Harry and Meghan echo Diana’s famed solo New York trip during visit

Gyles Brandreth says jumper is ‘tribute’ to Harry and Meghan

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In their first public outing since the birth of their second child Lilibet, the couple are staying at The Carlyle hotel, which was used by Princess Diana and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are visiting the Big Apple to attend the Global Citizen Live event at Central Park on Saturday, which aims to encourage equal access to COVID-19 vaccines.

Harry and Meghan will appear at the event to urge world leaders to adopt a vaccine equity policy to help end the pandemic across the globe.

The pair were accompanied by New York Governor Kathy Hochul, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, his wife, Chirlane McCray, and their son, Dante de Blasio.

Following the meeting, Mr De Blasio tweeted: “Don’t be a Jair Bolsonaro, be a Harry and Meghan. Get vaccinated” – a reference to the Brazilian President who has publicly said he would not get the COVID-19 vaccine, despite his country having the highest death rate due to the virus after the US.

Saturday’s concert, featuring performances by Coldplay, Jennifer Lopez and Lizzo, will feature as part of a 24-hour broadcast from cities around the world to “defend the planet and defeat poverty.”

Diana first visited New York in February 1989 as a royal for a three-day solo tour, and returned to the same hotel after her divorce from Prince Charles in 1996.

Prince William and Kate Middleton also stayed at the hotel when they visited New York for a series of royal engagements in 2014.

While touring the One World Observatory and paying their respects to the 9/11 memorial yesterday, the couple spoke about mental health with Mr De Blasio – a cause which William and Harry took up from their mother.

According to the Mirror, the New York City Mayor said the couple were “really committed to the world.

“I got a great vibe, particularly the work that they’re doing on mental health.

“I think the prince makes a great point when he says, ‘mental fitness,’ calling it ‘mental fitness’ as a positive aspirational idea.

“That was one of the things we talked about. I really admire what they’re both doing on that.”

During their visit the Sussexes, also met with the US ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield.

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The ambassador said they had an “important discussion” that included topics such as the pandemic, racial justice and raising awareness of mental health.

When she was alive, Princess Diana was candid about her own struggle with mental health issues.

In audio tapes she recorded for Andrew Morton – which formed the basis of his 1993 book “Diana: Her True Story” – she spoke of her bulimia eating disorder, unhappiness in her marriage and suicide attempts.

A study by the Institute of Psychiatry showed that reported cases of bulimia rose to 60,000 during the 1990s after the Princess’s revelations – which has widely been dubbed the “Diana effect”.

At a Turning Points conference in 1993, Princess Diana spoke about the importance of addressing women’s mental health needs.

She said: “Isn’t it normal not to be able to cope all the time? Isn’t it normal for women as well as men to feel frustrated with life? Isn’t it normal to feel angry and want to change a situation that is hurting?

“Perhaps we need to look more closely at the cause of the illness rather than attempt to suppress it. To accept that putting a lid on powerful feelings and emotions cannot be the healthy option. That to offer women the opportunity to explain their predicament sooner, could be a far more effective use of limited resources, rather than wait until their strength to survive has been sapped.

Since the death of their mother in 1997, Prince William and Harry have campaigned to improve mental health awareness.

Along with the Duchess of Cambridge, in 2016 the two princes launched the Heads Together charity to “tackle stigma and change the conversation on mental health”.

The Duke of Cambridge has said he believes that “unresolved mental health problems lie at the heart of some of our greatest social challenges.”

Last summer, he conducted a series of “honest conversations” about mental health with football figures, including England manager Gareth Southgate, Jesse Lingard and Phil Foden.

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