LONDON — Hundreds of royal fans, some carrying British and American flags, lined the streets of Nottingham on Friday in hopes of catching a glimpse of Prince Harry and his fiancée, Meghan Markle, on their first official visit together.
The trip is the first official engagement for Harry and the American actress since they announced earlier this week that they would wed. They plan to tour Britain in the next six months to give Markle an opportunity to learn about the country before their wedding at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.
The couple travelled to the east Midlands in England to visit to a youth project and to raise AIDS awareness. Their fans followed, including Irene Hardman, 81, who has handed bags of candy to both Princes William and Harry and their father, Prince Charles.
“It is absolutely wonderful and fantastic, and we privileged they’ve chosen Nottingham to be their first official engagement,” she said, adding that she had another goodie bag ready to hand over. This one has two fridge magnets “so they don’t fight over it.”
It is Prince Harry’s third visit to Nottingham since October last year. The prince has long championed AIDS charities, following in the footsteps of his mother, Princess Diana.
Holly Burdett, who is originally from West Bridgford, Nottinghamshire, but now lives in Sydney, Australia, had returned home on the “gamble” that the couple would announce their engagement while she was here.
“I always thought I’d marry Harry but you can’t win them all,” she joked. “As long as they’re happy, that’s all that matters.”