Prince Harry and Meghan Markle arrived in Birmingham to whoops and cheers on Thursday, dazzling the hundreds of people who had gathered at Millennium Point. The couple charmed locals as they took part in a walkabout, with Meghan, 36, looking typically chic in a J. Crew coat and black cropped Alexander Wang tuxedo trousers, paired with an All Saints jumper. While spending some time chatting to local schoolchildren, Harry plucked one girl out of the crowd after she shared her ambition to become an actress.
Sophia Richards, ten, looked stunned after meeting the couple, who told her she could achieve her dreams. She said: "He said, 'You need to be confident and you can achieve whatever you want to achieve.' Meghan said that one day she will see me being an actress."
Meghan broke protocol by hugging one schoolgirl in the crowd
Their first engagement of the day aptly celebrated International Women’s Day, encouraging young women to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem) subjects. Harry and Meghan joined a group of female secondary school students as they took part in building apps and touchpads, while hearing more about their motivations to pursue Stem subjects at higher education. Meghan, a proud feminist, was in her element as she chatted to the young girls about their hopes and experiences. Hosted by social enterprise Stemettes, the event also gave students information on work experience, apprenticeships, A-level choices, and university degrees in Stem topics.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle visited Birmingham on Thursday
Next, Harry and Meghan were given a tour of Nechells Wellbeing Centre where they watched a Coach Core apprenticeship programme in action. The couple chatted to the youth involved in the programme, before joining them in the sports hall for the practice training session.
The Coach Core scheme was designed by the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry to train people aged 16 to 24 with limited opportunities to become sports coaches and mentors within their communities.
Meghan chatted to schoolchildren who had gathered at Millennium Point
The visit will have been particularly engaging for Meghan, who is due to become the fourth patron of the Royal Foundation when she marries Harry in May. Since their wedding news was announced in November, the former actress has made every effort to learn about the UK charity sector. She has made trips to Edinburgh, Nottingham, Cardiff and Brixton in south London with her fiancé, and has also been making private visits to various charitable organisations, to hear about the issues they face.