He may have just become an uncle for the third time, but Prince Harry and Meghan Markle still attended Stephen Lawrence's memorial service Monday. While Kate Middleton, Prince William, Prince George, and Princess Charlotte were at St. Mary's Hospital celebrating the newest addition to their family (it's a boy!), People reported Markle and Harry were only a few miles from the hospital at the important event held at St. Martin-in-the-Fields church commemorating the anniversary of Lawrence's murder.
The soon-to-be married couple honored Lawrence, a young black man who was killed at 18 years old on April 22, 1993. According to People, Lawrence's death was considered a "racially charged shooting". The BBC reports Lawrence was "attacked by a gang of white youths", while he waited at a bus stop in Eltham, south-east London, with his friend Duwayne Brooks, who witnessed Lawrence's death.
Five men, Neil and Jamie Acourt, David Norris, Gary Dobson, and Luke Knight were all originally arrested as prime suspects of the alleged murder of Lawrence. However, it was a long and arduous process. After 18 years, many police errors, and two failed prosecutions, according to the BBC, in January 2012, Dobson and Norris were found guilty for the murder of Lawrence based on forensic evidence. Dobson and Norris received life sentences. At the time, they both maintained their innocence.
Now, 25 years later, Lawrence was remembered and celebrated by many. Upon their arrival, Harry and Markle were greeted by Lawrence's mother and brother (shown below), Baroness Doreen Lawrence and Stuart Lawrence, respectively.
In 1998, Lawrence's mother created the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust in hopes of campaigning for fairness, justice, and equality for all. At Monday's service, Prime Minister Theresa May also announced April 22 will now be known annually as "Stephen Lawrence Day".
"It is right that Stephen’s name and legacy lives on," May said at the memorial, as reported by The Guardian. "In the run up to this service, I have spoken with Baroness Lawrence about how best to achieve this. And so, today, with Baroness Lawrence’s blessing, I can announce that the Government will work with the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust to establish a national, annual commemoration of Stephen’s life and legacy, to take place on the April 22 each year: Stephen Lawrence Day."
According to The Guardian, Lawrence's mother said about the special day honoring her son: "I feel honored she [May] has recognized the changes that have been made in Stephen’s name and the changes that are still needed." She also said Stephen Lawrence Day is "an opportunity for young people to use their voices and should be embedded in our education and wider system regardless of the government of the day."
Harry also spoke during the service and read a message from his father, Prince Charles. According to The Guardian, Harry said the following:
"I remember vividly the profound shock that I felt at [Stephen’s] senseless murder, a feeling shared by so many people across this country and beyond. I remember, too, just how deeply moved I was by the determination of his family to build something positive from the tragedy they endured and to ensure that Stephen’s story did not end with despair, but continued with hope."
Markle and Harry have yet to meet William and Kate's son, who was born Monday. Though, Kensington Palace released the following statement after his birth: "The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Harry and members of both families have been informed and are delighted with the news."
As exciting as the news is about the third royal baby, Markle and Harry have remained committed to the events on their schedule — and ensuring they support those who also matter to them.