Meghan Markle fan on meeting the duchess: ‘I’m still so blown away’
Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImage(AUCKLAND, New Zealand) — Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s 16-day, four-country tour is over, but one fan is still recovering from the encounter she had with Meghan.
The fan, Hannah Sergel, is a 20-year-old from Christchurch, New Zealand.
She created one of the most touching and viral moments of Harry and Meghan’s tour when she made the around 600-mile trip from her home to Auckland, where the royals visited Tuesday.
Sergel stood for hours at the Viaduct Harbour in Auckland to secure a spot that would be close to Meghan and Harry, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
She caught Meghan’s eye amid a sea of people because the two had communicated on Instagram before Meghan closed her social media accounts.
Meghan’s reaction to seeing Sergel in person was caught on camera, and the rest is history, or at least one super fan’s dream come true.
ABC News’ Good Morning America spoke to Sergel about how she came to befriend Markle, and what it was like to meet the Duchess of Sussex in person.
Here is GMA’s email Q&A, edited for length:
How did you become friends with Duchess Meghan on social media?
I first followed her on Instagram and Twitter after seeing her in Suits and would just comment on some of her photos [and] tweets, casually.
After a while, she started engaging with me more by replying back to my tweets and comments/questions. Eventually, she followed me back [on Instagram] in January 2016 and we continued talking from there.
What were your conversations about?
Many conversations would be her encouraging me to be the best person I could, talking to me about starting university and just well-wishes in general. The main takeaways were definitely to just be myself, do what I love and always be kind.
I was definitely disappointed [when Meghan closed her social accounts] that I was going to lose contact with her through social media, but I was so happy she had found someone to spend the rest of her life with. She was so happy and that was what mattered.
What was the moment like when Meghan recognized you in Auckland?
I was honestly so shocked, it’s such a blur. I tried to keep my cool (not very well) but it was definitely difficult.
It was a very short conversation as it was just as they were supposed to be leaving.
But, after she recognized me she said, “Oh my gosh, how are you? So good to finally meet you.” I answered, then she said, “Come here,” and hugged me.
She thanked me for coming out and making contact and I asked her to read the letter I gave her, which she said she would.
I didn’t expect her to recognize me, let alone spend time with me! I had hoped to see her or even get the chance to speak with her, but never expected anything like this to happen. I’m still so blown away that she recognized me AND came over to me.
She’s honestly such a genuine person.
How do you think Meghan is handling her role as Duchess of Sussex?
I think it’s amazing that she’s using her platform to inspire good change in the world.
Even before she was a duchess, she was engaged with [United Nations] Women and anti-racism campaigns so I think it’s wonderful that she is able to use her voice to stand up for what she is passionate about.
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