The Duchess of Sussex shared a hug with her ‘cousin’ Boston Red Sox’s Mookie Betts as she and Prince Harry met players ahead of their game against the New York Yankees in London.
As Europe’s first ever Major League Baseball game was given the royal stamp of approval, family history may have also been made as Meghan met award-winning outfielder Betts at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park tonight.
Meghan and Betts reportedly share ancestry dating back 150 years to America’s deep south, according to the Boston Globe, who say both their origins can be traced back to Alabama relatives.
The royal couple are attending to promote Prince Harry’s Invictus Games Foundation which has been partnered with the MLB’s two-game London Series.
Betts told the Globe last year: ‘I saw on television that they were getting married. But I had no idea we were related… That’s not something you expect to hear, but it’s interesting.’
An 1870 Federal Consensus reportedly shows that Joseph Betts was Mookie’s great-great grandfather and Jacob Betts – who lived two doors down from Joseph – is the great-great-great grandfather of Meghan.
Meghan and Betts were seen hugging today in the Red Sox locker room, as Prince Harry and the players clapped and laughed.
Meghan beamed as each team gave her a baby-sized jersey, with the New York Yankees shirt emblazoned with Archie’s name and the number 19 on the back for the year of his birth.
Meghan Markle beams as she meets the stars of the Boston Red Sox ahead of their game against the New York Yankees in London
Meghan shares a hug with the Red Sox’s award-winning outfielder Mookie Betts in the locker room at the London Stadium this evening
Meghan smiles and claps as she is handed the iconic white pinstriped jersey of the New York Yankees, which has been emblazoned with the name of her son Archie and a number 19 for the year of his birth
Meghan and Harry holding gifts given to them by the Red Sox players – including a mini red bat – ahead of the historic London Series in Britain’s capital tonight
Prince Harry and Meghan hold hands as they walk onto the specially modified London Stadium pitch ahead of tonight’s historic baseball game before 66,000 spectators
Former Invictus athletes from the USA and the UK will take part in throwing the ceremonial first pitch at the London stadium which is home to Premier League football club West Ham United.
The Invictus foundation was founded by Prince Harry for wounded, sick and injured armed service personnel to take part in various sporting events.
There is a sell-out crowd tonight as the baseball rivals take each other on before some 66,000 spectators, with the Yankees and the Red Sox competing in the AL East conference.
Similar in style to the British sports of rounders, this is the first time America’s colossal MLB has attempted to sell itself in the UK.
With some of the MLB’s 30 teams having previously played in Mexico, Japan, Australia, and Puerto Rico, it’s believed chiefs at the organisation are keen to make their mark in an untapped market.
But it comes over a decade after the NFL made its debut appearance at London’s Wembley Stadium with a match between the Miami Dolphins and the New York Giants.
Because of the need for a larger, more circular pitch the organisation has picked the London Stadium to host the inaugural meet.
The former Olympic stadium, where West Ham play their home games, is hosting two games between the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox this Saturday and Sunday.
Meghan and Harry smile at each other as they take the field in front of MLB fans for the historic game, Europe’s first ever Major League Baseball contest
Prince Harry and Meghan laugh together as they walk onto the field at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London this evening
The royal couple – Prince Harry wearing an Invictus Games Foundation polo shirt and Meghan in a black summer dress – walk past the pitcher’s mound
New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone provided Meghan with the Archie jersey in the locker room at the London Stadium this evening
Prince Harry and Meghan looked delighted with the surprise custom-made gift for their son Archie as they were handed over by the New York Yankee’s manager
Meghan appeared to find the cute gesture of the new shirt for baby Archie hilarious as she was joined by her husband in the locker room at the London Stadium
Meghan smiles at Prince Harry as they arrive for the historic baseball game which has been partnered with his Invictus Games Foundation
Boston Red Sox
Established – 1901
World Series titles – 9
Home turf – Fenway Park, Boston
Hot off winning last year’s World Series in a thrashing of the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Red Sox have been building momentum as a club since 2004 when they ended a 86-year dry spell.
In their lineup is current starting pitcher is Rick Porcello, and 2018’s top run scorer Mookie Betts.
The club’s former star hitter David Ortiz was shot and serious injured earlier this year in what is believed to be a case of mistaken identity.
New York Yankees
Established – 1901
World Series Titles – 27
Home turf – Yankee Stadium, Bronx
Competing in the East Division of the American League, the Yankees are one of the most well-known sports brands in the world, and are also arguably the most successful.
Their lineup includes designated hitter DJ LeMahieu who will appear in this year’s all-star game, and pitcher Masahiro Tanaka.
The club has a packed Hall of Fame, including Yogi Berra, Mickey Mantle and Joe DiMaggio.
Meghan holds up Archie’s Yankee jersey as she and Prince Harry sit with the New York Yankees in their dressing room this evening
Players of the Boston Red Sox smile and laugh as they chat to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex ahead of their baseball game against the New York Yankees
Prince Harry smiles as he looks down at the mini red baseball bat given to him by the Boston team as Meghan holds a gift bag from the London Series
Players and coaches of the New York Yankees pose alongside Prince Harry and Meghan after they gave them a special jersey for royal baby Archie
Meghan looks delighted with her new red shirt for baby Archie, while Prince Harry was given a little red bat for his son this evening
Prince Harry and Meghan pose with members of the Invictus Games Foundation and baseball players before the Boston Red Sox vs New York Yankees baseball game at London Stadium
Prince Harry and Meghan with members of the Invictus Games Foundation and Red Sox and Yankee players beside the pitcher’s mound at the specially re-turfed London Stadium which is usually used for Premier League football matches
Britain’s Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Britain’s Meghan, Duchess of Sussex arrive on the field prior to the start of the first of a two-game series between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox at London Stadium