Prince Harry was in Chicago on Tuesday to take part in the inaugural summit of the Obama Foundation, which is headed by former President Barack Obama. But local high school students were surprised by the royal’s unexpected visit with a special guest — Michelle Obama!
The pair stopped by to spend time with about 20 students at Hyde Park Academy, a high school across from the future site of the Obama Presidential Center on the city’s South Side.
“The warm and wide-ranging conversation, lasting over an hour, covered how the Obama Presidential Center will showcase the South Side of Chicago for a global audience, the importance of young people staying inspired and hopeful, and the transformative power of students using their voices to change the world,” said Caroline Adler Morales, the former first lady’s communications director.
The Chicago public high school serves a largely African American population. In 2013, President Obama visited Hyde Park Academy to meet with students participating in their “Becoming a Man” program.
Mrs. Obama wanted to bring Prince Harry to Hyde Park Academy to showcase the world leaders who will participate in the Foundation’s programming and events and visit the surrounding community.
Harry, 33, is scheduled as one of the headline speakers for the Obama Foundation event. Other speakers include Chance the Rapper and legendary activist Dolores Huerta.
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During his Chicago stop, Harry hopes to showcase the work of the Full Effect project, an initiative in Nottingham in the U.K. that aims to open up opportunities for young people. In recent years, the prince has regularly visited the St. Ann’s area of the city (often in private) where Full Effect uses early intervention, mentorship and training as it works to help prevent young people from becoming involved in violence and crime.
His enduring friendship with the Obamas started several years ago when he linked up with the former first lady to raise support for his Invictus Games in Orlando, Florida. The former president also joined Harry at last month’s Invictus Games in Toronto.
After his Chicago trip, Harry might also be able to squeeze in a quick stop to Toronto to visit girlfriend Meghan Markle — who films Suits in the Canadian city. She might have also given him some recommendations on what to do in the Windy City as she went to college at Northwestern University in nearby Evanston, Illionis.