The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, has been accused of using the tragic shooting in Texas for her “own PR gain”.
She attended the memorial after killer gunman Salvador Ramos, 18, was shot dead at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, US, following the tragic deaths of 19 children and two adults.
Ramos barricaded himself inside the school and died during a shootout with border patrol officers.
Officials said all the victims were in the same fourth-grade classroom.
Ramos shot his grandmother before going to the school and triggering an "active shooter incident" as 21 lives were lost in the shooting at the primary school.
Meghan visited the site by surprise on Thursday afternoon, and an Archewell spokesperson said it was important for Meghan, as a mother, to make the trip and extend her condolences and support the Texas community
The mum-of-two was seen placing a bouquet of white roses at the gates outside Uvalde County Courthouse on Thursday (May 26) in a grey t-shirt, jeans and a black baseball cap.
Shortly after photos of her at the memorial were released, critics on social media began to question her motives, such as US political strategist Arthur Schwartz who wrote: “Hello, grieving people of Uvalde. Thank you for this opportunity to make this about me.”
Royal critic Daniela Elser has now launched a scathing attack on the royal.
Writing for news.com.au, she said that Meghan's attendance raised “uncomfortable questions”.
She wrote: “Let me say, I have no doubt that her heart is hurting, like millions of other people in the US and around the world, at the thought of such unspeakable loss.
“What is not up for debate is how genuine, or how strong, her feelings here might be – not in the least.
“But what is deeply problematic is that this trip looks horribly like an attempt to co-opt an unimaginable tragedy for her own PR gain.
“The biggest question here is, what did Meghan think would happen when she rolled up in Texas? “She is far from being a babe in the woods when it comes to understanding how the press works and surely she must have known that her pitching up in a small Texas town was always going to set off a media storm and would prove a major distraction from the bigger issues at play.
“So why go? What did she think she could achieve by going there?
“This was not a moment where Meghan’s presence could help highlight an overlooked issue or bring national media attention to bear on a forgotten community.”
Elser was slammed for her comments on social media, with many asking what she herself “has done” for those grieving in Uvalde.
A spokesperson for Meghan has been contacted for comment.
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