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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s First Joint Royal Trip Is a Nod to Princess Diana

December 1, 2017, 10:56 AM UTC

Britain’s Prince Harry and his fiancee Meghan Markle perform their first official engagements together on Friday since they publicly announced they were getting married, to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS and youth crime.

The visit to a charity fair to mark World Aids Day is particularly symbolic for Harry whose late mother Princess Diana is credited with playing a leading role in breaking down the stigma that was attached to the disease.

Queen Elizabeth’s grandson Harry, currently fifth-in-line to the throne, and U.S. actress Markle, best known for her leading role in U.S. legal drama “Suits”, announced their engagement on Monday, igniting a trans-Atlantic media frenzy.

Read More: Meghan Markle Is Giving Up Her Career For Prince Harry. Does That Make Her a Bad Feminist?

They are to be married next May in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, the family home of British kings and queens for almost 1,000 years.

On Friday, the couple will travel to Nottingham in central England to attend an event held by the Terence Higgins Trust to remember lives lost to HIV and mark the progress that has been made fighting the illness.

Britain's Prince Harry and his fiancee Meghan Markle arrive at an event in Nottingham
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle arrive in Nottingham on Friday. POOL REUTERS
Adrian Dennis—Pool/Reuters

Harry has become a prominent campaigner on the issue, following in the footsteps of his mother who opened Britain’s first HIV/AIDS unit in London in 1987 and famously shook hands with and kissed an AIDS patient during a hospital visit.

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Afterwards, they will visit Nottingham Academy to meet headteachers from local schools to hear about the Full Effect programme, an imitative supported by the charity of Harry and his elder brother Prince William and wife Kate, which looks to sway children from becoming involved in youth violence.

Markle, who has been a humanitarian campaigner for a number of causes including work as a U.N women’s advocate, is to give up her previous charity roles as she begins life in Britain’s royal family, Harry’s spokesman said on Tuesday.

She was also keen to travel around Britain to get to know the country that will become her home, the spokesman added, as she intends to become a British citizen.