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Liverpool Echo
Liverpool Echo
Jess Molyneux

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's visit to Merseyside four years on

This week, Liverpool had its first Royal visit post coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

Today, the Prince and Princess of Wales will visit the new Royal Liverpool University Hospital, which opened its doors in October 2022. During their tour, The Prince and Princess will visit a ward to see the hospital’s new facilities, meeting with staff who have been working at the hospital during the busy winter period.

They will later visit Birkenhead's Open Door Charity, a charity focused on supporting young adults across Merseyside with their mental health, using culture and creativity as the catalyst for change. Their Royal Highnesses will then visit the charity’s flagship Bloom Building, meeting volunteers, mentors and staff and will learn about the support the charity offers to young people across their various programmes.

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The couple's visit comes almost four years to the day that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were last in Merseyside. Many will remember when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were invited to the area by MP Frank Field and arrived in Birkenhead with crowds of people gathered to welcome them to the Wirral town.

A choir treated the Royal visitors with their angelic tones and hand in hand, the couple greeted the public, who gave them gifts like flowers and a teddy bear. Eliza Morris, aged four, was very excited to meet Harry, holding a #gingersunite poster. Prince Harry told the young fan: "I love the colour of your hair."

Prince Harry chats to Eliza Morris (Photo by Colin Lane)

Meghan Markle was a vision in colour and wore a dress which perfectly showed off her growing baby bump and the pair walked around and greeted those waiting in Hamilton Square. At the time, Meghan was pregnant with her first child, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, but people in the Birkenhead crown suggested if she has a girl, to call it Amy, in which Meghan replied "that's a great name."

At Hamilton Square, the pair visited a new sculpture to mark the 100th anniversary of Wilfred Owen’s death, unveiling a plaque to mark the visit, before meeting local veterans and members of the Birkenhead Institute Old Boys, of which Owen belonged to. The statue, which is named after one of the Birkenhead war poet’s poems, ‘Futility’, is cast in bronze and represents an exhausted First World War soldier.

Do you remember this Royal visit? Let us know in the comments section below.

Their Royal Highnesses then visited Tomorrow’s Women Wirral, an organisation that supports women in vulnerable circumstances, based on Beckwith St East. It offers an extensive range of training courses and workshops for more than 6,000 local women, including support groups around mental health issues, domestic abuse, and addiction.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle visiting Birkenhead (Photo by Colin Lane)

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The Duke and Duchess heard directly from the women about their experiences, before visiting the onsite charity shop, café, and Inspiration Hall. Frank Field gave a short speech to the Royals in The Number 7 cafe and supermarket. Meghan Markle reportedly said the supermarket should be a "prototype for the world."

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex officially open 'Number 7', a 'Feeding Birkenhead' citizen’s supermarket and community café (Photo by Anthony Devlin - WPA Pool /Getty Images)

Their third engagement took place at the Hive Wirral Youth Zone on Bright Street. During the visit, one of the young members at The Hive told of her mental health struggle after losing her dad. Harry told her: "Once you’ve been through something hard yourself you never want other people to go through that again.

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Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex visit 'Tomorrow's Women Wirral' Charity (Photo by Charlotte Graham - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

"Help more young people and help them, thank you for sharing your story in front of all these people." Meghan told her: "Your story is so important and inspiring and you’ve done so well."

In recent weeks, the couple have been in the spotlight for sharing their stories and experiences, from family life to being Royals in the public eye. Their eagerly anticipated six-part Netflix series landed in December and the first of Prince Harry's four primetime interviews about his controversial memoir Spare ahead of the book's launch aired last weekend

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