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Oct. 15, 2021

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Meghan and Harry meet with students at Harlem school

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Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, pose for photos with a group of third grade students during their visit to P.S. 123, the Mahalia Jackson School, in New York's Harlem neighborhood, Friday, Sept. 24, 2021.
Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, pose for photos with a group of third grade students during their visit to P.S. 123, the Mahalia Jackson School, in New York's Harlem neighborhood, Friday, Sept. 24, 2021. (AP Photo/Richard Drew) Photo Gallery

NEW YORK — Meghan and Harry, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, offered lots of hugs to kids at a Harlem elementary school Friday where she read her children’s book to about two dozen students who sat cross-legged with her husband in the play yard.

The hourlong visit to PS 123, which in part serves shelters for families without permanent homes, was one of several stops so far in a whirlwind New York week for the two. A couple of the children shed tears when they met the pair under a white tent set up near the school’s jungle gym.

Nearly a dozen second-graders had prime spots on round, green cushions after older students showed off a three-dimensional flower mural they had created. Then Meghan read “The Bench,” which she initially wrote as a Father’s Day poem to Harry after the birth of their son Archie.

After reading her multicultural tribute to fatherhood, Meghan took questions from her young listeners.

The couple, students and staff, joined by New York City Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter, wore masks during their time together. Harry and Meghan also donated two garden boxes filled with vegetables to the school.

Meghan wore a Merlot trouser outfit to the appearance, while Harry wore khakis and a casual gray Henley.

The couple, who live in California after stepping aside from royal duties last year, are scheduled to appear on Saturday at a Global Citizen concert aimed at combatting a variety of issues, including climate change, global poverty and vaccine inequity. The two, in partnership with the World Health Organization, gathered a key group of NGOs, executives, experts, public health officials and world leaders Thursday for a joint dialogue on achieving shared global COVID-19 vaccine equity goals.

At the school, a heckler with a bullhorn stood just outside the school fence blaring anti-vaccine mandate and anti-mask mandate vitriol as Harry and Meghan visited with students.

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