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Meghan Markle arrives for first official royal engagement with the Queen to mark Commonwealth Day

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 12/03/2018 Hatty Collier

Meghan Markle, Prince Harry are posing for a picture © Provided by Independent Print Limited Meghan Markle has arrived at her first official royal engagement with the Queen for a service to mark Commonwealth Day.

Ms Markle, who is to wed Prince Harry in May, arrived arm-in-arm with her husband-to-be at the Westminster Abbey event on Monday afternoon.

It is the first time the American actress - who wore a dress and coat by Amanda Wakeley and hat by Stephen Jones - has attended an official royal engagement with the Queen.

The Commonwealth Day service was also attended by the Prince of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Prime Minister.

a group of people walking down the street: megharry1203b.jpg © Provided by Independent Print Limited megharry1203b.jpg The Duchess of Cambridge wore a dress and coat by Beulah and hat by Lock and Co.

American Ms Markle joined the royals in singing the National Anthem at the start of the service.

The camera focused on the former Suits star singing the words "happy and glorious" during the televised event.

Celebrated across the Commonwealth, the day is an opportunity for each of the institution's 53 member states to highlight the positive values of the family of nations.

Meghan Markle smiles at the Duchess of Cambridge © Getty Meghan Markle smiles at the Duchess of Cambridge In her Commonwealth Day message, which is printed in the event's order of service, the Queen praised the "Commonwealth connection" that allows people from different nations to bond and celebrate "diversity".

London will soon host a gathering of leaders from the family of nations and the Queen, who is head of the Commonwealth, also paid tribute to the biennial event as an example of how consensus can "help to create a future that is fairer, more secure, more prosperous and sustainable".

With the UK leaving the European Union the importance of the Commonwealth may increase according to some commentators.

Queen Elizabeth II, arrives for the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey, London. © Press Association Queen Elizabeth II, arrives for the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey, London. The Commonwealth has played an important role throughout the Queen's reign, and she takes a special interest in the family of nations.

Harry and Meghan signalled their commitment to the Commonwealth and its people when they both mentioned the institution - which has the Queen as its head - during an interview to mark their engagement.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attending the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey, London. Photo credit should read: Doug Peters/EMPICS Entertainment © Press Association Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attending the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey, London. Photo credit should read: Doug Peters/EMPICS Entertainment The prince said they looked forward to travelling around the Commonwealth, meeting some of the 2.4 billion people from the 53 member states.


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