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Meghan Markle Makes First Public Appearance Since Announcing Decision to Step Back From Royal Family

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Meghan Markle visited a women’s center in Vancouver on Tuesday, marking her first public appearance since she and Prince Harry announced they are stepping away from their roles as “senior members” of the royal family.

The Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre posted a photo to Facebook showing the Duchess of Sussex standing with the center’s staff. “Look who we had tea with today!” the caption read. “The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle visited us today to discuss issues affecting women in the community.”


The center provides access to basic needs — such as meals, laundry and showers — for vulnerable and marginalized women, children and seniors, and connects people to other support services in the city, according to the organization’s website.

Earlier in the day, Markle had been spotted by paparazzi boarding a seaplane to Vancouver.

Markle visited the center as all eyes remain on the British royals following the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s decision to transition away from their roles as full-time working members of the royal family. In a statement released on their Instagram page last week, the couple said they planned to step back as “senior” members of the family and work to eventually become financially independent.

Markle then returned to Canada from the U.K. to be with her son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor (who had reportedly stayed in the country with a friend of Markle’s after her and Prince Harry’s winter break) following the announcement. Queen Elizabeth II said she supported their choice in a statement on Monday, after meeting with Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince Harry to negotiate the terms of their departure from the royal family. As of Wednesday morning, these negotiations remain ongoing.

Markle wasn’t the only one to make a public appearance amidst the consternation. Prince William and Kate Middleton were seen Wednesday in their first official outing since Markle and Prince Harry dropped their news. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited the city of Bradford to tour organizations working with young people.

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Write to Mahita Gajanan at mahita.gajanan@time.com