Duchess Meghan and Prince Harry share outtakes from a secret meeting at Buckingham Palace

They may be formally stepping back from royal life at the end of the month, but the Sussexes’ are certainly not stepping back from the causes they care about.
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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have just shared outtakes from a secret meeting they hosted at Buckingham Palace for the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust last week.

Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan, who are President and Vice-President of the QCT respectively, hosted a discussion with young leaders from the Trust’s network, who each work with the Trust across its three pillars; champion, fund and connect.

Sharing two photographs to their official Instagram account @sussexroyal, the Sussexes also linked to a video of highlights from the discussion which touched on mental health, equal opportunities for all, and the importance of supporting youth leadership to help address global challenges and drive positive change around the world.

Taking part in the discussions with Harry and Meghan was QCT advisor Kenny Imafidon, who was joined by Esther Marshall, founder of Stand Tall and author of Sophie Says; Izzy Obeng, founding director of Foundervine; Victor Ugo, founder of Mentally Aware Nigeria Initiative and Kiran Kaur and Amna Akhtar of Hey Girl Dreamer.

The meeting comes as Harry and Meghan prepare to step back as senior members of the Royal Family at the end of the month, on Monday attending their final public engagement as working royals for the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey.

The service marked the first time the royal couple have publicly been seen with members of the royal family since their shock announcement in January that they would be stepping back and the brief and rather awkward interaction between the Sussexes and the Cambridges showed the once affectionately named ‘Fab Four’, are unquestionably no more.

‘Fab Four’ no more: The Cambridges and the Sussexes at Monday’s Commonwealth Day service. (Image: Getty)

Since arriving back in the UK from their new home in Canada, Harry and Meghan have been busy attending their final engagements as senior royals but despite their impending departure, it’s clear they’ll still drum up a ton of support whether they’re in the UK not, particularly with the younger generation, exemplified after a surprise visit to an Essex school ahead of International Women’s Day.

Ahead of IWD Meghan made a surprise visit to Robert Clack Upper School in Dagenham where she spoke with students about what IWD means to them and how we can uplift one another.

The visit also sparked a viral moment when Head Boy Aker Okoye shared his perspective on the importance of the day, beginning the speech with a cheeky “She really is beautiful, innit?” about Meghan, which was met by a roar of laughter from the crowd and the duchess.

Head Boy Aker Okoye makes the crowd and the duchess laugh during her visit to Robert Clack Upper School in Essex. (Image: Getty)

Following her visit, pupils interviewed by Victoria Derbyshire on the BBC also responded to questions of whether they thought Megxit would affect the influence the duchess would have.

“I don’t think that her being an empowering woman is going to matter where on the globe she is,” one of the pupils Olivia said.

“And I think that she will go on to – just like anybody else – use her platforms to do good and I don’t think that being in Canada or being in the UK or being wherever is going to impact that.”

Adding, “What I think is so empowering about Meghan Markle is that she has made that decision and utilised that female autonomy that is championed by International Women’s Day to make the decision that is best for her family and I think that if anything, that only contributes to her being an empowering person.”

WATCH: Students who met Duchess Meghan share their thoughts on Megxit. Story continues below…

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Following their final public engagement in London on Monday, Harry and Meghan have returned to their new home on Vancouver Island in Canada, where they’ll be reunited with 10-month-old Archie.

Formally stepping back on March 31, from April the couple will no longer officially represent the Queen or the Commonwealth, however, will retain their current patronages.

The couple has agreed to a review of their current agreement with the Palace in 12 months, which will see them split their time between the UK and Canada, no longer receive funding from the Sovereign Grant and work to become financially independent.

The royal couple will also no longer be able to actively use their ‘HRH’ prefix or the word ‘royal’ in their current branding, planning to launch a new non-profit organisation in the coming months.

The final agreement is incredibly different to the half-in-half-out agreement they had hoped for when they first announced their decision, however, Prince Harry has said he does not regret his decision, saying he felt there was “no option but to leave” when it came to protecting his family.

Harry and Meghan completed a string of engagements in the UK before they officially step back at the end of March. (Image: Getty)

Psychotherapist, author and close friend of the late Princess Diana, recently said the distance between Harry and his royal life is likely to be a positive one, particularly if his current situation is echoing the trauma of losing his mother.

Speaking to The Telegraph‘s Margarette Driscoll, Julia Samuel, who is both founder patron of Child Bereavement UK and godmother to Prince George, said that for anyone, losing a parent is an injury that will always be there and that it’s not about fixing it, it’s about finding a way to accommodate it.

The late Princess Diana with her good friend Julia Samuel in 1994. (Image: Getty)

“But if things happen that echo the trauma in the past it is much, much harder to do that because it’s so close,” Julia explained.

“It’s much harder to flourish and thrive because you’re being reinjured, not by what happened, but by the new injury.”

Asked if Harry putting distance between his old life and new could prove to help him heal, Julia replied simply, “Yes”.

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