Hannah Segel used to talk to Meghan Markle through social media.
Hannah Segel used to talk to Meghan Markle through social media.

Story behind Meghan’s shocked face

THEIR relationship stemmed from a common interest. The American hit TV series, Suits.

But when Hannah Segel decided to go to the Viaduct Harbour in Auckland during the royal tour, she never expected Meghan Markle to notice her screaming amid thousands of fans.

In 2015, Ms Segel from Christchurch, added then Suits actor on Instagram and Twitter. To her surprise, Meghan added her back.

The two suddenly became "friends" on social media before the Duchess deactivated her personal account - in preparation for marrying into the British royal family - and direct messaged each other about life, career and study.

Meghan Markle recognised Hannah in a crowd of thousands in Auckland.
Meghan Markle recognised Hannah in a crowd of thousands in Auckland.

The happy embrace happened on Tuesday during the Duchess of Sussex's public walkabout with her husband Prince Harry and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

Ms Segel could see Meghan and Harry were about to leave the venue, when she shouted out in a desperate bid to grab her attention.

Hannah used to talk to Meghan Markle through social media.
Hannah used to talk to Meghan Markle through social media.

Meghan's jaw dropped and she doubled back, embracing Ms Segel in front of thousands of fans.

Speaking to news.com.au, Ms Segel said she "couldn't believe" when the Duchess actually recognised her in a sea of faces.

"I started talking to her through Instagram and Twitter in 2015," Ms Segel said.

"There were a small group of girls that had followed her from near the start of her career and she followed three of us.

"We have only ever communicated through social media and never met in real life so I was shocked when she recognised me! I couldn't believe it.

"She (Meghan) said, 'Oh my gosh, how are you? So good to meet you' then she hugged me, which was incredible."

Meghan Markle commented on one of Hannah's photos on Instagram when the Duchess still had social media.
Meghan Markle commented on one of Hannah's photos on Instagram when the Duchess still had social media.

Ms Segel, who works as a volunteer for St John Youth, said after their embrace she handed the Duchess a letter

"She said she would read and she said thank you for coming out and making contact," Ms Segel said of the exchange.

"I just said thank you for what she's done for me and thank you for using her platform to inspire change."

The Duchess of Sussex tagged Hannah Segel and a few other girls in a post several years ago.
The Duchess of Sussex tagged Hannah Segel and a few other girls in a post several years ago.

During their online exchanges, Ms Segel said Meghan, who once ran a lifestyle website called The Tig before marrying Prince Harry, would comment on her photos, tag her in posts and send other supportive messages.

"I definitely miss her (not being on social media)," she said.

"The Tig was her website where she shared her love of food, life and everything in between!"

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will finally wrap up their marathon 16-day royal tour today, following a staggering 76 engagements across Australia, Tonga, Fiji and New Zealand.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex will wrap up their mammoth royal tour today. Picture: Fiona Goodall/Getty Images.
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex will wrap up their mammoth royal tour today. Picture: Fiona Goodall/Getty Images.

Before they fly back to London, the couple will spend the day in Rotorua, where they'll watch a formal powhiri - welcome ceremony - and visit a nature park to learn about a breeding program.