After recent news events like the war in Ukraine and last year’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have released statements expressing their condolences for the victims. But after the mass shooting in Uvalde that took the lives of 19 children and two teachers, Meghan opted for an in-person tribute at Robb Elementary School. According to a spokesperson for the couple, Meghan traveled to Uvalde on Thursday in a personal capacity “as a mother” to express her condolences and provide support for the community.
Meghan was photographed at Robb wearing a t-shirt, jeans, and a pair of sneakers and carrying a bouquet of white roses. She laid the roses down in front of a cross, one of 19 erected on the elementary school’s grounds to honor the victims. According to BuzzFeed News, she also visited a community center hosting a blood drive to donate packages of “sandwiches, beverages, and desserts.”
“She was just really sweet,” volunteer Georjean Burnell told the outlet. “She just kind of walked in with her crew and started putting ice waters in the bucket with us and laying out chips for the people who were needing snacks before and after donating…. It’s funny, we didn’t even know it was her until after she left and now we’re so sad. I mean, to be honest, we thought she was our neighbor.”
White roses became one of the symbols of mourning after Princess Diana’s death in 1997. In 2017 gardeners at Kensington Palace redesigned the Sunken Garden in her honor and the design featured rows of white rose bushes. When Meghan and Harry were wed in May 2018, she carried a bouquet of white roses and forget-me-nots, which were said to be Diana’s favorite flower. St. George’s Chapel, where the ceremony took place, was also decorated with an array of white flowers.
Mental health is central to the couple’s work with the Archewell Foundation, and Harry has spoken about the effects of grief throughout his time as a royal. Meghan isn’t the first royal to make a quiet visit to a public memorial in the aftermath of tragedy. In March 2021, Kate Middleton visited a makeshift memorial in London’s Clapham Commons to pay her respects to Sarah Everard, a woman who was abducted from the park and later found dead.
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