Meghan Markle set for final round of royal duties in the UK
The Duchess of Sussex is to make her first official public appearance in the UK following the Megxit crisis.
Meghan will join the Duke of Sussex at the annual Endeavour Fund Awards at Mansion House in London on Thursday evening.
The event celebrates the achievements of wounded, sick and injured servicemen and women who have taken part in sporting and adventure challenges.
It will be the couple’s first joint official royal engagement since announcing their decision to step down from royal duties.
American ex-actress Meghan opened up about her struggles with royal life in an ITV documentary filmed on their Africa tour in the autumn.
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.
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.
Thursday’s engagement is part of a final run of official appearances by the couple.
The day after the awards ceremony, 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.