Simon Perry
April 18, 2018 07:21 AM

Just two days ago, Prince Harry shared how he’s looking forward to having Meghan Markle by his side as they join forces to forge an international partnership.

And on Wednesday morning, the couple got a glimpse of their future as they stepped out together to greet young people from around the world.

Harry and Meghan, who wore a sleeveless white dress with black stripes by Altuzarra, shoes by Tamara Mellon and a black blazer by Camilla and Marc, met with delegates of the Commonwealth Youth Forum, of which the royal has just been announced ambassador. During the meetings, attendees updated the couple on the cross-cultural connections they have made and the challenges they have been discussing at the summit since Harry’s speech on Monday.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
Yui Mok/PA Wire
Meghan Markle
Samir Hussein/WireImage

The royal praised the optimism the young people bring to the world and the family of 53 nations linked to the U.K. that is the Commonwealth. “The complicated challenges we face – climate change, inequality, conflict – they do not discourage you. Rather, they inspire you to persevere and effect change,” he said.

He added, “I am incredibly grateful that the woman I am about to marry, Meghan, will be joining me in this work, of which she too is hugely excited to take part in.”

As they met with the group of inspirational young men and women on Wednesday, Meghan said: “You’re so energized. You’ve got this umbrella to hold you together. It’s incredible. So stay in touch, maximize it.”

The couple spoke at length with a group of LGBT campaigners and promised them that gay rights would be a key feature of their public work.

Jacob Thomas, from Australia, who won a Queen’s Young Leaders award for reducing the suicide rate in the LBGTI community in his home country, said, “Miss Markle said, and these were her exact words, that this is a basic human rights issue, not one about sexuality.”

“Prince Harry said that what was so amazing was that 10 or so years ago we wouldn’t have been having this conversation and how incredible it was that we now were,” Thomas said, adding that the prince also admired his grey leopard-print coat.

“He loved my coat and I told him that he couldn’t have it. He said not to worry, he had three similar ones at home,” he said, laughing.

Jonah Chinga, a LGBT activist from Kenya, told reporters, “Both Prince Harry and Miss Markle said they would put LGBT issues at the front of their work.”

Meghan is also lined up to take part in the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting’s Women’s Empowerment reception, hosted by U.K. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, on Thursday evening. There, the couple will meet people from charities and organizations around the globe – including the Malala Fund — who work to promote gender equality through girls’ education.

The fact that Meghan has been asked to attend official engagements set around the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting this week is unprecedented for a royal fiancée — and is further proof of the royal family’s confidence in her ability to carry out royal duties.

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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
Yui Mok/PA Wire
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
Yui Mok/PA Wire

Last month, Meghan joined Queen Elizabeth and the rest of the royal family to celebrate Commonwealth Day at Westminster Abbey. Meghan’s appearance at the event underscored the speed with which she has taken on official royal duties. Meghan was even seen singing along to the national anthem, “God Save the Queen,” as the service began. In the weeks before she married William in 2011, Kate didn’t attend anything public with the Queen.

Yui Mok/PA Wire

The soon-to-be newlyweds, who will tie the knot on May 19, will also attend a reception hosted by the Prime Minister of Australia, Malcolm Turnbull, on Saturday to celebrate the staging of the next Invictus Games in Sydney in October. Earlier this month, Meghan confirmed she will be going with Harry to the events.

Harry’s Invictus Games is an international sporting event for wounded, injured and sick (WIS) servicemen and women, both serving members and veterans. The Paralympic-style games help inspire recovery, support rehabilitation and generate a wider understanding and respect of all those who serve their country.

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