Meghan visits women´s shelter in Canada

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(Vancouver) – Prince Harry´s wife Meghan has visited a women´s shelter in Vancouver, her first public appearance since the couple´s sensational decision to pursue greater independence from the British monarchy by living part-time in Canada.

The Duchess of Sussex visited the Downtown Eastside Women´s Centre and met with staffers.

The centre is a non-profit organization that provides support to women who are fleeing violence, dealing with homelessness or living in poverty. It offers daily hot meals, counselling, clothing, showers, toiletries and more. It serves about 500 women a day.

On a cold, uncharacteristically snowy day, the centre was bustling, as women from diverse ethnic backgrounds and all ages gathered in its main hall. Still bundled in their coats, many sat around tables and on sofas sipping hot beverages, using their phones, chatting and warming up.

Markle met with the director and a handful of frontline staff to discuss the challenges women in the neighbourhood are facing.

“She was very interested in what goes on for women in this community, who we all know are marginalized women who´ve faced many challenges and barriers to their wellbeing,” said Kate Gibson, the acting executive director of the centre.