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Over a steamin' hot cuppa: Meghan Markle visits Canada women's shelter to discuss issues affecting them

This is Duchess of Sussex's first public outing after announcing the royal split.

Last Updated: Jan 16, 2020, 08.29 AM IST
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​Meghan Markle wants to get to know the community​ better.
Meghan Markle wants to get to know the community better.
VANCOUVER: Prince Harry's wife Meghan has visited a women's shelter in Vancouver, her first public appearance since the couple's sensational decision to pursue greater independence from the British monarchy by living part-time in Canada. Images of a smiling Meghan visiting on Tuesday with eight staffers at the Downtown Eastside Women's Center was posted on the center's Facebook page.

"Look who we had tea with today! The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, visited us today to discuss issues affecting women in the community," said a caption.

The shelter in an impoverished Vancouver neighbourhood provides counselling, hot meals, and basic needs for marginalised and vulnerable women and children. It serves about 500 women each day, according to its website.

The Daily Mail quoted staff as saying Meghan "asked what the women would need in terms of support. It was a nice meeting" and a boost to staff's spirits.

"She was just casual and lovely," the center's acting director, Kate Gibson, told Canadian public broadcaster CBC.

"I thought she was really down to earth," she said.

"She's very good at sort of picking up something from the conversation and expanding that a bit, and asking questions and (she was) empathetic. She was really great."

Gibson added that Meghan seemingly "just wants to get to know the community. We know she's going to come to Canada and I think possibly the West Coast.

"I think that she just doesn't want to be sort of a stranger in the midst. She just wants to get to know people."

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Earlier this week, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex returned to visit the women of The Hubb Community Kitchen and “Together, Our Community Cookbook.” These women came together in the wake of the Grenfell tragedy to cook meals for their families and neighbours who had been displaced from the fire. With funds from the successful cookbook, they have now been able to share their spirit of community with so many more. The Hubb continues to work with local organisations to build hope, bring comfort and provide not simply a warm meal, but with it, a sense of togetherness. The Duke and Duchess were so happy to reconnect with the women and hear about the projects they continue to develop to help those in their community and beyond. Image © SussexRoyal

A post shared by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (@sussexroyal) on

Prince Harry, sixth in line to the throne, and Meghan last week announced they intend to step back as senior royals and become financially independent, splitting their time between Britain and Canada where they spent six weeks over Christmas with baby son Archie.

They are now in talks with senior royals about how their wished-for new roles within the monarchy could work.

The Daily Mail also published photos of Meghan in a parka, boarding a seaplane from Victoria, British Columbia, where she's currently staying, to Vancouver for the shelter visit.

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