Every Lovestruck Photo From Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's First Official Outing
Four days after announcing their royal engagement, the pair visited Nottingham, about 125 miles north of London, where they started their day greeting enthusiastic fans in the town center.
The couple arrived to cheers from the crowds outside the National Justice Museum.
While the two were greeting the crowds, one bold fan asked what it was like to be with someone like Meghan “as a ginger.”
“It’s great isn’t it … unbelievable!” Harry joked in response.
Their first stop was the Nottingham Contemporary, an art center hosting a celebration for World AIDS Day.
“Is that Prince Harry’s wife?” asked Ale Araphate, 21, the captain of a football team for Champions For Change. “She is beautiful. Only a prince can have a lady like that!”
Sandra Spence, center manager for the Terrence Higgins Trust, said, “They were very relaxed. They fed off each other, which is unusual in a couple but nice to see. It was refreshing to see two people who actually gelled, as opposed to two people who needed to be together.”
“I spoke to Meghan about my passion for yoga,” Chris O’Hanlon, who is a peer mentor for Positively UK, said. “I said, ‘You are a big yogi and love your yoga.’ She said, ‘Absolutely, I love incorporating it into my life, it is something I have always done.”
He said the couple were “so natural” together: “They are very personable. It is very easy to talk to them because they are so open. They have a very jokey attitude. They seem amazingly comfortable together. You can see that it’s a perfect match.
During a Buckingham Palace briefing on Tuesday, spokesman Jason Knauf said Harry was “looking forward to introducing Ms. Markle to a community that has become very special to him” in reference to Nottingham.
“Ms. Markle is incredibly grateful for the opportunities that she has had with World Vision Canada and U.N. Women,” Knauf said. “Through those organizations, she has been able to meet incredible smaller organizations around the world — but she has made the decision that she wants to start a clean slate and focus on the U.K. and getting to know this country and traveling around the Commonwealth.”
Meghan, in an ankle-length navy coat, often put her arm on Harry’s back as they walked slowly down the barriers.
The future royal accepted bouquets as she made her way down the line of fans.
Meghan spent the day meeting charity organizers and participants who Harry has worked closely with over the years.
The couple’s closeness was on display. They walked around holding hands and with their arms around each other.
Fans also got a good look at her new engagement ring: A three-stone diamond engagement ring that Harry designed himself.
The stunning sparkler is made up of three diamonds, with one large stone in the center flanked by two smaller stones on the sides. It was crafted by British jewelers Cleave and Company, who are the jewelers to Harry’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth.
The ring has plenty of sentimental connections for Harry: The two stones are from his late mother, Princess Diana‘s personal collection (making them difficult to value), while the other stone is from Botswana, a country that is close to his heart.
Among the lucky fans scoring a quick chat was Caroline Cartwright, who told Meghan she and husband Andrew were big fans of Suits. “I told her Mike [her love interest on the show] should be here,” Caroline told PEOPLE. “She said, ‘I don’t think he would be today!’ She is just as beautiful as she is on TV. She is absolutely perfect, most wonderful and perfect for him.”
Claire Kelsall handed Harry a celebration card made by her daughter Ruby, 7. “The card had ‘Congratulations Harry and Meghan.’ She drew a picture of the ring and it had a picture of the couple inside,” Kelsall, 28, tells PEOPLE.
“His Royal Highness and Ms. Markle became engaged in London earlier this month,” Clarence House said in a statement on Nov. 27. “Prince Harry has informed Her Majesty The Queen and other close members of his family. Prince Harry has also sought and received the blessing of Ms. Markle’s parents."
The couple will live in Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace.