Saturday, 29 June 2019

Meghan meets her 'cousin': Duchess hugs Boston Red Sox's Mookie Betts who she 'shares family link with dating back 150 years' ahead of their game with New York Yankees in London

  • The Duchess of Sussex met her 'cousin', Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts at the London Stadium tonight
  • The pair are said to have relatives dating back 150 years to Alabama and shared a hug with each other 
  • The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were also given little Red Sox and Yankee jerseys for royal baby Archie
  • Europe's first ever Major League Baseball game will take place between the Boston and New York sides
  • Prince Harry's Invictus Games Foundation has been partnered with the MLB for the historic London Series
  • Former Invictus games competitors from the USA and the UK will throw the first ceremonial pitch 
The Duchess of Sussex shared a hug with her 'cousin' Boston Red Sox's Mookie Betts as she and Prince Harry met players ahead of their game against the New York Yankees in London.
As Europe's first ever Major League Baseball game was given the royal stamp of approval, family history may have also been made as Meghan met award-winning outfielder Betts at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park tonight.
Meghan and Betts reportedly share ancestry dating back 150 years to America's deep south, according to a U.S. genealogist, who says both their origins can be traced back to Alabama relatives.
The royal couple are attending to promote Prince Harry's Invictus Games Foundation which has been partnered with the MLB's two-game London Series.
Betts told the Boston Globe last year: 'I saw on television that they were getting married. But I had no idea we were related ... That's not something you expect to hear, but it’s interesting.'
An 1870 Federal Consensus reportedly shows that Joseph Betts is Mookie's great-great grandfather and Jacob Betts - who lived two doors down from Joseph - is the great-great-great grandfather of Meghan.
Genealogist Jim McNiff, who uncovered the link, believes the chances of coincidence are minimal due to the scarcity of Betts' in Madison County and the proximity of the neighbours.
Meghan and Betts were seen hugging this evening in the Red Sox locker room, as Prince Harry and the players clapped and laughed. 
Meghan beamed as each team gave her a baby-sized jersey, with the New York Yankees shirt emblazoned with Archie's name and the number 19 on the back for the year of his birth. 
Meghan Markle beams as she meets the stars of the Boston Red Sox ahead of their game against the New York Yankees in London
Meghan shares a hug with the Red Sox's award-winning outfielder Mookie Betts in the locker room at the London Stadium this evening
Meghan and Harry holding gifts given to them by the Red Sox players - including a mini red bat - ahead of the historic London Series in Britain's capital tonight
Prince Harry and Meghan hold hands as they walk onto the specially modified London Stadium pitch ahead of tonight's historic baseball game before 66,000 spectators
Former Invictus athletes from the USA and the UK will take part in throwing the ceremonial first pitch at the London stadium which is home to Premier League football club West Ham United. 
The Invictus foundation was founded by Prince Harry for wounded, sick and injured armed service personnel to take part in various sporting events. 
There is a sell-out crowd tonight as the baseball rivals take each other on before some 66,000 spectators, with the Yankees and the Red Sox competing in the AL East conference. 
Similar in style to the British sports of rounders, this is the first time America's colossal MLB has attempted to sell itself in the UK.
With some of the MLB's 30 teams having previously played in Mexico, Japan, Australia, and Puerto Rico, it's believed chiefs at the organisation are keen to make their mark in an untapped market.
But it comes over a decade after the NFL made its debut appearance at London's Wembley Stadium with a match between the Miami Dolphins and the New York Giants.
Because of the need for a larger, more circular pitch the organisation has picked the London Stadium to host the inaugural meet.
The former Olympic stadium, where West Ham play their home games, is hosting two games between the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox this Saturday and Sunday.
The royal couple - Prince Harry wearing an Invictus Games Foundation polo shirt and Meghan in a black summer dress - walk past the pitcher's mound
New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone provided Meghan with the Archie jersey in the locker room at the London Stadium this evening
Meghan smiles at Prince Harry as they arrive for the historic baseball game which has been partnered with his Invictus Games Foundation
Players and coaches of the New York Yankees pose alongside Prince Harry and Meghan after they gave them a special jersey for royal baby Archie
Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Britain's Meghan, Duchess of Sussex arrive on the field prior to the start of the first of a two-game series between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox at London Stadium

Boston Red Sox 

Established - 1901
World Series titles - 9
Home turf - Fenway Park, Boston
Hot off winning last year's World Series in a thrashing of the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Red Sox have been building momentum as a club since 2004 when they ended a 86-year dry spell.
In their lineup is current starting pitcher is Rick Porcello, and 2018's top run scorer Mookie Betts.
 The club's former star hitter David Ortiz was shot and serious injured earlier this year in what is believed to be a case of mistaken identity. 

New York Yankees 

Established - 1901
World Series Titles - 27
Home turf - Yankee Stadium, Bronx
Competing in the East Division of the American League, the Yankees are one of the most well-known sports brands in the world, and are also arguably the most successful.
Their lineup includes designated hitter DJ LeMahieu who will appear in this year's all-star game, and pitcher Masahiro Tanaka.
The club has a packed Hall of Fame, including Yogi Berra, Mickey Mantle and Joe DiMaggio.

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