Meghan makes first public appearance since quitting royal family

5 March 2020, 19:15

Meghan and Harry are making their final duties as royals
Meghan and Harry are making their final duties as royals. Picture: PA

By Kate Buck

The Duchess of Sussex has appeared in public for the first time since she quit as a member of the royal family.

Appearing at the at the annual Endeavour Fund Awards alongside the Duke of Sussex, marking their first joint royal engagement since announcing their decision to step down from royal duties.

The event celebrates the achievements of wounded, sick and injured servicemen and women who have taken part in sporting and adventure challenges.

Meghan and Harry have been living in Canada with their young son Archie since making the announcement,

They were last seen in public 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.

READ MORE: Canada refuses to pay for Harry and Meghan's security when they step down as royals

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The Duchess of Sussex has made her first appearance since the Megxit crisis
The Duchess of Sussex has made her first appearance since the Megxit crisis. Picture: PA
Meghan donned a blue Victoria Beckham dress for the event
Meghan donned a blue Victoria Beckham dress for the event. Picture: PA

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.

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 and Harry will be officially stepping down from 31 March
Meghan and Harry will be officially stepping down from 31 March. Picture: PA
The pair will be permanently living in Canada from April
The pair will be permanently living in Canada from April. Picture: PA
They will become financially independent - but just how has not yet been made clear
They will become financially independent - but just how has not yet been made clear. Picture: PA

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.

READ MORE: Harry breaks his silence telling of 'great sadness' over Megxit

READ MORE: Harry and Meghan issue legal warning to media over paparazzi photos

The Duke and Duchess sign a book at the event
The Duke and Duchess sign a book at the event. Picture: PA
Meghan was heavily pregnant with Archie when the pair attended the awards last year
Meghan was heavily pregnant with Archie when the pair attended the awards last year. Picture: PA

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.

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