Why the location of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s second royal engagement was significant

Harry and Meghan meeting the team at Reprezent.
Image: AFP/Getty Images

All eyes were on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle this week as they embarked on their second public engagement together to a youth radio station in Brixton, south London.

While much attention was focused on the engaged couple’s body language, Markle’s interactions with the crowds and even her choice of outfit, there’s one detail that appears to have slipped beneath the radar—the significance of the location of their visit.

The royal visit to Reprezent—the only national radio station in the UK that’s presented by young people—shows a commitment to engaging with young people in a refreshingly natural and down-to-earth way. Prince Harry and Markle’s decision to visit Reprezent for their second engagement as a couple is a clear message that the royals are tuned in and listening to Britain’s youth. 

“The couple wanted to meet as many young people as possible.” 

Mashable spoke to the people behind Reprezent to find out the significance of the royal visit for them. Kate Jaggers, Reprezent’s head of content and partnerships, says the social enterprise was founded on the principle that “young people are the future” and supporting them to communicate with one another will improve their quality of life, and “have a wider positive effect on society.” 

The initiative—which has trained and mentored more than 4,000 young people—was founded in Peckham in 2008 following “an alarming rise in knife crime” in a bid to help young people develop and socialise through radio. The radio station provides accredited training and support, including audio and radio production, editing, and they also offer programmes to cater to young people living with mental health issues. The radio station also supports young musicians and performers “who deserve a voice” and has been credited with launching the career of award-winning British grime artist, Stormzy

“The main brief for the visit was that the couple wanted to meet as many young people as possible,” Jaggers said. 

The couple donned headphones to listen to ‘Flirt’ by Pote Read.

Image: DOMINIC LIPINSKI/AFP/Getty Images

“They fully engaged with everyone on the visit, with many of the Reprezent team describing them as acting like a ‘friend’ and showing a very genuine interest in their story and creative work plus the wider story of Reprezent and the current and potential impact it can have on young Britain,” Jaggers said. 

During the visit, Harry and Markle met the team behind the station, including many young people who’ve been trained and mentored by Reprezent. Jaggers says that the couple appeared to be “very inspired by all the young people they met.”

The royal family is no stranger to criticism for being “out of touch” with the people it represents. But, it’s clear that the younger royals want to shake off this reputation. In the past year, Prince William and Prince Harry have been using things like podcasts and Facebook Live to talk candidly about their lives, and their own mental health struggles. This shift in the royals’ communication method has made the younger royals appear relatable and relevant. 

Prince Harry meets radio DJ Remi Aderemi, 24, during a visit to Reprezent 107.3FM community radio station in Brixton.

Image: DOMINIC LIPINSKI/AFP/Getty Images

As Harry enters a new era of his life with Meghan Markle, these first visits give an indication of what the royal couple’s future commitments will look like. The couple’s first royal engagement back in December saw Harry and Markle visit a charity fair organised by HIV/AIDS charity the Terrence Higgins Trust on World AIDS Day, suggesting Harry is keen to continue his HIV/AIDS activism. 

Next week, the couple will Cardiff, Wales, to see the impact of work by StreetGames, a sports charity which helps young people in the most disadvantaged areas of the UK. 

One can infer from these two engagements that young people will take a central role in Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s work together. This next chapter in the royal family’s story could be its most interesting yet. 

More from this publisher HERE