Harry Speaks at the Obama Foundation Summit in Chicago

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On Tuesday, Prince Harry turned up in Chicago, Illinois for the inaugural summit of the Obama Foundation. Taking the stage to speak about motivating youth, Harry’s presence was a clear sign of a friendship that has grown between him and former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. It was clearly on display last month when Obama was photographed sitting next to and chatting with Harry during the Invictus Games, and it was apparent back in May when Kensington Palace tweeted out that Obama and Harry had met in London in the midst of the furor over whether President Donald Trump would be making a state visit to the UK this year.

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Before the evening’s events kicked off, Harry joined Mrs. Obama for a surprise visit to a local high school, Hyde Park Academy. The moment was captured on the KP Twitter feed:

At the event itself, he was an audience member in the second row while other guest speakers took to the stage, including Obama.

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During his own remarks (captured in video below) he was joined by Mellody Hobson, the president of Ariel Investments and chair of After School Matters. Later, they welcomed David Peterson, from Chicago, and Chantelle Stefanovic, from Nottingham, to speak further about youth activism and community investment.

The conversation is interesting and well worth a view, though it is lengthy. Harry touches upon his mother, the late Princess of Wales, again speaking about her as a role model for him as he undertakes his royal duties. He also touched on themes that he first raised a few months ago in his Newsweek profile in which he made it clear he, his brother and sister-in-law are focused on quality over quantity when it comes to their public work.

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All in all, I really love seeing Harry with the Obamas since there appears to be a genuinely friendship and mutual respect. I also like that he’s putting in some face time in the U.S., particularly given that Meghan Markle is not only an American, but a Northwestern University graduate. Chicago is familiar stomping ground to her and while she wasn’t pictured with Harry during this event, it’s hard to imagine they didn’t find time to meet up given Harry was in North America.

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