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Meghan Markle pays her respects to 21 victims of Texas school shooting in surprise appearance

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Meghan Markle has traveled to Uvalde, Texas to pay her respects at a memorial set up in honor of the 19 children and two teachers killed in Tuesday's mass shooting at Robb Elementary School.

The duchess — now living in her native California after she and husband Prince Harry announced their formal break from the royal family in 2020 — laid a bouquet of white roses near a series of crosses bearing blue heart plaques and the names of the 21 victims killed in the school shooting.

The AFP reports that Markle, 40, quietly walked around — her head bowed and arms crossed — the makeshift memorial situated outside Uvalde County Courthouse. The royal wore a baseball cap, jeans, T-shirt and sneakers for her unannounced visit.

The duchess paid her respects to the 21 victims of the Uvalde school shooting. (Photo: Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
The duchess paid her respects to the 21 victims of the Uvalde school shooting. (Photo: Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

A spokesperson for the duchess tells Omid Scobie, Yahoo News U.K.'s royal executive editor, that she traveled to Texas to offer the Uvalde community condolences while it deals with "unimaginable grief."

Markle's visit comes amid reports that her estranged father, Thomas Markle, has been hospitalized after suffering a stroke on Monday.

Updated, 5:45 p.m.: This article has been updated to include a statement from Markle's spokesperson.