The moment the Duchess of Sussex’s jaw dropped when she spotted a young woman she used to message on social media about mental health and education has been captured on video.
Hannah Sergel, 20, used to talk with Meghan when the then-actress had Instagram, before she deleted her social media when she joined the Royal Family.
The duchess’s jaw dropped when she spotted Ms Sergel, who had been waiting in the rain holding a big sign emblazoned with the words “It’s Hannah from Instagram” at the Viaduct Harbour during the royal couple’s trip to New Zealand.
“Oh my god”, Meghan can be heard saying in a video clip that captures her dropping Harry’s hand and walking over.
“How are you?” the duchess asks Ms Sergel before she leans in and gives the young woman a big hug.
The star used to send the young woman messages of inspiration and support, and offering her kind words about Ms Sergel’s mental health.
Ms Sergel is filmed giving Meghan a letter, which Prince Harry takes for safe keeping while the two women talk.
Speaking to Sky News, Ms Sergel said: “I was so overwhelmed! I didn’t know what to do and kind of just freaked out.
“I didn’t expect her to even know who I was at all, I’m just so blown away by everything that happened.”
Ms Sergel who co-founded a fan account for Meghan before she became a royal and posts on her personal accounts about mental health.
Meghan followed Ms Sergel back on Instagram in January 2016 and would comment on her photos and give encouraging messages to her.
“We would comment on each others photos, she would send messages that were encouraging me and things along those lines.
“She was always so kind about anything mental health-related and encouraging when it came to my education.
“[Mostly it was] just small talk about what was going on in my life really. We wished each other Happy New Year once!”
Two years ago Meghan filmed a short message thanking Ms Sergel for her support, in which she waves and blows a kiss at the camera to her.
New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern, who was with the royal couple, sent Ms Sergel a photo of Meghan’s reaction through a private message.
Mrs Ardern was also on hand to comfort the overwhelmed young woman after the royal encounter.
“Can you believe I was such a mess that the prime minister of New Zealand had to comfort me,” Hannah posted on Twitter.
The public walkabout in Auckland took place on the third day of the royal couple’s tour of New Zealand.
The pair will spend Wednesday in Rotorua, marking the end of their 16-day tour of Australia, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand.
It is the first royal tour for the Duke and Duchess since their wedding.
‘I see a revolution. Starting right now’
Officially, Sir Tim Berners-Lee doesn’t have a favourite website. When you’re the creator of the World Wide Web, he says, “You can’t.”
“‘What’s your favourite website?’ was the first question everybody asked,” he says. “Sorry, I don’t have one.”
But, even if he’s too honourable to show even a hint of favouritism, Sir Tim does occasionally have preferences.
One app he especially liked was an activity tracker called Moves, which he used to see what he’d been doing in his journeys round from his home in Massachusetts, where he is a professor of computer science.
Then, in 2014, Moves was bought by Facebook – meaning Sir Tim’s data now potentially belonged to the world’s biggest social network.
And then, earlier this year, Facebook shut down Moves. There was no appeal. Facebook simply announced that it was “moving on”.
For Sir Tim, it was a personal taste of a bigger problem. The web he built was broken – and the big companies that dominated it were the flaw.
The awakening for him, as for so many people, came in 2016, with the twin shocks of Brexit and the election of Donald Trump.
“What happened there was a tipping point,” he says.
He knew that social media could be used to manipulate people, but for the first time he saw it operating at massive scale.
“I thought that my responsibility as a web user was to go and find the stuff which I appreciated, which I trusted, but now I think that everyone involved in the web realises the problem is that other people are reading stuff which is complete garbage and they’re believing it, and they vote.”
He mentions voting. Does that, I ask, mean democracy itself is under threat?
“Science tells us what to believe are facts,” he says. “And democracy relies on facts. So democracy relies on science.”
Sir Tim sees the core of the problem as the massive centralisation of his originally decentralised web.
“Instead of going from website to website, everyone’s on one website, so the structure of people making great links to other blogs which we had after 10 years of the web is more broken.
“People don’t follow links from one website to another, they sit on one website, and what they see is determined by the people who code that social network.”
Sir Tim is too polite to name the network, but there can’t be more than a few candidates. Between them, four or five giant corporations dominate everything we do online.
It’s with those sites – and governments – in mind that, last week, Sir Tim launched a charter for the web: a Magna Carta of digital rights.
Facebook and Google have already signed up, as has the government of France; although whether they abide by its terms remains to be seen.
He’s also launched a new project: Solid. It’s effectively a new web; only this time he’s going to get it right.
The key change is to do with data. On Sir Tim’s original web, users’ data was – and is – stored by the owner of the website or the app.
On Solid, the choice of where you put your data is separate from your choice of service.
Your data – from your selfies to the money you send – is hived off into a separate area, called a pod, which can be linked to, just like the pages on a website. That gives people genuine control over where and how their data is deployed.
If it comes off, it would be a seismic change in the digital landscape.
“Some people are calling it Web 3.0,” Sir Tim says.
And whereas previous attempts at what’s known as re-decentralisation have foundered on public disinterest, this time Sir Tim feels the time is ripe.
“A big backlash [is coming] against the mistreatment of personal data, a realisation that people should control their data,” he says.
“That’s what I see, a revolution. Starting right now.”
Democrats plan investigation into Ivanka Trump after she ‘used personal email for govt business’
Democrats are planning an investigation into Ivanka Trump after she reportedly used a personal email account for government business.
Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, said the panel would investigate White House communications when his party take over the US House of Representatives in January.
“We plan to continue our investigation of the presidential records act and federal records act, and we want to know if Ivanka complied with the law,” his office said a statement.
A probe into White House correspondence began last year but was dropped by Republicans who currently control the committee, the statement added.
Democrats are taking over following their election gains earlier this month.
On Monday, the Washington Post reported that the US president’s daughter used her personal email account for government business up to 100 times last year.
The top White House adviser sent emails to aides, cabinet members and Ms Trump’s assistants, many in violation of public record rules, the paper said.
Use of a personal account for government business could potentially violate a law requiring preservation of all presidential records.
Mr Trump, a Republican, repeatedly criticised his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election over her use of personal email and private server while she was the US secretary of state.
He labelled her “crooked Hillary” and said she belonged in jail.
Ms Clinton blamed her defeat on then-FBI director James Comey re-opening an investigation into her emails 11 days before the election.
She was eventually cleared of any crime.
The White House has not responded to questions about Ms Trump’s email use.
However a spokesman for Ms Trump’s lawyer, Abbe Lowell, did not dispute the report.
“While transitioning into government… Ms Trump sometimes used her private account, almost always for logistics and scheduling concerning her family,” said the spokesman, Peter Mirijanian.
He said that it was different from Ms Clinton’s case because there was no private server and none of the messages contained classified information.
The White House began reviewing senior aides’ email use last year following reports that Ms Trump’s husband Jared Kushner, also a top White House adviser, used private email for government work.
Ms Trump’s emails came to light when White House officials began reviewing them in response to a lawsuit from watchdog group American Oversight, according to the Post.
US Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat on the Senate Judiciary panel, said there was “no way” Ms Trump did not know the rules after the 2016 campaign.
He said there were larger questions regarding the Trump family’s mixing of private enterprise and government duties.
“It raises the issue of whether there has been anything improper. There should be some kind of investigation,” Mr Blumenthal told CNN.
Father charged after girl, 6, ‘strangles baby brother to death with seatbelt’
A father in the US has been charged with child abandonment after his six-year-old daughter allegedly strangled her baby brother to death with a car seatbelt.
Adrian Dreshaun Middleton, 26, reportedly left the little girl and his one-year-old son in the vehicle while he went shopping in a discount store in Houston, Texas.
According to court documents, he told investigators the children were in an air-conditioned car with snacks, water and a film to watch while he shopped for clothes.
When he returned his daughter was crying in the backseat, the documents said.
She is said to have told investigators she was playing with her brother but became angry when he would not stop crying and wrapped the seatbelt around him.
When he became unconscious she thought he had fallen asleep.
Surveillance footage shows Middleton was in the store for around an hour and a half. He reportedly turned himself in to police over the incident.
The girl, who is staying with her grandmother, will not face charges because of her age, Houston police told ABC.
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