PRINCE HARRY and fiancee Meghan Markle were given a warm welcome on a cold day when they arrived in the heart of Edinburgh for the start of their visit to Scotland.
The city’s world famous castle, an iconic fortress for centuries, was chosen as the starting point of their first joint visit to the Scottish capital.
Meghan and Harry wrapped up against the cold in winter coats were greeted by Frank Ross, Edinburgh’s Lord Lieutenant and Lord Provost, who represented the city.
Crowds gathered on the castle’s esplanade where the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is staged each year to welcome the prince and his bride-to-be.
Ms Markle, who is making her fourth joint visit with Prince Harry, wore a Burberry coat and trousers by Veronica Beard.
With the centuries-old fortress as a backdrop the couple began shaking hands, saying hello and thanking the well-wishers for coming to see them.
Sarah Coronado, 28, a masters student from Mexico studying at Edinburgh University, was one of the first well-wishers to arrive at the castle’s esplanade.
She said: “Seeing the couple is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We don’t have these visits in Mexico or my hometown of Monterey.
“They are also the hot couple of the moment because of their marriage coming up.
“I also think Meghan is a role model, she’s not just a pretty face. I think she’s going to change the face of the monarchy.”
The trip to Scotland is the fourth public appearance Ms Markle and Harry have made together and follows successful visits to Nottingham, Brixton in south London and Cardiff in the months that followed their engagement announcement in November.
Kensington Palace had said: “Throughout the day Prince Harry and Ms Markle will have the opportunity to meet members of the public, learn more about organisations that work in the local community and nationwide, and celebrate youth in the Scottish Year of Young People 2018.”
Inside the castle at the historic Edinburgh Garrison, which looks out across the city, the couple will watch as the One o’clock Gun is fired, a tradition started in 1861 to mark time for ships in the Firth of Forth.
The couple will then move on to the New Town to visit Social Bite, a social enterprise cafe which distributes 100,000 items of food and hot drinks to homeless people across Scotland each year, as well as employing staff who have experienced homelessness themselves.
In the cafe, Harry and Ms Markle will learn more about the social enterprise, meet staff and tour the kitchen.
They will be the latest in a string of high-profile visitors to Social Bite premises.
Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio stopped for lunch at Social Bite venture Home in Edinburgh’s west end in November 2016 while the Duchess of Cornwall and George Clooney have been to Social Bite’s Rose Street branch.
Prince Harry and Ms Markle will round off their visit by attending a reception at the Palace of Holyroodhouse to celebrate youth achievements marking Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018, an initiative that aims to inspire Scotland through its young people.