Duchess reappears in public

Source:AFP Published: 2020/1/16 22:08:41

Meghan Markle returns after shock announcement

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry Photo: IC

Meghan Markle has made her first public appearance since she and Prince Harry sensationally decided to quit as full-time royals, visiting two women's charities in Vancouver, Canada as British media reported she could face her father in court.

Harry and Meghan are in the middle of a storm after making their bombshell announcement last week - before they had discussed the plans with Queen Elizabeth II.

That followed Meghan launching legal action against The Mail on Sunday's publishers in October after the tabloid printed a handwritten letter it had been shown by Meghan's father Thomas Markle.

The weekly newspaper has now issued its defense, leading to the possibility that Meghan and her father could be called to testify against each other.

A crisis summit at the queen's Sandringham country residence on Monday was missed by Meghan, who was in Canada - where she and Harry plan to live part time.

The Duchess of Sussex on Tuesday visited the Downtown Eastside Women's Centre, a nonprofit organization that provides support to women who are fleeing violence, dealing with homelessness or living in poverty. Meghan met with the director and a handful of frontline staff to discuss the challenges women in the neighborhood are facing.

"She was very interested in what goes on for women in this community, who we all know are marginalized women who've faced many challenges and barriers to their wellbeing," said Kate Gibson, acting executive director of the center.

Harry, sixth in line to the throne, married US former television actress Meghan at Windsor Castle in May 2018.

Her father, an award-­winning former television lighting director now living in Mexico, did not attend the wedding after staging paparazzi photographs and suffering chest pains in the build-up.

Harry and Meghan want to step back as senior royals, work toward financial independence from the British taxpayers, split their time between the UK and Canada and ditch long-­established pooled media access arrangements for royal engagements.

Despite Canadians' affection for the royal couple, a large majority do not wish to foot security or other costs for their relocation, according to a survey.

Canadian media have estimated the costs of protecting Harry and Meghan at approximately C$1.7 million ($1.3 million) per year.

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