Rousing reception for Harry and Meghan in Birmingham

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle received a rapturous welcome from the people of Birmingham as they began a visit to the city.

Harry and Ms Markle’s trip to the Midlands is the latest leg of their tour of the country, which has seen them travel the length and breadth of the UK from Cardiff to Edinburgh.

Crowds had been gathering hours ahead and braved the rain waiting for the couple under a sea of umbrellas at Millennium Point.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during a visit to Millennium Point in Birmingham (Victoria Jones/PA)
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during a visit to Millennium Point in Birmingham (Victoria Jones/PA)

But the sun came out a few minutes before the couple arrived.

Stephen McNally, 61, from Stourbridge, said he travelled with a group of friends, with many of them carrying bouquets for Ms Markle.

Commenting on Harry’s engagement to the American actress, he said: “I think he’s been allowed to do, really, what he wants.

“He is old enough now and nobody can tell him what to do – not at his age – and I just hope they will be happy.

“It will be different for her but I think they’ve learnt a lot from the past and that is why Meghan is doing these walkabouts and going round the country before she’s getting married. I think it’s really nice, rather than keeping things a secret like they used to do.

“We hope to be going to Windsor for the wedding, on the streets or in the castle precinct.”

The couple were greeted by John Crabtree, Lord-Lieutenant of the West Midlands, and Ms Markle wore a coat by J Crew, trousers by Alexander Wang and an AllSaints jumper.

Harry and Meghan went on a walkabout shaking hands and greeting around 300 well-wishers and school children who had waited patiently to meet them.

Student Charlotte Highsmith, from Oxford, was overcome with excitement after meeting Meghan and said: “Oh my god, it was worth the wait – I’ve missed my lecture.”

The 20-year-old, who is studying criminology and policing at Birmingham City University, added: “Meghan just thanked us for waiting in the rain for her, but it wasn’t a problem.”

Two elderly sisters, Irene Gould, 82, and her younger sibling June Dickinson, 78, were also ecstatic after meeting Harry and his fiancee.

Mrs Gould said: “We were just so pleased to meet them, and how beautiful Meghan is. We thanked Harry for coming to see us and wished them all the best for their marriage.”