Meghan Markle brought her royal sparkle on her and hubby Prince Harry’s first joint appearance in Sussex, the English county that inspired their new royal titles. Though the couple spent hours visiting different charities and waving to the adoring fans who’d gathered, the it was the Duchess of Sussex’s endless kindness that made headlines around the world.
The duchess reportedly consoled a young fan who was crying after being pushed by overly enthusiastic royal watchers. “Are you OK? It’s going to be OK,” Meghan said to the overhelmed girl, who had been on her way to dance class when she and her mother stopped to catch a glimpse of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. “I felt a lot better afterwards and I said thank you to her. She’s really nice and I was really happy I got to meet her,” the young fan told reporters afterward.
Fans of all ages seemed thrilled to meet the happy couple, who spent plenty of time interacting with the crowds that had gathered. Even local dogs showed their adoration for Prince Harry — and he returned the love with some particularly satisfying chin scratches.
Meghan, who’s an avid pooch lover herself, received a drawing of her beloved beagle, Guy, from a fan. (As avid royal-watchers already know, Queen Elizabeth also loves Meghan’s dog, with whom she reportedly bonded before Prince Harry and Meghan’s epic royal wedding.) Meghan excitedly showed the photo to her husband, cooing over the dog’s “little freckles.”
The royal couple finished their trip with a visit to the JOFF Youth Centre to hear about its work with mental health and wellbeing. One student, a young woman named Emma, said that the duchess seemed blown away after Emma rattled off stats from a recent study that reported on the happiness of youths in the UK. “She put her hand on my arm when she told me it was really impressive that I was remembering all the statistics,” Emma said later. “She was really sweet and lovely. We were a bit worried about meeting royalty, but she got so involved in everything.”
According to Emma, the duchess went so far as to make sure all the kids felt comfortable with the press cameras. “Are you sure you’re OK with the cameras?” Meghan reportedly asked. “Are you sure? If not, just say the word.”
It’s so nice to see that Meghan has well and truly settled in her royal role. With her natural ability to put total strangers at ease and a genuine sense of care and concern for others, she reminds us so much of Princess Diana.