Meghan Markle signalled her clear intent to fully embrace Britishness by choosing to wear the high street brand M&S for her second official public engagement with Prince Harry when they dropped in to a south London community radio station.
The US former actor was cheered by hundreds who turned out in the January chill to see the couple at Reprezent 107.3FM in Brixton, which trains hundreds of young people every year in media and employment skills.
Their arrival was marked by an explosion of camera flashes from a large phalanx of photographers and TV cameras, as Markle, 36, smiled, waved, and blew a kiss to wellwishers outside Pop Brixton, a community project that houses independent local businesses, start-ups, new restaurants and the not-for-profit radio station in shipping containers.
On an impromptu walkabout later, she was showered with flowers and cards as she shook hands with the crowd.
Twitter users were swift to identify her £45 sweater as from British brand M&S’s Autograph collection, which Markle teamed with Burberry trousers, a coat by Smythe, and a scarf from Jigsaw.
Struggling high street giant Marks & Spencer was quick to react on Markle’s choice of knitwear, tweeting: “#MagicandMarkle – Meghan wears our Autograph Bell Sleeve jumper on her trip to #Brixton”.
During the visit, Harry practised a fist-bump handshake and the couple donned headphones as presenter Gloria Beyi, 17, was on air. “I can see why your show is so popular. You’re so thoughtful and your approach is so engaging,” Markle told Beyi. “I must tune in”.
Markle, who has spoken out on women’s issues, also homed in on presenter YV Shells, 24, asking him: “Is it you that does a lot of support of the women DJs? Empowering the women to make sure they’re in a space where it’s not as much [male] driven – to be the man there supporting, I think that’s incredible.”
Shane Carey, 46, founder and chief executive of Reprezent, said: “Since the visit was announced there’s been massive excitement in the station – much more than I could have expected. We’re having the spotlight shone on us from all the world’s media, pretty much, we’ve never had this attention.”
The Reprezent training programme, established 10 years ago in response to rising knife crime, helps young people develop and socialise through radio and has become a springboard for UK music talent, with former DJs and presenters working in the music industry.
The couple, who announced their engagement in November, will marry on 19 May at St George’s Chapel in the grounds of Windsor Castle.