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Meghan and Harry have ‘cemented their relevance’ in New York with ‘new shaped identities’

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle visit school in Harlem

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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have made a “huge appearance” in New York, as the couple transition from being working royals to their “new identities” as public figures. Royal expert Victoria Murphy questioned whether Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were hoping the “repackage the royal model”, as they attend a series of high-profile engagements. The couple have been in the city since Wednesday evening, and are due to take part in the Global Citizen Live concert later this evening. 

Speaking on the Daily Mail’s Palace Confidential podcast, Victoria Murphy said: “It’s the first time we’ve seen them in a long time do something in person, and I think it’s really interesting because you look at this and you can see I think, how they will feel that they have achieved a lot of what they wanted to achieve.

“They’ve left the Royal Family but they are making this huge appearance, they’ve been invited by the Mayor of New York, they are headliners at this big global event.

“It does kind of cement their relevance, despite the fact that they’ve stepped back as working royals.

“I think it’s interesting because they don’t represent anything else now, they don’t represent the monarchy, they don’t represent Britain, they’re just there as individuals, and I think moving forward, we are going to see a little bit more of how they hope their new identities will be shaped.”

Since leaving the Royal Family in 2020, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have embarked on a number of projects but their outing in New York marks their first public engagements. 

Victoria Murphy added: “We haven’t really been able to see that because of the pandemic, because they’ve obviously taken a little step back since they had their second child.

“Now, I think we’re going to see how they want to be seen and are they going to adopt an almost repackage of the royal model, are they going to make all of these appearances, some small, some big and be very visible and have this engagement programme, or are they going to be less visible, working on long-term projects and make occasional appearances.

“I think that’s what’s going to be very interesting now, is that we’re going to see how they hope to shape these roles.”

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Since arriving in New York on Wednesday evening, the couple have conducted several high-profile engagements, including a visit to the One World Trade Centre. 

On Thursday, they joined New York’s Mayor Bill de Blasio, and the New York State Governor Kathy Hochul at the One World Observatory to take in the sights of the city. 

They were accompanied by several security guards and NYPD officers, with a number of journalists and photographers gathered for a photocall. 

Prince Harry and Meghan later visited the 9/11 museum and laid a wreath of white roses to commemorate the victims who died in the Twin Towers in 2001.

The couple also attended a meeting with Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the US ambassador to the UN, and joined a roundtable discussion with the World Health Organisation. 

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In a later statement, the Sussexes said: “In this room, we had a number of the foremost leaders on public health, pandemic preparedness, scientific progress and community building. Today’s meeting was a much-appreciated opportunity to learn from some of the most respected experts who are working tirelessly to end this pandemic.”

On Friday, they visited PS 123 Mahalia Jackson, a primary school in Harlem where 94% of the children come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. 

In an attempt to promote literacy, Meghan read her children’s book The Bench, which was published in June. 

This evening, the couple will attend the Global Citizen Live concert, where they will urge world leaders to develop a vaccine equity programme for under-developed countries. 

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle left the Royal Family in March 2020, and have relocated to live in California with their two children. 

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