Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were treated to an Ed Sheeran-inspired serenade from a group of young people at a palace reception in Scotland on Tuesday. And the singers joked they could replace the Grammy winner at the couple’s reception!
New reports this week revealed that Sheeran was asked to perform at Harry and Meghan’s wedding at Windsor Castle on May 19. So, when the guitars-and-singing troupe from Impact Arts in Scotland performed at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, they knew what song to choose.
“A little birdie told us that Ed Sheeran would be playing at an upcoming wedding,” Sol Grieve Rae, 17, announced. “But if that falls through our diary is free.”
Then, as the group began singing an acoustic version of Sheeran’s hit song “Perfect,” Meghan, 36, couldn’t help but laugh while her fiancé cracked a smile.
“They just looked speechless. Meghan looked like she was going to cry,” Edinburgh College student Ciara MacDonald, 17, one of the singers, says. “To see the smiles on their faces as we sung is something we’ll always treasure. Meghan said it was wonderful singing and that they really enjoyed it.”
The teens from Impact Arts were among 50 young people (ages 8 to 26) who were invited to meet the couple at the Great Gallery in the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, the third event of their day out in the Scottish capital city. They are all involved in the Scottish Government’s Year of Young People 2018, a platform that celebrates Scotland’s young people.
It was the first official public event Meghan has attended inside a palace. As the couple entered the magnificent building, Harry’s Royal Standard was flying on the flag pole above. The couple entered the gallery, a space that is used by the Queen for investitures and receptions when she’s in Scotland.
After the greetings, Meghan looked emotional as she watched a young woman tell her harrowing story of how she suffered severe pre-eclampsia late in the pregnancies of her two sons — meaning they had to be resuscitated and initially kept in a ventilator. “I wasn’t allowed to hold them for several days,” Charlotte Liddell, 21, a Year of Young People ambassador, told the gathering.
Liddell told the reception that she didn’t finish school because she was caring for her father and said that her proudest moment was encouraging her younger sister (for whom she serves as a guardian) and showing her love so that she was discharged from two mental health services and is now in college. “Listen to young people, believe in them, encourage them,” she said in her speech.
“I was saying most people assume if someone doesn’t finish school they are lazy,” Liddell, from Buckhaven, Fife, explains. “But there may be a reason for that.”
The young mother, who counts Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Strugeon as a mentor, adds, “They both said well done on my speech. I was moved to know that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle actually took a few minutes to listen to my story. It means a lot to me.”
She was one of two chaperones for the couple — the other was confident 9-year-old Ben Mason, from East Renfrewshire. At one point when the little boy interrupted to nudge the couple along to the next group, Meghan smiled and told Harry: “Ben needs to move us on.”
Speaking with one one group, Harry urged them to “use this year as much as you can to get your voices out there” and, with Meghan nodding by his side, said, “We want to create a platform for young people to be heard.”
“He was so encouraging,” Zoe Thomson, 18, a student from Dundee, who is an ambassador with Communic18, says. “She was really interested in the individual projects people are doing and excited that so much was happening.”
When Amy Lee Fraioli, 19, and Mark Stewart, 18, from the Scottish Youth Parliament told the couple about the young people’s mental health initiative, they expressed their interest in the issue.
“Meghan was talking about Harry’s campaign about speaking up,” Fraioli says. “Harry said that if you don’t talk about your problems things can snowball. Meghan realized it is very important area and should remain a focus.”