MEGHAN MARKLE visited charities in Canada in mid-January to “get to know the local context” surrounding her new home, it has emerged.
Meghan revealed why she was visiting charities in British Columbia just days after announcing her intention to step back as a senior royal. The Duchess of Sussex, who will officially give up her status as working royal in the spring alongside Prince Harry, opened up with the members of a local association about the reason why she was visiting charities during her first few days of stay in Canada earlier this year.
Zoe Craig-Sparrow, the co-director of Justice for Girls, one of the Canadian organisations visited by Meghan in January, recently told People magazine: “She said it was important for her to get to know the local context around the issues in the communities.”
On the same day Meghan visited Justice for Girls, January 14, she also headed to one of the biggest women’s shelters in Vancouver to meet its staff and speak about the difficulties faced by the women they help and the organisation itself.
Ms Craig-Sparrow, whose association works to empower teenagers, vulnerable women and indigenous women, opened up also on the atmosphere created by the Duchess’ visit.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry visited Canada House in January (Image: GETTY)
Meghan received a pendant during her visit to Justice for Girls (Image: JUSTICE FOR GIRLS/GETTY)
She continued: “We all felt at ease, and I think that was a testament to the Duchess.”
During the visit, Meghan was given a precious present, immediately spotted by royal fans after pictures of the engagements were released – an 18-karat yellow gold and diamond whale tail pendant.
The necklace, which retails for £1,311 and had been donated to the charity by local jeweller Hollie Bartlett, was given Meghan to honour traditions of the indigenous community.
Meghan visited charities in Canada in mid-January to “get to know the local context” (Image: GETTY)
The co-director of Justice for Girls said: “It’s a cornerstone of our indigenous culture to give a gift, so I explained that to the Duchess as well.
“She was really gracious.”
Meghan’s visit to the association lasted for approximately 90 minutes.
Meghan Markle joined the Royal Family in 2018 (Image: GETTY)
Meghan’s visit to the charity lasted for approximately 90 minutes (Image: JUSTICE FOR GIRLS/GETTY)
The Duchess and her hosts talked about everything from female leadership skills to the rights of indigenous women.
Meghan, according to Annabel Webb, the co-founder of the organisation, “was listening intently” to what they had to tell her.
Meghan and Harry will relinquish the use of their HRH styles within weeks, as agreed with the Queen and senior royal aides.
Meghan Markle’s mother is Doria Ragland (Image: EXPRESS)
The couple have chosen to step back as full-time working royals to be able to pursue private ventures and live abroad, in a bid to escape the public eye.
However, according to one royal commentator, to live far from the protection of the Royal Family, its palaces and security officers may expose Meghan and Harry to the scrutiny of paparazzi, media and the public.
Canadian royal expert Patricia Treble wrote in a column for news website Maclean’s: “The Sussexes may end up with less privacy than they had as full-time working members of the most famous family in the world.
Meghan is stepping down from royal duties within weeks (Image: GETTY)
“They will never be ordinary citizens living regular lives—that possibility slammed shut when billions watched them get married in a grand royal wedding at Windsor Castle.
“Harry and Meghan have thrown the dice, gambling that the initial flurry of attention will fade, allowing them to forge a high-profile path through the commercial and philanthropic worlds while also controlling how much information is released about their most private moments.
“If their bet doesn’t pay off, will they manage to live happily ever after?”
Source: EXPRESS CO UK