The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are kicking off their final round of duties before they step down as working royals

By Simon Perry
March 05, 2020 02:15 PM
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Meghan
| Credit: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry

Meghan Markle joined Prince Harry for their first official joint outing since she returned to the U.K. for their final round of royal engagements before officially stepping down from their royal roles on March 31.

The couple was all smiles as they stepped out for the annual Endeavour Fund Awards in London on Thursday — one of their key events of the year that honor veterans and servicemen and women who have achieved extraordinary milestones in their recovery from injury by taking part in sporting and adventure challenges over the past year. Meghan and Harry first attended the event together back in 2018.

Meghan, who held onto Harry’s arm as they walked into the event on the rainy evening, opted for a fitted teal dress by Victoria Beckham with BB pumps by Manolo Blahnik and pulled her long dark hair into a chic low ponytail.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s appearance marks the first of several royal duties they will fulfill in the coming days as they complete the last of their royal duties. Their final engagements will culminate on Monday when they join Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles and Prince William and Kate Middleton at a service marking Commonwealth Day in London.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
| Credit: Chris Jackson/Getty
Meghan Markle
| Credit: Neil Mockford / Ricky Vigil M/GC Images

But Thursday night was all about a long-standing passion project of Harry’s — helping inspire veterans. The Endeavour Fund supports new ideas from men and women who want to take part in new adventures and challenges to help with their physical, psychological and social recovery and rehabilitation. It is the fourth annual awards.

The event is a fitting one for Harry and Meghan to attend: Helping wounded veterans and active service members is deeply important to the prince. He spearheaded the creation of the Invictus Games, a Paralympic-style event for wounded veterans. And at the 2017 Invictus Games in Toronto, Meghan and Harry made their debut as a couple.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
| Credit: Chris Jackson/Getty
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
| Credit: Chris Jackson/Getty

Both Harry, 35, and Meghan, 38, presented an award and the prince made a moving speech. In recent years, they have taken part in the judging panel for the awards. They kicked off the evening by meeting the inspiring nominees and some of the key supporters of the Endeavour Fund at a reception.

Credit: Paul Edwards - WPA Pool/Getty

“Good evening everybody — it’s very nice to be back,” Meghan said. “It’s the third year that I’ve had the incredible fortune of joining my husband here, and as you all know and can feel it is just the most inspiring space.”

In his speech, Harry addressed the servicemen and women in the room, saying: “I feel incredibly lucky to be able to count myself as one of you and I’m deeply proud to have served among you as Captain Wales. A lot of you tonight have told me you have my back, well I’m also here to tell you, I’ve always got yours.”

Meghan Markle
| Credit: Paul Edwards - WPA Pool/Getty
Prince Harry
| Credit: Paul Edwards - WPA Pool/Getty

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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
| Credit: Paul Edwards - WPA Pool/Getty
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
| Credit: DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty

The royal couple have been splitting their time between the U.K. and Canada with their son Archie as they prepare for their official royal exit at the end of the month. They are also planning to spend time in the Duchess of Sussex’s hometown of Los Angeles this summer.