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British Royal Family

Meghan Markle pictured surprising a women's centre in Vancouver - her first public sighting since stepping back

The Duchess of Sussex casually popped in for tea.

By Jess Pullar
Meghan Markle has been pictured for the first time since announcing she and Prince Harry would "step back" as senior royals, and she's left a women's centre completely gobsmacked.
The charitable Duchess was pictured in an image shared to Facebook by the Downtown Eastside Women's Centre in Vancouver, where she joined the employees to discuss the social work they were doing.
In the caption of the image, the women's centre wrote: "Look who we had tea with today!"
"The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, visited us today to discuss issues affecting women in the community."
In the picture, the beaming Duchess is seen wearing a chic cream-coloured knit and black jeans.
She added a fine golden locket to her casual-chic ensemble, and wore her hair straightened and out.
Meghan is seen surrounded by employees from the women's centre, who look absolutely chuffed to have met the Duchess.
The Duchess surprised the Women's centre in Vancouver on Tuesday, January 14. (Facebook)
According to Vancouver publication Straight.com, Downtown Eastside is one of the poorest neighbourhoods in the entire country.
The centre visited by Meghan on Tuesday has worked in the area since 1978, providing a safe space for women and children, as well as providing counselling, hot meals and other basic necessities.
Meghan's visit was no doubt a pointed move from the 38-year-old, who is known for her passion in shining a light on charities who are working towards a greater good - especially for women.
Meghan was beaming as she stood beside the women at the centre. (Facebook)
The visit comes shortly after Meghan and husband Harry's fate as royal family members was ultimately decided by the Queen, who issued a personal statement on Monday giving her full support to the royal couple.
"We respect and understand their wish to live a more independent life as a family while remaining a valued part of my family," the Queen wrote, after explaining that she was supportive of the pair creating "a new life as a young family".
She also confirmed that the pair wished to split their time between the UK and Canada for now as they transition into the new chapter.
WATCH: Meghan tells founder of One Young World not to curtsy to her - opts for a hug instead. Story continues...
Meghan and Harry certainly seem to have taken a liking to Canada, having spent time there holidaying over the Christmas break.
It is expected that they will set up a proper home base there over the coming months, but in the meantime, they are understood to be staying in a lush residence on Vancouver Island.

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