Prince Harry and fiancee Meghan Markle were given a warm welcome on a cold day when they arrived in the heart of Edinburgh for the start of their visit to Scotland.
The city’s world famous castle, an iconic fortress for centuries, was chosen as the starting point of their first joint visit to the Scottish capital.
Meghan and Harry wrapped up against the cold in winter coats were greeted by Frank Ross, Edinburgh’s Lord Lieutenant and Lord Provost, who represented the city.
Crowds gathered on the castle’s esplanade where the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is staged each year to welcome the prince and his bride-to-be.
Ms Markle, who is making her fourth joint visit with Prince Harry, wore a Burberry coat and trousers by Veronica Beard.
With the centuries-old fortress as a backdrop the couple began shaking hands, saying hello and thanking the well-wishers for coming to see them.
Later, they will travel to a sandwich shop that supports the homeless and has been visited by number of famous faces including Hollywood star George Clooney.
The trip to Scotland is the fourth public appearance Ms Markle and Harry have made together and follows successful visits to Nottingham, Brixton in south London and Cardiff in the months that followed their engagement announcement in November.
Also on the esplande was the Royal Marines Band Scotland, which was playing for Ms Markle, the former Suits actress, and the Prince who became Captain General of the Royal Marines in December 2017.
Kensington Palace had said: “Throughout the day Prince Harry and Ms Markle will have the opportunity to meet members of the public, learn more about organisations that work in the local community and nationwide, and celebrate youth in the Scottish Year of Young People 2018.”
Inside the castle at the historic Edinburgh Garrison, which looks out across the city, the couple were due to watch as the One o’clock Gun was fired, a tradition started in 1861 to mark time for ships in the Firth of Forth.
The couple were then set move on to the New Town to visit Social Bite, a social enterprise cafe which distributes 100,000 items of food and hot drinks to homeless people across Scotland each year, as well as employing staff who have experienced homelessness themselves.
In the cafe, Prince Harry and Ms Markle will learn more about the social enterprise, meet staff and tour the kitchen.
Crowds brave cold and wet weather to spot couple
Despite cold and wet weather, Royal fans braved the conditions to stake the best place to spot the couple on the castle’s esplanade.
Ashley Torres, 25, a law student at Edinburgh University, had brought a bunch of tulips for the couple. She said: “It’s such a cute love story … being set up by mutual friends. And it will be nice to see an American part of the British monarchy.”
Friends Maggie Binnie, 29 and Alice McCourt, 23, both Scottish students, had staked a place on the esplanade against the crash barriers and waved Union flags featuring a picture of the prince and his fiancee.
Ms Binnie said: “I really do admire Meghan, she’s got a good head on her shoulders and I also admire Harry for the mental health work he does and his work with military veterans.”
Sarah Coronado, 28, a masters student from Mexico studying at Edinburgh University, was one of the first well-wishers to arrive at the castle’s esplanade.
She said: “Seeing the couple is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We don’t have these visits in Mexico or my hometown of Monterey.
“They are also the hot couple of the moment because of their marriage coming up. I also think Meghan is a role model, she’s not just a pretty face. I think she’s going to change the face of the monarchy.”
Cafe visit is latest in string of high-profile visitors
The Royal couple will be the latest in a string of high-profile visitors to Social Bite premises.
Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio stopped for lunch at Social Bite venture Home in Edinburgh’s west end in November 2016, while the Duchess of Cornwall and George Clooney have been to Social Bite’s Rose Street branch.
Video: George Clooney visits Social Bite
Prince Harry and Ms Markle will round off their visit by attending a reception at the Palace of Holyroodhouse to celebrate youth achievements marking Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018, an initiative that aims to inspire Scotland through its young people.
Harry and Meghan to greet well-wishers in Windsor after wedding
As they say their vows in front of the watching world, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will have a lifetime of Royal tours ahead of them as a married couple. They will waste no time getting started, it seems.
Kensington Palace announced at the weekend that the newlyweds are to undertake a tour of Windsor as their first trip as a married couple, to greet well-wishers who are expected to turn out from all over the world to see them.
Prince Harry and Ms Markle, who are planning their May 19 wedding themselves, released a series of updates about their day, and how they hope to “share their celebrations with the public”.
Decisions include a carriage ride through Windsor, taking place straight after the St George’s Chapel ceremony and before their reception.
The journey is designed to allow members of the public to see the couple in the flesh, while they are still dressed in their finery, in what is likely to be one of the most photographed occasions of the year.
In a series of updates about the wedding, Kensington Palace also announced that the wedding service, at St George’s Chapel at midday, will be conducted by The Dean of Windsor, The Rt Revd David Conner.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Revd. and Rt Hon. Justin Welby, will, as expected, officiate as the couple make their marriage vows.
At 1pm, immediately after the service, Prince Harry and Ms Markle, who will receive new titles reflecting their married status on the day, will leave Windsor Castle by carriage, via Castle Hill, along the High Street and through Windsor Town before returning along the Long Walk for their reception.
“They hope this short journey will provide an opportunity for more people to come together around Windsor and to enjoy the atmosphere of this special day,” a spokesman said.
Guests from the congregation will await the happy couple in St George’s Hall, to celebrate with the first of two receptions.
The second, for close friends and family, will be thrown in the evening by Prince Harry’s father, the Prince of Wales.
The timings should go some way to allaying the fears of those concerned about a clash with the FA Cup final, with the football match likely to kick off at 5.30pm.
A spokesman for Kensington Palace said: “Prince Harry and Ms Meghan Markle are hugely grateful for the many good wishes they have received since announcing their engagement. “They are very much looking forward to the day and to being able to share their celebrations with the public.”
While the final arrangements for the wedding are expected to reflect the personalities of the Prince and Ms Markle with some unique elements, the basic outline of celebrations, as announced by the palace, follows tradition.
Other Royal couples, including the Earl and Countess of Wessex, have also undertaken a carriage procession after their Windsor weddings, with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge enjoying the same two-tier receptions following their 2011 nuptials.
While their reception ended with an energetic Prince Harry rounding younger guests onto a minibus to continue the party into the early hours, the calming influence of Ms Markle may see a more sophisticated conclusion to the Prince’s own day.
‘All the stars were aligned’: How the couple met
After announcing their engagement, the couple gave an insight into their 16-month romance in a BBC interview – and described how they met on a blind date set up by a mutual friend.
Ms Markle told how she could not wait to say “yes” to the prince when Harry got down on one knee a few weeks ago as they cooked a roast chicken dinner at his home, Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace.
Indicating the depths of his feeling for his bride-to-be, Prince Harry said: “The fact that I fell in love with Meghan so incredibly quickly was sort of confirmation to me that everything, all the stars were aligned, everything was just perfect.
“It was this beautiful woman just sort of literally tripped and fell into my life, I fell into her life.”
Full interview: Harry and Meghan reveal engagement joy
A few months into the relationship, Harry said he had to have “some pretty frank conversations” with Meghan about how her life may change when she entered the royal family.
He added: “But I know that at the end of the day she chooses me, and I choose her, and therefore whatever we have to tackle together or individually we’ll always be us together as a team, so I think she’s capable… she’s capable of anything.”
Article Source : http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/02/13/prince-harry-meghan-markle-start-scottish-visit-edinburgh-walkabout/