Saturday, 20 October 2018

First Look: Harry and Meghan Arrive for Invictus Driving Challenge!

The Duke and Duchess travelled by boat to attend the Invictus Games Sydney 2018 Jaguar Land Rover Driving Challenge on Cockatoo Island. Meghan's wearing a white Altuzarra blazer, Mother Denim Jeans and an Invictus shirt.

The Duke and Duchess unveiled an Anzac Memorial in Hyde Park this morning Click here to read the post.

**I'll have a full post shortly**

The Sussexes Unveil Anzac Memorial in Hyde Park

It's day five of the Sussexes' royal visit to Australia with another packed day ahead. The Duke and Duchess began with an embargoed engagement, unveiling an Anzac Memorial in Hyde Park.

The Duchess arriving.

The military is a hugely important element of Harry's life; his time in the army led to the creation of his brainchild, the inspiring Invictus Games. Russell Myers reports: "The couple arrived to unveil a war memorial 84 years in the making. The Anzac Memorial, which commemorates the sacrifices made by those who served for Australia and New Zealand, was initially designed in the 1930s by Bruce Dellitt. But following the Great Depression, the finances were not available to make Mr Dellitt's vision a reality, including a four-tier cascading waterfall on the Liverpool Street side of the monument."

Prince Harry wore the tropical dress of his regiment, the Blues and Royals, with medals, KCVO and sword.

You'll notice Harry is wearing new gold aiguillettes on his uniform. They were given to him as part of his new position as personal aide-de-camp to the Queen.

Below, Harry and Meghan with with NSW Governor David Hurley, a former chief of the defence force.

The Anzac Memorial is the main commemorative military monument of Sydney, Australia. It was created by the people of New South Wales as a place to remember the impact of the Great War (1914 – 1918). Although the Memorial did not open until 1934 the need for the Memorial was recognised as soon as the casualty figures from the 1915 Gallipoli campaign became public knowledge. Planning for a memorial of some kind began with the establishment of a fund on the first anniversary of the landing at Gallipoli in 1916.

The Duke and Duchess received a tour of the new education and interpretation facilities.

 They spent time at the Hall of Silence where the sculpture Sacrifice stands.

The Hall of Silence, located in the centre of the building, is striking in its starkness, and has a powerful effect on visitors. The room is circular and Rayner Hoff's sculpture Sacrifice stands in its centre. The floor is Ulam white marble, and there is a bronze 'eternal flame' that flares out from the sculpture. The ceiling curves up toward the carved marble banister that defines the Well of Contemplation, a large circular opening in the floor of the level above. This opening provides the only natural lighting for the Hall of Silence and has the effect of focusing that light onto the central sculpture.

Emily Andrews reports: "The choir at the Anzac memorial have just sung 'I vow to thee my country': Princess Diana’s favourite hymn from her schooldays, sung both at her wedding in 1981 and her funeral in 1997."

The couple lay their first wreath together.

Kensington Palace shared this view.

‘In grateful memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice and in recognition of the men and women for whom the scars of war endure'.

British High Commissioner Menna Rawlings was sitting behind the couple and shared this photo.

Harry officially opened the enhanced memorial.

The plaque.

More from the Sydney Morning Herald: "For Prince Harry, being able to visit and officially open the newly renovated sections represented a royal step back in time; his great-great uncle and namesake, Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester - who later went on to become Australia’s 11th Governor-General - originally opened the building in 1934."

A video from the unveiling.

I imagine the event was kept under wraps for security reasons. Speaking of which, Rebecca English reports the couple have appointed a new female head of protection:

'The woman, who the Mail is not naming for security reasons, has been working with the couple for several months and is currently with them in Australia, overseeing the massive police operation that surrounds them.
It took a little while to find a woman for the job with Harry and Meghan, but the new senior female police officer, who has the rank of Inspector, has replaced the prince's long-standing head of security, Sergeant Bill Renshaw, who retired after more than 30 years in the force. This week she has been very much in evidence, standing discreetly alongside the prince and his new wife. In Melbourne on Thursday she kept a watchful eye over pregnant Meghan as she undertook a huge public walkabout.
A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said they could confirm that 'there are a number of female officers working within the Royalty and Specialist Protection Command, including an inspector currently working in Australia'. As these officers are by their principal's side 24 hours a day, it is always preferential to have a woman on the team. There are some things that a MRF (Member of the Royal Family) just feels more comfortable doing with a woman at her side. But to have a woman in charge of the team is pretty much unheard of. It is good news for the Duke and Duchess and good news for the force.'

Meghan looked every inch the Duchess in an elegant Emilia Wickstead dress; a perfect choice for the nature of the engagement.

Meghan's dress is a custom black version of the Camila Wool-Crepe Midi Dress. The timeless style is simply detailed with a row of buttons against the wool-crepe backdrop. Its softly pleated skirt and mock-neck collar capture the vintage feel.

The style was inspired by 1940s socialite Edith Bouvier Beale. She was a first cousin of Jackie Kennedy. She is most known for her participation, along with her mother, with whom she lived, in the 1975 documentary film Grey Gardens by Albert and David Maysles. Coincidentally, my sister recently watched the documentary and told me she enjoyed it immensely.

A view of the back.

The Duchess also selected the New Zealand born designer for the Anzac Day Service of  Commemoration and Thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey in April.

Meghan wore a hat by one of her favourite milliners, Philip Treacy.

The style is from the SS18 Collection. Meghan first wore it in August for the van Straubenzee wedding.

Meghan carried her black Givenchy satin clutch.

The talented Heaven identified Meghan's black shoes as the Tabitha Simmons Millie Slingback pumps. The $695 style is described: "Set on a slim heel, this pair of Tabitha Simmon's pumps has a point-toe silhouette, bow-embellished heel and are crafted from black suede."

Meghan accessorised with her £495 Pippa Small 18-karat gold Herkimer diamond earrings.

A closer look at Meghan's bracelet and rings.

Coming up: the Duke and Duchess will travel by boat to attend the Invictus Games Sydney 2018 Jaguar Land Rover Driving Challenge on Cockatoo Island. In the evening, Harry and Meghan will attend a reception hosted by the NSW Premier, the Honourable Gladys Berejiklian MP, inside the Opera House. Afterwards it's the Invictus Games opening ceremony.

Friday, 19 October 2018

Duchess Meghan Praises Teenagers "Intention to Really Change the World" During School Visit!

Following an early morning at Bondi Beach with inspirational mental health charity OneWave, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex returned to Admiralty House for a quick change before travelling to MacArthur Girls High School to see the incredible work being done by students in human rights, social justice and women's empowerment.

The Duke and Duchess enjoyed a dance performance upon arrival.

We've been treated to an abundance of wonderful photos throughout the tour capturing very sweet moments between the couple.

The Duke and Duchess with NSW premiere Gladys Berejiklian.

Harry and Meghan meet representatives from the school.

The tour itinerary is incredibly varied, owing to the number of events scheduled the couple were able to include their core areas of focus. The engagement at MacArthur Girls High School brought Meghan's passion for supporting and empowering women and girls to the fore.

The couple visited the National Rugby League's In Harmony programme, which works to unite and empower young people to be advocates of positive change in their communities. Talking to a group of teenagers about part-time jobs, Meghan recalled: “My first job when I was 14, I remember taking out the trash, all sorts. It gives you a good work ethic, right?”

Hannah Furness reports: Meghan told girls: "You guys all remind me so much of myself when I was growing up. I went to an all girls school which was incredibly diverse as well. I think being around such empowered young women, it becomes something that you all just grasp onto to understand your world. It’s made you confident and well-spoken. You have an intention set to really do something to change the world, and you have to keep it up. It makes me so emotional. You’re doing really, really good work and I’m so happy that we’re here. We give you our full support." The teenage girls had worked on a project to make boxes for vulnerable women, taking donated supplies to police stations and refuges. They've also produced a book for young children teaching them about poverty and being kind to others.

Harry spoke of the importance of men playing their part in the fight for equality. "Men can help as well by getting involved, we have to,” he said. “We need to get men’s voices involved as soon as possible."

The In League In Harmony program aims to promote social cohesion by addressing issues such as social disengagement, racism, gender inequality and bullying and empowering youth to be agents of change in a bid to create a more cohesive and inclusive society. Prince Harry was announced as the new patron of England's Rugby Football League in 2006.

NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg said:

"It is a great honour for one of our community programs to have been selected by The Duke and Duchess to participate in," Greenberg said.
"The Duke and Duchess are incredibly active and giving of their time all over the world in encouraging greater respect and inclusiveness amongst communities and our game is grateful that Their Royal Highnesses took time as part of their Royal Tour to meet some of our In League In Harmony participants.'

More from The Telegraph:

Tahlia Ohenhen, 15, told the Duke and Duchess how another group had created picture books to teach younger children about poverty and encourage them to treat those less fortunate with kindness and empathy.
Describing how they had written and illustrated it, she told the couple: “We were able to put the book together, create it, get it finalised and get it published… I mean printed, sorry.” “That [getting it published] is the next step,” the Duchess told her, as the girls laughed. “It’s very clever.”
The couple nodded as Tahlia added: “The younger you get your children educated on things like this, the easier it is for them to grow up and be aware of it and make a difference.” “Kindness and empathy lacks big time in the world,” Harry said. “It’s so great you are passionate about all of this. “You realise this is the generation that’s going to make all the difference?”

The Duke and Duchess posed for a group photo.

From the school, Prince Harry, accompanied by the Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Invictus Games competitors, climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

They officially raised the Invictus Flag, marking the arrival of the Invictus Games to Sydney.

Take a look at the stunning view.

A very special lady was there to support her "friend Harry". You'll recall Daphne Dunne spent time with the couple in Sydney on Tuesday. She has met Harry several times over the years and was delighted to meet Meghan.

Next, Harry and Meghan visited Prime Minister Morrison and his wife Jenny at Kirribilli House.

A video from the meeting.

The PM put quite a bit of thought into a gift for Baby Sussex. The Mail reports: "Speaking to Nova 969 hosts Fitzy and Whippa on Friday morning, the nation's leader said he'd chosen to gift May Gibbs children's books 'Snugglepot and Cuddlepie' to their future child. The iconic Australian author based the books off native wildlife found in the Blue Mountains region and called the series her 'bushland fantasy'.'When a young couple is having their first child, I just think that is one of the best things there is. I'm looking forward to congratulating them on that,' the PM told the hosts."

They also spent time with the leader of the opposition Bill Shorten and his wife Chloe at Admiralty House.

The Duchess looked effortlessly stylish in the Roksanda Athena two-tone dress (with thanks to Laura).

The £1,295 navy and light blue crepe piece is described as: "Roksanda Ilincic tells us that she's always had an affinity for '50s fashion – this 'Athena' dress almost looks like it's been plucked right out of the decade. Made from crepe that's just weighty enough to hold the A-line shape, this two-tone style is fitted through the bodice before falling to a gently pleated skirt." It's available in limited sizing at Harrods.

Meghan's wearing her Stuart Weitzman Legend pumps in haze beige.

Meghan accessorised with her Birks Bee Chic blue topaz earrings.

And the Birks Flex Wrap bracelet in white gold.

George Northwood is doing a fabulous job with Meghan's hair.

If you're just joining us, click here to read our earlier post.

Tomorrow's Schedule, Saturday 20 October:

  • On Saturday 20th October, The Duke and Duchess will travel by boat to attend the Invictus Games Sydney 2018 Jaguar Land Rover Driving Challenge on Cockatoo Island.
  •  In the evening, Their Royal Highnesses will attend a Reception hosted by the NSW Premier, The Honourable Gladys Berejiklian MP, inside the Opera House.
  •  They will attend the Invictus Games Sydney 2018 Opening Ceremony where The Duke of Sussex will give an address.

It feels like a good time to thank you all for reading and taking the time to comment. The tour has been fantastic thus far and it's still in its very early stages. Looking forward to the Invictus portion kicking off.