Harry and Meghan, Even Though Ya’ll Are Wrong for Doing the Queen Like That, You Both Look Great

The evening event is the couple’s first joint official appearance since announcing their decision to step down as senior royals, which takes effect on March 31. Sheltering from the rain under an umbrella as they arrived on Thursday, the duke wore a navy blue suit while American former actress Meghan was dressed in a light blue fitted dress

The Duchess of Sussex said it was ‘very nice to be back’ as she made her first public appearance in the UK tonight since she and her husband Prince Harry announced they were stepping down as senior working royals.

The couple put on a confident display as they arrived in pouring rain at the annual Endeavour Fund Awards at London’s Mansion House, smiling broadly as they stepped out of their official car.

Sheltering under an umbrella as they arrived, the duke wore a dark blue suit, white shirt and blue tie, while American former actress Meghan was dressed in a turquoise Victoria Beckham pencil midi dress.

A crowd of about 50 people, standing behind barriers, braved the rain under umbrellas to catch a glimpse of the the duke and duchess. There were cheers and applause as they walked by, but also one loud boo.

The couple were there to honour the achievements of wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women who have taken part in remarkable sporting and adventure challenges over the last year.

All eyes were on Meghan, 38, who has not been seen in this country since she and Harry made the dramatic announcement that they were quitting public life in early January, much to the distress of the Queen.

She presented the Celebrating Excellence Award during the event and said: ‘Its very nice to be back. Its the third year I’ve had the incredible fortune of joining my husband here. It’s just the most inspiring space.

‘When we were watching the videos all the way in Canada we had the same moment of “how are you going to choose?” Well, we’ve done our best.’

The evening event is the couple’s first joint official appearance since announcing their decision to step down as senior royals, which takes effect on March 31.

Harry, who has been made to give up his official patronages after deciding to move to Canada, is being allowed to retain his private links with organisations such as The Endeavour Fund, of which he is patron.

He handed out The Henry Worsley Award to Tom Oates from Deptherapy who has best inspired others through the demonstration of determination in the face of adversity.

In his speech the duke spoke emotionally about time in the military, saying: ‘Meghan and I are so happy to be back here with you, to celebrate each and every one of you for your achievements, your service and your resilience.

‘For some, the military community represents a brotherhood or sisterhood that no other organisation can provide, and for others it’s a way of life which you never want to leave. For a lot of us, it’s both.

‘Being able to serve Queen and Country is something we all are rightly proud of, and it never leaves us. Once served, always serving! ‘

He added: ‘A lot of you tonight have told me you have my back, well I’m also here to tell you, I’ve always got yours.’

During the event a military veteran has proposed to his partner on stage in front of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

Danny Holland, who won the Recognising Achievement award, got down on one knee and produced a ring to his girlfriend during the Endeavour Fund Awards at Mansion House in London on Thursday.

There was an audible gasp from the audience, while Meghan smiled and placed her hands in the centre of her chest as Harry applauded the couple.

Harry and Meghan’s departure was slightly warmer than their arrival – with onlookers raucously singing ‘Come on ‘arry!’ over and over again.

Harry, who has been made to give up his official patronages after deciding to move to Canada, is being allowed to retain his private links with organisations such as The Endeavour Fund, of which he is patron.

The charity supports service personnel keen to use challenges to help with their physical, psychological and social recovery and rehabilitation.

At a reception with supporters, nominees and their families, Harry and Meghan chatted to Claire Spencer, 52, whose husband, Lee ‘Frank’ Spencer was nominated for an award.

She complimented Meghan on his amazing she looked given that she had just had a baby.

She said afterward: ‘ She said ‘oh yes, well he is ten months now and is into everything.’

Asked what she thought of Harry’s decision to step back as a working royal, she said: I think he does an amazing job, as does she, and we should just let them lives the life they want to live. I know wha a difference Endeavour has made to my husband’s life since he lost a leg and I hold Harry personally responsible for that. Life is too short. ‘

Harry was heard to tell the nominee before posing for a picture with them, alongside Meghan: ‘We create this opportunity for you guys. You are the ones that pick it up. Respect.’

The annual awards, now in their fourth year, brings together hundreds of wounded, injured and sick serving personnel and veterans as well as their families, friends and supporters of the military community.

The awards ceremony host, a former soldier and friend of Harry’s, JJ Chalmers, also said he supported his decision to step back from public life.

He said: ‘It’s fantastic to have them here. Obviously their support for the Endeavour Fund, the Invictus Games has never gone away because it is so personally important to them.

‘You look at Harry’s service and that is what created this Fund. What they share is a partnership and their commitment to helping others which the Endeavour Fund is all about.

‘There’s a lot of noise out there on social media and the like. But ultimately you have got to look at the last couple of years of their life together. The biggest change in their life is becoming parents and that changes your priorities. ‘

He said that Harry has created two organisations in the Endeavour Awards and the Invictus Games that could survive on their own without him if need be, saying: ‘What he has created, he has created with sustainability. They aren’t Prince Harry’s, he has created something that can hopefully stand on their own two feet. But they are causes so close to his heart so we hope he will stay involved.’

He added: ‘Tonight is about celebrating the amazing achievements of some amazing men and women but its also something of a family reunion.

‘The wonderful thing is that we have all succeeded and are now off doing out own thing. The little birds have flown. We have Paralympian, world champions, television presenters….but we were all just lost souls at one time. And they put us back on the straight and narrow. ‘

There will be four prizes awarded: Recognising Achievement Award, Celebrating Excellence Award, Henry Worsley Award and The Community Impact Award, a new award for this year.

Meghan will present the Celebrating Excellence Award and Harry the Henry Worsley Award, to the individual who has best inspired others through the demonstration of determination in the face of adversity.

It is named in honour of career soldier and adventurer Henry Worsley, who tragically lost his life in January 2016 whilst attempting to cross the Antarctic landmass, solo and unsupported, in order to raise money for the Endeavour Fund.

Before the ceremony the couple will attend a reception where they will meet the inspiring nominees, as well as endeavour participants and key supporters of the Endeavour Fund.

Later Harry will give a short speech.

Tonight’s event is one of just a handful of engagements the couple are undertaking this weekend in the UK before returning to Canada to embark on their new life, ahead of their official departure on March 31.

Harry is joining Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton at the official opening of the Silverstone Experience, a museum about British motor racing, on Friday.

The duke and duchess will then attend the Mountbatten Festival of Music at the Royal Albert Hall on March 7, and Meghan will mark International Women’s Day.

The duke and duchess will join the Queen and other royals at the Commonwealth Day service in Westminster Abbey on March 9, their last official appearance as HRHs.

The Sussexes were last seen together on an official engagement on January 7 when they visited Canada House in London to thank the nation for hosting them during their festive break in the Commonwealth country.

The following day, sixth in line Harry and former Suits star Meghan plunged the royal family into a period of turmoil when they announced they wanted to step back as senior royals and become financially independent – a move dubbed Megxit by the press.

The Sussexes attended the previous annual Endeavour Fund Awards ceremony in February 2019, when the duchess was heavily pregnant with Archie Mountbatten-Windsor.

The Endeavour Fund is a body set up by the Royal Foundation to finance inspiring sporting and adventure projects aiding the recovery of veterans.

Since its launch in 2012, the Endeavour Fund has supported 108 projects with over £3 million of grants that have directly assisted over 6,000 of those injured in service. Through their own fundraising, these endeavours have collectively raised over £2.5 million for others.

Their appearance this evening comes after Meghan was earlier in the day seen leaving the exclusive Goring Hotel – the Queen’s favourite restaurant.

Her Majesty visits the five-star luxury hotel annually – which is located next to Buckingham Palace and boasts exclusive dining rooms and is frequented by royals and celebrities alike.

Meghan wore a camel coat and £615 Aquazzura black heels and smiled as she left the London hotel, where rooms cost up to £8,400 a night.

Her husband Prince Harry was also spotted leaving the hotel just moments earlier as a member of the concierge team held an umbrella over his head in the rain.

It is understood the couple were at the hotel for a private lunch but will not be staying there.

Instead, Meghan and Harry, who are thought to have left their nine-month-old baby Archie in Canada, will be residing at their Windsor home, Frogmore Cottage, tonight while back in the UK.

Buckingham Palace declined to comment as to whether the Queen, who was carrying out audiences at her London residence on Thursday, met with Harry and Meghan.

The annual event celebrates the achievements of wounded, sick and injured servicemen and women who have taken part in sporting and adventure challenges.

This evening will mark the first joint official royal engagement by the Duke and Duchess since revealing that they would step down from royal duties on March 31.

The Goring is a long-time favourite of the royals, with the Duchess of Cambridge staying in its Royal Suite on the night before her wedding to William in 2011.

It is the only hotel to have received the Royal Warrant, awarded in 2013, for services to hospitality and was a firm favourite with the Queen Mother.

She was a big fan of a lobster dish called Eggs Drumkilbo which is still on the menu in the Michelin-starred restaurant The Dining Room.

The Queen enlisted its pastry chefs to bake the cake for Prince Charles‘s christening in 1948 and has regularly chosen the establishment for her staff Christmas party.

The 110-year-old hotel is a favourite with the wealthy and famous and is still privately owned by the Goring family.

It is fitted with carpets made by the French firm which supplied the Palace of Versailles while some of its rooms have lighting that adapts with the seasons.

Harry waved to well-wishers outside Buckingham Palace yesterday as he was driven away in a Range Rover after a series of internal meetings with his team.

The Queen was holding one-to-one audiences in her London residence yesterday, although it was not clear whether Harry spoke to his 93-year-old grandmother.

It came after they had a ‘heart to heart’ for four hours in her private apartments at Windsor Castle on Sunday about his imminent departure from the Royal Family.

Harry is said to have requested the meeting, and the Queen – who last saw her grandson during their showdown at Sandringham in January after Harry broke the news that he and Meghan were quitting – was happy to agree.

The Queen is believed to have told her grandson that she was keen to keep the door open for him and Meghan to return and stressed that he would be welcomed back from Canada at any time.

Harry, who has always enjoyed a warm relationship with his grandmother, was apparently keen to ‘clear the air’ before he and Meghan formally step down as working royals on March 31.

He has been staying at Frogmore Cottage, the couple’s home on the Queen’s Windsor estate, since returning to the UK last week to undertake a handful of final official engagements.

He and Meghan have agreed to pay back £2.4million in taxpayer funds used to rebuild the property in light of their decision to relocate to North America.

It is understood that he and his grandmother shared a light lunch and tea as they discussed his future.

The Queen was left deeply upset after Harry and Meghan decided to suddenly announce their plans to step down and move abroad in early January in an apparent effort to bounce the Royal Family into agreeing to their demands to retain the trappings of royal life, while pursuing independent commercial careers.

And the couple were taken aback when Buckingham Palace made clear its displeasure and insisted that Harry would have to relinquish his HRH title as a non working royal and hand back their official patronages and his military positions, as well as dropping their plans to market themselves as ‘Sussex Royal’.

The Queen is said to be ‘very sad’ that she sees so little of Harry and Meghan’s son Archie, her great-grandson.

The meeting at the weekend was said to have been ‘productive and positive’. One source said Harry was seen leaving ‘deep in thought’.

But the couple have decided to leave Archie in Canada, meaning his British family haven’t seen him for more than four months.

Last autumn, American ex-actress Meghan opened up about her struggles with royal life in an ITV documentary filmed on their Africa tour.

She said she had tried to cope with the pressures by putting on a ‘stiff upper lip’ but she was not prepared for the intensity of tabloid interest.

‘It’s not enough to just survive something, that’s not the point of life. You have got to thrive,’ she added. Meghan told presenter Tom Bradby: ‘Not many people have asked if I’m OK.’

The Sussexes attended the previous annual Endeavour Fund Awards ceremony in February 2019, when the duchess was heavily pregnant with Archie.

They were last seen together on an official engagement on January 7 when they visited Canada House in London to thank the nation for hosting them during their festive break in the Commonwealth country.

The following day, sixth in line Harry and former Suits star Meghan plunged the royal family into a period of turmoil when they announced they wanted to step back as senior royals and become financially independent – a move dubbed Megxit by the press.

A summit of senior royals was later convened by the Queen at Sandringham to discuss the issue, with Harry sitting down for talks with his grandmother, father the Prince of Wales and brother the Duke of Cambridge.

It was eventually announced they would give up royal duties, split their time between Canada and the UK, with the majority spent in North America, no longer be known as HRHs, and their lives as working royals would end on March 31.

Tonight, Harry will give a short speech, and the Sussexes will hand out the awards, as well as attending a pre-ceremony reception.

The four awards are: Recognising Achievement Award, Celebrating Excellence Award, Henry Worsley Award and the new Community Impact Award.

The Endeavour Fund is a body set up by the Royal Foundation to finance inspiring sporting and adventure projects aiding the recovery of veterans.

Today’s engagement is part of a final run of official appearances by the couple.

Tomorrow, Harry will join Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton at the official opening of the Silverstone Experience, a museum about British motor racing.

Harry and Meghan will attend the Mountbatten Festival of Music at the Royal Albert Hall on March 7 and the following day the duchess will mark International Women’s Day.

The duke and duchess will join the Queen and other royals at the Commonwealth Day service in Westminster Abbey on March 9, their last official appearance as HRHs.

SOURCE: Daily Mail, by Rebecca English, James Wood and Mark Duell

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