Prince Harry and Meghan Markle may be accustomed to receiving gifts from their many fans during royal engagements. But when they were in Ireland, Chloe Mullins had a particularly special souvenir for the couple. And when the teenager presented her present to the newlyweds, the lucky recipients seemed to be in awe.
As many know, Harry and Meghan tied the knot at Windsor Castle’s St. George’s Chapel on May 19, 2018. And as the newly appointed Duke and Duchess of Sussex, they began their royal duties right away with an appearance at a garden party for Prince Charles’ 70th birthday. After that, the pair are thought to have gone on their honeymoon.
Even before they married, however, Harry and Meghan had been on a tour of the United Kingdom, with visits to Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Nottingham. Meghan has also attended events such as the Trooping the Colour, Ascot, the Queen’s Young Leaders Award Ceremony and an exhibition to honor what would have been Nelson Mandela’s 100th birthday.
Then in July 2018 the Duke and Duchess of Sussex began their first visit to Ireland as husband and wife. In particular, they went to meet “the people of Dublin” and learn about organizations “central to Irish life,” according to a statement from Kensington Palace. And while Harry and Meghan would only be in the city for two days, they nevertheless had a busy schedule.
During the trip, the newlyweds met the president of Ireland, Michael Higgins, and went to a party at the residence of the British ambassador, for example. Harry and Meghan also attended a Gaelic sports event at Croke Park and met students at DogPatch Labs – a hub for tech start-up companies. And on a more serious note, the couple spent time at the Famine Memorial and EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum.
Then, on their second day in Ireland, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex visited Trinity College. Here, they looked at the Book of Kells – a 9th-century Latin manuscript featuring the four Gospels of the New Testament. And afterwards, Harry and Meghan greeted the crowd gathered outside in the university’s Parliament Square.
The visit came just before England’s soccer World Cup semi-final clash against Croatia, and it was clear that the game was on Harry’s mind. “Are you all cheering for England?” he apparently said to the excited fans. “It’s definitely coming home.”
Meanwhile, crowd member Emily Witter-Nolan later revealed that she spoke to Harry about the soccer game. “He asked why we’re here because it’s the summer holidays and said how lovely it was to be in Ireland,” she told the Irish Examiner. “He also talked a lot about winning the match tonight.”
According to the newspaper, Harry joked during the meet-and-greet that he’d like to return to Dublin in disguise so that he and his wife could enjoy the city some more. The couple also said hello to some families there with babies, and Meghan spoke to another member of the crowd to reveal that she “probably couldn’t” make her school reunion. She additionally said that she had been a Girl Scout for “many years” when she was given some cookies by a Canadian Girl Guide group.
However, a journalism student named Katie Balfe was rather overwhelmed after she got her one-on-one time with the duchess. She had told the former actress that Meghan had been an “inspiration” to her because of her work to support women’s rights – and Meghan’s response was heartwarming. Balfe explained to the Irish Examiner, “[Meghan] said [that] she was really enjoying her visit and that what I said made it even more special.”
But perhaps Meghan and Harry’s most memorable moment during the walkabout was when Chloe Mullins presented them with a gift. The couple appeared to be blown away by what she had done for them, in fact. And their priceless reactions to the present seemingly made Mullins’ day.
But what had Mullins given to the royal pair? Well, the 19-year-old had drawn a sketch of one of their engagement photos taken by Alexi Lubomirski at Frogmore House. This showed Harry and Meghan pressing their faces together and smiling as she placed a hand on his cheek – and the result was extremely realistic.
Furthermore, Mullins captured the moment that she gave the prince her framed portrait on camera; she later shared the footage to Instagram. “That’s very, very good. Did you draw that? It’s lovely,” Harry can be heard saying of the drawing during the clip.
And the teenager explained to the Irish Examiner, “[Harry] saw [the sketch] and was like, ‘Wow.’ Meghan [then] came over, and he said, ‘Look at this, what do you think of it?’ She said ‘Wow’ too and thanked me for it.”
Harry also joked of the drawing, “You’ve given me more hair,” to which Meghan giggled. Overall, then, the newlyweds seemed to have been touched by the gesture. And after confirming that they were allowed to keep the drawing, the couple gratefully passed it to an assistant to ensure that it would get home with them safely.
Plus, Mullins’ brush with Meghan and Harry is likely not a moment that she will forget anytime soon. “Ya girl’s artwork going in Kensington Palace,” Mullins shared on Instagram and Twitter following her encounter with the royals. “Delighted to have gotten to talk to them and have them keep my drawing – they’re genuinely so nice!!!”
Then, along with the video of her meeting Harry and Meghan, Mullins shared a photo of their stunned reactions. “Still not over meeting them… couldn’t ask for a better compliment than Meghan saying my drawing ‘looked like a photo’ and was ‘so special.’ Great day!” the teenager added on social media.
However, Harry and Meghan can’t take home all of the presents they are given. In fact, it was reported that they have had to return millions of dollars worth of wedding gifts because there are stringent rules around what they are allowed to keep. Still, even though the couple may have grown accustomed to receiving tokens of affection, their delight over Mullins’ gift appeared to show that they were truly honored by the gesture.
As for Mullins herself? Well, she has continued to show off her artistic side by painting a lion mural for her former school. She has also hand-drawn a portrait of Conor McGregor that she hopes to present to the MMA fighter in person. And the 19-year-old is now moving to America to attend Hawaii Pacific University on a full basketball scholarship.
Meanwhile, Harry and Meghan’s royal engagements will take them overseas again in upcoming months. In October 2018, for instance, they will attend the Invictus Games, which were established by Harry, during a tour of Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga. However, Meghan may hope that their travels will take them back to Ireland, as she told fans that Dublin is her “favorite city.”