Meghan stuns as she and Harry attend Veterans' Day gala in NYC

Meghan stuns as she and Harry attend Veterans' Day gala in NYC

Meghan Markle stuns in red Carolina Herrera gown as she and Prince Harry attend Veterans’ Day gala in New York City

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex attended a glamorous gala in New York City last night to celebrate the military on the eve of Veterans Day in the US and Armistice Day in Britain. 

Meghan Markle arrived at the ‘Salute to Freedom’ event – held on an aircraft carrier which houses the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum – in a flowing red Carolina Herrera gown with a long train which was slashed to the thigh. 

The 40-year-old mother-of-two’s dress for the gala matched her red satin $350 (£260) Giuseppe Zanotti slingback stilettos – a colour chosen to match the red poppies she and Prince Harry both wore on their outfits.  

Harry was in black tie, with the KCVO (Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order) Neck Order and Star on his bow tie. This is a medal given by the Queen in recognition of distinguished personal service to the monarchy.

Asked on the red carpet whether Meghan was proud of her husband, she replied: ‘I’m always proud of him.’ 

Harry, who served in the British Army for ten years, handed out medals for the Intrepid Valor Awards to five service members, veterans and military families who are living with the ‘invisible wounds of war’. 

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attend the 2021 Salute To Freedom Gala at the Intrepid Museum in New York City last night

The couple wear red poppies on their outfits as a symbol of remembrance  at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum last night

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrive for the Intrepid Museum’s Salute to Freedom Gala in New York City last night

The duchess’s stunning dress with its long train is seen as she enters the gala hall, ahead of the awards

The Duchess of Sussex smiles as she attends the Salute To Freedom Gala at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum last night

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex attend the 2021 Salute to Freedom gala last night, held on the eve of Veterans Day in the US

The pair laughed and joked with the four people they met on the red carpet, ahead of the awards

Meghan arrives at the Salute to Freedom event last night in a flowing red Carolina Herrera gown with a long train 

Harry can be seen sporting his regimental medals on his chest and the KCVO Neck Order and Star attached to his bow tie. The medal is given by the Queen in recognition of distinguished personal service to the monarchy

Prince Harry attended the ceremony on the Intrepid Museum in New York last night after he was asked to present awards 

The Duke told the gala that he was living the ‘American Dream’ after a recent ride in a car shaped like a hot dog, while also praising the ‘value’ of service members and their families. 

The duke presented Intrepid Valor Awards spoke of how his military experience shaped the person he is today.

He told the audience at the Intrepid Museum: ‘It’s wonderful to be back on USS Intrepid a decade after my last visit – and a lot has changed since then. Just last week, I went for a ride on the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile – how’s that for living the American dream?

‘I’ve lived in the US for close to two years now. I have to say, witnessing your support for all those that put themselves in harm’s way in defence of our freedoms and liberties – it’s remarkable and hugely respected.

‘It reminds me of the deep reverence us Brits have for our military as well. The armed forces communities in both our countries share a special bond, and I’m grateful to have served in support of our joint allyship for many years.’

Harry served in the military for a decade and had two tours of Afghanistan, and has organised the Invictus Games for wounded and injured service members and veterans since 2014. 

Harry and Meghan arrive for the Intrepid Museum’s Salute to Freedom gala in New York City last night

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrive at the Intrepid Museum for the Salute to Freedom Gala yesterday evening

Meghan Markle beams as she attends the event in New York City yesterday evening

The pair are met by four people as a welcoming party – one of whom, Meghan noted, attended the same university as her

The pair left their two children behind for their night on the aircraft carrier in New York City yesterday evening

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrive for the annual Salute to Freedom Gala at the Intrepid Museum yesterday

The pair arrived last night with a film crew accompanying them who are thought to be documenting their activities

Harry and Meghan are seen yesterday evening meeting the welcome party at the gala in New York City

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex look around the Intrepid Museum at the Salute to Freedom Gala last night

He added: ‘As we honour and reflect on Remembrance Day in the UK, which shares a date tomorrow with Veterans Day here in the US, my hope is for all of us to continue to support the wellbeing, and recognise the value of, our troops, veterans, and the entire military and service family. We and they are better for it.

‘I served 10 years in the military, including two tours of duty in Afghanistan – one as an FAC (Forward Air Controller) on the ground and in the dust with some of you, another as an Apache helicopter pilot in the air supporting and talking with you.

‘Nothing was more valuable than the time I got to spend with my soldiers in a shell scrape, eating an MRE (Meal, Ready-to-Eat) in the back of a tank, thanks for the swaps, flying a mission overhead knowing those below were safer, or making each other laugh when it was needed the most.

‘My experience in the military made me who I am today, and I will always be grateful for the people I got to serve with – wherever in the world we were.’  

Among the recipients of the medal was rock singer Jon Bon Jovi, who will be presented with a lifetime service award in recognition for his work providing food and shelter for vulnerable people – in particular in his home state of New Jersey.

The Duchess of Sussex attends the 2021 Salute To Freedom Gala at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum last night

Harry and Meghan arrive for the annual Salute to Freedom Gala at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum last night

A photograph supplied via Archewell showing the Duke and Duchess of Sussex at the Intrepid Museum last night

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex attend the 2021 Salute To Freedom Gala at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum last night

A photograph supplied via Archewell showing the Duke and Duchess of Sussex at the Intrepid Museum last night

The Duchess of Sussex attends the Intrepid Museum’s Salute to Freedom Gala in New York City yesterday evening

The Duke and Duchess arrive for the Intrepid Museum’s Salute to Freedom gala yesterday evening

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrive at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum last night

A photograph via Archewell showing the Duke and Duchess at the Intrepid Museum’s Salute to Freedom Gala last night

The Duchess is seen beaming broadly as she arrives at last night’s event in New York City

Bon Jovi – who on October 31 cancelled a concert in Miami after he tested positive for Covid-19, despite being fully vaccinated – has also worked to help veterans. 

The Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation has provided housing for homeless veterans and care at Walter Reed medical center, and in July they announced a $100,000 grant to support the American Legion’s Veterans Center of Hoboken. 

Bob Pittman, the chairman and CEO of iHeart Media, will be awarded the Intrepid Salute Award.  

Harry has been widely praised for his work with veterans – in particular founding the Invictus Games in 2014 for wounded and sick servicemen and women. 

The 37-year-old, who undertook two tours in Afghanistan – one in 2008 and another in 2012, retired from the military in 2015.  

He is no longer permitted to wear military dress, however, after being stripped of the right when he left the royal family. He is still permitted to wear the medals he has earned. 

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrive for the annual Salute to Freedom Gala at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum today

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle arrive for the Intrepid Museum’s Salute to Freedom gala last night

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex attend the 2021 Salute To Freedom Gala at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum last night

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrive last night for the Intrepid Museum’s Salute to Freedom gala

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attend the Intrepid Museum last night as it hosts the Salute To Freedom Gala

Harry and Meghan arrive for the Salute to Freedom gala at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York last night

The Intrepid, pictured earlier yesterday, is an aircraft carrier turned into a museum and docked off the coast of Manhattan

At the funeral in April of his grandfather, Prince Philip, all senior members of the royal family opted to wear suits instead of their military attire, to avoid embarrassing Harry. 

Last night, Meghan and Harry laughed and joked as they were greeted on the red carpet by a welcoming party. 

‘You’re from Northwestern, right?’ the duchess asked one man, referencing the Chicago university she attended, graduating in 2003 with a double major in theater and international relations.

‘How did you know that?’ he replied, laughing and looking taken aback. ‘Oh, we know something about all of you,’ she said. 

The organisers of yesterday’s event described it as a gala which ‘recognises extraordinary leadership and honors the brave men and women who serve in defense of our nation.’

The funds raised from the event make possible ‘educational experiences for more than 30,000 students each year, dynamic STEM content, free programs for veterans and military families, exhibitions that present stories of bravery and innovation, and the preservation of the historic artifacts and collections in the Museum’s care.’ 

2020 — To mark Remembrance Sunday in 2020, Harry and Meghan visited the Los Angeles National Cemetery

2019 — Prince Harry with his brother Prince William and uncle Prince Andrew at a Remembrance Sunday ceremony at the Cenotaph in London on November 10, 2019

2018 — Harry and his brother on November 11 in 2018 at the annual Remembrance Sunday commemoration in London

2012 — Known as Captain Wales, Prince Harry is pictured in November 2012 serving in southern Afghanistan

2008 — Prince Harry is pictured in January 2008 in Helmand province in Afghanistan while serving with the British Army

2008 — Prince Harry eats his boil-in-the-bag lunch in the desert during his military deployment in Helmand Province in 2008

Meghan has frequently turned to the Venezuelan fashion designer Carolina Herrera for her outfits. Herrera has dressed women such as Michelle Obama, Melania Trump, Jacqueline Onassis and Laura Bush. Her gowns regularly sell for $5,000.

The 40-year-old wore a pink Herrera dress to the Trooping of the Colour in London in June 2018 – the event marking the Queen’s birthday. 

The event marked the Los Angeles-born duchess’s debut on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, but eyebrows were raised by the off-the-shoulder look – something deemed to break with protocol.

In May 2021 she opted to wear a red $1,700 Carolina Herrera shirt dress emblazoned with poppies for the Vax Live virtual conference, which she joined from their home in Montecito, California.  

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