Thursday, 31 January 2019

UPDATED: The Duchess in Givenchy for ACU Events As Crowds Chant 'Meghan Meghan'

In her role as patron of the Association of Commonwealth Universities, the Duchess of Sussex visited City, University of London, to meet students and academics from across the ACU’s network of 500 university members.


Earlier this month, Her Majesty passed the patronage of the ACU to the Duchess. Given Meghan's interest in working across the Commonwealth and her belief in the importance of education it was an ideal choice. In December, Meghan visited the ACU at King's College London to discuss higher education opportunities for young people all over the world. Discussion focused on the role of universities in addressing human trafficking and modern slavery, gender equality and inclusion, peace and reconciliation, and climate change and resilience.


Established in 1913, the Association of Commonwealth Universities is the world’s first international university network, and remains the only accredited organisation representing higher education across the Commonwealth. Founded to lead "common action in matters of common interest", the ACU is governed by its member institutions through an elected council. A UK-registered charity, it received a royal charter in 1963 and, in 1986, Her Majesty the Queen became its patron. The Palace said: "As a university graduate, Her Royal Highness is a strong advocate of accessible education for all. During her recent visit to Fiji, the Duchess announced new Gender Grants for ACU member universities in the Pacific to fund new learning initiatives aimed at empowering female university staff and promoting gender equality."


Dr Joanna Newman MBE, Chief Executive and Secretary General of the ACU, said

'We are absolutely delighted that HRH The Duchess of Sussex has chosen to become Patron of the ACU. The Duchess shares our passion for the transformational power of higher education, and Her Royal Highness' support will help champion higher education as a force for good in the Commonwealth and beyond. We would like to thank Her Majesty The Queen for her support, and we look forward to working closely with The Duchess as our Patron.' 

Yesterday Prince Harry attended a Commonwealth youth event. Lord Tariq Ahmad, Minister of State for the Commonwealth was in attendance and spoke to reporter Omid Scobie about the work Harry and Meghan are doing. "Both the Duke and Duchess are fantastic role models for today’s youth‚ it’s evident not just in what they say but also the work they do. They're a very dynamic couple."


To say the crowds were out in force to see the Duchess today would be something of an understatement...



Cathy and her colleagues couldn't resist a peek from their office building across the street.


The Mail Online reports:

'Madeleine Harper, 25, who studies law at City University told FEMAIL: ‘It was chaos! They've got a huge area for her and closed off all the entrances to the university building - and there were crowds everywhere. My lecture was cancelled cause it was in that building and the library was full with everyone trying to see her!'

Kensington Palace said: "As a university graduate, Her Royal Highness is a strong advocate of accessible education for all."


The Duchess was greeted upon arrival.


This year, 2019, also marks the 60th anniversary of the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan and the launch of the Queen Elizabeth Commonwealth Scholarships, which build Commonwealth connections amongst students through education.


Meghan met with past and current scholars to hear the impact of this prestigious scholarship scheme.


The Duchess met students from the Commonwealth now studying in the UK, for whom access to university has transformed their lives. Meghan met Devika, a Marshall Scholar from the USA, who is currently studying Applied Theatre at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.


Below, the Duchess with Ishrat, a Commonwealth PhD Scholar from Bangladesh. She talked about her work and the ACU's Peace and Reconciliation Network, which brings universities together to boost their role in truth-telling and reconciliation as part of their wider communities.


The Duchess met Mayamiko, a scholar from Malawi, and spoke with fellow scholars Hilary, Ntani and Almachius via Skype.


The Duchess discussed menstrual hygiene management with Dr Ephraim Kisangala, a Commonwealth PhD scholar.


More from the Mail:

'Dr Ephraim Kisangala said: 'The Duchess was very passionate about our work, I could tell she had a genuine concern for the women we are trying to help. 'She has been to Africa and has also identified the problem herself in the past for the women who are suffering due to the attitudes towards menstruation across the world. My research is specifically targeted at finding solutions to assist women in refugee settlements in Uganda and the Duchess said more must be done to help these women. The most affected are women and children who flee without even the basic of necessities.
'I told the Duchess how Uganda host the second largest number of refugees in the world, 70% of whom arrived in the last few months. The Duchess said to me how shocked she was and how it was so important to raise awareness of this issue so that more can be done.'

The Duchess was shocked to hear  about the lack of diversity among academics at universities around the UK.


Meghan asked aide Amy Pickerell to screenshot a sheet of data for her own notes. Rebecca English reports:

'Meghan reacted with shock saying “oh my god” when shown a sheet of data published by a higher education charity showing UK professors were overwhelming white males, said Dr Rachel Cowen.
Dr Cowen, who is Manchester University’s lead for equality, diversity and inclusion, pointed out the research from Advance HE that revealed 68% of UK professors were white males, 23% white female, 6.5% black and minority ethnic (BME) male and 2% BME female.
The duchess turned to her private secretary Amy Pickering and asked her to take a picture of the data relating to the 2016-17. Dr Cowan, who supports ethnic minority and female staff at Manchester University, said: “She was really surprised, she was like ‘oh my god, really, we need to get a photograph of this’.”

Meghan stayed over twenty minutes longer than scheduled to ensure she met with as many students as possible. Russell Myers reports today was very much about "listening and learning about the vast range of work done by the ACU".


As Meghan prepared to leave, the crowds began to scream 'Meghan Meghan'.


The reaction called for a brief impromptu walkabout.


View footage from the departure at the end of the video. It's a nice recap of the visit.


The Duchess brought back her Givenchy black coat with capelet detail for the outing.


Readers will recall she debuted the coat on Remembrance Sunday in November.


Meghan teamed the coat with a bespoke Givenchy dress with a pleated skirt (with thanks to Meghan's Mirror). A closer look at the skirt portion which features a tiered hemline.


Perth Fashion notes asymmetrical, pleated skirts feature prominently in Clare Waight Keller's recent collections.


A closer look at Meghan's pumps. It appears they are a Manolo Blahnik pair.


And accessorised with her $145 Dean Davidson Signature Knockout studs.


Meghan styled her hair in a 'Top Knot' bun. People reports her go-to hair stylist Geroge Northwood created the updo.


In other news, ITV's Chris Ship reports Harry and Meghan are planning to move into Frogmore Cottage in March.

'Prince Harry and Meghan plan to move out of Kensington Palace in March - at least a month before their baby is due. The couple are currently overseeing renovations at their new home at Frogmore Cottage near Windsor Castle.
The move out of London was announced by royal officials at Kensington Palace at the end of last year, but they did not give a timescale for the move. ITV News has been told the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have pencilled in a moving date of March so they can get settled into their new home several weeks before Meghan has their first child.'

Meanwhile, Camilla Tomniey reports rumours the Duchess of Sussex will give birth at the Lindo Wing are doing the rounds at St Mary's hospital. It's worth noting there's been no palace confirmation on this. More from Camilla's story for The Telegraph:

'Staff at the Lindo Wing have been advised not to take holiday in the spring, sparking speculation the Duchess of Sussex plans to have their baby there.
Contrary to reports the former American actress plans to give birth on the NHS, she may instead follow in the footsteps of the Duchess of Cambridge, who had her three children at the private maternity unit at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington.
A source told the Telegraph: “Staff at the Lindo Wing have been asked not to take holiday in April. Everyone thinks it’s got something to do with the royal baby but no one is confirming anything.” 

We'll see Harry and Meghan in Bristol tomorrow for a day of engagements!

100 comments:

  1. Woooow !!! 😍

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  2. Meghan is so cute. A real sweet pretty woman.

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  3. I love when her hair is pulled back into a neat updo so that we can see that gorgeous face of hers :) Meghan is glowing!

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    1. Yes, isn't she beautiful?!! And beautiful inside too! Her smiles really communicate kindness to those she meets. Lovely to see her.

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    2. I couldn't agree more Anonymous 14:53 :)

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  4. She looks very nice today. Very much a signature Meghan outfit. She's doing an elegant dressing of her baby bump. Question...do men and women bow and curtsy to her, or is it optional when she is not with Harry?

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    1. I believe people still bow/curtsy.

      It’s my understanding that the main difference regarding whether or not someone bows/curtsies in regards to Prince Harry’s prescience is within the royal family itself. Princesses of the blood outrank those who marry into the family. But if the husband of a Princess-through-marriage is present, then his rank within the family is taken into account.

      Could be wrong but pretty sure that’s how I heard it explained. So Meghan would curtsy to say Beatrice, but if Harry is present then it would be the other way around.

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    2. You are correct

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    3. Members of the public never "have" to bow or curtsy, it's completely their choice.

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    4. It's a free choice to bow or curtsy, it's 2019!!
      I think people decide to bow/curtsy during this kind of engagements because they know it's an important moment and it will be photographed and posted online but nowadays people are entitled to have their own opinion so they can choose what to do :)

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    5. Members of the family don't curtsy/bow to one another, except for all bow before the Queen; probably not when they're all settling in to play Christmas charades though. Kate and Meghan weren't curtsying to Beatrice last year when they all attended the same fashion expo.

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  5. Loving her hair again today 😍

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  6. I understand why Harry fell in love. I am also in love by looking at this beautiful charming and smiling face without need for artifices.

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  7. I really like her hair pulled back into a neat bun. So pretty!

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  8. Love the hair and shoes. Like the coat, but wish it didn’t have the cape shoulder things as they remind me of shoulder pads. Interested to see the dress in its entirety.

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  9. She looks nice today. Love the fringe on the dress. Not sure the beige pumps go with this outfit but otherwise she looks good.

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    1. I thought anything went with black

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    2. I'm thinking the pumps are to continue the color of the legs so that the black outfit stands out more. If she wore black pumps, it would break up the "ending" of the outfit with the frilly skirt.

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    3. Beige pumps are the number one neutral shoe. It is so refreshing that Meghan uses them to break up the black. Beautiful, as always.

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    4. Becca H in Colorado31 January 2019 at 16:48

      I like the pumps with the black. I think it lightens it up a bit. She could've also done a nice pop of color with her shoes, but I don't mind the beige.

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    5. Personally I think such a black outfit needs a pop of color if she wants to break up the black. I also find it baffling that she wears a heavy winter coat so she's obviously feeling the elements but won't wear tights. Everyone is different but I do think winter styles look better with opaque tights and shoes that are a bit darker. Booties would have been adorable.

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  10. Winning look for the Duchess. She seems to really be growing into her role. Love the hair (messing buns are not "royal" IMO).

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  11. Winning look for the Duchess. She seems to really be growing into her role. Love the hair (messing buns are not "royal" IMO).

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  12. Meghan looks amazing! She is glowing.

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  13. She looks amazing today. I LOVE the skirt fringe -- very sexy little addition. She looks beautiful, as usual. :) The small cape-like additions are fine with me (the long cape dress she wore with the Queen made me uncomfortable); I thought she looked incredible on Remembrance Sunday. She knows how to make a powerful first appearance.

    I thought that you were "supposed" to curtsy but that many people don't do it anymore; is that right? I watched a very short video of Charles and Camilla arriving somewhere and no one curtsied -- everyone just shook hands.

    I'm so glad she feeling and looking so well. And I really appreciate the efforts by Charlotte and others toward pulling out into the open this ridiculous "my duchess is better than your duchess" stuff. Having it out there that such ugliness is going on should help people not believe some of the rumors.

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    1. Here, here, Allison! Thank you. Charlotte. Another great piece on the Duchess who looked fabulous today with that sexy fringe skirt. Beautiful, smart, passionate, and sincere woman. Also, love it that the Duchess isn't competitive with others and remains true to herself. Katherine USA

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  14. Great to see the crowd waiting in the cold to see her,she has the kindest smile.
    She's just beautiful and she's glowing.😍

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  15. While generally not a fan of black, I think this is the best I've seen Meghan look since announcing her pregnancy. The dress is beautiful, and I love how it's not tight. I know the tight look is in for young mothers-to-be but, being older, I'm not a fan of it. I think Meghan looks beautiful today!

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  16. She looks nice today. Love the bun, and the fact that it's kind of natural looking--not all slicked down. Do you think we'll ever see her wear her natural curls? I'll bet that would look beautiful! I think Kate has only ever been photographed once in public with her hair natural. RM in PA

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  17. I love these pumps but not so much with this black coat, which is quite wintry and "chunky dark pump/shootie" in feeling. The dress looks very nice, hope we get a better view later. She looks healthy and happy, which is all that truly matters.

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  18. Personally, I reserve the word "cute" for very young girls. Meghan is a sophisticated professional women. Meghan absolutely rocks the ballerina bun today. She exudes confidence in a warm and inviting manner simply by being herself. She is a beautiful women and baby seems to be giving her an extra glow.

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  19. Becca H in Colorado31 January 2019 at 16:46

    Meghan looks so chic!! I love this look. The textured hem of the dress is a cute touch and her hair looks so 60's!

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  20. I didn't like the asymmetrical pleated skirt. It seems sort of unprofessional to me. It might have been better had the dress been in a lighter color. It's good to see her recycling parts of her outfits.

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    1. I feel that today’s outfit would have worked better for the theatre event yesterday, and that yesterday’s more professional looking outfit would have been better suited for today’s venue.

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  21. Beautiful! And another more than wonderful engagement. What a nice sign of appreciation from the crowds - well deserved of course. Glad she took some time for a small walkabout.Every little bit of public favor helps a bit to counteract some of the negativity.

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  22. Elle est sublime!
    Digne représentante de la Reine à l'académie !

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  23. Education is very important so I’m glad that Meghan has taken on this patronage. I think good work will be done here.
    I don’t really like the skirt with the jacket. The asymmetrical hem with the long straight coat is making my eye twitch a little. But I really like her hair like this.
    I don’t enjoy the cults of personality that are growing around the duchesses. Reporting that the fans were screaming and chanting her name is only going to make the stans start to fight even harder on both sides.

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    1. HaHa! Anon23. I had a bit of eye twitchiness myself. I do think at this point in pregnancy the objective is what makes one feel good. If that whimsy of a dress perked her up I'm all for it.

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  24. She looks very nice. Great repeat of the coat.

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  25. I love Meghan and her top knot and and glowing face are as beautiful as always. But other than that, I’m sad to say this outfit was a miss for me. The givenchy cape coat is gorgeous but doesn’t fit her right now. The fabric was pulling across the top a bit. Also if she wanted to showcase the asymmetrical skirt, I wish she would have worn a blazer. The length of the coat is so long. It’s competing with the hemline. I also noticed that she didn’t bring a handbag today. Obviously she wanted free hands to interact with students and very sweet that she did an impromptu walk about. I hope to see the dress again without a coat or with a short blazer.

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  26. Lovely look for her. Like the top knot bun, it emphasizes her beautiful face.

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  27. Ava Pittman, Australia31 January 2019 at 18:09

    The guy standing on the desk trying to catch a glimpse of the Duchess has nailed it for me in this post today LOL! Love that. The Duchess looks terrific. Elegant her hair in a bun, shows her beautiful face. I love the coat, it is a little different. She is doing well. Bless her

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  28. I thought I like yesterday’s look. But Meghan rocks today! Love the capelet and the pleated skirt detail. Wish I could see the whole outfit in its entirety without the coat.

    Definitely one of her best marternity looks!

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  29. Quote from Ashar, I believe the student's name was:"...Truth-telling and reconciliation..." Quite a statement and a challenging goal.

    She should get a lot of mileage from that coat. Elegant and regal, yet simple. But I also thought the blue caped gown gorgeous. Something about capes and feminism. Brings to mind strength and super-heroes.
    She should be more comfortable now that the baby appears to have dropped. I remember taking a deep breath for the first time in weeks.

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  30. For me, this is one of the best looks she has had. She looks comfortable and super classy.
    Charlotte, I really enjoyed your post yesterday and the article you contributed to in Hello!. I have been a long-time reader of your blogs because they are so positive.(For the record, I read both blogs equally and love that you can flip between each via the link in the sidebar.) I do understand that you moderate the comments, but I hope for the most part, people commenting are here to support, rather than bully Kate and Meghan or each other. It is okay to have differences and to disagree, but it is vital that we have to love each other in spite of these differences/disagreement. Whenever I leave a comment, I try to keep in mind the Golden Rule or the idea that if you don't have something nice to say, don't say it at all. Hopefully the mild banter about clothing is harmless--it seems there are as many "this is my favorite outfit" as there are of "I don't care for this color/dress/etc." Where I feel it crosses the line is when there are personal attacks on the women themselves or the latest pitting one against the other. These blogs have been a guilty pleasure of mine focused on keeping up on really interesting fashion with a little light shone on what it means to be part of the royal family. As far as Kate vs Meghan, I would think that these two strong women would be an enormous support to each other. Even if there were a minor kerfuffle during wedding prep (and that could be a big IF), big deal. Wedding prep/big family events are known to get a little tense at moments. I know the royal family can't comment on every silly thing that comes out in the media, but I kind of wish there could be an opportunity for the two of them to do some sort of joint engagement or interview to squash the silly rumors. I am sure people would try to pick that apart too, just like the Christmas walk.

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  31. Loving that smile!

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  32. Another fantastic fit for the Duchess of Sussex. She will be an asset to all of the patronages that she has received, so far. Her work with the Community Kitchen was phenomenal. She really has “hit the road running”. She looked lovely today and I’m glad the students gave her such a warm welcome. Thank you, Charlotte for all the details.

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  33. Correction: "Ishrat" is the name of the student from Bangladesh.

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  34. Charlotte,

    From what I understand, Royals are not allowed to accept free clothing. Do you think they receive deep discounts on clothing, especially bespoke pieces?

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  35. Love her enthusiasm. Love her altogether of course. Such a joy to behold. Wish her great success. God bless the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

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  36. Caroline in Montana31 January 2019 at 20:25

    hmmm. I love the coat and the top and how happy she looks. im not a fan of her hair pulled back so severely. the skirt just seems flimsy and distracting and doesn't seem to go with this coat or this event, its almost flirty. would like to see it again with no coat at something else. and I really don't see why nude colored shoes? what would have been wrong with black ones?

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  37. I wish she had a bag!!! Honestly I follow her for her jewelry and handbags!!!
    Her clothes sometimes don’t quite do it for me (mainly due to fit) but her accessories are always top notch.
    The past few maternity looks however she has been hitting it out of the park! (I want those earrings and the ones from yesterday!!)

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  38. Susan in Florida31 January 2019 at 20:35

    The surface items : I love her makeup , her hair and the light pumps to balance the black colors in her coat and dress. The real life items: she truly looked at the info they gave her and wanted a photo, the Duchess really cares about women’s well-being, and she took more time at the engagement !

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  39. Ok, I'm just going to say it....... either HRH is in the latter part of her 3rd trimester or she's carrying twins! Just sayin! :) xx

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    1. I don't think her bump is not nearly as large as so many believe or say. She expressly said without hesitation that she is due in late April or early May. I think we should take her at her word. The type of clothing she is choosing to wear during this pregnancy is meant to accentuate and hugs the bump, as it is a body-conscious style. Naturally, because of this, her bump will be more prominent. The size of a pregnant woman's baby bump does not accurately predict the due date of a baby.

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    2. Becca, I agree with you. Having 4 of my own it seems unlikely that she is this size with 1 child, 1st time pregnancy at the beginning of her 7th month. I guess we'll see in a few months!! (or sooner)

      She is just glowing today. I too feel she was born to do this.

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    3. Becca, so hoping you're right. Is it possible that she looks larger because she is carrying high? I don't know and would love to see twins.

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    4. All really great perspectives!! After having 5 of my own, I usually never comment on how another woman is carrying. I found it intrusive & Insensitive..... look at me now! :0 I too have wondered if it is to do with her waist build & carrying high.... but I don't know.... I just find it so intriguing. But...... I will remain zipped from here on. Because you all are right... it will be a surprise & a joyous occasion, whenever the day arrives!! :)

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  40. She Is Simply Amazing!!! I love how it's as if she was born for this role & to be with Harry! One doesn't always have this feeling towards another's life, but it's just palpable! All of her gifts & talents & her natural self just have slipped into her life with Harry seamlessly (on a personal & professional level). Extraordinary & she does it all so well! Harry, the UK & the BRF are Blessed To Have Her! Not fan girling, I just feel joy when I see another human being seeming to have found what they do well & it appears to bring them joy! :)

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  41. I thought Meghan looked absolutely lovely today! I also thought the nude pumps did a nice job of taking it from what could have been more of an evening or more formal day look, to a tad softer day look! :)

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    1. Zora from Prague31 January 2019 at 22:04

      I agree about the pumps, Becca, and Meghan looked really great. Yesterday, when I saw her in a light colour, I was almost sure she would be wearing black today!

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    2. Agreed Becca USA - but I would have loved a bright color. The red ones she wore earlier in the month as an example - would have been fun.

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  42. Does anyone recognize her bangle bracelet? Most likely one in her collection.

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  43. I saw something fun -- Mayhew has four kittens up for adoption and they have been named Harry (the ginger one), Meghan (the tortie-ish one), Kate, and Liz. Was reported by Town and Country.

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    1. Gert's Royals shared a tweet about that today. The kittens were actually up for adoption before the Royal wedding. Long before Meghan became patron of Mayhew. Gert also found a Tweet from ACU from the CHOGM last year where they said they wanted to work with Meghan in the future.

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    2. Surely the same kittens have not been available that long? They look like they are about 6 to 10 weeks old.

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  44. I'm really loving that she's trying on different hairstyles. This high bun is a winner and hopefully we will see her rock it many times. I don't mind the messy buns but not when both the bun and the front of her hair (strands) are messy. Her hair during the Birkenhead visit really made my fingers itchy. Lol.

    Charlotte this looks more like a sweater and skirt combo instead of a dress. If so, I think it's practical of her to invest in separates because it's easier to mix and match and create many looks.

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    1. I think it's a top/skirt combo myself and the top doesn't seem to fit her well as it puckers out, imo. But I do like her hair this way as a nice change!

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  45. Been thinking about this -- I think many of us can relate more to either Kate or Meghan, but without disliking (hating even) the other. I find increasingly that I relate personally more to one of them, and I prefer that Duchess' friends and lifestyle. The two are very different and they have come from very different backgrounds, not the least of which is the American vs English difference as well as the economic differences. It does seem like there is a whirlwind of ugliness, whereas that is nowhere to be found within the RF or at events. Harry and Will are different -- would they be best friends if they were not related? Probably not. It is possible that Meghan/Harry's baby will have best friends out of the family. Maybe we aren't ready to let go of Diana's children; maybe we feel they belong more to us than to themselves. I know that I have to fight writing about comparisons, so I'm not saying I am above the situation. I get testy and want "my duchess" to be the favored one. Sigh -- don't know why two such wonderful women bring out the worst in people.

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    1. I think it’s perfectly natural in life to have preferences. We do it with food, clothing, music, and yes even friends and family. Many of us have someone we think of as a best friend, but that doesn’t mean we don’t love and appreciate our other friends.
      So yes, I think many people do have a favorite of the two duchesses, and they could base that on a number of things - fashion, life choices, work interests, etc. which is all perfectly reasonable. I also think it’s reasonable to not think that either of the two women are the most perfect specimens of humanity ever placed on this earth to save us all from ourselves *cue angels on clouds playing harps*
      There are things I like about both women and things I don’t necessarily care for about both.
      I don’t like to see either of them torn down and vilified and I also get a bit tired when either camp acts like their duchess is above reproach for anything, like how dare you say you don’t like her shoes! Off with your head!
      I just try to stay in the middle as best as I can, though I’m human, so I fail occasionally.

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    2. Anon23 I have to agree. I follow the 2 women because I enjoy the fashion and seeing the ceremony of the BRF and learning a bit about the Uk as well as seeing castles and lovely countryside. I have no idea what the two ladies are actually like but I find they appear very similar to lots of other women I know. So I am sure for the most part they are lovely generous women whose wardrobes I get to see and enjoy and also some great jewelry and the occasional ballgowns and tiaras.

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  46. More fun tidbits:

    https://www.eonline.com/news/1010391/katharine-mcphee-shares-the-best-throwback-photo-with-meghan-markle

    and it seems Serena is wearing a similar hairdo today. :)

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  47. Hmm i love this these the best of her looks so far very She vwry chic and she kseps simple I love the pumps and she looking hot and she care about the well being welfare every eoman today

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  48. Maggie - Minneapolis31 January 2019 at 23:09

    I'm very conflicted about the Commonwealth, and Meghan and Harry's role in promoting it. Obviously as members of the BRF, they will always inherently be promoting the remnants of British imperialism and colonialism, but their active participation in the commonwealth is maybe too strong a reminder of that for me. After all, is an English speaking organization based on the commonwealth, which is fundamentally the 21st century's British Empire-lite, the appropriate mechanism for promoting diversity in countries-which outside of the UK are former colonies- who have many struggles (including in the diversity area) in large part because the British empire (led by the royal family) stole their wealth and promoted a lot of the anti-diversity trends? Of course it can be argued Britain has an obligation to fix what they broke but let's be honest, is that what the commonwealth is about? Isn't it really just a way to exercise soft power and maintain as much of the benefits of the British empire as possible? (this is the same reason I wasn't a fan of her veil design).
    So I dk...again obviously as a representative of the brf, Meghan is inevitably going to be part of many imperialist endeavors. So if it's just about that, this is a fine patronage. But if she truly wants to promote diversity in education, my personal opinion is that I hope she branches out to other organizations.

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    1. I get where you are coming from.

      There is this ugly history of colonialism and imperialism and vestige of that affects the geo-politics of today (I.e. the protracted Sudan civil war or the ME for example).

      But is is also about where do we, as a world, goes from here. What role do these nations play as part of the commonwealth. It’s their choice to join after all. Will being a part of the commonwealth leads to better trade relationship and economic strength to all ( or just to some)? Or to help offset the UK loss of the EU with Brexit? Can the commonwealth be more than a shared history of the British empire?

      I think these nations aren’t looking to linger in the past. The world is dangerous and volatile with climate change and extreme economic inequality. I think these nations are looking to stenghth and unity -as allies and to better position themselves to survive the instability that is coming.

      -Martine

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    2. Living in a country that was in and out and back in the Commonwealth I don’t necessarily agree with your take on the Commonwealth. There is a number of organizations linking countries with something in common and of those it is one of the most successful (the Commonwealth that is, not the Empire). But I share your feeling that the Commonwealth thing has the potential to backfire on them and/or the Commonwealth. For the Commonwealth to stay relevant I think it needs to move away from being lead by Britain. Branching out would be a good idea.

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    3. Interesting comment by Maggie and practical ideas by the two commenters so far ( 01:49 and 05:18). I hope this thread keeps up with more ideas, opinion and comments. This is one of the kind of discussion Charlotte's two blogs become thought provoking and engaging.

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    4. Zora from Prague2 February 2019 at 08:04

      I don't share the negative view of the Commonwealth. It has evolved into a fascinating organisation, inspiring and diverse. One can't just stick to the past - how would e.g. European nations be able to seek reconciliation, after what their ancestors did to each other back in the two world wars? A lot of young people devote their energy to the Commonwealth, a lot of people make positive impact, it offers its members opportunities they wouldn't have without it, etc. I'm very glad Harry and Meghan want to be active in this sphere.

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  49. Maggie - Minneapolis31 January 2019 at 23:10

    P. S. I thought she looked good lol! Not necessarily a huge fan of so much black but she looks great. Not sure how to explain it but love the bun bc it felt perfect for a day meant to be about promoting diversity in education. Just a very professional bun if that makes sense.

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  50. Her patronages are interesting and there will be lots to learn, as she was shocked several times. When it comes to watching young people compete for education money, one of the hardest things is knowing how many might not receive, who can't go forward without it.

    I don't really understand the two very different hems on the coat and dress, or why it is an amazing look. She definitely has other pieces in black that would have worked to switch either one out. I don't care for the cape-like garments on anyone because they create a shoulder line that looks wrapped, tight, and unnatural to me. I thought her hair yesterday was lovely. Today's look is almost harsh in comparison, but still quite pretty. She appears extremely healthy and happy to be meet the people.

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  51. Might Meghan's shoes be her Paul Andrew Taupe Suede ‘Pump-It-Up’ Heels, first worn in Ireland? They have the similar toe cap.

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  52. Really like the topknot today. The black coat almost looks like an academic gown from some angles. I'm wondering if Meghan is wearing a top over a dress rather than a skirt. Her outfit today is not something that I expected her to wear, but she never ceases to surprise. This is a woman who thinks outside the box.
    Bristol sounds like a very tiring day for a pregnant lady.

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  53. Andrea in London1 February 2019 at 01:16

    From the knees up...perfection.

    From the knees down...sloppy.

    Whilst I really love how pretty (and beautifully made) the pleated hemline is, it just looks messy against the more formal lines of the coat.

    As for the shoes, a definite NO. They look like an after thought, as if she just couldn't decide what to wear on her feet, had a rummage in the bottom of her wardrobe, found these and thought "they'll do".

    Something more substantial, more covered and better suited to both the cold weather and the formality of her coat would have made this outfit a winner.

    And tights are missing. Bare legs make this look appear unfinished and rushed, especially in the winter.

    I particularly like her hair. So, so elegant and chic. Which is why the knees-to-toes bit is by contrast so inappropriate.

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  54. Meghan is being herself - working hard, looks a mixture of Regal, Classy, Immaculate yet very human. Lovely to see on any day, it makes my heart smile.

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  55. Thank you for an insightful post Charlotte!! It's just stunning that there are so few black and ethnic men and women serving as professors in the UK, I wonder if the numbers are any better here in the US? When you think of the migrants who in their home countries served as teachers, doctors or academics but in their adopted countries can barely get minimum wage jobs it's such a shame of human potential and talent.

    I'm so hopeful that Meghan's visit today will shine a brighter light on the challenges that girls and women around the world face in dealing with their monthly periods. In the year of 2019, it's shocking and disappointing that any young women would have to forgo an education in order to deal with her period.

    Personally I can get so wrapped out in Meghan's lovely outfits and incredible jewelry that I forget to look past the external to what cause she's highlighting, so Thank You Charlotte for providing us with both!

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  56. At first look this morning, I really hated today's look. Yesterday's was so light and bright for a drab January morning and today was like the complete opposite: a funeral for me. All black, then light pumps made no sense at all for me. However, as I kept looking again at the pictures, I changed my opinion some. While it isn't my favorite look, it's professional and the dress underneath the coat is actually very pretty. Maybe for me, a different coat would have looked better? The one thing that didn't change for me was the style of her hair. I didn't like it with the shoulder caps on the coat. I think the dress would have been so pretty with the same hair style she wore yesterday (if she wanted to wear it up) or half up, half down. I think it would have balanced out the shoulder caps and made her have more of a look that flowed.

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  57. As a grad with several degrees myself I am of course a huge fan of education promotion.
    This is a gorgeous look, in my opinion.

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  58. Samantha Charlotte1 February 2019 at 15:14

    Wow- she is such an asset to the Royal Family. I admire her intelligence and her true engagement with people. She clearly cares. What a lovely person!

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  59. Thank you Charlotte for this post. I just wanna say that I'm very happy to have found your blog, it's refreshing not to have to read so many negative comments as in other publications, comments from people who don't really know either duchesses, yet, are constantly looking to denigrate Meghan and nitpick every single thing about her, whereas, I'm so sure Kate would not condone that a member of her family, yes, her family, as now Meghan is, to be trashed in any manner.

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  60. I am finishing my doctorate and am thrilled that Meghan is bringing attention to the issue of the need for diversity in education. While there is a lack of women in professor level positions, the numbers are honestly a bit frightening how there is a decline in men of all races entering college. Assuming a career is about 30 years (assuming someone could make full professor by age 35) we need to encourage our sons and brothers to think about education. Also, there is an enormous need world-wide for encouraging Indigenous people to be supported in their educational goals. Less than 4% of Native peoples in the US And Canada have earned a bachelor's degree. This event has caused me to consider writing to KP and telling Meghan to bring up Indigenous education with the Commonwealth Universities.

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  61. Courtney Providence Village2 February 2019 at 03:00

    I think she looks INCREDIBLE but I must say, I don’t like her hands in her pockets :((

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  62. I think Harry is looking wonderful. His style has evolved since marrying Meghan and, best of all, he looks more confident and so much happier.

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  63. Meghan has found her hair stylist! I hope their association will be long and pleasant. I'm not sure about the pleated skirt below the coat hem, but perhaps she wanted to balance the baby bump. I definitely think she should wear tights and darker or brighter shoes. I am so glad Meghan is fostering education, and that the Queen gave her this patronage. And I agree that she should begin to encourage indigenous education as soon as possible.

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  64. She is bloody gorgeous here I love seeing her bump

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