By Michael Holden
LONDON (Reuters) - U.S. actress Meghan Markle made an official appearance alongside fiance Prince Harry and his elder brother William and wife Kate on Wednesday, the first time Britain's royal "Fab Four" have carried out an engagement together.
Queen Elizabeth's grandson Harry, 33 and Markle, 36, have attracted huge attention since they announced last November they were getting married while William, 35 and Kate, 36, have been a major media draw since their wedding in 2011.
The quartet appeared on stage together to take part in the Royal Foundation forum, a new annual event to showcase the projects run or launched by the royals' main charitable and philanthropic vehicle which William and Harry set up in 2011.
"Catherine, Harry and I are delighted to be here this morning," William told an audience at the London offices of insurer Aviva. "And we are particularly happy to be at our first Royal Foundation event with Meghan."
Markle, 36, will become the Foundation's fourth patron after she marries Harry at the queen's Windsor Castle residence on May 19. She has previously announced she is quitting her acting career and stepping down from her existing charitable work.
"We wait a couple of months and then we can hit the ground running but up until then I'm pretty excited," she said.
"Harry and I see the world so similarly in our approach of being very hands-on with things. I have been fortunate enough to meet with some incredible women and organisations in the UK that are doing work here, but also knowing that some of the work I've done in the past has been in Commonwealth countries."
The Royal Foundation focuses on issues such as helping young people, wildlife conservation, cyberbullying and supporting the military, most notably through the Invictus Games for wounded or disabled veterans which Harry founded.
Last year, the princes were widely praised for leading a campaign to tackle the stigma of mental health illness and speaking out about how they had personally suffered following the death of their mother Princess Diana in a Paris car crash in 1997.
"We're pretty tied up with planning a wedding at the moment but we're really looking forward to working as a pair and as a four going forward and hoping to make as much of a difference where we can," Harry said.
The four were pictured together leaving a service on Christmas Day on the queen's Sandringham estate but the event on Wednesday marked the first time the group - dubbed the "Fab Four" by media - had all attended an official event.
Asked if there were any disagreements with the family working closely together, William joked: "Oh, yes!"
Harry added: "They come so thick and fast. Working as family does have its challenges, of course it does. But we're stuck together for the rest of our lives."
(Editing by Stephen Addison)