Prince Harry showed support for his homeland when the British flag was waved at the One Young World Summit.
Harry, 37, and his wife Meghan Markle clapped enthusiastically as British flags were waved in front of the 2,000-strong crowd at Bridgewater Hall in Manchester on Monday night.
The couple, who moved to California after stepping down as working royals, clapped harder when Britain’s flags were presented, despite publicly criticizing the royal family and claiming they don’t feel safe in Britain.
The couple’s apparent excitement for the UK came after they rose to their feet when the Ukrainian flag was presented, likely in solidarity with the country during the Russian invasion. Several summit participants rose to lend support to Ukraine.
Meghan, 41, gave her first speech in Britain since Megxit at the summit, gushing about Prince Harry and the ‘life-changing’ impact of becoming a mother to Archie. She also told the audience ‘it’s really nice to be back in the UK.’
The summit was the couple’s first public appearance in the UK since returning for the Queen’s platinum jubilee in June.
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex clapping during the opening ceremony of the One Young World Summit 2022 at Bridgewater Hall
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex clapped to the music as the flag ceremony took place across the stage.
The pair sat together centrally on a bench as they joined the One Young World consultants to watch the flag bearers enthusiastically parade the flags of more than 200 countries during a ceremony.
Meghan, with her hair in a sleek ponytail, sat cross-legged and rocked in time to a rendition of Dancing In The Streets while clapping her hands.
The ceremony also included the flag of the Refugee Nation, which has been included in the ceremony since 2016.
Harry and Meghan are in the UK this week for two charity events.
The couple have asked private security firms to provide a ‘ring of steel’ in Manchester for their appearance at the One Young World forum for young leaders, amid an argument over who will pay for their protection on British soil.
The couple’s apparent excitement for the UK came after they rose to their feet when the Ukrainian flag was presented, likely in solidarity with the country during the Russian invasion
A participant in the Young World Summit, including Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, stand up when presenting the Ukrainian flag
The trip comes amid Harry’s ongoing legal battle with the government over his security in the UK. He launched legal action after being told he would no longer receive ‘the same degree’ of personal protection after stepping back from the royal family in 2020.
He said he did not feel safe under the current security arrangements that brought his family here and has offered to pay the British police to act as a bodyguard himself. Last month, he won a bid to file a Supreme Court claim against the Interior Ministry.
In addition to a massive security operation, media access has also been severely limited to the events in the UK, where only carefully selected journalists were able to cover the pair.
Harry and Meghan have taken part in several interviews since their departure from royal life, including their controversial meeting with Oprah in 2021, in which they accused the royal family of racism and said the institution failed to help a suicidal Meghan.
Meghan Markle is pictured in the photo arriving Monday at the One Young World Summit in Manchester
Meghan Markle reacts as she listens to Prince Harry at the annual One Young World Summit at Bridgewater Hall in Manchester
During that interview, Meghan revealed that while living in the UK, she didn’t feel safe being left home alone.
She recalled encouraging Harry to skip a Cirque du Soleil event at the Royal Albert Hall in 2019 as she struggled with her mental health.
‘I can’t be left alone; I’m afraid of what I might do,” Meghan told Harry.
The couple attended the show together, but Meghan claimed she cried during the performance.
“I think it’s so important for people to remember that you have no idea what’s going on for someone behind closed doors. I have no idea,” she told Oprah of the event.
“Even the people who smile and shine the brightest lights. You have to have compassion for what may actually be going on.’
Harry also said he was ashamed he didn’t know how to help Meghan and admitted he didn’t go to palace officials or other royals for help.