Harry And Meghan Head To The East Midlands

28 November 2017, 17:17 | Updated: 29 November 2017, 06:34

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

The Royal couple will carry out their first official engagement together in Nottingham on Friday.

Nottingham will host Prince Harry and Meghan Markle as they embark on their first official engagement together.

The city is one which is believed to be close to Harry's heart, with his communications secretary Jason Knauf saying the prince is "looking forward to introducing Ms Markle to a community that has become very special to him".

Harry has forged links with the city through the work of the Full Effect programme which seeks to combat youth violence, and the prince has visited several times to see its work in action.

The programme is led by Harry, and was set up by the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry - the foundation which Ms Markle is also to become a patron of.

At the inaugural summit of Barack Obama's foundation in Chicago earlier this month, Harry was joined by Chantelle Stefanovic, a project coordinator at the programme, and she was praised by Harry for the effect she has had on the people in her community.

"Ms Markle cannot wait to meet many of the young people Prince Harry has told her so much about," Mr Knauf said of Friday's visit.

The couple will visit the Nottingham Contemporary which is hosting a Terrence Higgins Trust World Aids Day charity fair, and also visit Nottingham Academy to meet headteachers taking part in the Full Effect programme.

The away day will begin with a civic welcome at the National Justice Museum followed by a walkabout where they will be able to greet members of the public as a couple for the first time.

The event for World Aids Day would be an "upbeat, fun event that will highlight the work to smash the stigma that can still exist around HIV in the Midlands", Mr Knauf said.

In February this year, Harry was treated to a rap masterclass during a day of engagements in Nottingham.

At Nottingham Academy, he sat in on music and kickboxing sessions.

After greeting pupil Newton Mwaniki with a fist-bump, Harry then sat down to listen in on a session which was part of the Full Effect programme.

He also presented apprentices from the Coach Core project with graduation certificates during a ceremony at Nottingham Council House.

The Coach Core scheme is run by the Royal Foundation and works with 16 to 24-year-olds, developing them into fully-fledged sport coaches and, through its professional partnerships, getting them into jobs.

Back in October 2016, a visit to Nottingham saw Harry open a police station and visit an inner-city youth club.