Meghan means business! Harry introduces his bride-to-be (in pinstripes and killer heels) to Commonwealth 'family' as she attends her first major event on behalf of the Queen

  • Meghan met with youth delegates at Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London
  • Unusual for a royal fiancée to be involved in such a high-profile event ahead of wedding
  • Last week, Harry was announced as President of a new Queen's Commonwealth Trust 
  • Monarch has made clear she sees Harry and Meghan as key to Commonwealth future 

  • Proud Prince Harry today took an important step in introducing his bride-to-be to the world stage as she attended her first major event on behalf of the Royal Family.
    Just over a month ahead of the royal wedding, former actress Miss Markle joined Prince Harry to meet with youth delegates taking part in this week’s high-profile Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (Chogm) in London.
    The event comes days after the newly appointed Commonwealth youth ambassador, paved the way for his fiancée's emerging role, saying she's ‘hugely excited’ about joining him in his duties. 
    The bride-to-be looked business-like in a £1,450 belted pinstripe dress by Altuzarra, with a Camilla and Marc blazer worn in a trendy 'shoulder-robed' style made popular by the Kardashians.
    And she added another fashionable touch in the form of an Orton bag, £171, opting for an on-trend crossbody style and killer black suede heels by Tamara Mellon. 
    It is unusual for someone who has not yet married into the royal family to be involved in a high-profile occasion such as the Chogm summit.

    Meghan looked business-like in a pinstripe dress by Altuzarra, teamed with black strappy sandals and a blazer by Camilla and MarcThe bride-to-be teamed her ensemble with killer black suede heels by Tamara Mellon
    But the Queen, who is Head of the Commonwealth, has made clear she sees Harry and his future bride as lynchpins of her work with the so-called ‘family of nations’.
    The prince has been given a new role as Commonwealth Youth Ambassador by the Queen and opened its Youth Forum on Monday. 
    During today's event Prince Harry was heard neatly side-stepping the cultural divide with his American bride-to-be, laughingly explaining the difference between a Band-Aid and a plaster.
    Talking to a group of young people who have spent the last two days brain-storming issues as diverse as climate change, women’s rights and sport, Harry said: ‘Don’t get sucked into the system, of putting on a band aid, American style.’
    Turning to his future bride, who was born in LA, he explained that in the UK she would have to call them plasters, prompting much laughter from his audience, including Miss Markle herself.
    Meghan Markle attend a reception with delegates from the Commonwealth Youth Forum at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre

    Meghan Markle attend a reception with delegates from the Commonwealth Youth Forum at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre

    Achaleka Christian, 28, from Cameroon, a global peace ambassador, said: ‘They were really laughing about it. It’s a Britishism, right? He was explaining that you call Band-Aid plasters here.’
    He continued: ‘It’s difficult for young people to say to a government ‘you’re not doing this right, you’re not doing this right’. [what you have got to say is] How can we help?’
    Miss Markle, 36, who has given up her acting career to devote herself to being a full-time royal, has no previous links to the Commonwealth, but has worked with the UN as a women’s advocate for Political Participation and Leadership and undertaken several humanitarian missions.
    And she was clearly impressed by what she heard from the group of inspirational young men and women.

    ‘You’re so energised,’ she said, ‘you’ve got this umbrella to hold you together. It’s incredible. So stay in touch, maximise it.’

    Karuna Rana, 29, Mauritius, coordinator of the Commonwealth Youth Climate Change Network, complimented Miss Markle on the campaigning she has previously done on the issue of women’s rights.
    The pair discussed the HeForShe campaign, which encourages men to join women in the fight for equality.
    Miss Rana suggested that Miss Markle start her own SheForShe, to show that women were supportive of each other too.
    ‘She knew all about HeForShe and that she really liked the idea and that maybe she would consider it after May 20,’ she said.
    The couple are due to marry at Windsor Castle on May 19 and Meghan has voiced her desire to ‘hit the ground running’ when it came to her official duties and her desire to facilitate change, with a particular emphasis on women and young people. 
    The couple spoke at length with a group of LGBT campaigners and promised them that gay rights would be a key feature of their public work.
    Jacob Thomas, from Australia, who won a Queen’s Young Leaders award for reducing the rate suicide in the LBGTI community in his home country, said: ‘Miss Markle said, and these were her exact words, that this is a basic human rights issue, not one about sexuality.
    ‘Prince Harry said that what was so amazing was that ten or so years ago we wouldn’t have been having this conversation and how incredible it was that we now were.’
    Mr Thomas said the prince also admired his eye-catching grey leopard-print coat.
    ‘He loved my coat and I told him that he couldn’t have it. He said not to worry, he had three similar ones at home,’ he laughed.

    Meghan bucks royal protocol by shunning tights

    After cold winter weather forced her to wrap up for her first few months of royal engagements, Meghan Markle wasted no time in breaking out her summer wardrobe as she stepped out with Prince Harry in the sunshine today.
    The bride-to-be returned to her more relaxed Californian style in a £1,450 belted pinstripe dress by Altuzarra and hit one of the season's biggest trends by wearing her £171 Orton bag across her body.
    While a Camilla and Marc blazer added a business-like touch to the ensemble, Meghan, 36, bucked royal protocol in two key ways:
    No tights
    The tell-tale satin sheen of the nude tights favoured by the Duchess of Cambridge - and a generation of royal women before her - was nowhere to be seen, as Meghan chose to keep her toned legs bare.
    There is said to be an 'unspoken rule' among royals dictating that women always wear hosiery.
    The Queen, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Countess of Wessex are never seen without sheer stockings and closed-toe shoes, and even fashion-conscious Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie often comply.
    However Ms Markle, 36, already has form in ignoring this particular trend as she shunned tights when she appeared with Harry, 33, in the grounds of Kensington Palace to announce their engagement - despite the chilly November temperatures.  
    Bare shoulders
    Arriving for the event today, Meghan wore her blazer in the trendy 'shoulder-robed' (shrobing) style made popular by the Kardashians. 
    But once inside she removed the jacket to reveal her strappy dress - and bare shoulders.   
    It is rare - although not unprecedented - to see a female member of the royal family choosing to expose this part of their body. 
    The Duchess of Cambridge, 36, has previously worn gowns with off-the-shoulder and Bardot-style necklines for a number of formal occasions, including a stunning scarlet frock worn in Berlin last summer. 
    However for daytime appearances, Kate and her fellow royals often chose blouses or tops with sleeves, or remain covered-up with a jacket or cardigan.  
    Jonah Chinga, a LGBT activist from Kenya, added: ‘Both Prince Harry and Miss Markle said they would put LGBT issues at the front of their work.’
    The Commonwealth Youth Forum (CYF) provides an opportunity for the young people to build cross-cultural connections and networks, debate the challenges facing them, and agree youth-led initiatives to influence decision makers and ensure young people have a voice in its future.
    The Commonwealth’s 53 member countries have a combined population of more than 2 billion, of which more than 60% are under 30 years of age, which makes its ‘youth’ arm all the more important.
    Harry’s new title – the first senior royal role given to him by the monarch –will see the fifth in line to the throne support the work and aspirations of young people across the globe, work to create links between young people and to encourage them to use their platforms to address the social, economic, and environmental challenges of their generation.He and his wife will work both in the UK and abroad to highlight the value of the Commonwealth, and are understood to be planning a number of foreign tours to member states.
    Last week the prince was also announced as President of a new Queen's Commonwealth Trust (QCT), a youth charity, of which the monarch is Patron, which will provide a platform for young change-makers across the Commonwealth in the areas of education, sport, health and the environment.
    Chogm is a summit of the leaders of all 53 Commonwealth nations, held in a different member state every two years, where issues and policies of common importance are thrashed out.
    This year’s event is particularly significant as it is expected to be the last time the Queen will ever attend.
    The monarch, who turns 92 this week, no longer undertakes foreign travel and this week’s summit was deliberately moved to London in order for her to take part.
    The Commonwealth will take on an increasingly important role as regards trade and diplomacy when Britain exits the EU.

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