Inside Harry and Meghan's low-key trip to Texas

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Inside Harry and Meghan's low-key trip to TexasChris Jackson - Getty Images

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex recently travelled to Texas for this year’s South by Southwest, where Meghan spoke on a keynote panel alongside Katie Couric and Brooke Shields. After the panel, the Sussexes made sure to use the trip as an opportunity to visit various spots and communities in the Lone Star State.

The couple first headed to La Barbecue, a family-owned spot in Austin. The restaurant shared photographs from their visit to Instagram with the caption “Thank you so much Meghan and Harry for visiting us today!! It was so nice to meet you both.”

La Barbecue director of operations Cory Rivademar offered more details on their visit in an interview with People.

“Their visit was a scheduled thing. They let us know that she wanted to come by, but [we] did not know Harry was coming,” Rivademar said. “They came in, and they toured the pits with Frankie, who is the pit guy, and talked about how hot it was around the pits — which is funny because this is Texas, and actually, it can be much hotter than today.”

Meghan and Harry ordered the restaurant’s famous eight-hour brisket and sausages. Rivademar described the couple as “absolutely lovely” and revealed that, after they’d left, she received a text from Meghan’s rep saying it was the best barbecue the Sussexes had ever eaten.

“I thought they seemed happy and sweet; he’s very lovely,” Rivademar added. “She spoke about their kid loving the new Disney movie, Wish. Very genuine and very loving. Happy couple. Nice to people who didn’t even know what was going on.”

The following day, the Sussexes surprised the family of one of the victims from the 2022 Robb Elementary School shooting in Uvalde, in which 19 children and two adults were killed.

The couple joined in birthday celebrations for the sister of Irma Garcia, one of the Uvalde victims who had worked as a teacher for 23 years prior to her death. John Martinez, Garcia’s nephew, shared videos and photos from Harry and Meghan’s visit on X. “MEGHAN MARKLE AND PRINCE HARRY CAME TO MY HOUSE !?!?!?!” he wrote in an initial post. “They’re such a beautiful couple and i’m so blessed, so glad they came to check up on the family.”

One clip shows Meghan holding a lit-up cake to Garcia’s sister while singing “Happy Birthday,” while Harry stands behind her. “Prince Harry and Meghan Markle singing happy birthday to my mom,” Martinez captioned the video.

Another snap shows Meghan posing with Garcia’s daughters. Martinez wrote, “Meghan Markle with Irma and Joe’s girls they loved every moment, practically besties.”

Afterward, Martinez told CNN the couple has stayed in contact with the family since the tragedy. “It was such a beautiful experience, they’re so nice and compassionate, very down-to-earth, humble people,” he said. “It was kind of by surprise, she [Meghan] had called my mom one random day and dropped the news on us not too long ago that she was coming to visit the kids, and of course we got so excited.”

Meghan visited Uvalde shortly after the tragedy, offering support by dropping off donations at a community center hosting a local blood drive. Through their Archewell Foundation, Harry and Meghan also partnered with the city and nonprofit Kaboom! in October 2022 to build a new community playground.

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