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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle set for first joint royal visit

Prince Harry and his bride-to-be Meghan Markle are due to visit a World Aids Day charity fair later, in the couple's first joint official public engagement.

The world's media are likely to join the couple, who announced their engagement on Monday, on their trip to Nottingham.

The morning will be spent at the fair, hosted by the Terrence Higgins Trust.

The couple, who are due to marry at Windsor Castle in May, will then meet head teachers at a nearby school.

Prince Harry has spent time in Nottingham both publicly and privately since he first met young people there in 2013, when he was exploring issues around youth violence.

A year later, he established the Full Effect programme, which aims to stop youth violence in the city.

At Nottingham Academy, the couple will watch a "hip hopera" and meet students.

The prince's communication's secretary, Jason Knauf, said the prince was looking forward to introducing Ms Markle to a community that had "become very special to him".

He said Ms Markle could not wait to meet people she had heard so much about.

Well-wishers have started to arrive in Nottingham to catch a glimpse of the couple, including Helena Bottomley, Zoe Scott and Carole Bingham, from East and West Bridgford.

Ms Scott said: "We love the royals. We are genuinely happy for Harry."

"We all had our children at the same time as Diana [Princess of Wales] so we feel a real allegiance. She would be so thrilled," said Ms Bottomley.

University of Nottingham students Raushana Nurzhubalina, from Kazakhstan, and Jenn Garandy, from Canada, set their alarms for 06:00 GMT to get a prime spot to try to see Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

"It is such an honour to see the royals," Ms Nurzhubalina said.

"I'm also a fan of Suits, so it is a chance to see a star of that too."

Dominic Edwards, from the Terrence Higgins Trust, told the BBC the charity was "thrilled" the couple had chosen to visit Nottingham, and said: "I think it really underlines his great support for HIV as a cause."

Royal Life magazine editor Allan Bryce said: "It was obvious she (Megan) would hit the ground running.

"Now she's got to get to know Britain, her adopted country."

On Tuesday, the couple's spokesman said Ms Markle would not be continuing her work on gender with the United Nations or with other organisations and instead would start new charity work as a full-time royal.

Mr Knauf said she planned to focus her attention on the UK and Commonwealth.

"This is the country that's going to be her home now and that means travelling around, getting to know the towns and cities and smaller communities," he said.

She will also become the fourth patron of the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.

The foundation is behind Prince Harry's Invictus Games – the Paralympic-style competition for injured servicemen and women and veterans – and also the mental health charity Heads Together.

It has also been announced that Ms Markle intends to become a British citizen and will work towards it in the coming years.

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