Following reports that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry organised a surprise emotional farewell lunch for their former Frogmore Cottage staffers, we thought the couple had said all their goodbyes (and that we'd seen all of Meghan's incredible outfits), before returning to Canada. But it seems there was one other final royal engagement that slipped under the radar – until now.
The official @SussexRoyal Instagram account posted a video late last night explaining that while in London, before attending one of her last engagements as a senior royal, the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey, Meghan also took the time to meet with scholars from Commonwealth countries. The meeting happened in Buckingham Palace and Meghan wore a beautiful navy dress by Australian designer, Scanlan Theodore.
Part of the caption read: "The Duchess spoke with Scholars studying and researching important areas surrounding; cleaning up plastic pollution in our oceans, helping to build more sustainable cities, improving health outcomes for citizens, and supporting decent work and economic growth."
But while Meghan looks beaming in the video, Bryony Gordon, a journalist with long-standing links to the royal family (and Prince Harry in particular), says that in reality, she was clearly very emotional about leaving her royal life behind.
In a behind-the-scenes piece for The Telegraph, Gordon described seeing Meghan become tearful after meeting the scholars and before heading to Westminster Abbey – where she and Harry reunited with Prince William and Kate Middleton, for the first time all year.
"Tears glisten in those bright friendly eyes that have charmed and endeared so many during recent days. But behind the scenes, the Duchess of Sussex is not as buoyant as she has appeared to be in public. In fact, she appears to be quietly devastated," writes Gordon, who has previously interviewed Prince Harry about the importance of good mental health.
"The pervading emotion on Monday, as I watched the Duchess carry out her final private engagement [meeting Commonwealth scholars, before the ceremony in Westminster Abbey], seemed to be profound sadness."
It's believed that this picture of Meghan was taken shortly before the moment that Gordon describes in her article.
Writing about Harry's perceived response to stepping away from his senior royal role, Gordon said, "While not tearful like Meghan, his face seemed etched with sadness. I know the couple only a little, but enough to see the very human toll of life as a modern day royal."
It's reported that Meghan (and presumably Harry) flew back to Canada, where baby Archie was waiting, on Monday evening.
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