Ainhoa BarcelonaPrince Harry and Meghan Markle have returned to work, visiting Birkenhead in Merseyside on an official day of engagements – see the best photos
It was back to work for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle as the couple carried out their first joint engagement of 2019 on Monday morning. Following their festive break in Sandringham, the Duke and Duchess looked happy and refreshed as they travelled up north to Birkenhead in Merseyside. The purpose of their trip was to visit local organisations that support and empower groups within the community, including Tomorrow's Women Wirral and Hive Wirral Youth Zone.
Meghan, who is due in the spring, looked absolutely radiant in bright colours. She dressed her baby bump in a fitted, purple dress by Babaton for ARITZIA and wrapped up with a red coat by Sentaler. Harry and Meghan began their visit at Hamilton Square, where crowds of royal fans had gathered. The couple took part in a short walkabout, greeting locals and shaking hands with dozens of people.
The mother-to-be was pictured cradling her tummy as she arrived for the engagement.
A closer look at Meghan's vibrant outfit, which included a Gabriela Hearst tote. We love her Stuart Weitzman shoes! The Duchess appeared to be paying tribute to Tomorrow's Women Wirral, whose colours are pinky red and purple.
Meghan's look also called to mind Princess Diana, who liked to combine red and purple on occasion. On the left, the People's Princess is pictured at the Taj Mahal in India, while on the right, Diana is on a visit to Bangkok.
Harry and Meghan were welcomed by Frank Field, Birkenhead's MP, who said he had invited the couple to his constituency and that the planned day reflected the royals' interests and allowed them to get a real feel for the area's people.
Harry wrapped a protective arm around his wife as they arrived at Hamilton Square.
In Hamilton Square, the royals viewed a sculpture that was erected in November to mark the 100th anniversary of Wilfred Owen's death. Named after one of the poet's poems, Futility, the statue is cast in bronze and represents an exhausted World War One solider. Harry and Meghan unveiled a plaque to mark the visit, before meeting local veterans and members of the Birkenhead Institute Old Boys, of which Wilfred Owen belonged to.
The Duchess, 37, swept her hair up in her trademark bun, and kept her makeup natural.
The couple were greeted by hundreds of excited crowds in Birkenhead.
The Duchess was inundated with flowers, cards and gifts.
Harry looked delighted to receive a giant teddy bear for his unborn baby. During the walkabout his wife heaped praise on him, saying: "He's going to make a fantastic father."
During the walkabout, Meghan gave an update about her royal baby! She told fans that she is due at the end of April or beginning of May. One little girl, Kitty Dudley, aged nine from St Anne's Catholic Primary School, also said after meeting the couple: "I asked her if she was having a girl or a boy and she said she didn't know."
Prince Harry also bent down to greet an elderly woman.
Harry and Meghan's second stop took them to Number 7, a Feeding Birkenhead citizen's supermarket and community café. The couple officially opened the site which is made up of churches, food banks, community groups, and other organisations working together to eliminate hunger in Birkenhead.
Feeding Birkenhead lets local families buy their weekly shopping at a discounted price, and also provides advice and advocacy on benefits, looking for work, debt, budgeting, and cooking. Harry and Meghan spoke to staff and members about how the organisation helps the community.
Meghan, cradling her baby bump, was offered a cup of coffee from the cafe, but politely declined, saying: "I can't at the moment, sadly, but I can have a mint tea or something."
The Duchess presented Angel Midgley, who is nearly five months pregnant with her second child, a Moses basket filled with baby products. "I would say that I should lift it for you, but neither of us should be holding it!" Meghan joked.
Harry could be heard quipping about the basket, which was filled with lotions, wipes and nappies: "Is there a baby in there?"
Next, the royals visited Tomorrow's Women Wirral, an organisation that supports women in vulnerable circumstances. The organisation offers an extensive range of training courses and workshops for more than 6,000 local women, including support groups around mental health issues, domestic abuse, and addiction.
The royals heard directly from the women about their experiences, before visiting the onsite charity shop, café, and Inspiration Hall.
The last engagement of the day took Harry and Meghan to the Hive Wirral Youth Zone. The Hive provides a safe environment where young people can come and enjoy themselves, build key skills and raise their aspirations and confidence. The royals chatted to some of the young members as they participated in a number of activities and workshops throughout the centre. Harry and Meghan then unveiled a plaque to mark their visit.