Picking a face out of a crowd can be a difficult thing when you’re faced with facing crowds every facing day.
When you’re a royal though, those crowds become routine, they’re half daunting, half exciting and half just your job.
So when the Duchess of Sussex travels to the other side of the world for a tour with her husband, spots a half familiar face in the crowd and picks them out, it’s kind of a big deal.
Which is what happened to Hannah Sergel, who was waiting, along with hundreds of others, to see Meghan and Harry as they visited Auckland in New Zealand this week.
Before Meghan married Harry and was allowed to have her own social media, she had messaged Hannah a number of times, encouraging her to stay at university and to always be herself.
To grab Meghan’s attention, Hannah made a sign that read ‘It’s Hannah from Instagram’, which seemed to do the trick, as Meghan immediately said ‘come here’ to Hannah before going in for a hug.
Speaking to 9Honey, Hannah said:
She used to follow me [on Instagram] and we’d have conversations before she had to deactivate it.
She’d tell me to do well at university and encouragement to be myself, so she means the world to me.
She recognized me and knew who I was so that’s why she came over. She gave me a hug which was incredible – when I first saw her I cried.
She’s just such an incredible person and I’m just so glad she’s happy with Harry.
Hannah, who had travelled to Auckland from Christchurch, also had a handwritten letter she wanted to give to the Duchess, which Meghan promised to read.
LOOK AT HANNAH AND MEGHAN BEING ADORABLE DJSKSJKZJDGD pic.twitter.com/8k82Q3zwGd
— Marie (@MyQueenTroian) October 30, 2018
Hannah was a fan of Meghan’s way before she shacked up with Prince Harry. Back in 2017 she co-founded the Meghan Markle Daily Twitter account, with cites itself as ‘Your #1 source for all things about the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle’.
Speaking to Daily Mail Australia, Hannah said how she started following the actress on social media in 2015, and Meghan followed back in January 2016.
Today also saw Meghan reunited with a fan she used to chat to via Instagram DMs. @1NewsNZ captured the moment @bellisariho met the Duchess face to face (and gave a letter).
“She would tell me to do well at university and encourage me to be myself,” Hannah says of their messages. pic.twitter.com/JQovfhpTnF
— Omid Scobie (@scobie) October 30, 2018
She said, initially, their conversations ‘were just small comments on each other’s photos, a couple of well wishes and other small direct messages’.
She has inspired me to be the best version of myself that I can be. She has inspired me to keep going when things get tough and to always be kind.
I admire her willingness to try new things, her intellect and how she uses her public platform to inspire change within the world.
The Duke and Duchess were in New Zealand as part of a trip that also took in Australia for the Invictus Games, as well as Fiji and Tonga.
In New Zealand’s capital, Wellington, Meghan gave a speech at the National War Memorial Park, to mark the 125th anniversary of women being given the vote in the country.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.