Meghan Markle made a subtle show of support for her future father-in-law during a trip to Belfast recently - with a sweet choice of handbag.
For her’s and Harry’s visit to the Northern Irish city, she opted for a brown leather Charlotte Elizabeth handbag. They are a small British brand, headed up by Charlotte Elizabeth Jones herself.
Meghan made sure that the signature Bloomsbury bag was front and centre during the engagement – and for a very good reason.
The 21-year-old designer behind the bag actually got her big break in the fashion world as a result of support from Prince Charles – or, more specifically his charity, The Prince’s Trust.
At 19, Charlotte Elizabeth attended a four-day course with The Prince’s Trust, in order to learn more about setting up a business. But just two weeks later, she found herself paralysed, after randomly collapsing.
She told The Telegraph, “I remember gripping onto my sister’s hands and I genuinely thought I was dying.
“When I went to hospital they thought I had had a heart attack or a stroke, which was obviously terrifying to hear at the age of 19.
“Then I was discharged and told I had anxiety, and finally after a tough battle I was diagnosed a year later with postural tachycardia syndrome (PoTs) and following on from that I was diagnosed with ME.”
Charlotte Elizabeth continued to struggle at home – admitting that she found herself unable to do almost anything.
But eventually, with the help of the Prince’s Trust, she began to regain control of her business idea, eventually finding a manufacturer and suppliers. And now, she’s set up her online shop, and her health continues to improve.
Charlotte Elizabeth regularly sings the praises of Prince Charles’ charity on her Instagram account, where she says she is “proudly supported by The Prince’s Trust👜”
In a recent interview, she also confessed that she may not be where she is without their – and his – support.
Meghan’s decision to champion Charlotte Elizabeth’s brand and her signature handbag clearly show her support for the good work her future father-in-law’s charity does – and small businesses too.
And it’s clear that the choice meant a huge amount to Charlotte Elizabeth too, who posted numerous images of Meghan holding the bag on her Instagram.
It’s not the first time Meghan has championed a small British business. On a visit to Wales last month, she wore a pair of jeans by small Cardigan-based brand Huit Denim.
And since Meghan stepped out in the jeans, the brand have reported that they’ve experienced an astronomical rise in demand, and have even had to move their work premises to keep up.
Huit Denim have also been able to hire more staff – and as a result, have boosted employment in the area.