Meghan Markle, Prince Harry visit Harlem students on NYC trip

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Meghan Markle, Prince Harry visit Harlem students on NYC trip

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry visited a Harlem elementary school Friday where the Duchess read her book “The Bench” to a group of second graders.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were greeted by excited students at PS 123 Mahalia Jackson just before noon on day two of their Big Apple tour.

Megan Markle and Prince Harry visit students at PS 123 Mahalia Jackson in Harlem.
Megan Markle and Prince Harry visit students at PS 123 Mahalia Jackson in Harlem.
Paul Martinka
Prince Harry talks to students at PS 123 Mahalia Jackson.
One thrilled third-grader shouted out “that’s Queen Elizabeth’s son” as she pointed at Prince Harry.
Paul Martinka
Meghan Markle reads her book “The Bench” to a group of second graders.
Meghan Markle reads her book “The Bench” to a group of second graders.
Paul Martinka
Megan Markle and Prince Harry visited PS 123 Mahalia Jackson in Harlem.
Megan Markle and Prince Harry visited PS 123 Mahalia Jackson in Harlem.
Paul Martinka

One thrilled third-grader shouted out “that’s Queen Elizabeth’s son” as she pointed at Prince Harry.   

Markle — dressed in a burgundy pantsuit, matching heels and Princess Diana’s Cartier watch — sat down in the middle of the playground with the mesmerized second graders to read them her bestselling picture book.

Harry, wearing a gray sweater and khaki slacks, sat cross-legged on the ground close by. At one point, he told a student: “It’s great to be back. We love New York.”

Megan Markle talks to students at PS 123 Mahalia Jackson.
Megan Markle talks to students at PS 123 Mahalia Jackson.
Paul Martinka

The Duchess noted it was the first time she’d read the book to kids other than her own two children, Archie, 2, and Lilibet, who was born in June.

“The Bench started as a poem I wrote for my husband on Father’s Day, the month after Archie was born. That poem became this story,” Meghan told the students. 

“I was, at the moment, witnessing my husband with our son when he’d just been born, and watching that this could be a place where they could continue to grow and connect and learn, and that could be anywhere,” she added.

“So it’s about finding that special place for you that’s in your heart, and wherever you find it, to always go and reset and go, ahhhh, this feels good.”

Asked by one of the students if she planned to write another, Meghan said: “At the moment I don’t plan to write another children’s book, but never say never.”

The students were all given a copy of her book – which tells varying stories of how children interact with their fathers — to take home.

A number of kids handed over pink paper hearts they’d written their personal stories on and Meghan went through them individually, addressing each student by name.  

The couple, who were joined by New York City Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter, also posed with students and staff in front of a mural made by fourth and fifth graders.

Both Meghan and Harry were spotted hugging students before they left. They donated two garden boxes filled with vegetables and herbs to the school.

“Being able to meet her was like a chance of a lifetime. Everyone was really excited. It was a secret from everyone,” art teacher James Reynolds told The Post.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle gives hugs to the students.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle gives hugs to the students.
Paul Martinka
Megan Markle and Prince Harry arrived at PS 123 Mahalia Jackson just before noon.
Megan Markle and Prince Harry arrived at PS 123 Mahalia Jackson just before noon.
Paul Martinka
The students at PS 123 Mahalia Jackson were all given a copy of Meghan Markle's book to take home.
The students at PS 123 Mahalia Jackson were all given a copy of Meghan Markle’s book to take home.
Paul Martinka

“We have been through a lot in the last 18 months … I think they were just eternally grateful she stopped by. 

“They were great folks.”

Markle’s colorful attire and blown out hair was a stark contrast to Thursday’s somber black outfit during their whirlwind visits to the 9/11 memorial with Gov. Kathy Hochul and Mayor Bill de Blasio.

They later met with Chelsea Clinton, the US ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield and others associated with the World Health Organization for a roundtable about vaccine equity.

It marks their first business trip to the Big Apple since saying goodbye to royal life.  

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who are staying at the swanky Carlyle hotel – a favorite of Princess Diana — are in town for the Global Citizen Live event in Central Park on Saturday.

Their children, Lili and Archie, stayed behind at the family’s swanky mansion in Montecito, Calif., sources previously told Page Six.

They also later met with US ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield.

It marks their first business trip to the Big Apple since saying goodbye to royal life.  

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who are staying at the swanky Carlyle hotel – a favorite of Princess Diana — are in town for the Global Citizen Live event in Central Park on Saturday.

Their children, Lili and Archie, stayed behind at the family’s swanky mansion in Montecito, Calif., sources previously told Page Six.

Additional reporting Sara Nathan

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