On Thursday morning, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, made their first joint and in-person public appearance since fleeing the British royal family. They visited the One World Trade Center Observatory with New York Governor Kathy Hochul and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

De Blasio brought his wife, Chirlane McCray, and their son, Dante de Blasio, to the event as well. While de Blasio has been involving McCray and Dante in recent events, their presence also stood as a symbol of a mixed-race family.

The portion of the visit that allowed media was very brief—mainly an opportunity for photographers and television news crews to capture the royals mingling, for the first time it seems, with American elected officials.

Harry, the sixth in line to the British throne, and Meghan married in 2017 to much international fanfare, as the union of the beloved second son of Prince Charles and Princess Diana and a biracial American television actress and activist signaled a different kind of energy in the British monarchy. However, in January 2020, the couple announced they would be stepping back from their roles in the British monarchy.

It had been reported that they were told Prince Charles wants to "slim down" the monarchy, and, in an astonishing March 2021 interview with Oprah Winfrey, the couple revealed that they had faced racism and severe mental anguish. Meghan, 40, said that she contemplated suicide while pregnant with their first child, Archie, who was born in May 2019.

Harry and Meghan launched a non-profit foundation with a larger organization Archewell, to highlight issues important to them (their partners include groups focused on food insecurity, gender equality, and racial justice). They have also signed lucrative deals with Netflix and Spotify to produce content around those issues and now live, with Archie and newborn daughter Lilibet, in a $14 million estate in Montecito, California, with neighbors like Winfrey, Katy Perry, and Rob Lowe.

The couple will be attending the Global Citizen Festival in Central Park on Saturday; they had worked with Global Citizen in a fundraising drive to purchase COVID-19 vaccines for countries in need.