Prince Harry and Meghan Markle step out for first joint royal event

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Markle's royal debut was well received, with the Daily Telegraph saying she "proved she is already well-versed in the working life of the Royal Family".

Just before the couple entered the Nottingham Contemporary gallery for the fair, Harry recognized local royal superfan, 81-year-old Irene Hardman, who has met the Prince several times on previous visits to the city.

"It is such an honour to see the royals", Ms Nurzhubalina said.

"Harry, come and get warmed up by me!" she yelled.

Hundreds of well-wishers had gathered in Nottingham to greet the couple and were not disappointed as the prince and his fiancee appeared determined to meet nearly everyone on their first joint engagement. They plan to tour Britain over the next six months to give Markle an opportunity to learn about the country before their May wedding in the chapel at Windsor Castle.

The couple were in Nottingham to visit a World Aids Day charity fair, hosted by the Terrence Higgins Trust, after announcing they were to Wednesday earlier this week.

Holly Burdett, who is originally from West Bridgford, Nottinghamshire, but now lives in Sydney, Australia, returned home on the "gamble" that the couple would announce their engagement while she was there.

She joked: "I always thought I'd marry Harry but you can't win them all".

They then moved along the seemingly endless line of well-wishers.

Today, she paired the dark blue coat with black suede boots and carried a large burgundy handbag - something the Duchess of Cambridge rarely does.

"Unbelievable." They're your words, Harry, your words.

With no private secretary yet, she had to hold the bouquet and her handbag in the same hand but carried on greeting well-wishers. A little while later one of Harry's aide took the blooms from her.

A few were lucky enough to see the engagement ring up close as Markle shook hands.

The former actress soon left her fiance's side and walked to the other side of the road to greet hundreds of fans who were crowded behind crash barriers.

He said Ms Markle could not wait to meet people she had heard so much about.

Everything went to plan - there were no awkward encounters, the snow that has buffeted some parts of the United Kingdom this week held off, and Markle seemed to be at ease with the flag-waving and camera-wielding residents of Nottingham who had gathered since early in the day to secure the best spots.

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