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Even with an extensive crash course from Prince Harry (and perhaps even Prince William and Duchess Kate and the rest of the immediate royals) about how crazy the crowds would be at their first official royal visit, we’re guessing there’s still no way Meghan Markle was prepared. Because people in Nottingham waited hours in the cold to see the couple for the first time since they announced their engagement, and while it may have been a little stressful for them, it was probably a lot for Meghan.

Based on the slightly rattled (albeit determined) face of Markle, it was all more than she imagined. But, hey, she looked good doing it, in a long navy coat by Canadian brand Mackage, over a black turtleneck, tan midi pleated skirt and slouchy boots. And that handbag, though …

But Megs is here for the long haul, understands the fame game (even though this is beyond anything she’s experienced up to now), and recovered quickly. Instead of running for the non-royal hills, Harry and Meghan divided and conquered.

The crowds outside the National Justice Museum couldn’t have been more pleased, as Harry and Meghan made the rounds, shaking hands, receiving gifts, and chatting with the locals before moving inside, to the Nottingham Contemporary, to discuss an issue Harry is (and Princess Diana was) particularly passionate about: raising awareness of HIV/AIDS.

The event, in honour of World AIDS Day, was backed by the Terrence Higgins Trust, for which Harry has done some work. The project provides early intervention (the Trust opened a pop-up shop for HIV testing last month), as well as tackling youth violence and crime in the St Ann’s area of Nottingham.

This marks Harry’s third official trip to Nottingham since October 2016, according to People, and it’s clear how much he loves the city and those who call it home. Naturally he wanted to share it with Meghan. What better place for them to start their royal work together? And doing something his mother worked so tirelessly at, not only continuing to do so in her name, but introducing that passion to Meghan? It’s a beautiful thing.

It’s their first official engagement in what will be a six-month tour of the U.K., which allows Markle the opportunity to become acquainted with her new home. And by the end of it, they’ll find themselves married. Can you imagine the crowds for that?

Getty Images
Getty Images
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