Markle’s visit to Ulvade to pay her respects seen by some as ‘PR stunt’

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Meghan Markle’s surprise visit to Uvalde, Texas County Courthouse has drawn the ire of some on social media according to the Daily Mail.

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Gunman Salvador Rolando Ramos, 18, entered nearby Robb Elementary School and allegedly killed 21 people, including 19 children, before being shot himself.

Markle was spotted Thursday placing a bouquet of white roses at a makeshift memorial outside the courthouse and stopped by a Uvalde community centre that was hosting a blood drive.

A volunteer told Daily Mail that Markle toured the facility and donated food.

“She did not want anybody to know who she was,” the person said.

Markle’s spokesperson added to PEOPLE the duchess took the trip in a personal capacity as a mother.

However, social media critics thought it was the duchess’ attempt to turn the spotlight on herself in the midst of a tragedy and pointed out that she has yet to visit her estranged father Thomas who is in the hospital after suffering a stroke.

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“I find her posing like this with no doubt her own photographer utterly disgusting,” one user tweeted.

“I’m used to her PR stunts but this actually makes me angry. By all means, pay your respects but posing 4 photographs & releasing to the media is SICK.”

Said another: “All the way from California to Texas, camera in tow, to strike a pose at the memorial site of dead children. You are callous. Your PR is dark. A flight to Texas but not to your Dad.”

It wasn’t known if Markle’s husband, Prince Harry, came with her to Texas but he wasn’t seen with her in public.

Instead, the duchess was accompanied by the head of her security team Alberto Alvarez.

The Uvalde shooting was the deadliest in a decade since 20 elementary-age children and six staff members were killed at the Sandy Hook school in Newtown, Conn.

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