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Sat Sep 23 20:42:48 EDT 2017

It took more than a year, but Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have made their first public appearance together as a couple — even if they were separated by a couple rows.

The Suits star, 36, star showed her support for the royal, 33, at his Invictus Games in Toronto, which runs from Saturday through Sept. 30.

Markle, who films the hit legal drama in the Canadian city, was all smiles as she cheered on the athletes in the Paralympic-style Invictus Games for wounded service members from around the world. Meanwhile, Harry sat a few rows away next to First Lady Melania Trump whom he met with earlier in the day.

Markle wore a purple dress with a purple leather coat over her shoulders as she sat with friend Markus Anderson. She stood along with the rest of the crowd during the Canadian national anthem and clapped heartily as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (her acquaintance and a friend of Harry) made his welcome address.

Toronto has become a special place for the couple. Harry made a secret detour from the Caribbean to spend time with Markle in her adopted hometown in December. The royal couple also spent Easter weekend together in Toronto. Harry also called Toronto a “home away from home” when he met with Governor General David Johnston.

“Despite the distance, the media attention and everything else, there’s a real ease to their relationship,” a source previously told PEOPLE. “It just works. They are deeply happy.”

 

Last month, the couple set off for a short getaway at Queen Elizabeth II’s Scottish highlands estate. The big question, of course, is whether Harry introduced his girlfriend to the Queen — a key step on the road to engagement. (Neither Harry’s office at Kensington Palace nor Buckingham Palace would comment.)

Markle recently opened up about her royal boyfriend, telling Vanity Fair: “I can tell you that at the end of the day, I think it’s really simple. We’re two people who are really happy and in love.”

RELATED VIDEO: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s History (So Far)

All eyes have been on the high-profile couple since their romance was revealed last October. 

“It has its challenges, and it comes in waves — some days it can feel more challenging than others,” Markle said. “And right out of the gate it was surprising the way things changed. But I still have this support system all around me, and, of course, my boyfriend’s support.”

Both Harry and Meghan share a commitment to supporting the troops. The prince, who served 10 years in the Army, has long been a champion of causes that benefit servicemen and women. In addition to the Invictus Games, he has inspired veterans with the Walking with the Wounded charity and his Endeavour Fund. Meghan, meanwhile, traveled to Afghanistan in December 2014 on a USO tour.

“In gratitude to our troops, and the opportunity to thank them personally for their sacrifice and service,” she captured a photo from the trip. “Such an honor and feeling very very blessed.”


Sat Sep 23 20:00:49 EDT 2017

A man who provided an ever-shifting account about his claim that he dug up Natalee Holloway’s remains in Aruba was deemed “not a credible source” by an Aruban police chief in Saturday’s final episode of a docu-series about the mystery. 

But that didn’t diminish the pained disgust of Natalee’s dad, Dave Holloway, who observed that the man apparently kept and hid a plastic baggie of unidentified dug-up bone fragments “as a prize, so to speak,” according to the six-part Oxygen series The Disappearance of Natalee Holloway.

After filming the series that followed Holloway and private investigator T.J. Ward on the trail of the man who says he helped remove and destroy Natalee’s remains in 2010, Holloway said DNA tests revealed that bone fragments discovered on the series turned out to be human skeletal remains.

Testing done in the U.S. linked the bones to a European and Caucasian ancestry, like Natalee, but could not identify a gender or further biological lineage, according to a forensic scientist who worked with Holloway and Ward. Additional testing on the bone material is scheduled for October 6.

But Aruban police and the Aruban prosecutor’s office disagree on the finding, and said the bones are likely an animal’s, and the man who made these claims on the series has not been arrested in the case.

In fact, the Oxygen series ended as it began: with unanswered questions about the fate of the Alabama teen, long-presumed dead, who vanished on the last night of a May 2005 high school graduation trip to the island.

Ever-Changing Stories About Natalee’s Remains

In earlier accounts, according to the series, the man who took credit for his role had claimed that he accepted $1,500 from his friend Joran van der Sloot, the longtime suspect in Natalee’s disappearance, to move Natalee’s remains from a national forest and dispose of them elsewhere.

(Van der Sloot, among the last men seen with Natalee, is now serving prison time for a murder conviction in Peru. He was arrested and questioned but never prosecuted for Natalee’s disappearance, and despite once offering to tell an attorney for Natalee’s mom, Beth, where he hid the remains, he has maintained his innocence.)

Next, the man — who has admitted to a heroin addiction — claimed the remains were buried in a different spot, within walking distance of a residential cul de sac, and that after he unearthed them, the remains were mingled with dog bones to disguise their origin before being taken to a morgue for cremation.

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Then, he said van der Sloot himself joined him on the dig-up of the alleged burial site, and the two men poured gasoline and set fire to Natalee’s skull in a cave before they “pummeled” the bones for hours, then rented a fisherman’s boat to dump the remains at sea.

In the concluding installment, the man said it wasn’t a cave but rather under a canopy of trees where the skull was burned.

The ever-shifting explanation led Aruban Police Chief Dolfi Richardson to say on the series, “What he was saying was not possible. And then he changes his story, ‘No, no, I wasn’t there.’ I mean, there were so many holes we could shoot in his story that we knew that he was not really a credible witness.”

As versions of his account are discredited in the episode — not only by police, but also by Ward’s investigative team — an informant who first brought the man to Holloway and Ward’s attention urges the man to produce more evidence that he’s telling the truth.

That led the man to change his story again, saying that after the remains were dug up and the bones crushed, they were mixed with a dog’s and buried in a pet cemetery.

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Separately, near the base of a wall behind a rental property where the man claimed that he and van Der Sloot broke up the bones, the man then dug up the baggie of bone fragments “that he kept as a trophy,” according to the informant in a subsequent phone call to Holloway.

That revelation still failed to sway the Aruban police, who told Holloway and Ward: “Even if he did help, what we need is evidence. He said, ’These are the bones of Natalee.’ He presented us that. And it was bogus. I mean, it’s not even human bones. So for me … he’s not a credible source.”

‘I Need to Know’ About Bones, Says Natalee’s Dad

Holloway and Ward then asked to take the four small bone fragments for themselves back to the U.S. from Aruba, after the police chief says that by doing so, the alleged evidence could never be used for any criminal prosecution in Aruba.

“That was not really my concern at that point in time, because how did you determine they were non-human?” Holloway said. “I need to know, and I never got a clear answer on that. … Now I can have them tested.”

When Holloway eventually does have them tested, and forensic scientist Dr. Jason Kowolski confirms the human DNA, a startled but still-skeptical Holloway replies, “There is a possibility, though, that this could be somebody else.”

“There is,” Kowolski answers.

“Even now, right now, I’m thinking, OK, they’re somebody else’s bones,” says Holloway. “I’m not going to believe it until the final test is done. … And I’ll be on pins and needles until that test is determined one way or the other, I’m sure.”


Sat Sep 23 20:00:05 EDT 2017

Having two kids under the age of 2 would be a challenge for anybody — but throw the opening of a pop-up shop, album release and international tour into the mix and you’ve now reached Thomas Rhett’s level.

“To have two children under the age of 2 has been pretty challenging for me and Lauren ,” Thomas Rhett, 27, told PEOPLE at the launch of his Los Angeles pop-up on Friday. “But at the same time, I feel like if we can handle this, we can handle pretty much anything.”

This week, in particular, has been major for Thomas Rhett both professionally and personally — his album Life Changes became the first country album in 2017 to hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and his 22-month-old daughter Willa Gray, whom he and Akins, 27,  adopted from Uganda in May, just had her first day of school.

“It was sad for me and Lauren, but she didn’t care,” Thomas Rhett says of Willa Gray starting school, which is only one day a week. “I don’t think she even turned around and looked at us before we left.”

“I feel like I’ve known her for forever,” Thomas Rhett adds. “I feel like she’s so much older than she is, but she’s still so young and so to watch her in environment and watch her play with other kids was just really cool for me and Lauren to see.”

After welcoming daughter Ada James, 5 weeks, in August, Akins told PEOPLE at the time that having a little sister was “world-changing” and “emotional” for Willa Gray, but since then, Thomas Rhett says she has fully adjusted to having the newborn around.

“For two weeks, was like, ‘Who is this person who came in and took some of the attention away from me?’ ” Thomas Rhett says. “But now she’s super protective of Ada and is just turning into an amazing big sister.”

Thomas Rhett’s two daughters and wife were on hand to help him celebrate his lesser-known love for fashion with the launch of his pop-up shop, which features a collection of streetwear-inspired styles for men and women from the new collection Daniel Patrick X Thomas Rhett, four varieties of New Era baseball caps featuring Thomas Rhett’s Home Team logo, t-shirts custom designed and handmade by MadeWorn as well as a limited supply of custom crafted denim jackets by stylist Kemal Harris.

Also available for purchase at the shop is tour merchandise and the shirt his wife designed for 147 Million Orphans, the charity the couple has worked closely with and through which they first met Willa Gray.

“If you ask someone who doesn’t know anything about country music, they’re going to think all we wear is belt buckles and cowboy boots,” Thomas Rhett says, though he admits he wore cowboy boots for the first two years of his career. “I started to dance around on stage and realized I was going to break my ankle if I didn’t switch shoes.”

He continues: “There’s so many people in country that are hip and have great taste in what they wear on stage, so for me to be able to be loud about it is something that has never really been done in this genre. They do it in the pop and hip-hop world all the time, so why can’t we do it?”

Thomas Rhett, a self-proclaimed sneakerhead, has always loved streetwear and distressed items so he wanted to make sure he incorporated things that he actually wears into the collection. But as to whether his style has changed since becoming a dad?

“I tuck my shirt in more now,” Thomas Rhett says with a laugh. “I’m definitely rocking some dad vibes. I think my style is ever-changing, especially with the things that can change it even more — like having kids.”

As his daughters get older, though, Thomas Rhett thinks they’ll definitely be the ones “giving all the advice” when it comes to style.