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Meghan makes 1st public appearance since stepping back from royal family

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 07: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex reacts after her visit with Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex to Canada House in thanks for the warm Canadian hospitality and support they received during their recent stay in Canada, on January 7, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

VANCOUVER, Canada — Meghan, Duchess of Sussex has visited a women’s center in Vancouver, in her first public appearance since she and her husband, Prince Harry, made the bombshell announcement that they would be stepping back from their roles as senior members of the British royal family.

The Duchess was pictured, smiling, alongside staff at the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre on Tuesday.

“Look who we had tea with today!” the center wrote on its Facebook page. “The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, visited us today to discuss issues affecting women in the community.”

Meghan has been in Canada with the royal couple’s baby, Archie, in recent days, while the royal family has attempted to deal with the crisis that followed the unheralded announcement that Meghan and Harry wanted to scale back their duties.

Tuesday’s visit to the women’s center is the first confirmation that Meghan is in Vancouver, as had been widely speculated.

Harry attended crunch talks with the Queen and other members of the family on Monday, but a source told CNN that Meghan did not dial into that meeting, which she had previously been expected to do.

In a statement issued after the meeting, the Queen said the family would have preferred the couple to “remain full-time working members of the royal family,” but that they “respect and understand” Harry and Meghan’s “wish to live a more independent life.”

The Queen has agreed to a “period of transition” while details of their new role are hammered out, the family announced. It is unclear when Meghan plans to return to the UK.

Meghan lived in Toronto while filming the TV series “Suits,” in which she starred for seven years. The couple will spend time in both the UK and Canada during their transition period.

Meghan has visited several women’s centers during her time as a royal and is the patron of Smart Works, a charity that helps long-term unemployed and vulnerable women find work.

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