Prince Harry pulled stunned schoolgirl out of crowd to hug Meghan Markle after she revealed her acting dreams

Martin Coulter
Meghan embraces young fan Sophia Richardson: AFP/Getty Images

Prince Harry pulled a starstruck schoolgirl out of the crowd to meet his fiancee Meghan Markle after she revealed her hopes of becoming an actress.

Sophia Richards, 10, told Harry that she dreamed of an acting career as she stood waving her Union Jack flag in a line of schoolchildren in Birmingham on Thursday.

He is said to have pulled her out of the crowd to meet Ms Markle after hearing of her ambitions.

Sophia said: "[Prince Harry told me] 'You need to be confident and you can achieve whatever you want to achieve.

"Meghan said that one day she will see me being an actress."

The Royal couple were in the Midlands on International Women's Day to meet young female students and encourage them to pursue careers in science and engineering. They were continuing their pre-wedding tour of the UK.

Other schoolchildren in the crowd were equally thrilled to meet them and shake their hands.

"It was like a miracle," said Francesco Farina. His friend Ariadna added: "I'm never washing my hand again."

Ms Markle had previously broken with royal protocol as she embraced a charity worker during the couple's visit to Edinburgh last month.

Alice Thompson, co-founder of charitable enterprise Social Bites, said Prince Harry's fiancee had wrapped her arms around her after being offered a handshake during the Edinburgh visit on Tuesday.

The 27-year-old told the Standard: "It was at the end when I went in for a handshake with Meghan and she just embraced me.

"They were both so genuine - showing the kind of interest and good nature you can't fake."

Harry and Ms Markle are due to be married on May 19 at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle.

Additional reporting by the Press Association