Meghan Markle and Prince Harry posed for a selfie with history-making Muslim model Halima Aden when attending the One Young World Summit in Manchester on Tuesday evening.
The Duke, 37, and Duchess of Sussex, 41, who gave a keynote speech at the event at Bridgewater Hall, were pictured taking the snap with the 24-year-old following Meghan’s address.
Mother-of-two Meghan was seen hugging Ms Aden, who is a One Young World counsellor and quit the runway because it ‘compromised her religion’, before she raised her phone and took selfies with the Sussexes as they left the stage.
The Somali counsellor, who was born in a refugee camp in Kenya, moved to the US when she was seven. She was the first hijab-wearing woman to take part in the Miss Minnesota pageant.
She shared the image on Instagram this evening, with the caption: ‘This is what One Young World is all about!! Championing young world leaders as they embark on this journey to transform the world! Also, meeting Meghan and Prince Harry was so incredible. She is beyond inspiring.’
This evening marked Meghan’s first speech in Britain since Megxit more than two years ago, in which she gushed about Prince Harry and the ‘life-changing’ impact of becoming a mother to her son Archie.
Meanwhile, Ms Aden was also the first model to ever wear a hijab and burkini in a Sports Illustrated issue.
The 24-year-old, who has fronted campaigns for Rihanna and Kanye West’s clothing labels, looked incredible in a flowy white blouse and wide-leg black trousers as she huddled for a photo with the highly anticipated keynote speaker.
Ms Aden was born in Somalia, and lived at the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya before moving to the United States at the age of seven.
She first shot to worldwide fame at the age of 19 when she was hailed the first supermodel to don a hijab.
Last year the star revealed how she quit the fashion industry to give it a ‘taste of its own medicine’ – after claiming they treat models like they are ‘disposable’ and ‘replaceable.’
Since her big break in 2017, she has appeared on the covers of British Vogue, Vogue Arabia and Allure but has since decided to hand it all in.
Speaking to The Times, Ms Aden spoke of how the fashion industry treats models like they are ‘disposable’ and ‘replaceable.’
‘So I wanted to give the fashion industry a taste of its own medicine,’ she continued. ‘Thank you for these incredible four years, but just like you churn through all these bright, young people, I’m going to move on with my life and replace [modelling] with something better.’
When asked whether she has fallen out of love with fashion, Vogue’s first hijab-wearing woman added: ‘Oh, just a little bit.’
The Muslim model recalled how her hijab appeared to shrink with every shoot as soon as she started being styled by stylists – to the point in which she was asked where her hijab was.
‘Despite me saying, “Don’t change yourself, change the game”, that was exactly what I was doing,’ she continued, adding how one magazine cover made her look like a ‘white man’s fetishised version’ of herself.
‘I’m not saying it’s not right for other Muslim, hijab-wearing women, I’m saying it was not right for me. I wear a hijab, I’m a Muslim, I’m Somali, so yes, all these identities set me up to be the perfect token to check all the boxes. I felt like one of the biggest tokens in the industry. I always felt like an outsider in my own career.’
Speaking to the BBC, she previously told of feeling horrified when she appeared on the same magazine title which included an image of a naked man inside.
‘Why would the magazine think it was acceptable to have a hijab-wearing Muslim woman when a naked man is on the next page?’ she said. She also admitted she felt forced to ‘compromise’ her religion.
The Miss Minnesota USA semi-finalist said she was unable to spend Muslim religious festivals with her family due to her jam-packed schedule.
Her move away from the runway was supported by industry heavyweight Gigi Hadid, who urged followers to look at Ms Aden’s Instagram posts on the topic.
Gigi said she was ‘proud’ of her for speaking out on her regrets in order to ‘get back on track with what feels genuine’.
Both Gigi and her sister Bella encouraged their followers to look at Ms Aden’s social media in order to ‘educate themselves’.
On Instagram, Gigi wrote: ‘Everyone should go check out @Halima’s story right now. It is so important, as a hijabi or not, to self reflect and get back on track with what feels genuine to us – It’s the only way to feel truly fulfilled.
‘I learnt through therapy once that if we are assertive with our boundaries, it does not mean that we are ungrateful for opportunity, and it will lead to an end result that does not feel hollow, one where we do not feel taken advantage of.
‘Learning that helped me so much. My sis Halima, you have inspired me since the day I met you and you continue to make me proud. ‘Keep shining, big love. (sic)’
Ms Aden broke boundaries as the first hijab-wearing model to sign with a major modelling agency.
She impressively signed with IMG Models in February 2017, and that same month she made her runway debut in Kanye West’s Yeezy show.
During her career, she has modelled for the likes of Marc Jacobs, Alberta Ferreti and Fenty, and has covered Vogue Arabia, CR Fashion Book, Allure, and British Vogue in a hijab.