Louis Broski, the founder of of the Centre Social Kariat, described the couple as "very gentle"

By Stephanie Petit and Simon Perry
February 25, 2019 07:00 AM
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Horses have always been a favorite for members of the royal family, and now Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are learning how these animals are helping children.

The royal couple continued their royal tour of Morocco on Monday, visiting the Moroccan Royal Federation of Equestrian Sports. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex learned more about the country’s developing program of supporting children with special needs through equine therapy. They attended a horse grooming session with some of the children before watching a riding demonstration and meeting trainers.

They dressed casually for the outing, with Meghan sporting a green khaki jacket by J.Crew (one that has been in her closet since before her wedding!) over a striped shirt along with black pants and Stuart Weitzman boots. She tied her hair back into a chic ponytail, freeing up her hands to pet some of the horses.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
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Meghan Markle
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Louis Broski, the founder of of the Centre Social Kariat, set up the program about 16 years ago to carry out physical therapy for handicapped children.

“We started with donkey riding and then we moved into horse riding,” he says. “We are shepherding sheep with the children and hey have their own rabbits and chickens in their own plot. It is animal therapy.”

The couple spoke with the children, and Harry talked about his own experiences with horse riding.

“They were very gentle,” Broski shares. “Meghan was very gentle towards our children. And Harry was interested in what we are doing.”

Meghan Markle
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Zachary Atali, who became a teacher after participating in the program, met the couple in the first paddock.

“They were very nice. They were kind to us,” he says. “They asked us lots of questions like how do you feel when you ride in the ponies. And we feel happy and very at ease.”

Patrick Alerini, the owner of a private school where they have some autistic children among their pupils, described Meghan and Harry as “very kind, very smiley and very interested in the work.”

Meghan Markle
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The royal family has a long history with horses, especially Queen Elizabeth, whose love for the animals started when she was given her first horse (a Shetland pony) when she was just 4. The 92-year-old monarch also attends the Windsor Horse Show annually and is known to get rather spirited when watching horse races like Royal Ascot.

The Queen’s granddaughter Zara Tindall, 37, won a silver medal for the team competition at the 2012 Olympics. (In a special moment, the award was presented to her by her mother, Princess Anne, who competed in the 1976 Games.)

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
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Meghan and Harry arrived in Morocco for their three-day tour on Saturday, where they were greeted by the British Ambassador to Morocco, Thomas Reilly, and his wife. Meghan made a stylish entrance in a glamorous red Valentino dress with an elegant embroidered cape detail.

They had a busy day Sunday, visiting a boarding house for young girls, where Meghan participated in a henna ceremony, before seeing the girls’ school. That evening, they switched into formal wear for a reception hosted by the British Ambassador to Morocco, Thomas Reilly, and his wife at the British Residence in Rabat.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
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The royal mom-to-be looked regal in a bespoke dress by Dior featuring draped sleeves. After wearing her hair loose earlier in the day, Meghan pulled back her locks into a low bun, showing off her Birks Snowflake Snowstorm diamond earrings – a favorite pair that she has worn on a number of occasions, including the couple’s July visit to Ireland and their royal tour of Australia, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand in October.

The couple decided to stay on privately for an extra night at the end of the visit, returning on Tuesday to London, instead of on Monday afternoon.