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Harry, 33, and Markle, 36, visited a Terrence Higgins Trust World AIDS Day charity fair in Nottingham. The couple spent time shaking hands with people in the crowd, who shouted Harry’s and Markle’s names and waved both U.S. and U.K. flags.
Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle arrive in Nottingham for their first official visit together since announcing their engagement. pic.twitter.com/iXXrJEumxk
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) December 1, 2017
The couple will meet with representatives from local charities and organizations that support people living with HIV/AIDS and work to end the stigma associated with the disease.
Today’s appearance marks the first time Markle, an American actress, has accompanied Harry on an official royal engagement in the U.K.
Terrence Higgins Trust, the U.K.’s leading HIV and sexual health charity, is part of the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.
Markle will become a patron of the Royal Foundation, which serves as the main vehicle for their philanthropic activities, after her May wedding to Harry.
Harry has followed in the footsteps of his mother, the late Princess Diana, in working to end the stigma around HIV/AIDS. Diana was also a supporter of Terrence Higgins Trust and Harry and his brother, Prince William, have carried on Diana’s support.
Harry’s charity, Sentebale, helps vulnerable children in southern Africa struggling with HIV/AIDS. He has campaigned tirelessly for a greater understanding of and funding for the disease.
In October, Harry accepted a posthumous award for his mother’s groundbreaking work raising HIV/AIDS awareness, calling himself “incredibly proud of her work.”
In a touching tribute to Diana, Harry chose to share with Markle a poignant reminder of his mother’s work at their very first event meeting the British public.
Later today, Harry and Markle plan to visit a school in Nottingham. They will meet with staff and mentors of Full Effect, a program supported by the Royal Foundation that provides mentorships and training to steer kids away from youth violence and crime.