Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have now returned to Canada, where they are believed to be self-isolating for the foreseeable future. Following reports that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry organised a surprise emotional farewell lunch for their former Frogmore Cottage staffers, we had assumed that the couple had used the opportunity to say their final goodbyes before leaving the UK. There was, however, one final royal engagement that went largely under the radar as they wrapped up their official duties.
Before attending one of her last engagements as a senior royal, the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey, Meghan also took the time to meet with scholars from Commonwealth countries. The meeting happened in Buckingham Palace and Meghan wore a beautiful navy dress by Australian designer, Scanlan Theodore.
The pair revealed that this event had taken place on their Instagram account, with a caption that read: ‘The Duchess spoke with Scholars studying and researching important areas surrounding; cleaning up plastic pollution in our oceans, helping to build more sustainable cities, improving health outcomes for citizens, and supporting decent work and economic growth.’
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Earlier this week The Duchess of Sussex, in her role as Patron of the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU), met with the bright minds from across the Commonwealth to hear about their commitment to tackling the global challenges we all face. The Duchess spoke with Scholars studying and researching important areas surrounding; cleaning up plastic pollution in our oceans, helping to build more sustainable cities, improving health outcomes for citizens, and supporting decent work and economic growth. Paving the way as the next generation of leaders, these inspirational scholars, are spread far across the Commonwealth from Malawi to Malaysia, Ghana to Sri Lanka – all of whom will use the skills and knowledge they gain while studying in the UK to make a difference when they return to their home countries. The Duchess, who also attended university with support of a scholarship, is a strong advocate of accessible education for all. As the Royal Patron of The Association of Commonwealth Universities (@The_ACU_Official) since January 2019, The Duchess has met and engaged with students, academics, and staff from ACU member universities across the Commonwealth to learn more about the vital work they do to address global challenges. As President and Vice President of The @Queens_Commonwealth_Trust, The Duke and Duchess thank all those who are working to give access to education for all.
But while Meghan looks beaming in the video, Bryony Gordon, a journalist with long-standing links to the royal family (and Prince Harry in particular), says that in reality, she was clearly very emotional about leaving her royal life behind.
In a behind-the-scenes piece for The Telegraph, Gordon described seeing Meghan become tearful after meeting the scholars and before heading to Westminster Abbey – where she and Harry reunited with Prince William and Kate Middleton, for the first time all year.
‘Tears glisten in those bright friendly eyes that have charmed and endeared so many during recent days. But behind the scenes, the Duchess of Sussex is not as buoyant as she has appeared to be in public. In fact, she appears to be quietly devastated,’ writes Gordon, who has previously interviewed Prince Harry about the importance of good mental health.
‘The pervading emotion on Monday, as I watched the Duchess carry out her final private engagement [meeting Commonwealth scholars, before the ceremony in Westminster Abbey], seemed to be profound sadness.’
It’s believed that this picture of Meghan was taken shortly before the moment that Gordon describes in her article.
And so it is that this picture may be the last published of Meghan’s final royal duties in the UK. And who knows, considering the current situation, when we will next get to see them on this side of the pond.
Although the pair are now isolating in their new Canadian home, the Mail Online spoke to a source that reports Harry feeling ‘helpless’ and ‘concerned’ about the Queen and his father catching coronavirus.
This article originally appeared on ELLE UK.