Prince Harry and Meghan Markle spent Veterans’ Day at an Army base in New Jersey, enjoying lunch with soldiers and sharing stories of the military’s psychological challenges.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex – who were blinded on Wednesday evening at a gala honoring the military in Manhattan on the aircraft carrier Intrepid – traveled from New York to Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey on Thursday.
The site is the US Department of Defense’s only tri-service base and is home to over 46,000 members of the armed forces and their families.
The Duke and Duchess had lunch with members of all six branches of the military and were laughingly and attentively listened to a discussion over lunch.
Harry – who had spent a decade in the British Army until his retirement in 2015 and completed two tours of Afghanistan – spoke about the often felt isolation service members experience when they return home, and emphasized the importance of it To support veterans.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle visit McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst Joint Base in New Jersey to mark Veterans’ Day on Thursday
Harry, 37, and Meghan, 40, listen carefully as military personnel discuss their experiences
The couple had lunch with the soldiers, and Harry beamed as he shared his stories of a decade in the British Army
The group discussed their families, the community, and the value of service, according to a spokesman for the couple
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex take a look around at the Salute to Freedom Gala at the Intrepid Museum on Wednesday night
An Archewell photo showing the Duke and Duchess of Sussex at the Intrepid Museum Wednesday night
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attend the 2021 Salute To Freedom Gala at the Intrepid Museum in New York City last night
The couple wear red poppies on their outfits as a symbol of memory last night at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
“My military experience made me what I am today, and I will always be grateful to the people I have served with – wherever we have been in the world,” he said.
“But in war you also see and experience things that you hope no one else has to.
‘These stay with us, sometimes like a slide show of pictures.’
A spokesman for her nonprofit foundation, Archewell, said: “During your visit, they will discuss mental health, the value of community and a life of service.”
The spokesman said the couple made “commitments to remember, reflect, and honor service members, veterans and military families from around the world.”
Last year, the couple celebrated Veterans’ Day with a solo trip to Los Angeles National Cemetery and planted flowers on the military graves.
2020 – On the occasion of Memorial Sunday in 2020, Harry and Meghan visited the Los Angeles National Cemetery
2019 – Prince Harry with his brother Prince William and Uncle Prince Andrew at a Sunday memorial service at the Cenotaph in London on November 10, 2019
2018 – Harry and his brother on November 11th 2018 at the annual Remembrance Sunday memorial service in London
The year before, when he was still a member of the royal family, he traditionally attended a ceremony at the cenotaph in London. On Sunday his grandmother, the Queen, 95, will preside over the ceremony despite being sick for several weeks and being pressured to rest by her doctors.
Harry and Meghan left the UK in January 2020 and now call California home after stepping down from their roles.
As a result of her resignation, he is now banned from wearing a military uniform after his honorary military titles were revoked. At the event on Wednesday evening, however, he was allowed to pin his medals on his black suit.
Despite decades of military service, the Duke lost his title as Captain General Royal Marines; Air Force Honorary Commander, RAF Honington; and Commodore-in-Chief, Small Ships and Diving, Royal Naval Command.
Harry received the Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002, the Operational Service Medal for Afghanistan in 2018 after serving on the front in Helmand Province and the Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012.
2008 – Prince Harry is pictured in Helmand Province, Afghanistan in January 2008 while serving in the British Army
2008 – Prince Harry eats lunch in the desert during his military deployment in Helmand Province in 2008
2012 – Prince Harry, known as Captain Wales, is pictured in southern Afghanistan in November 2012
The couple’s trip to the east coast – their second in two months, after a visit to the United Nations and the 9/11 Memorial in September – came after Meghan apologized to the London Court of Appeals on Wednesday for failing to do so remember that she had told a royal aide to inform the authors of the Finding Freedom biography.
The Duchess, who previously insisted that she and Harry not work with the two authors of the exuberant book, said she “forgot” to give the advisor’s details “when you sit down with them”.
The Mail on Sunday tries to defend itself against Meghan’s allegations that she unlawfully violated her privacy by posting excerpts from a letter to her father, Thomas Markle.