up of the rulebook and they are acting like none of the rules apply to them.
“There is already a severe lack of trained officers and this is only adding to the Met’s woes.”
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