Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have made a bunch of formal public appearances since getting engaged in November of 2017. Most of the time, those appearances are scheduled and announced in advance and there are crowds of people there waiting to get a chance to meet the couple. But the soon-to-be newlyweds recently went on one official visit that was kept secret up until their arrival. Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's Ireland appearance was reportedly kept under wraps for security reasons.
Harry and Meghan arrived at Eikon Centre in Belfast on the morning of Friday, March 23. According to Kensington Palace, this marks the couple's first official visit to Ireland since getting engaged. The couple reportedly made appearances all day in Belfast by spending time at a youth center, having lunch at a Victorian gin palace called the Crown Liquor Saloon (um, gin palace?!), and taking a tour of the Titanic museum, but why was their trip kept secret until they arrived? According to Daily Mail, royal visits to Northern Ireland are usually not announced ahead of time for security purposes.
Harry and Meghan arrived at the Eikon Exhibition Center in Belfast on Friday, March 23, much to the surprise and excitement of the kids at the center.
Their trip might've been kept a secret, but at least it has #blessed us with these new photos of the couple!
Look at the love in her eyes!
This is a face of a woman swooning. And I'm swooning over it.
Kensington Palace gave some insight into the visit, saying the intention of visiting the Eikon Center was so Harry and Meghan could meet the kids who are part of the "Amazing the Space" initiative.
The tweet said,
Funded by the Northern Ireland Executive Office and organised by @cooperationirl, ‘Amazing the Space’ was launched by Prince Harry in September 2017 to encourage young people to become ambassadors for peace within their communities.
While at the center, Harry and Meghan sat in the front row while kids spoke on stage about their commitment to bringing peace to their communities.
This trip to Belfast comes just one day after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding invitations were revealed to the public.
In a series of tweets, Kensington Palace revealed the invitations and detailed how they were made. The first tweet read, "Invitations to the wedding of Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle have been issued in the name of His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales." Another tweet introduced the company that made the invitations, saying, "The invitations follow many years of Royal tradition and have been made by @BarnardWestwood. They feature the Three-Feathered Badge of the Prince of Wales printed in gold ink."
We also got a behind-the-scenes look into how the invitations were made.
One tweet read, "Lottie Small, who recently completed her apprenticeship, printed all of the invitations in a process known as die stamping, on a machine from the 1930s that she affectionately nicknamed Maude."
Here's a closer look at Harry and Meghan's wedding invitations:
Kensington Palace also tweeted a video of Small working with the gold ink that would be used for part of the invitations.
It's pretty mesmerizing to watch, TBH. And the invitations actually incorporated a sweet element that symbolized Harry and Meghan's lives coming together. "Using American ink on English card," Kensington Palace's tweet read, "the invitations are printed in gold and black, then burnished to bring out the shine, and gilded around the edge." American ink on an English card?! Don't mind me while I sob.
With the wedding coming up in just two months, this trip to Belfast could possibly be the last the couple goes on before tying the knot. But who knows, maybe Harry and Meghan have a lot more appearances planned leading up to May 19 that are just being kept a secret. Now, about that gin palace...