Meghan stepped out in Cardiff for a day of engagements sporting a black Stella McCartney Coat. Despite being an hour late due to train delays, Meghan and Harry arrived to huge cheers from the crowd.
The visit marked the latest milestone in the ongoing introduction of Meghan to the British public in the countdown to the royal wedding in May. Last year, Kensington Palace described Meghan’s pre-wedding engagements as “an intensive six-month ‘tour’ of the UK, in order to get to know her adopted country, its communities, and its people.”
During their official engagement interview Meghan said: ‘Now being boots on the ground in the UK I’m excited to just really get to know more about the different communities here, smaller organizations who are working on the same causes that I’ve always been passionate about….and also being able to go round the Commonwealth, I think it’s just the beginning.’
Kensington Palace said she had made clear she wanted to start her life with Harry “with a clean slate” and devote herself to the issues that matter in the UK, a decision Harry has supported her in.
Her first formal charity role will be as the fourth patron of William, Kate, and Harry’s own charity, The Royal Foundation.
Today marks Meghan and Harry’s third official engagement since they got engaged. Just four days after the announcement of their engagement they carried out a number of engagements in Nottingham and last week they enjoyed a visit to Brixton.
The couple was all smiles as they held hands while they greeted the crowds.
Harry apologized to those waiting for their hour late arrival, saying “blame the trains”. One woman told Harry his wedding was on her son’s 18th birthday, to which he replied: “Really? That’s exactly why we chose it.” Meghan added: “Congratulations to him too.”
A video showing us Meghan and Harry meeting the crowd:
Earlier today, Huw Thomas, Cardiff’s city council leader said they were delighted to “extend a warm Welsh welcome” to Meghan and Harry, adding, “Their visit will aim to showcase some of the rich heritage and culture that we are very proud of here in Cardiff.”
Lord Mayor of Cardiff Bob Derbyshire said the capital was “proud” to welcome the couple. He said: “Cardiff is very proud to welcome Prince Harry and Ms Markle to the city. I am sure they will enjoy their visit and we hope this will be the first of many for the couple to the Welsh capital.”
Meghan received some daffodils, the National Flower of Wales from a sweet little girl.
Harry, 33, and the L.A.-raised Meghan, 36, were greeted by well-wishers before being given a taste of modern Welsh life and traditional culture. Among those pressed against the barrier — and displaying her American flag — was Julie Hoefer, 31, from Dundas, Va.
“We don’t have a royal family in America, and the whole idea is amazing,” she said. “And now we have one who joined the family — finally. It is super exciting.Meghan was lovely. She came over and was talking and showed us her ring. It was gorgeous. She said she was ‘super lucky, a very lucky woman.She asked me where I was from — I said Virginia and she said it was very nice. She was really stunning up close.”
Megan McAuley, 10, held up a sign saying “My name is Megan too!” — and it worked. Her namesake spotted it and came dashing across the gravel path outside the castle door to say hello. “She saw my sign. I said, ‘Your name’s Meghan too!’ And she said, ‘It’s very nice to meet you. Can I call you Meg?’ ” said McAuley, who handed her “a nice flowery necklace. She said, ‘Thank you for my present. It’s very nice to meet you.’” Shivering as she spoke, Megan added, “I think she’s really pretty and it was very kind of her to come over.”
Meghan also confirmed that Harry is a feminist while talking to 23-year-old Jessica Phillips. Jessica told Meghan how she admired her outspoken views on women’s rights and feminism. Meghan then said “He’s a feminist too, so there’s that,”. After the conversation, Jessica said: “She was so lovely. I said it was really lovely to have a feminist in the royal family, and she said Harry is a feminist too.”
During the walkabout, we also saw writing in a schoolgirl’s notebook. 10-year-old Caitlin Clark said:’Hi Meghan, can you sign my book?’
Meghan was only too happy to do so, writing ‘Hi Kaitlin’ – albeit with a K – and adding a heart and a smiley face.
Caitlin, however, did not mind the slight misspelling. ‘I don’t really care,’ she said. ‘My heart is still racing. I’ve never got a royal autograph before. This is going to make everyone jealous.’
Meghan and Harry’s first stop the Cardiff Castle where they heard performances from musicians and poets, meet leading sportsmen and women, and saw how organizations are working to promote Welsh language and cultural identity.
Upon arrival at the castle, Meghan and Harry were presented with a lovespoon – a decoratively carved ornament. The spoon was presented to the couple namesakes 6-year-old Harry Smith and 9-year-old Megan Taylor from Marlborough Primary School in Cardiff.
Lovespoons are frequently given as wedding and anniversary gifts and individual symbols whittled into the handles can mean different things. They are now mostly seen as folk craft, but the tradition has survived for centuries.
When Meghan saw the Lovespoon she said: “Oh my goodness, wow, it’s beautiful, thank you very much.”
As they went inside the castle for the celebration of Welsh culture Meghan took off her Stella McCartney Coat and showed us a stunning outfit underneath. Inside, Harry told Meghan of his appreciation for Welsh singing.
“You are only going to hear the best singing in Wales, at the Principality Stadium we have the best singing. People are in tune, which you can’t say for most football stadiums.” Harry told Meghan
Meghan described the visit as “so exciting”. Adding: “I am so happy that we are here today, it is a beautiful space.” she said, in Cardiff Castle’s stunning Arab room.
The castle is located in the Castle Quarter, in the heart of the capital of Wales, Cardiff. There has been a fort on the site for almost 2,000 years. The building was built in the late 11th century, replacing the Roman fort. The Normans constructed the castle to support their expansion into Wales. The castle was renovated during the 19th century when the castle was owned by John Crichton-Stuart, the 3rd Marquess of Bute. He was then one of the richest men in the world.
Stuffed with sophisticated wood carvings illustrating everything from Greek and Roman mythology to Aesop’s Fables and the Zodiac, Cardiff Castle is now packed with Victorian Gothic strangeness.
Meghan and Harry tasted traditional Welsh cakes during the visit. Meghan said: “Very good. Wow, it’s great,” before sampling a wedding cake made from Welsh cheese.
During the visit, the couple heard performances from musicians and poets and met sportsmen and women, including adventurer Richard Parks, former Wales rugby player Scott Quinnell, and chief executive of the Football Association of Wales, Jonathan Ford,
Meghan and Harry also saw how organizations are working to promote the Welsh language and cultural identity.
They also watched a very nice dance performance by Jukebox Collective in the banqueting hall
A nice video from the visit:
Meghan departing the castle in her stunning Stella MacCartney coat
Next – Harry and Meghan visited the Star Hub, where they saw how StreetGames, an organization Harry has worked with previously, is helping to make sport accessible to disadvantaged young people.
StreetGames’ Head of Programmes, Paul Roberts, said, “It’s brilliant to welcome the royal couple to Cardiff today. Here in Wales, one in three children grows up in poverty. The work that StreetGames does, with the help of our volunteers, ensures that those children aren’t denied the opportunity to grow up experiencing firsthand the benefits of sport.”
There was a table tennis tournament, which Meghan seemed to enjoy:
Today is not the first time the organization has attracted royal support. Just last year, Harry visited one of the charity’s projects in the London Borough of Newham. The StreetGames runs programs for young people all around the UK
StreetGames’ CEO, Jane Ashworth, said of the visit, “We’re delighted to welcome Prince Harry back to StreetGames and to have Ms. Markle with us today to hear directly from some of the thousands of children that we help across the UK. What underpins all our programs is our goal to provide some of the poorest children with access to sports and all the benefits it brings: it’s fantastic to have them with us here today, celebrating this important work.”
And they watched a group dance routine, which they looked very enthusiastic about!
“StreetGames is an award-winning national sports charity launched in 2007. A delivery partner of Sport Wales and the Welsh Government, and Sport England, and a national centre of expertise for developing sport in disadvantaged communities, the charity helps to make sport accessible to all young people, regardless of their income or social circumstances. It does this by supporting and establishing locally trusted organisations around the UK that deliver doorstep sport. Doorstep sport sessions include positive activities and sport provided to young people when they want it, where they want it and how they want it. Over 2.4 million attendances have already been generated by StreetGames’ programmes. StreetGames has now grown to support over 1,000 locally trusted organisations across the UK. 530,000 children and young people living in the UK’s poorest communities are enjoying a more active lifestyle and the opportunity to volunteer within their local community because of StreetGames.”
Meghan and Harry also met young girls who are taking part in the UsGirls project. The project was founded in 2011 and was set up with the aim of driving a step-change in female sport participation and addressing the barriers that prevent many girls and young women from taking part in sport and physical activity.
Meghan and Harry toured the charity building
The project has enabled 26 lead organizations, and 150 organizations in total to mobilize 5,000 girls and young women growing up in poverty.
The couple talked with the young girls about sport
Meghan also got an adorable group hug from school children – and it was all thanks to Harry! As the kids gathered around Meghan to say goodbye, Harry couldn’t resist telling them, “Everyone give Meghan a group hug! Go!”
The kids, of course, descended on Meghan. Some children were so excited that they didn’t let go of her. And after a few seconds, Harry took notice and reminded the kids that he’s now the primary receiver of Meghan’s hugs.
“And release. She’s mine,” he said. Meghan was undeterred, however, and continued to hug the children who were standing around her.
Meghan has stepped into royal life with ease and today’s Stella McCartney Coat was just stunning. She seems to have found her ‘uniform’ too for engagements, which always includes a coat and boots.
For her visit to Cardiff today, Meghan opted for the Stella McCartney Tie Detail Coat
The Stella McCartney coat Meghan wore looks pretty classic with a statement tie that cinches in the waist and tuxedo-style lapels that give it an androgynous feel. It’s a great update on a wardrobe staple.
Underneath the Stella McCartney coat, Meghan wore the Theory Prince of Wales tartan jacket
She styled it with Dina Skinny Fit – High Waist style by the Welsh brand Huit Denim.
Meghan carried the green Mini Venice bag by Demellier London
She styled it with the Tabitha Simmons Kiki Boots
She accessorized with two different earrings on each ear. She wore her Zofia Day Dash Ear Stud in the right ear, and on the left side, the Gabriela Artigas Triple Shooting Star Earring.
I a lovely day of engagements for both of them!