Prince Harry is moved while listening to anthems at Royal Albert Hall
Why ARE they walking away? Prince Harry is visibly moved while listening to military anthems at the Royal Albert Hall ahead of the Sussexes’ last royal engagement before Megxit
- The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will step back as senior royals on March 31
- Both dazzled crowds at the Royal Albert Hall and received a standing ovation
- Meghan wore a red Safiyaa gown, Simone Rocha earrings, and Aquazurra heels
- Prince Harry appeared in his role as Captain General of the Royal Marines
Their ‘farewell tour’ draws to a close tomorrow, the curtain falling – apparently for good – on their Royal life.
But for the Duke of Sussex – if not the Duchess – the day is unlikely to prove as poignant as the event attended by the couple last night at the Royal Albert Hall.
They were, however, determined to go out in style. Drawing gasps from the waiting crowd, the Duchess dazzled in a £1,300 Safiyaa Kalika scarlet gown, more than complementing the red ceremonial uniform Harry wore in his final engagement as Captain General of the Royal Marines.
It is the highest ranking of his honorary military titles which he will relinquish under the Megxit terms agreed with the Queen. Severing them has been acutely painful, perhaps explaining Harry’s rather gloomy demeanour last night.
Pictured: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arriving at the Royal Albert Hall in London last night as they attended a charity event ahead of their quitting public life on March 31
He spent a decade in the Army and, as stirring military laments echoed around him at the Mountbatten Festival of Music, few would have blamed him had tears welled up in his eyes.
As it was, he appeared visibly moved when he and his wife received a long round of applause and a standing ovation as they took their seats in the Royal Box.
The event marked the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, as well as the 80th anniversary of the formation of Britain’s Commandos and showcased the ‘outstanding versatility of some of the world’s finest military musicians’.
At one point, the Duke and Duchess sang and clapped along to Delilah during a medley of Tom Jones hits.
This was Harry’s penultimate fixture, while Meghan will today attend an event to mark International Women’s Day. Tomorrow will see the Sussexes’ last official engagement before they step down as working Royals on March 31.
Pictured: Prince Harry and Meghan were moved as they received a long round of applause and a standing ovation before they took their seats in the royal box
Pictured: The royal couple met with band members before the performance backstage
Pictured: The Duke of Sussex appeared in his capacity as Captain General of the Royal Marines
Normally the Royal Family’s participation in the annual Commonwealth Day service stirs only moderate interest, but this year is, of course, different.
On a day laden with significance, not only will Harry and Meghan take their final bow before the watching world at Westminster Abbey, they will be publicly reunited with the Queen, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge – the very relatives the newly exiled Sussexes wounded when they plunged the House of Windsor into turmoil by quitting their front line roles. Awkward doesn’t begin to cover it.
Pictured: Harry and Meghan shared an intimate moment before entering the royal box; the photo was published on Instagram
Yet while every glance and gesture will be weighed and scrutinised for evidence of discomfiture, it is unlikely that any of the senior Royals will betray the backstage tensions of recent weeks. After all, The Firm is well drilled in putting on a united front.
Gauging the mood of the Duchess of Sussex, a former actress, during the final whirl of duties before she and Harry finally quit has not been straightforward for Royal watchers.
Her retreat to Vancouver Island has left her refreshed and upbeat, but a source said it would be wrong to imagine she approached these engagements ‘without some trepidation’. So far, though, any nerves have been masked by an ever-present Hollywood smile.
The Mail on Sunday understands that the Duchess flew in from Canada last Monday but waited in the wings at Frogmore Cottage, the couple’s home in Windsor, until Thursday before making her first public appearance on British soil since January 7.
After attending a Buckingham Palace investiture, the Sussexes had lunch with friends at the nearby Goring Hotel where Meghan appeared in good spirits.
For reasons unclear, the couple left separately but later arrived arm-in-arm beneath an umbrella at Mansion House for the annual Endeavour Fund Awards ceremony. There was some booing but it was the couple’s joyous entrance that made headlines.
Inside, their ebullience was not always so evident. Meghan kept contact with other guests to a minimum while Harry ignored a request for a photograph with a former Coldstream Guard. The soldier said: ‘I wanted a picture with them but they got up and did their speeches and were then ushered out by their bodyguards.
‘I shook Harry’s hand as he was leaving and I said we served in Afghanistan together but then his bodyguard grabbed him to go. I said, “Please can I have a picture”, practically begging, and he just smiled and walked off. I was quite surprised.’
The following day, the Duke was at the Silverstone circuit to open a new museum, accompanied by Lewis Hamilton, the Formula 1 world champion. Once again the public turnout was low. Although police had set up barriers, only ten people turned up – and they all appeared to be fans of Hamilton.
Harry remains sixth in line to the throne and will retain his military ranks of major, lieutenant-commander and squadron leader, but not use his honorary military positions. The roles will remain unfilled during a 12-month trial period, leaving the door open for him to return.
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