Duchess of Sussex hails horses meditative qualities as she embraces Queens favourite

“Has anyone got any carrots?” joked Harry, noticing that Molly was shaking.  “She’s a bit nervous, this one.”“Well, we all get a little camera shy, I understand,” said the Duchess.The couple were there to learn more about the country’s developing programme of equine therapy for children with special needs, funded by King Mohamed.Arriving at the Royal Equestrian Club Dar Essalam, the country’s main equestrian venue, they were introduced to Louis Broski, the founder of the Centre Social Kariat which works with mentally and physically disabled young people. Inside they walked around the stations and chatted to the young cooks, aged between nine and 18, stopping to try mince and onion pastries and Harira – a spicy chickpea soup.Chef Moha handed them each a decorated ceramic bowl to try and they each took a sip. “C’est delicieux,” said Meghan in French.“What’s in it?” asked Harry, before joking, “It’s a secret recipe!” One child said spoke in Arabic to the chef, who turned to the Duke and said: “He finds you a very good person.”“He is a good person,” smiled the Duchess, putting a hand on her husband’s arm. The children are cared for by three different charities, including Hadaf, an organisation which employs young people with Downs Syndrome, L’Association Musulmane de Bienfaisance and the Lalla Meriem Centre, founded by King Mohammed VI’s sister.Also on the menu were Moroccan pancakes with honey and Almond butter, a recipe by Cherine Mallah, taken from the Grenfell cookbook which the Duchess helped to produce.The dish features in Together: Our Community Cookbook, which became a bestseller after Meghan launched it on a visit  the Al Manaar cultural centre, which is at the heart of the community devastated by the Grenfell Tower fire. Mr Broski, who has trained horses for more than 30 years, is one of the country’s leading figures in equine therapy.  “It was a challenge,” he told them.  “I started with one child, but now 16 years later we have 100 children.  My aim is for all disabled children to be fully integrated into Moroccan society.”“That is just so important, and this is just a gorgeous space you have here,” the Duchess told him.The Royal couple met Ekram, 20, who has Down Syndrome, and began riding at the club a month ago.   Speaking through a translator, she told them “I love the connection with the horses, it already makes me feel relaxed and more confident. And I like being outside, with nature.” “Big bite!” laughed Meghan. “Bit late now!” replied her husband. The Duchess developed the Together cookbook idea over a series of earlier private visits where she cooked with the women of the Hubb Community Kitchen there.Sales of the book have allowed them to refurbish the facilities and expand their work in providing freshly prepared food for those displaced by the tragedy as well as other community groups. Prince Harry playfully strokes a horse Credit:Fadel Senna/AFP Handed a pancake covered in Amlou – a blend of almond butter, argan oil and honey, the Duke took a huge mouthful. One rider, 24-year-old Driss, told them how his youth had involved violence and drugs, and sakd the equine therapy has helped him regain confidence and made him feel “calmer”.  Driss now has a job with the Centre Social Kariat and helps disadvantaged and disabled children develop their skills and learn how to ride. The Duke, who grew up riding and still plays polo, told him:  “It’s amazing what you can do here.  For someone like you, who must have lost so much trust in all sorts of people around you growing up, you’ve been able to put your trust in horses. The trust between us and horses, it’s a very special thing. I’m missing my old horses.” Royal couple vow to return to MoroccoThe Duke and Duchess of Sussex vowed to return to Morocco with their baby after sampling a selection of classic national dishes. Harry and Meghan took up the offer of a meal for “the whole family” from top chef Moha Fedal, who hosts the North African nation’s version of Masterchef.He told the couple: “I hope to cook for you next time,” as they joined him for a cookery demonstration with underprivileged children in the capital Rabat.The Duchess replied: “The whole family next time.” The chef said: “You come with your baby to Marrakech next time.”“We would love to,” said Meghan. “Come with your baby and I will cook for all three,” he told Harry as he joined them.The Duke replied: “We will cook for you!” He is already a fan of the chef’s work, having visited his famous Dar Moha restaurant on a private visit to Marrakech just before the royal wedding.Although Moha would not be drawn on the secret trip, he disclosed: “He [Harry] loves pastilla – the sweet and savoury – and kefta.”During their visit to the colourful Villa Des Ambassadeurs, a privately owned guest house set up with temporary cooking stations, the royal couple sampled an array of fragrant and spicy dishes, including the pigeon pastilla which the Duchess  declared “delicious”. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrive at the Moroccan Royal Federation of Equestrian Sports in Rabat The Duke and Duchess of Sussex sample the local cuisineCredit:Stephen Lock/i-Images The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrive at the Moroccan Royal Federation of Equestrian Sports in RabatCredit:PA/Yui Mok The Duke and Duchess of Sussex meet with workers during a visit to the Moroccan Royal Federation of Equestrian Sports in Rabat in MoroccoCredit:Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP The Duchess of Sussex takes a bite, watched on by her husbandCredit:Stephen Lock/i-Images The couple then watched a grooming session with three Shetland ponies – Caramel, Xina and Molly, with some of the children who have benefitted from the Equine Assisted Therapy [EAT or Equi-therapy] programme, in one of the club’s outdoor manages.  “I’m happy!” said the chef. They arrived at the ornately decorated residence to a traditional welcome of dates and milk, which both royals sampled. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex sample the local cuisine Meghan told her:  “Wow, you’re very impressive.  What an accomplished lady.  I imagine it’s so therapeutic as well as meditative.”Harry and Meghan also watched a riding demonstration in another outdoor manege, with three autistic children riding ponies, while one of the equine therapists explained how they start the children with grooming ponies before gradually building them up to ride.  “It’s a wonderful, holistic approach,” said Duchess.Asking staff where they all travel from each day to work, Meghan said:  “I imagine no matter where you all come from, it’s so worth it.  “It’s amazing what you all do here. Really impressive.”The Duke added: “You’ve got the space, the horses, and the king’s support.  Keep up the amazing work.  It would be wonderful to see more of this across Morocco.” The couple also met with young people from disadvantaged backgrounds who have benefitted from the programmes at the centre, where the Duchess reverted to French again, wishing them “Bonne journee”.Horse riding for children with special needs has been shown to improve children’s communication skills, boost their confidence and help them build relationships.  The Princess Royal is president of the Riding for the Disabled Association in the UK.Later today, the Duke and Duchess will attend a cookery session which will include a recipe for pancakes from her Together cookbook, and a trip to a market inside a picturesque walled garden. Prince Harry playfully strokes a horse  The Duchess of Sussex takes a bite, watched on by her husband She has already won over the corgis. The Duchess of Sussex has now made a start on the Queen’s other love: horses.During their royal visit to Morocco, the Duchess stroked the noses of horses in stables of the Royal Foundation for Equestrian Sports, encouraged by her husband who has grown up alongside the animals.The Duke, who looked right at home making a fuss of the animals, led the way, with his wife reaching out to touch them tentatively afterwards.Although she has attended the polo with her husband, it is the first time the Duchess has embraced the horse-loving side of the Royal Family for her public engagements since her wedding.The visit, to the Moroccan Royal Federation of Equestrian Sports in Rabat, saw her admit to feeling “camera shy”, while Prince Harry told his hosts he was missing his old horses. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex meet with workers during a visit to the Moroccan Royal Federation of Equestrian Sports in Rabat in Morocco read more


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