Prince Harry and Meghan Markle pay surprise visit to family of teacher killed in Texas school shooting

10 March 2024, 07:51 | Updated: 10 March 2024, 07:57

Harry and Meghan at the birthday celebrations
Harry and Meghan at the birthday celebrations. Picture: JohnMtz/X

By Emma Soteriou

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have paid a surprise visit to the family of a teacher killed in a Texas school shooting.

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Irma Garcia was killed at Robb Elementary School in Texas in May 2022, as she tried to get her students to safety.

Two days later, her husband Joe also died from a heart attack.

Ms Garcia's nephew, John Martinez, shared photos of the royal visit on Saturday, saying the pair were so "loving and supportive".

Meghan led celebrations for Ms Garcia's sister's birthday, bringing a cake and leading the family in singing Happy Birthday.

“Is everyone singing too?” she asked after no one else joined in.

A clip showed the family laughing in response before Meghan turned to Harry and called out “my love” to make sure he would sing too.

Read more: Meghan Markle says she was hit with 'cruel' online abuse during 'sacred' pregnancies with Archie and Lilibet

Read more: US officials 'must hand over Harry's visa papers' amid row over drug-taking, as government fights to block release

"Meghan Markle singing my mom happy birthday was the cutest most adorable thing ever, she even bought her a cake," Mr Martinez tweeted.

He revealed that the cake had been a surprise for his mum, adding that it had been a "thoughtful and sweet" touch from the Sussexes.

He told Hello: "It truly meant the world that Harry and Meghan showed up to visit the family, there were lots of tears of joy and heartfelt moments.

"They were the kindest, most humble people ever, it was like having family and friends over, having an amazing time together.

"They fit right in, we laughed a lot and shared intimate memories together."

Mr Martinez said Harry and Meghan had kept in touch with the family since the shooting almost two years ago.

"They keep in touch every other month, sometimes a little longer, but with their busy lives, them visiting truly felt more special," he said.

Two days after the shooting, Meghan paid a visit to Uvalde and laid a bouquet of white roses.

A spokesperson for Meghan said the unannounced trip was privately taken so she could pay her condolences and support the local community.

The visit comes after Meghan revealed that she was subjected to online abuse while she was pregnant with Archie and Lilibet.

Speaking during SXSW festival in Texas on Friday, she said the abuse was "not catty" but "cruel".

Meghan said: "I keep my distance from it right now for my wellbeing but the bulk of the bullying and abuse I was experiencing in social media and online was when I was pregnant with Archie and with Lili, and with a newborn, with each of them.

"You just think about that and to wrap your head about why people would be so hateful. It's not catty - it's cruel. Why you would do that when you're pregnant or as a mum at such a tender and sacred time."

She added: "You could succumb to it, or nearly succumb to how painful that is.

"Or maybe because I was pregnant that mammalian instinct just kicks in to do everything you can to protect your child and as a result protect yourself too."