Meghan Markle made her first royal appearance with Queen Elizabeth II on the occasion of Commonwealth Day
Known in the local press as the "Fab Four," Meghan, Prince Harry, Prince William, and Catherine are scheduled to meet with schoolchildren after the service is over.
Meghan Markle just made her most successful royal debut, and it was with none other than the Queen herself. Meghan was previously slated to join the Queen at the Commonwealth Day service and reception. And she did just that today.
On Monday, Meghan joined her fiancé Prince Harry and other senior members of the royal family including Meghan’s future father-in-law Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, along with Prince William and Kate Middleton for a church service celebrating Commonwealth Day at Westminster Abbey. The Duke of Edinburgh, who has effectively retired from public duties, however, was not in attendance.
Wearing an off-white coat and hat, the American actress was seated behind the queen and next to Princes Harry and Andrew. The couple walked in after Prince William and Kate, passing a troupe of dancers performing outside the abbey.
“She is already effectively being treated as a full-blown member of the royal family, even if she hasn't married Prince Harry yet,” Roya Nikkhah, royal correspondent for The Sunday Times, told NBC News. “I think that gives you an indication of just how warmly she has been welcomed into the fold, but also effectively she is living as a member of the royal family.”
Though the queen, 91, and Meghan, 36, have reportedly spent "lots of time together" over the course of Meghan and Harry's engagement, they were last spotted together during Christmas at Sandringham.
The queen is the head of the Commonwealth, which is a group of 53 nations around the world that are largely former British territories. Around 2,000 people were expected at the interfaith gathering, including Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May.
The annual Abbey service is the biggest annual interfaith gathering in the UK, and this year's service included a performance by Liam Payne, along with a reflection by Dr. Andrew Bastawrous, an eye surgeon who turned a smartphone into an examination tool in order to combat avoidable blindness in developing countries around the world.
Liam, 24, who shares a son with X Factor star Cheryl, previously met with the Head of the Commonwealth in 2017 for the Young Leaders Awards. “An absolute honour to meet the Queen today on such a fantastic occasion,” he wrote on his Instagram at the time.
Known in the local press as the "Fab Four," Meghan, Prince Harry, Prince William, and Catherine were scheduled to meet with schoolchildren after the service.
During her engagement interview, Meghan emphasized that she wanted to learn more about the Commonwealth, i.e. the global network of 53 countries within the British empire, so we can only assume this to be a start to that.
London will host a gathering of leaders from the "family of nations" soon and in her speech, the queen also paid tribute to the biennial event, calling it an example of how consensus can "help to create a future that is fairer, more secure, more prosperous and sustainable".
In her message, the queen said: "Through exchanging ideas, and seeing life from other perspectives, we grow in understanding and work more collaboratively towards a common future. There is a very special value in the insights we gain through the Commonwealth connection; shared inheritances help us overcome difference so that diversity is a cause for celebration rather than division.
"We shall see this in action at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting which takes place in the United Kingdom next month, bringing together young people, business and civil society from across the Commonwealth. These gatherings are themselves fine examples of how consensus and commitment can help to create a future that is fairer, more secure, more prosperous and sustainable."
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