Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have arrived at a mental health summit in New York City in a convoy of seven blacked-out vehicles – five months after the pair were involved in what they described as a ‘near catastrophic car chase’ in Manhattan.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are due to host a panel discussion today at the World Mental Health Day Festival in what marks their first-ever in-person event for their charity, the Archewell Foundation.
Meghan, 42, arrived at the summit sporting a $987 white off-the-shoulder Altuzarra blazer with matching white pants and heels, while her husband, 39, donned a dapper navy suit.
The couple were all smiles as they arrived at the venue, however they appeared to get emotional once the event kicked off, with both seen looking incredibly somber as the panel commenced – with parents who have ‘suffered tragic loss connected to their child’s social media use’ taking to the stage to share their stories.
They revealed during the event that they have been working behind the scenes with the parents for the past year in order to ‘create a community of shared experiences’, with Harry and Meghan taking to the stage later on in the event to thank all of the mothers and fathers who shared their stories.
‘I can’t start without thanking all of the parents, the mother and fathers that have been here today for being with us, physically here today, but also being on this journey for the last year, creating this community of shared experience,’ Harry said in a video shared by The Hollywood Reporter.
‘We know it’s not easy for you guys to be here so thank you very much.’
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle put on a stylish show as they arrived in New York today, before hosting a World Mental Health Day event
Meghan, 42, was seen sporting a glamorous white strapless pant suit as she arrived at the Hudson Yards venue for the summit, which will see the couple discussing social media dangers
Both Meghan and Harry appeared somber as they sat down at the event, which will see parents who have suffered ‘loss connected to their child’s social media use’
They appeared pensive as they sat and listened to the parents taking part in the event
Taking to the stage at the event, Meghan admitted that she had been left in tears by some of the ‘devastating’ stories shared by the parents who took part in the summit
Meanwhile Harry thanked all of the mothers and fathers who offered to speak out about the losses that they have suffered
Meanwhile, Meghan admitted that she had been left in tears by some of the stories shared by the parents when they first met.
‘A year ago when we met some of the families, not all of them, it was impossible to not be in tears as I’m sure so many of you have been today hearing these stories,’ she said.
‘You can hear these stories again and again and again, and it’s still going to have the same emotional impact because it’s just that devastating.’
Meghan went on to share her fears for her own children, who are growing up in an age when social media plays such a large part in everyone’s lives.
‘As parents, though our kids are really young, they’re two and a half and four and a half… but social media is not going away,’ she continued.
‘I think by design, there was an entry point that was supposed to be positive in creating community and something has devolved, and there’s no way to hear that and not try to help these families have their stories be heard.’
In a video shared by Huffington Post reporter Carly Ledbetter, Meghan went on to describe her role as a mother as the ‘most important thing in her life… outside of being a wife’ to Harry, before opening up about her concerns with regard to their kids Archie and Lilibet using social media.
‘Being a mom is the most important thing in my entire life… outside of course being a wife to this one,’ she said, when asked by Carson how much of a ‘priority’ social media safety is to her, as a mother of two young kids.
Meghan also voiced her fears for her own children, saying: ‘As parents, though our kids are really young, they’re two and a half and four and a half… but social media is not going away’
The event was hosted by Today host Carson Daly, who joined the Sussexes up on the stage
Harry and Meghan revealed that they have been working with some of the parents who took part in the event for the past year to build a ‘community of shared experiences’
The couple were introduced by Carson, 50, who then did a quick Q&A with them on stage
During their on-stage chat, Meghan described being a mother as ‘the most important thing in her entire life… outside of being a wife’ to Harry
‘But I will say, I feel fortunate that our children are at an age, again, quite young, so this isn’t in our immediate future, but I also feel frightened by how it’s continuing to change.
‘And this will be in front of us. As they say, “Being a parent, the days are long but the years are short.” So it worries me, but I’m also given a lot of hope and a lot of energy by the progress we’ve made in the last year.’
Another video taken inside the event, which was posted on Twitter, shows Meghan embracing several of the speakers after they walked off the stage after addressing the gathered crowd.
Today’s event, which saw the couple joined by Today show host Carson and US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy, marks their first joint appearance in New York since the notorious ‘car chase’ that they were caught up in back in May, after attending the Women of Vision awards.
On this occasion, the pair appeared to have taken rather stringent steps to ensure their safety – with a marked NYPD escort accompanying their SUV fleet to the event location at Hudson Yards.
Questions still remain over Harry and Meghan’s account of the car chase, which a statement from the couple’s spokesperson described as being ‘near catastrophic’.
Carson asked Meghan where social media sits on her ‘priority list’ as a mother of two kids
Meghan went on to describe her role as a mother as the ‘most important thing in her life… outside of being a wife’ to Harry
The Duchess expressed that she is ‘frightened’ by the way social media is constantly changing – and is concerned about how it will impact her kids
The spokesman said the couple, as well as Meghan’s mom Doria Ragland, were the victims of a ‘relentless pursuit lasting more than two hours’ at the hands of ‘highly aggressive paparazzi’.
It has been suggested that they were trying not to be followed to where they were staying on the Upper East Side of the city.
However, New York police subsequently told NBC that they did not believe the chase was ‘near catastrophic’, instead describing it as a ‘bit of a chaotic scene’.
Julian Phillips, deputy commissioner of public information in New York also revealed that the NYPD ‘assisted’ the couple’s private security team.
Meanwhile, New York Mayor Eric Adams expressed empathy – describing the actions of the paparazzi as ‘reckless’ and ‘irresponsible’ – but said he would find it ‘hard to believe’ there was a two-hour high speed chase.
On this occasion, Harry and Meghan have seemingly taken every precaution, arriving at Hudson Yards in a fleet of blacked-out vehicles, which pulled directly into an underground garage, where they were quickly surrounded by several security guards.
Before arriving at Hudson Yards, the couple paid a visit to the Marcy Lab School in Brooklyn, which is described as an ‘alternative to college’ that ‘prepares young adults of color for rewarding, wealth-generating careers in the tech sector’ within just one year of education.
The couple arrived at the World Mental Health Day Festival in Manhattan in a fleet of seven blacked-out vehicles
Harry, 39, and Meghan, 42, drove straight into an underground garage where they were closely monitored by a team of security guards
The visit marks the first time that they have returned to New York since their May visit, when they say they were involved in a ‘near catastrophic car chase’
Images shared by Harry and Meghan’s friend and go-to media member Omid Scobie show the duo posing alongside several students at the school, with the Duchess sporting black skinny jeans, a form-fitting black top, and a pair of heels – along with a letterman jacket that she received from the debate team at the Robert Clack School in the UK back in March 2020.
‘Today, Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan visited @MarcyLabSchool in New York,’ Scobie wrote.
‘It’s one of America’s only alternatives to a traditional four-year college, offering a one-year, full-time fellowship in software engineering. Students pay no fees—it’s funded by philanthropic support.
‘Fun fact: Meghan’s varsity letterman jacket was given to her by the debate team at the Robert Clack School in Essex, England during her March 2020 visit.’
Scobie added that Harry and Meghan joined a ‘mindful meditation session’ during which the students open up about how they are feeling. He said that the Duke of Sussex advised the class: ‘Everyone’s got their own story, reason for being here, your life is still going to be filled with complications and challenges.
‘And if one of you starts to go quiet, doesn’t show up, you need to find out why. And remember to have fun! It has to be fun.’
Speaking to Town & Country after the couple’s visit, Zohaiv Manzoor, an alumni who is now an instructor at the school, gushed about the couple’s ‘positivity’ and ‘joy’, saying: ‘They were super down to earth, they were really listening to everything we had to say, the questions they were posing afterward, it really seemed like they were internalizing the things that we were saying, our stories.
‘They did a really great job with that. They were really positive, you could see from their facial expressions they were really excited to be there as well, and they had a lot of joy in them. They made me feel super welcome.’
After departing the school, the pair made their way to Hudson Yards to begin preparing for their summit.
They made their appearance at the venue at around 11:30AM, two hours before they are scheduled to take to the stage for the event, which is titled: The Archewell Foundation Parents’ Summit: Mental Wellness in a Digital Age.
During the event, the couple will endeavor to ‘give voice to families who are passionate about building a safer online world for children and teens’, according to a statement shared with People.
They will discuss initiatives that are ‘creating positive change’ and speak with parents who have suffered ‘tragic loss connected to their child’s social media use’.
People reported earlier this month that Harry and Meghan had been working with the parents that will take part in the summit ahead of the event.
The couple arrived at the event together and walked straight to their seats in the front row
They were seated alongside US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy during the event, which was hosted by Today host Carson Daly
Meghan looked elegant in her white strapless blazer, which she paired with a simple necklace, while her brunette locks were swept into an updo
Today’s event will see the couple sitting down with parents who have suffered ‘tragic loss connected to their child’s social media use’
‘The families have been engaged with The Archewell Foundation for the past year, bolstering community and driving towards solutions,’ a spokesperson said.
‘Together, they are united in their mission to share personal experiences, data, and research to ensure the same does not happen to other families.’
In a segment on this morning’s Today show, Carson, 50, who has been an outspoken advocate for mental health care, revealed that he has been working with Harry and Meghan behind the scenes, while offering some more details about what their event will entail.
‘I’ll be with Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess, behind the scenes with their foundation,’ he shared. ‘They’ve been doing a tremendous amount of work [and] we’re going to talk today about a struggle that parents have in a digital age for their kids with social media.’
Prince Harry and Meghan have both been incredibly outspoken about the importance of mental health care and advocacy, with the Duke of Sussex appearing in an Apple TV+ documentary dedicated entirely to mental health struggles, which he co-created with Oprah Winfrey.
In the series, titled The Me You Can’t See, Harry opened up about the therapy he had been undergoing in order to overcome his childhood trauma.
He was filmed having EMDR therapy, which aims to help someone come to terms with trauma. This saw Harry carry out a series of movements such as closing his eyes and crossing his arms while remembering past events.
The Duke has also spoken out about the dangers of social media on a number of occasions, penning an opinion piece back in August 2020 in which he alleged that it was stoking a ‘crisis of hate’.
Before arriving at the World Mental Health Day event, Harry and Meghan paid a visit to a ‘college alternative’ school in Brooklyn, where they spent time with students and staff
Meghan wore a letterman jacket that was given to her by the debate team at the Robert Clack School in the UK back in March 2020
The couple were, according to one alumni from the school, ‘really excited to be there’
During the visit, the pair attended a ‘mindful meditation session’ during which Harry – seen posing with students – advised the group to keep track of one another’s wellbeing
One alumni from the school described the couple as being ‘super down to earth’, adding: ‘They were really positive’
In the piece, which was written for business magazine Fast Company and was headlined ‘Social media is dividing us. Together, we can redesign it,’ Harry said that social media, as it stood, was ‘unwell’.
‘The digital landscape is unwell and companies like yours have the chance to reconsider your role in funding and supporting online platforms that have contributed to, stoked, and created the conditions for a crisis of hate, a crisis of health, and a crisis of truth,’ he wrote.
He called for online communities to be ‘defined more by compassion than hate; by truth instead of misinformation; by equity and inclusiveness instead of injustice and fearmongering; by free, rather than weaponized, speech.’
Harry and Meghan’s summit event comes just hours after Prince William and Princess Kate hosted their own youth-focused Mental Health Day event in the UK, where they hosted a forum for young people, which focused on the importance of understanding emotions and building positive relationships.
The Princess of Wales added a very special element to her outfit for the day, donning a pair of star-shaped earrings that were given to her by a grieving mother who had them made in memory of her daughter, who tragically took her own life at the age of 17 after struggling with depression.
Kate promised mother Sarah Renton that she would wear the jewelry after receiving the earrings back in June – and she honored that pledge today when she joined the Prince of Wales, 41, for a public engagement in the West Midlands city to mark World Mental Health Day.
After meeting Kate earlier this year, Mrs Renton – a rugby coach – said: ‘My daughter Issy took her own life.
‘The proceeds from the earrings are going to a charity called Brave Minds, a mental health charity that supports children using the platforms of rugby clubs. Mental health is such an important issue.
‘She was wonderful, Issy, a real breath of fresh air. She had wonderful, wonderful friends, surrounded herself with the best people.
Harry and Meghan’s appearance in New York comes just hours after the Prince and Princess of Wales hosted their own World Mental Health Day event in the UK
Kate added a special element to her outfit for the day, donning a pair of star-shaped earrings that were given to her by a grieving mother who had them made in memory of her daughter
‘She was owning life, doing so well in her A levels, she was going to do an elite rugby program, she payed touch rugby for England and got a gold medal in the summer.
‘But she was also struggling with depression. Everything was harder than it was a supposed to be. We thought she was obviously doing better than she was.’
Kate made a passionate speech at the event, telling guests, ‘Alongside the efforts of many others, we have seen real change. Today, more people feel empowered to talk about their mental health than ever before. This is a major step forward.
‘William and I continue to be inspired to see young people, like you all here today, leading this charge – being particularly brave in having some of those conversations yourselves.
‘As a generation, you value and talk more about your mental health than any before you – something we truly admire and applaud.
‘It is important, however, to remind ourselves of the big picture as we meet here today. What are we trying to improve by focusing our efforts on mental health? Ultimately, we are working to build a happier, healthier world.
‘We want to shape fairer, safer, kinder, more equal societies – societies that seek the common good and a better future together.
‘For just as we need to restore, protect, and invest in our planet, so we must also restore, protect, and invest in the communities, relationships and people living on it.’
Content source – www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com