Sunday, 16 June 2019

A Darling Shot of Archie in Harry's Arms For Father's Day

To mark Father's Day, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex shared a darling photo of their son in his father's arms, clutching onto Harry's fingers. The image offers our first look at little Archie, who is six-weeks-old tomorrow, since his parents first introduced him at Windsor.

The couple captioned the photo on Sussex Royal:

'Happy Father’s Day! And wishing a very special first Father’s Day to The Duke of Sussex.'

Archie has grown so much since we saw him at Windsor on 8 May, two after his birth.

Speaking about the newborn, Meghan said: "He's just been a dream. It's been a special couple of days. He has the sweetest temperament. He’s really calm." Harry smiled and said "I don't know where he gets that from". When asked who the baby resembles, the Duchess said: "We’re still trying to figure that out." Harry added: "Everyone says babies change so much over two weeks. We’re basically monitoring how the changing process happens over this next month, really. His looks are changing every single day, so who knows?". Who do you think Archie resembles most at the moment? In this photo, I see more of dad Harry but his eyes are all mum.

To mark Mother's Day in the US, the couple shared a glimpse of Archie in Meghan's arms, with a quote from Lands by Nayyirah Waheed. "my mother was my first country; the first place I ever lived."

Our next sighting of Archie will come at his christening next month. The Times reports:

'Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, will have their son, born on May 6, baptised in Windsor next month. The Sussexes have chosen St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle for the christening. The couple married there last year and Harry, aged three months, was baptised at the chapel in 1984.
Archie Harrison Mountbatten- Windsor, the Queen’s eighth great-grandchild, will be two months old when his brow is doused from thelily font with water from the River Jordan. A royal turnout is expected at the ceremony, as is Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, although one key guest will not be there. The Queen will miss the christening because of prior commitments.'

In other Archie news, Harry and Meghan have reportedly hired a nanny. More from Omid Scobie:

'While the couple are hoping to keep personal details of the new staff member private, BAZAAR understands that the British-born female nanny is not permanently based at Frogmore Cottage or working weekends.
The additional support will come in particularly handy for the Sussexes when they tour Africa this October. Sources say it’s increasingly likely that Archie Mountbatten-Windsor will be joining them for the trip.'

A very Happy Father's Day to all celebrating :)

Thursday, 13 June 2019

Plans for an Autumn Tour, the Duchess in Vogue & All the Latest

Good evening! Today we're chatting about several news reports of interest, the rumours about Meghan's plans to edit an upcoming issue of Vogue, Archie's christening, fashion updates, and much more.

An Autumn Africa Tour... There's been talk of an autumn tour for the Sussexes circulating for months. With their roles as Commonwealth ambassadors developing, a tour of several African countries has long been on the cards for the couple. Certainly, Harry's current work schedule more than suggests preparations are very much underway. The Duke joined a host of stars and supporters at a fundraising concert for Sentebale on Tuesday night, amid reports he and Meghan are incredibly eager to expand the work of the charity. Harry founded the charity in 2006 with Prince Seesio of Lesotho, to support children affected by HIV in Lesotho and Botswana. It's been suggested they hope to offer services in Malawi and other countries - a move which will undoubtedly form a key part of the tour.

Chris Ship reports:

'The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are planning a big tour to Africa later this year which will connect the couple with some of Harry’s greatest passions as well as those of his late mother.
Harry and Meghan plan to visit Malawi to expand the reach of his charity Sentebale into that country. The couple will also visit Angola to highlight the continuing problems from land mines – an issue about which his mother cared passionately. The tour will also include a visit to South Africa.
It was in Angola shortly before her death that Princess Diana walked through an active land mine area. She was famously pictured wearing a visor and detonated a mine in front of a number international reporters.'

The visit is at the request of the Foreign Office and is expected to encompass areas close to their hearts including young people, conservation and education. I expect Botswana is very much on the list and potentially Mozambique. The Commonwealth member state endured Cyclone Kenneth in April, the strongest and most destructive natural disaster the country has ever experienced. It occurred just weeks after Cyclone Idai which claimed the lives of a 1,000 people. Harry and Meghan referenced the catastrophic events in their Instagram post marking the 70th anniversary of the Commonwealth.

It is not known whether Archie will travel with his parents for the trip, expected to take place in October. If so, it's possible we will see the couple choose a base for the trip, or perhaps Meghan will stay with Archie on days which require extensive travelling. The Times reports it will be roughly a fortnight long. We should have official confirmation and the dates from Buckingham Palace within the coming weeks.

The Duchess in Vogue... Over the past year, a number of you have discussed the possibility of Meghan appearing in Vogue. Recent reports suggests that wish will be granted, with plans for the Duchess of Sussex to edit the coveted September issue very much underway. Meghan will reportedly pen a personal essay on causes close to her heart, including women's empowerment, and bring a selection of female change-makers on board to share their own pieces. A photoshoot is expected to take place at Frogmore Cottage this month. Princess Diana and the Duchess of Cambridge both famously appeared in the iconic publication. The Sun notes the Duchess does not want to appear on the cover; Perhaps a collage of influential women instead?

Editor Edward Enninful chose Rhianna to grace the cover of his first September issue last year.

The issue included a photoshoot at the Royal Lodge with Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie.

The September issue is available in early August, and it's possible a sneak peek will be shared on Sussex Royal late next month.

Archie's Christening... In a piece for Elle magazine, Carolyn Durand suggests Archie will be christened shortly before the Queen leaves for Balmoral in late July. The date makes sense, as it's an excellent opportunity to get the family together before everyone breaks up for summer holidays.

More from Carolyn's piece:

'The Sussexes have been entertaining close friends and family. They’ve had a regular stream of friends, according to a source, all wanting to wish them well. Harry is “over the moon” and has been looking forward to fatherhood for so long. Everyone in the family is excited for their happiness.
 Meghan is expected to take a three to four month-long maternity leave, but will make “intermittent appearances,” according to a Royal source. We may get our first glimpse of Archie in about six weeks for his christening before the The Queen leaves for Balmoral at the end of July. Otherwise, the Queen historically returns from Balmoral in late October.
While focused on Archie during her maternity leave, Meghan is incredibly “passionate about her humanitarian work,” a friend shared. Meghan will be quietly preparing for the couple's fall trip to Africa where well wishers are looking forward to Archie’s public debut, much like Prince George did with William and Kate in Australia and New Zealand.'

A Nanny For Archie... Omid Scobie reports the Duke and Duchess have hired a nanny for Baby Archie.

'Sources confirm to that the couple recently took on the extra pair of hands ahead of Harry’s busy summer schedule and Meghan planning a return to royal duties this fall.
While the couple are hoping to keep personal details of the new staff member private, BAZAAR understands that the British-born female nanny is not permanently based at Frogmore Cottage or working weekends.
The additional support will come in particularly handy for the Sussexes when they tour Africa this October. Sources say it’s increasingly likely that Archie Mountbatten-Windsor will be joining them for the trip.'

Fashion Updates... In style updates, fans of J Crew will be pleased to know Meghan's J Crew Sadie Ankle boots are reduced by 30% with code GETAWAY (with thanks to Lyra). The boots are also reduced by 60% in navy/red plaid at Nordstrom.

And Meghan's J Crew Toothpick Jeans are also reduced by 30% with code GETAWAY.

Meghan's Reformation Pineapple Dress is available in sizes XS-XL on the website.

The Karen Walker Northern Lights sunglasses Meghan wore the dress with are available at Saks Fifth Avenue.

Happy Father's Day, Prince Harry... In celebration of Prince Harry's first Father's Day on Sunday, supporters of the couple are fundraising for the Queen's Commonwealth Trust and Scotty's Little Soldiers. The charity, which supports bereaved military families, was one of Harry and Meghan's chosen organisations for donations in honour of their wedding. Over £3,500 has been donated thus far. It's another terrific effort in aid of incredibly worthy causes. If you would like to donate to the QCT please click here, and here for Scotty's.

Speaking of Father's Day, I wonder if we might see a new photo to mark the occasion on Sunday?

Saturday, 8 June 2019

The Duchess of Sussex Makes a Special Appearance for Trooping the Colour!

As hoped for, the Duchess of Sussex made her first official appearance since the birth of Baby Archie for Trooping the Colour, the Queen's annual birthday parade.

We last saw Meghan when she and Harry introduced their son to the world at Windsor Castle just over a month ago. The proud parents have been savouring every moment with Archie at Frogmore Cottage, and welcoming family and friends to meet him.

Trooping the Colour is a very important day on the royal calendar. The event not only celebrates Her Majesty's birthday, but is very much considered a day to see the whole family together. Indeed, next year, it's possible Archie will make his debut. Although Meghan is on maternity leave, she is expected to attend several "big moments" over the summer according to The Times.

The Duke and Duchess were all smiles as they travelled in a horse-drawn carriage for the procession with the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duchess of Cambridge.

Meghan and Kate chatted as they departed the palace.

There's lovely footage of the Duchesses in the video below.

The grand military parade is one of the finest displays of pomp and pageantry in the United Kingdom.

The Yorks travelled in the second carriage.

And the Wessexes in the third carriage.

Her Majesty travels down the mall.

Although the Queen's birthday is 21 April, it has long been tradition to celebrate the sovereign's birthday publicly on a day in June, when good weather is more likely. Her Majesty has attended Trooping the Colour every year since 1947 - except in 1955 when a national rail strike cancelled the event.

The background of the prestigious annual event? Trooping the Colour actually originated in traditional preparations for battle. Colours, or flags, were trooped down the rank so they could be seen by the soldiers. In 1748, it was announced the parade would also mark the sovereign's official birthday.

More on the history of the day:

'The Sovereign's birthday is officially celebrated by the ceremony of Trooping the Colour (Queen's Birthday Parade). This impressive display of pageantry takes place on a Saturday in June by her personal troops, the Household Division, on Horse Guards Parade, with Her Majesty the Queen herself attending and taking the salute. The parade route extends from Buckingham Palace along The Mall to Horse Guards Parade, Whitehall and back again.
During the ceremony, The Queen is greeted by a Royal salute and carries out an inspection of the troops. After the massed bands have performed a musical 'troop', the escorted Regimental Colour is carried down the ranks.The Foot Guards and the Household Cavalry then march past Her Majesty, and The King's Troop, Royal Horse Artillery, rank past.The Queen rides in a carriage back to Buckingham Palace at the head of her Guards, before taking the salute at the Palace from a dais.'

An enormous amount of planning and preparation goes into ensuring the annual event runs as smoothly as possibly.

Over 1,400 officers and military personnel are on parade, together with two hundred horses. Over four hundred musicians from ten bands and corps of drums march and play as one. Some 113 words of command are given by the Officer in Command of the Parade. The parade route extends from Buckingham Palace along the Mall to Horse Guards Parade, Whitehall and back again.

The Colour of the 1st Batallion Grenadier Guards was trooped.

On horseback, Prince Charles, Colonel of the Welsh Guards; Prince William, Colonel of the Irish Guards; the Princess Royal, Colonel of the Blues and Royals; and Prince Andrew. Harry doesn't ride on horseback at the event as he's not a Royal Colonel yet, neither did Andrew until last year when he succeeded his father as Colonel of the Grenadier Guards.

At 1 pm, the Royal family gathered on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.

The event culminated with a stunning show by the Royal Air Force. More than twenty-five military aircraft soar over Buckingham Palace in formations thirty seconds apart. Aerobatic team, the Red Arrows, decorated the skyline with red, white and blue smoke.

Below, Meghan chatting to Princess Eugenie's husband, Jack Brooksbank.

A closer look at Harry and Meghan enjoying the flypast.

Footage from the balcony.

View the event in its entirety below.

The Duchess made her first appearance at Trooping last year, it marked her first official appearance after the honeymoon. Meghan wore a bespoke Carolina Herrera ensemble with large asymmetric buttons and an off-the-shoulder neckline.

Today, the Duchess looked radiant in a bespoke navy cape and navy and cream dress by Clare Waight Keller for Givenchy. The designer knows Meghan's style so well, and recently spoke of their incredibly close bond. She was a natural choice to create Meghan's first look for the event and it's very elegant and understated.

Meghan wore a matching hat by London-based milliner Noel Stewart. It's a similar design to the hat Stewart created for the Duchess' attendance at Princess Eugenie's wedding.

Meghan's clutch is Givenchy (with thanks to RepliKate Royalty).

A closer look at Meghan's earrings.

And navy leather gloves.

The Duchess debuted an eternity ring today, quite possibly an anniversary gift from Prince Harry.

It was a splendid display as always. Lovely to see Meghan there!