Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are making their last official appearance together Monday as senior members of Britain's royal family. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are closing out a busy weekend with a church service at Westminster Abbey, marking Commonwealth Day alongside Queen Elizabeth II.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex attend The Mountbatten Festival of Music in London
Britain's Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, arrive at the Mountbatten Festival of Music at the Royal Albert Hall in London, March 7, 2020. CHRIS EADES/POOL VIA REUTERS
Starting next month, they're officially out of their jobs — though not out of the family entirely.
The past few days have been something of a farewell tour for Meghan and Harry, reports senior foreign correspondent Mark Phillips. They seem to have decided that, if they were going to go, they'd go in style.
It looked the way it was supposed to be Saturday evening: the dashing couple, all dressed up in royal red, with the future of the monarchy in safe and popular hands. When Harry and Meghan were at London's Royal Albert Hall for a concert, they seemed to be the stars of the show.
The singing of the anthem, "God Save the Queen," was a statement, too. They may have decided the spotlight of royal attention was too much, but the monarchy will go on without them.
The couple have hardly been out of the spotlight as they wrapped up their royal duties. They brought more than glamour to the Windsors, and maybe that was part of the problem some members of the British establishment had in accepting Meghan into their ranks.
"Meghan was also able to attract people who weren't perhaps traditionally weren't really interested in the royal family," said Emily Nash, royal editor of Hello! magazine. "There was a lot more diversity on walkabouts when she was there. We saw a lot more young women, particularly young black women who hadn't perhaps felt a connection to the royal family previously. And that of course is going to be a loss to the royal family."
Britain's Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, smiles as she is welcomed by students to visit the Robert Clack School in Essex
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, smiles as she is welcomed by students on a visit to the Robert Clack School in Essex, March 6, 2020, in support of International Women's Day. BEN STANSALL/POOL VIA REUTERS
Maybe that's why Meghan chose a school with a mixed-race student body at which to make a speech about International Women's Day this weekend.
Invited to the stage by the Duchess, 16-year-old Aker Okoye remarked, "She really is beautiful, innit?"
The couple has one more official royal engagement before they fly back to Canada and settle into their new lives: a service at Westminster Abbey on Monday, and it's a sign of what's to come. They are being excluded from the royal procession; they will remain in their seats while the other royals file out after the Queen.
It wasn't really what they wanted. They wanted to retain a partial royal connection, but they've learned that with the Windsors, you're either in or you're out — and they're out.
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