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Meghan and Harry delight Cardiff crowds

Flying the flag: Prince Harry
and Meghan Markle at Cardiff
Castle yesterday
PICTURES: PA/WALES NEWS/REX

THEY were an hour late… but Prince Harry and Meghan Markle drove hundreds of cheering well-wishers wild when they arrived for their first official visit to Wales.

The couple, delayed by a track fault as they travelled by train from London, apologised as they went on a walkabout at Cardiff Castle yesterday.

The prince said: ‘Sorry we’re late’ and ‘blame the trains’ while his fiancée echoed his words, saying: ‘I’m so sorry.’ Despite the delay, they won over Ian Leyshon, 41, from Cardiff, who said: ‘Harry and Meghan are great and Cardiff will love them — she can be our princess of Wales.’

Well-handled: A kiss on the hand for Meghan
Blooming lovely: Children with bunches of daffodils

Meghan, wearing a Stella McCartney coat and jeans by Welsh brand Hiut Denim, posed for photos, had her hand kissed — and even accepted an invitation to go on a hen night around the Welsh capital’s nightspots.

Anne Daley, 60, from Llandaff in Cardiff, put her Cavalier King Charles spaniel — named Camilla — in a ‘bride-to-be’ tiara.

Namesake: Ms Markle meeting another Megan
Curtsy: With Morfudd Meredith, Lord-Lieutenant of South Glamorgan

Talking later about her encounter with Meghan, 36, she said: ‘I asked her if she would like to come on a hen night around the nightspots of Cardiff, and she said she’d love to. It was overwhelming, she was so beautiful and kind and she loved Camilla, she gave her a little squeeze.’

The couple also came across their namesakes Megan Taylor, nine, and six-year-old Harry Smith, who presented them with a Welsh love spoon carved with their initials. Meghan, who will marry her prince at Windsor Castle on May 19, told the children: ‘Oh my goodness, wow, it’s beautiful, thank you very much.’

Group hug: Meghan swamped by schoolchildren, prompted by Harry

More royal watchers lined the street outside the Star Hub leisure centre, in the Tremorfa area of Cardiff, cheering and screaming as they welcomed their visitors. Meghan and the prince, 33, were there to see how sport is being used to engage young people and aid social development.

It was there, in a break with royal protocol, that mischievous Harry pointed out Meghan to a group of children, encouraging them to swamp her in a group hug.

LONDON ZOO has honoured Meghan Markle by naming its newborn okapi after her. The ‘giraffe zebra’ was named Meghan to celebrate her engagement to Prince Harry.