Harry and Meghan visit Canada House for first royal engagement of the year

7 January 2020, 18:26

The couple visited Canada House on Tuesday
The couple visited Canada House on Tuesday. Picture: PA

By Megan White

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex looked loved up as they carried out their first royal engagement of the year at Canada House in London.

Harry and Meghan visited the country’s High Commissioner Janice Charette to thank her for the warm hospitality of her homeland, where they spent Christmas with son Archie.

They spent six weeks in Canada over the festive period and also held US Thanksgiving celebrations - which in 2019 fell on November 28 - with the duchess' mother Doria Ragland.

The couple made the visit on Tuesday to express their gratitude to the Commonwealth nation and its people, and met Ms Charette and her deputy Sarah Fountain Smith.

The couple were described by a royal aide as feeling "energised and excited" to be back in the UK, after spending the break in the province of British Columbia, where they were spotted hiking on Vancouver Island.

The Duke and Duchess met the Canadian High Commissioner
The Duke and Duchess met the Canadian High Commissioner. Picture: PA

In a possible indication of the months ahead - with the Sussexes' royal foundation expected to be launched this year - Harry said later about their chat with Ms Charette: "There's a hell of a lot of work to be done and things to be talked through but a very useful conversation."

They later met staff gathered on the Commission's grand staircase, and the duke, in a reference to their successful break, asked: "Anyone here from British Colombia?"

When a few hands went up, he said: "What a beautiful place you live in."

Harry went on to say "Thank you so much", and made the group laugh when he added "not that you had anything much to do with it.

"But the warmth and hospitality we were shown while there was unbelievable, and that's exactly why we chose to go out there."

The Duke and Duchess with High Commissioner Janice Charette
The Duke and Duchess with High Commissioner Janice Charette. Picture: PA

Former Suits star Meghan lived and worked in Toronto during her time starring in the popular drama.

She told the High Commission staff: "I want to say happy new year and thank you, and as my husband said, my goodness it was just such an incredible time we were able to have there, and with our son too.

"And just to be able to take in the warmth that we experienced from the people, but also just to walk around and just see the beauty of Canada.

"To see Archie go 'ahhh' when you walk by, and just see how stunning it is - so it meant a lot to us."

The couple, who were said to be jet-lagged after their recent transatlantic flight, arrived at Canada House from a private visit to the Hubb Community Kitchen, run by a group of women whose recipes were featured in a cookbook backed by Meghan.

The duchess was the force behind the book, suggesting the idea to a group of women who came together to cook at a Muslim cultural centre in North Kensington in the aftermath of the Grenfell blaze.

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