Meghan Markle made a surprise appearance alongside her husband, Prince Harry, at their first red carpet together since resuming their roles as senior royals.
Meghan attended Harry’s presentation of the inaugural Intrepid Valor Awards to five service members, veterans, and military families “living with the invisible wounds of war” at the Intrepid Museum’s 2021 Salute to Freedom gala in New York on Wednesday night.
The Duke looked dapper in a black tuxedo with his medals and the Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order cross, while the Duchess dazzled in a show-stopping Carolina Herrera fire-engine red gown and Giuseppe Zanotti shoes.
The mother-of-two, who welcomed daughter Lilibet Diana in June, stole the show as she boarded the historic aircraft carrier Intrepid in a stunning gown with a deep neckline, pleated skirt, and a thigh-high split that ran up the center of the gown.
She wore a diamond tennis bracelet that belonged to Princess Diana, as well as a poppy to commemorate Veteran’s Day in the United States and Rememberance Day in the United Kingdom.
The ceremony, which will take place aboard the historic aircraft carrier Intrepid, will take place the day before Armistice Day in the United Kingdom, which is also known as Veterans Day in the United States.
During the ceremony, the Duke presented five service members, veterans, and military families with Intrepid Valor Awards, and he spoke about how his military experience shaped who he is today.
“It’s great to be back on the USS Intrepid a decade after my last visit – so much has changed.” “How’s that for living the American dream?” he joked, referring to his recent ride on the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile.
“I’ve been in the United States for almost two years. Witnessing your support for all those who put themselves in harm’s way in defense of our liberties and freedoms is remarkable and greatly admired.
“It reminds me of the deep respect we have for our military in the United Kingdom.” The armed forces in both of our countries have a special bond, and I’m grateful to have spent many years supporting our common allyship.”
Harry was also reunited with rocker Jon Bon Jovi, who was honored with the Intrepid Lifetime Achievement Award in 2021 for his work as chairman of the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation.
The organization focuses on providing affordable housing and shelter, as well as permanent supportive housing for veterans, to break the cycle of poverty and homelessness.
In February 2020, the frontman collaborated with Harry on a charity single, Unbroken, for the Duke’s Invictus Games Foundation.
During his ten years in the Army, the Duke completed two frontline tours in Afghanistan.
“As we honor and reflect on Remembrance Day in the United Kingdom, which falls on the same day as Veterans Day in the United States tomorrow,” he continued, “my hope is for all of us to continue to support and recognize the value of our troops, veterans, and the entire military and service family.” We and they are both better as a result.
“I served in the military for ten years, including two tours in Afghanistan – one on the ground and in the dust with some of you as a FAC (Forward Air Controller), and the other in the air supporting and talking with you as an Apache helicopter pilot.”
“Nothing was more valuable to me than spending time with my soldiers in a shell scrape, eating an MRE (Meal, Ready-to-Eat) in the back of a tank, thanks for the swaps, flying a mission overhead knowing those below were safer, or making each other laugh when it was needed the most,” he continued.
“My military experience shaped who I am today, and I will always be grateful for the people I had the privilege of serving with – wherever we were in the world.”