Prince Harry and Meghan Markle arrive hand in hand ahead of UN speech

Harry is expected to discuss Nelson Mandela's legacy during a speech at the UN event

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been pictured holding hands as the Duke prepares to give a speech at a United Nations event in New York.

Harry is the keynote speaker at the UN’s Nelson Mandela Day commemoration today, during which time he is expected to talk about Mr Mandela’s legacy.

The Duke is also reportedly set to speak about climate change and poverty during the event.

According to South Africa’s UN Mission, Harry’s speech “will be around the memories and legacy of Mandela and what has been learned from his struggle and his life that can help up face the new challenges in the world today.”

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Harry was flanked by Ms Markle on arrival to the event, as the pair smiled to fans who were waiting outside the UN General Assembly.

Their public appearance comes as a biography written by royal author Tom Bower reveals how Ms Markle made close friends with golfer Rory McIlroy before meeting Harry.

Ms Markle, then 33, met McIlroy while staying with a close friend near the Fitzpatrick Manhattan Hotel in New York.

During the ice bucket challenge craze of 2014, McIlroy "unexpectedly" nominated Meghan.

The pair are in attendance at the UN’s Nelson Mandela Day commemoration
The pair are in attendance at the UN’s Nelson Mandela Day commemoration

In 'Revenge: Meghan, Harry and the war between the Windsors', Mr Bower writes: “She accepted the challenge, on condition that Rory came to her friend’s apartment and personally poured the bucket over her on the balcony.

"After the video was posted, the two went to the Fitzpatrick hotel for a drink.”

Mr Bower, in the book being serialised by The Times continued : “The following morning, McIlroy arrived at the Ringwood golf course to play in a new competition.

"Worse for wear after a hectic night, he fell back to 101st place.

"His performance suffered. ‘I wasn’t quite on my game,’ he confessed. ‘I was enjoying myself’.”

Eight weeks later, Meghan travelled to Dublin, Ireland, for a conference.

Mr Bower adds that she had dinner with McIlroy on the night of October 17.