Friday, 1 February 2019

Meghan Makes Touching Gesture as the Sussexes Visit Snowy Bristol

A snowy Bristol awaited the Duke and Duchess of Sussex this morning as they arrived for a day of engagements.


The couple had intended to travel to the city, which is over 115 miles from Kensington Palace, via helicopter. Due to the icy weather it was clear that mode of travel would not be possible and contingency plans were put in place. Aides said Harry and Meghan were absolutely determined to be there and travelled by train. Harry praised Great Western Railway upon arrival: "They managed to get us here. We were almost guaranteed that it wasn't going to work. It’s the only thing that works at the moment, right?"


Victoria Murphy's photo shows how slippery the ground was this morning.


Kensington Palace said the visit was planned to ensure the Sussexes could "meet members of the public, learn more about the city’s rich cultural history and visit organisations supporting communities most in need".


A staple of Harry and Meghan's 'away days' are undoubtedly the walkabouts. The inclement conditions didn't deter locals from turning out to greet them.


A group of children and their teachers from Abbeywood pre-school immediately caught their eye.


Meghan beckoned Harry over to join her and the Prince joked with the youngsters, saying: "Are you all nice and warm here?"


A terrific video from Emily Andrews captured the meeting. The little ones are adorable.


There are a plethora of interesting videos to share from today. Harry met a lady whose mother met Diana in Bristol 25 years ago. She told him her mum was "so excited she wouldn't let go after the flowers". Harry said: "I love that. I recognise everyone in that photo as well. Look after it."


The Duchess told well-wishers: "We're a few minutes late, but we tried our best to get down here fast. I hope everyone gets a nice cup of tea after this. We are just so happy to be here." Meghan revealed she was excited to visit the Old Vic Bristol theatre. She noted they have a "long-standing relationship" with her patronage the National Theatre.


Inside Bristol Old Vic they were greeted by staff. Executive Director Sally Cordwell brought her daughter Ocean to work for the day as nursery was closed due to the weather. Three-year-old Ocean stole the show after being introduced as "Ballerina". Meghan asked her: "Is Ballerina your real name? Oh, my hands are cold thank you for warming them up. Ballerina Ocean, I think you're going to be everyone's favourite person today."


When Harry met Ocean... Harry's definitely more than ready for Baby Sussex to arrive :)


There's footage of Meghan's meeting with Ocean in addition to coverage of the walkabout and Old Vic visit below.


Built in 1766 as a place where the people of Bristol could come together, Bristol Old Vic is the oldest continuously-working theatre in the English-speaking world.


More from the theatre on their recent redevelopment: "Our front of house has recently undergone a multi-million pound redevelopment. Our new building boasts a brand new Studio Theatre, relaxing and fully-accessible front of house space, with a bar and kitchen serving everything from tasty treats with a morning coffee to an evening meal, alongside a new interactive heritage offering – opening up the 250-year-old history of this unique building for everyone to discover and enjoy at their own pace. Our mission is to create pioneering twenty-first-century theatre in partnership with the people of our energetic city; inspired by the history and magical design of the most beautiful playhouse in the country."


The Duke and Duchess toured the recently renovated facility, finding out more about the theatre’s unique history and links to the local community.


They also dropped in on a workshop attended by local school children which is part of Bristol Old Vic’s outreach programme.


Meghan credit the theatre with providing a form for "self discovery". 



"It's good that you have this," she told them. "And what a beautiful space as well, it's really special." Referring to a short tour she had just been on with her husband Prince Harry, she added: "We were just talking about it. "There's so much of the emphasis in after school clubs on sport. Channelling the energy you have into the creative arts and theatre and all of that is equally as important. 
"Sport isn't for everyone, just as theatre isn't for everyone. You can know that there's a place [here] where you can find community, and sort of explore self discovery and other things you might be thinking about."
The Duke told youngsters of drama: "It's more than a hobby isn't it? It runs in your blood." The Duke and Duchess spent more than an hour at the theatre, arriving in cold and snowy conditions but determined to undertake a walkabout so meet eager wellwishers.'

A great photo from the engagement.


The couple were told about current performances and future plans.


To mark the visit they unveiled a plaque.


As they left, Harry escorted Meghan to the car and ran back to collect flowers. He told a group during the walkabout: "I spend my life giving Meghan flowers - from myself and from the people."


Next on the agenda was an embargoed engagement kept under wraps until this afternoon.


The Duke and Duchess visited One25 a Bristol-based charity, specialising in enabling women to break free from street sex-work and other issues such as addiction.


One25 provide night outreach sessions, support and advocacy to over 250 women a year in the Bristol area. In terms of the difference they are making, the answer is in the statistics. Lat year, 47 women stopped street sex-working and 54 vulnerable women at risk were prevented from entering a life on the streets.


One25 work tirelessly to assist women. When asked why they are needed: "There are about 150 women sex-working on Bristol’s streets. It’s dangerous, lonely and difficult to leave. They are some of the city’s most vulnerable people, often facing several severe issues."


One25 started in May 1995 as a result of concerns from local agencies and churches about the health and well-being of female street sex-workers in Bristol. In September 1995, One25 secured a drop-in facility one afternoon per week at the Salvation Army’s Candle Project, Lower Ashley Road. It was initiated by Val Jeal, who led a small but dedicated group of like-minded people in developing the work of forming supportive relationships with the women. In January 1996, the drop-in moved to a new temporary home in the basement of 125 Cheltenham Road, which gave the project its enduring name. Around this time a consultative group was formed with representatives from relevant agencies such as Bristol Drugs Project and the BRI's sexual health clinic; a management team was formed and Val took on the role of Project Manager.


Meghan helped prepare food bags which will be given out later tonight. 


As they were assembling them, Meghan said: "I saw this project this woman had started somewhere in the States on a school lunch programme. On each of the bananas she wrote an affirmation, to make the kids feel really, like, empowered. It was the most incredible idea - this small gesture." On the bananas, Meghan wrote 'You are loved', 'You are Brave', 'You are strong'.


Meghan asked for a sharpie and got to work.


At 01:20 in the video below you can hear Meghan suggesting the idea.


It's thoughtful gestures like this that speak volumes and will mean a great deal to the women receiving the bags.


The Telegraph writes:

'Declaring “I am in charge of the banana messaging!”, she wrote a series of short phrases and decorated the fruit with hearts. 
One charity volunteer called Sam, who is a former sex worker, said: “I can imagine being on the van, and [ hearing] ‘Meghan wrote this thing, and what?’ I think they might not eat it. I think that banana would be at home until it is rotten. Because I would do the same.”
Anna Smith, the charity’s chief executive, told the couple: “The plight of our women is often very much misunderstood, and they are stigmatised and hidden from the world.”
As she spoke, the duchess spotted that Sam was looking nervous at the prospect of having to talk to the group. She told her: “Sometimes it is the lead-up that makes it more nerve-racking. You go first! It’s like ripping a bandaid off.”
Prince Harry, speaking of how vulnerable women can be coerced, said: “When you were being groomed at such a young age, and this is the only thing you know, you completely lose faith in society. You lose trust in every man, and probably everyone else around you. From a mental health perspective you are broken.”

More from One25 CEO Anna Smith.


Hannah Furness reports Harry told the group: "When you were being groomed at such a young age, and this is the only thing you know, you completely lose faith in society. You lose trust in every man, and probably everyone else around you. From a mental health perspective you are broken." One25 are very much hoping the visit raises awareness and donations to ensure they can provide their services around the clock. If you would like to donate or find out more please click here.


Finally, the Duke and Duchess visited Empire Fighting Chance, which aims to fight the impact of deprivation on young people’s lives through boxing.


The charity supports children and young people aged 8 to 21 who are failing at school and in danger of drifting into a life of unemployment or even crime, and helps them turn their lives around.


Empire Fighting Chance works with around 250-300 children per week and runs programmes which help instil discipline, self control, and respect, whilst building self-confidence, life skills, and improving both physical and mental health and fitness.


The Bristol Post reports: 'Meghan said to a group of young girls: "Do you feel strong and confident?" They replied with a resounding "yes". The Duchess added: "You can apply the same sentiment to everything in life - just breaking it down and then you realise that you can do everything, it doesn’t seem so daunting."'


At one point Harry asked everyone to leave the room so he could talk privately with a boy who lost his father. People reports:

'Harry, who lost his mother Princess Diana when he was 12, spent 10 minutes talking to Iestyn Jones about coming to terms with his grief, telling him, “The same thing happened to me.”
“It just got a bit emotional because he mentioned something. He knew some stuff about me and the same thing happened to me. We had a chat for about 10 minutes,” Iestyn, from Kingswood near Bristol, told reporters. “When we had a group picture at the end he made sure I was standing next to him. They were lovely people. I didn’t expect them to be like that. They were amazing people.” 

Iestyn beside Harry in the photo.


The Duchess wrapped up in a coat from William Vintage. The London store offers vintage haute couture pieces often in pristine condition. It's a treasure trove full of classic pieces. I seem to recall reading Amal Clooney, a friend of Meghan's, sources quite a few items there.


A closer look at the piece.


Meghan wore the elegant Oscar de la Renta Enchanted Forest Silk-Chiffon dress. It retailed for $1,813 before selling out.


The dress is described as:

'Visiting The Met Cloisters museum in New York is one of Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia's fondest memories with the late Oscar de la Renta - a sound installation they heard together inspired an ethereal Fall '18 collection. Worn on the runway, this silk-chiffon dress is printed with flora and fauna of an enchanted forest. It comes with a detachable black slip so you don't need to worry about the sheerness of the floaty fabric.'

A closer look at the dress on Meghan.


Meghan introduced green to the look in the form of the stylish Sarah Flint Marina Boots.


And the olive clutch she carried to Prince Louis' christening. Laura identified it is a Ralph Lauren piece.


Meghan accessorised with her Pippa Small Herkimer diamond studs.

And a look at Meghan's gold necklace.


The Sussexes' 'away days' are becoming their signature. Today seemed particularly special encompassing another walkabout filled with endearing moments. The Bristol Old Vic visit also dovetails with Meghan's National Theatre patronage. As is often the case with Harry and Meghan, today will be remembered for the way they connected with the people of Bristol. Be it Meghan's incredibly touching gesture at One25 or Harry's quotes on grooming and the impact of mental health. To see two members of the Royal family having these conversations is deeply meaningful and important.


I continue to be hugely impressed. Today was so packed with content I spent over five hours working on the post, with only twenty minutes of the allotted time spent on fashion. I think that sums up the depth and substance we saw today.

206 comments:

  1. Meghan will be a hardworking Royal. With time, she may give Princess Anne a run for her money with the number of engagements she fulfills. She always looks so effortlessly stylish and her smile is always so warm. Lovely couple - so excited for the baby.

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  2. Oh I love how in that second video, Megan places her hand on Harry's back. Each to their own, but I'm a very affectionate person and I don't mind a bit of PDA.

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  3. I wait others pictures but i love very much this beautiful dress.

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  4. love the outfit, love the interaction between them, love the PDA.....

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  5. Yes she hard working Royal ever i think she will be slowing down after their birth of their first child hmm I love they are interaction hmm they are trying to change the rule of the modern. Monachy hmm kinda feel like cold there ..

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  6. Harry and Megan are great on these walkabouts. So engaging and natural. Also looking very happy in a horrible snow shower which is quite something.
    Meghan looks amazing today. Her hair is gorgeous, love the side parting. Lovely flattering dress too, I’m a pattern lover and this one is particularly interesting. Whole outfit looks great, in fact possibly her best maternity look.
    Have to say Harry looks great too. Very smart but not going down the staid suit and tie route. Would be great to know more about his style choices for the men in our lives.

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    1. I agree, I like her hair with a side part.

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  7. Love, love that dress and the green boots!

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  8. finally! An outfit I really really like on Meghan and suitable to her body and occasion! Love it. Extremely expensive though, the comments are gonna be over the roof about that. Maybe in the future she will be choosing few more middle priced items

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    1. Becca H in Colorado1 February 2019 at 20:46

      I think a lot of those people who have commented about what Meghan spends on her wardrobe are forgetting that she's still not even been married for a year and is probably building her royal working closet. I agree that middle-priced items are great, though.

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    2. Becca, Meghan definitely gets a pass for being a new royal and pregnant (which really prevents repeats) when it gets to the value of her wardrobe.
      But over the years of royal watching (not only the BRF) I have learnt when it gets to price you get designers and designers. Most royals might order a OdlR for a special occasion, like a christening or the Trooping, and stick to the less pricey ones for regular engagements and aways days. And that has nothing to do with building a wardrobe or being pregnant.
      So yes seeing the designers did make my eyebrows twitch.

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  9. Love this look from head to toe. I love her hair, the coat, the dress, and the green boots. She actually looks warm and cozy. And it's so good to see that despite the negative press Meghan continues to be out and about, doing what she does best. Harry looks great today too! The blue suit is gone and I love the gray blazer, black sweaters, and khakis look so smart. What a beautiful couple!

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    1. Becca H in Colorado1 February 2019 at 20:54

      I think Meghan must apply the advice she gave to the Fighting Chance girls about breaking everything in life down and realizing you can do it to her own life.

      And I agree about Harry -- he's been looking good lately! I love his blue shoes today.

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  10. FINALLY!! I do love this look. I love the dress. I love the boots. And I love her hair.

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  11. Andrea in London1 February 2019 at 13:54

    Much better! Who cares about tights if you're wearing such elegant boots? Great outdoor look. Whilst I love that dress I don't think the sheer fabric is suitable for the occasion. Too much like a cocktail/evening dress.

    Although she's looked beautiful on her three events this week (with some fantastic work supporting such great causes), I think each outfit is a bit "off" in the way its been put together. I'm hoping she'll find her working wardrobe style once she's had the baby and her body returns to how she's familiar with it.

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    1. I think she has found her look and we need to remember, these are her looks, not ours

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    2. I think that we need to remember that we are each allowed our own opinion.

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    3. Lol...I think you're right, Theresa.

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  12. Nothing suggests warmth in winter weather like low-cut, sheer silk chiffon. Great crowds and lovely event. They seem to enjoy the people as much as the people want to meet them.

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    1. The dress is beautiful but not for this event, it's more like a cocktail dress and definitely not suitable for this weather.

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    2. I love this dress but I did think it’s very light for the weather today. I do wonder about the outfit planning and decision making regarding what both the Duchesses wear. They often just seem inappropriate for the occasion or the weather etc. The boots and coat are perfect. Sinead

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    3. I agree, but I remember that I felt very warm especially at the end of my pregnancy.
      Not a big fan of this outfit. The print is hideous. The other looks from this week were much much better.
      C.

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    4. Tammy from California2 February 2019 at 17:29

      C. I am giggling to myself because I love the print. I guess I liked the green suede boots with the deer and other forest-type animals -BUT, I am an animal lover AND a horrible dresser, so that could explain it ;)

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  13. Harry does look great! He needs to have those blue suits self-destruct and stick to grays. Meghan's dress is simply beautiful maybe being pregnant is giving her different fashion cravings. I hope to see her wear this later, too. The images on the dress are just lovely. And I always love when she wears her hair down. And green suede boots! A great clothes day. Now I'm going to read about the details of the visit. What a fashion treat these last three days have been. :)

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    1. Becca H in Colorado1 February 2019 at 20:56

      Right? She's looked especially chic yesterday and today. And Harry has definitely stepped up his game haha

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  14. Love the love. The Love from the Duke and Duchess, from the fans and from the commentators on this site. Thanks Charlotte.

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  15. Coat, bag and boots fabulous! Not a fan of the dress. I find large prints to be overwhelming unless you are very tall and not expecting. They are warm, genuine and sincere in personality and a delight for all who have the opportunity to greet them. Especially, love the little one asking for "Harry" and Meghan stops to find him.

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  16. My comment will be solely on fashion and I’ll comment on the engagements once the day is done.
    Her hair looks lovely down and parted on the side. It’s much better than a middle part on pretty much anyone. I like the dress, the boots, and the coat individually, but to my eye it doesn’t look like it all goes together. The wispy chiffon dress is too light for the heavy suede boots and the wispy hem of the dress hanging below the hem of the coat is setting my eye a twitching again. I really wish this is something we could have seen as a non-maternity dress because it really is lovely, but not made for a pregnant body, so the proportions and the lines are being thrown off. It’s pulling and gaping. All of this is my opinion, of course.

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  17. Yikes! Total miss for me. I really don’t like the dress. It looks almost “silly” with that print all over. A buck? Eggplant? Pomegranate? It’s odd. I do love the shape and sheer arms of the dress, just not the pattern. Like the boots but not with this outfit! The coat I like except for the top picture, whatever is hanging off the back almost looks like a backpack strap(I know it isn’t obviously lol)

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    1. Coco, sadly I aggree with all your points. Glad I am not the only one who dislikes huge overly concrete prints (i don't know whether "overly concrete" is the right phrase, I just mean, why would anyone wear un-abstract motives of deer, bird and veggies on their dress?)
      Ella

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    2. Agree! The cut of the dress is lovely, but I am not a fan of the print either. I would also like to see Meghan wear more British designers and some more economical pieces.

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    3. Zora from Prague1 February 2019 at 16:56

      +1, Coco.
      Love H+M's interactions with the people, though.

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    4. I love the beautiful prints in the dress and their inspiration. This may be a miss for some, but not for all.

      R

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    5. Anon. 1556 I agree! I can see more shapes... a unicorn? Veggies, birds, fruits? I really don’t get it lol. The print is quite strange looking to me!

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    6. Annette New Zealand2 February 2019 at 00:23

      The coat is from a shop which sells recycled fashion clothes so that is a great idea. Also it is really praiseworthy to see them visiting groups which help working street women. It shows they are willing to take on controversial issues that some royal family members may be advised to shy away from. I hope they keep it up.

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    7. Harry looks good, but Meghan's highly priced clothing are a turnoff to me. She is just too fashion conscious and it is a distraction. How about a $1000 dress"? Is that not enough to spend on a maternity dress?

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    8. Zora from Prague2 February 2019 at 07:56

      True, R. I'm glad some people like the prints although they are not my cup of tea. That's what is so interesting about this blog - different opinions, different tastes πŸ™‚.

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  18. I like all the pieces, but I am not sold on them being placed together like that. But she does look very pretty! Bless her for pulling it off!

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  19. Love the boots and dress. Very radiant woman. Harry and Meghan are so beautiful. And You are genius Charlotte.

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  20. This is one of my favorite outfits she's ever worn. The boots especially are just divine.

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  21. I love this dress and boots! I have to admit that I have for the most part found Meghan's clothing to be a bit boring. - lots of neutrals and solids, which I do like - I would absolutely dress like she does if I had the money - but that's ordinary me. On royalty, I enjoy seeing more color and patterns. So I am happy to see this beautiful patterned dress and green boots.

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  22. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this outfit!!!

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  23. Sweet videos of their visit. A snowy day in Bristol, and the couple are adorable together ❄️

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    1. Yes, I always hope for continued love and happiness for Harry and Megan. Their pairing just seems so right.

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    2. Becca H in Colorado1 February 2019 at 20:58

      Lovely comment, Cynthia, I agree!

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  24. Anonymous in Colorado1 February 2019 at 17:08

    I LOVE whimsical prints like this! The floaty flowing-ness of the dress might not be what one would traditionally think of for winter but if Meghan likes it, good on her! She looks lovely & seems so resilient. I'm shielding my eyes in dread of what the press/public might say about the pricetag though. Not because I think she shouldn't spend so much (that's between her & the BRF) but I hate to see more negativity.

    Ending on a more positive note, seeing the pics of Harry & Meghan with the beautiful, adorable little girl Ocean was so heart-warming. I wonder if they were visualizing their own child's features during the interaction.

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  25. I know it's the least important, but I always wondered how statisticians count such days like today? do they consider it as one engagement, or three engagements if they were in three places?

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    1. I am pretty sure they count it as three even though most in the business world would consider it a normal work day with several stops.

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    2. There are normally two different set of stats coming out, depending on who collated it. The one is based on the number of engagements (that would be 3 for today) and other commentators count the days worked.
      Personally I prefer to look at both the stats to get a real feel. For example, a jam packed royal tour can easily double a royal’s engagements but it doesn’t have such a big effect on number of days.

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  26. they are starting to specialize in such one-day visits

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  27. Looks like it's not a maternity dress so again, it doesn't fit properly (more photos at Hello!). I like the wispiness of the dress w/ the suede boots as a nice contrast, much like pairing a leather jacket w/ a lace top or dress. But Meghan continues to wear clothing not fit for a maternal figure and I don't know why. Why not just buy maternity clothes? There are so many lovely ones to choose from. I just don't understand her resistance to maternity clothing.

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    1. Oh Denise - I agree. Thankfully I'm not the only one. I will say, I think the ODLR dress is lovely - I actually like the fabric pattern and dress style. If this was an evening event supporting Sentebale, it would be perfect! And if Meghan weren't pregnant.

      I'm also on that conservative side of not overspending for maternity clothes. Of course there are times when she should. I just can't imagine knowing a little bit about pattern making that this dress is going to work for her post-pregnancy IMHO.

      LOVE the coat - it fits - and the booths are gorgeous!

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    2. It looks like she just pulled the fitted waist up over her bb. It looked that way from the front, but I couldn't get a good look at the back.

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    3. I think the waist line might be elasticised.

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  28. I hope Meghan gives birth at the Lindo wing, so her children will be born in the same hospital as their dad. Plus, since Meghan is a high profile patient I think giving birth in a private setting will be beneficial to all including the other mothers in the hospital.

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  29. I like all the pieces but as a few others have said they do not quite work together. Also agree I found the dress an odd choice for the event. Her hair and make up looked nice.

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  30. I just read about the inspiring messages that Meghan wrote on bananas that will be delivered to sex workers by the One25 charity. I really love her spur of the moment and out of the box thinking and how awesome that she mentioned where she got her idea from.

    Thanks Charlotte for really opening my eyes to the lovely gestures that Meghan makes and the work that she and Harry do. I’m finding it so inspiring!

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    1. I wonder about the toxicity of writing on the porous skin of a banana with a marker.

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    2. I think there would only be a need for concern if it leeched into the actual fruit. A program for children does this with the kids lunches, which is where Meghan saw it, and I doubt 5hey would if.it posed a danger to children.

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    3. Laura, it's fine. It isn't going to make the banana toxic or anything else.

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  31. I just love them so much! They can do no wrong in my eyes. They’re so, so great with people, and I continue to be amazed at how self-assured and confident Meghan is, and she has a natural affinity for people and how to communicate with them. I admire anyone who can be that way with people they don’t know. She is amazing. True power couple πŸ‘πŸΌ

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    1. I feel this way too, Clare D. I am soooo impressed with the way Meghan has really just gotten straight to work since her engagement - both in frequency of engagements and in the type and breadth of organizations she/they have visited and highlighted. I appreciate that she isn't shying away from (possibly, in the eyes of some) controversial organizations like One25, the Hubb kitchen, the Survivors Network in Sussex, etc. It reminds me of Camilla's work with care kits for rape survivors. I also love that Meghan is doing so much preparation work, which shows in her comments during engagements, and visited her patronages many times before the official announcement and first official/public visit.

      As for the trip to Bristol, the Sussexes make such an amazing team. I love how many people are turning out to see them and how engaged H&M are with everyone. Meghan's messages for the women being served by One25 were just wonderful. And Harry asking for private time for Iestyn to talk about grieving the loss of a parent. Harry and Meghan are both just so genuinely interested in finding ways - even small gesture - to help others or to try to make a difference in their lives. They must feel like they won the jackpot in finding each other. I love it!! For being a royal for less than 10 months, I'm so impressed with Meghan and can't wait to see what other charities Meghan partners with in the future.

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    2. 100% agree. She and harry are an amazing team.

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  32. Pretty clothes, beautiful lady, yet a further confirmation of the need for pregnant women to stick to maternity clothes!!!!!

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  33. I have tears in my eyes after reading the tenderness of both Meghan and Harry's gestures today. They seem to see to the heart of the matter in the midst of any situation-no matter how large the crowds or tight the timetable, they make space for what really matters.

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  34. Duke and Duchess Success in my book! Always amazing to see even just snippets/pics of them in action. Who cares what either of them wear, although I happen to like both of their ensembles. So amazing to look at those vintage items. Wow!

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  35. What an interesting day of engagements. More theater, which is Meghan’s thing, and boxing, which seemed to be more of Harry’s thing but also allowed Meghan to send her message of female empowerment. The charity for the sex workers was the real surprise for me today. Sex workers are a very marginalized part of society and any support they can get is a big help. Personally, I’m not the type who responds well to stuff like a message on a banana telling me I’m loved if I’m living a ruinously dangerous life, but I realize I’m a father flinty person who doesn’t respond well to platitudes. I’m sure the people who are getting these bags are touched that a duchess is thinking of them. If that sounds awful, I truly don’t mean it to be. Meghan and Harry are extremely privileged, as all the royals are, and it’s a good thing that they’re giving time to a charity that works for people who are extremely at risk and overlooked by society at large.

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    1. Platitudes? Really?

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    2. Yes, platitudes. Like I said, it’s just my take on it. I’m sure many people were touched by her guesture.

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    3. Couldn't agree with you more, Anon23.
      I hope those women will be touched by the kind gesture, though. I'm sure Meghan just wanted to help.

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    4. I think these platitudes make people realise -especially women/men having these circumstances- not to give up and everything is gonna be fine and they are not alone.

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    5. Ok, so I feel the need to explain myself a bit, because even though I don’t care if I’m disliked, I don’t want to be misunderstood.
      I believe Meghan and Harry to be genuinely good people. What I said was not meant to disparage them in any way. I believe the writing of the messages was with good intent. Maybe Meghan is the type of person that would appreciate a note from someone telling her she’s special. Many people would. Probably most people would. I know I’m an anomaly. I would appreciate a message from someone I know and care for telling me that I’m loved. That would mean a lot to me because I would feel like they knew me and my situation well enough to make that judgment call. If I got a note from someone I didn’t know, it would seem insincere to me. Because this person doesn’t know me, they don’t know anything about me, how could they then make that assumption? It would seem like an insincere nicety, even if it was well intended and not insincere in the least by the person saying it. That’s just my take on it, feel free to disagree with me. I know most will and I’m ok with that. It takes all types to make the world go round.

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    6. Good for you for clarifying....maybe these women don't have anyone who cares enough about them to take time to write them a note of encouragement. We know where you're coming from and maybe now you will understand where these women come from.....that's just my take on it:)

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    7. Theresa J,
      Oh believe me, I’ve had this discussion with a good friend of mine today and she made it VERY clear that she disagrees with me on the subject of the messages. I know I can be a bit emotionally stunted at times and that my outlook isn’t always the norm. But if Meghan made these women feel better about themselves, that’s all that really matters. That was her intent for sure. And if that banana somehow helps them improve their lives somehow, then I’m extremely happy. Because I know sex workers are in very horrible circumstances, and they are often victims of crime and even murder and nobody cares because of their situations. They often don’t have people to report them missing or even care if they’re gone.

      Delete
    8. Anon23, I think Meghan was in an awkward position where she felt like she had to add some encouraging words but because of the sensitive nature of the topic and perhaps the unwillingness of the sex workers to be exposed/filmed writing on the banana seemed like the most tactful, discreet solution. I think it's important she addressed this issue in this visit. Camila has as well in her charitable work. Sex workers mostly live in horrible circumstances and if a banana made even one sex worker feel better about herself then I count it as a win.

      Delete
    9. I understand what you're saying anon23, and I can react that way too. I dont like hugging people unless I mean it either. I imagine sex workers who have had to toughen up to survive might feel the same way. But maybe one of those messages will be read at exactly the right time.

      Delete
    10. Tammy from California2 February 2019 at 17:32

      Anon23 I agree with you completely. 100%.

      Delete
    11. I also agree with Anon23. Does anyone else find it a bit "wrong" (for lack of a better word) that Meghan left messages for sex workers on bananas? It can come across as a sick joke. I think it would have been better if Meghan had asked for small pieces of paper and wrote the platitudes on those. It's one thing to write on bananas for students, but sex workers? Nice idea, but I wish she had just thought it through before she said anything. I give her an "A" for effort and her work ethic, though.

      Delete
  36. reading these comments is really dispiriting, so much emphasis on the clothes and what people don't like and how its not quite right, but not nearly enough on the actual reasons for the visit.
    I'm not bothered what they wear or whether I like it or not, but the fact that they are there, highlighting hugely important issues, sex workers, kids at risk of getting in with the wrong crowd, and making people feel that someone cares, and raising awareness of these organisations and therefore probably getting more funding for them.
    I know this is a blog that tells us what Meghan is wearing, but she's more than her clothes surely? Can we at least consider the great work they're doing? How lovely of Harry to have one to one with a bereaved lad. He'll never forget that moment all his life.
    Hope this doesn't sound too negative but I really felt not enough emphasis in comments on the visit and there's always great info about the visits and links etc which is really brilliant work. So Thank you for doing that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It’s a fashion blog. Charlotte includes wonderful information about the places they visit but, if people want to comment mostly on her fashion, it is kinda the point.

      Delete
    2. This outfit is a miss. The print of this dress just isn’t appealing, and the boots just don’t do the float nature of the dress any favors.

      She really needs to invest in some maternity wear. These non maternity clothes just do not fit her properly and it ruins the effect of what could be an otherwise pretty outfit.

      Delete
    3. I completely agree with you, Debra Green. I've been a long time follower of both the duchess Kate blog and mad about Meghan but I learned early on to never read the comments because I can't stand the way these beautiful women are picked apart. I made an exception to my rule today as I was literally in tears reading about the special personal touches Harry and Meghan added to this outing. She could have been wearing a garbage bag as far as I could care. And to see even negative comments about the bananas, I just don't get it. Yes, maybe the comments on bananas doesn't make a difference in those women's circumstances but it's amazing how something seemingly so small and insignificant can speak to a heart and give hope. She's obviously a very down to earth, loving, compassionate, affectionate human who does not deserve the negativity that is constantly directed at her. Style is a very personal thing and she has a specific set style that she enjoys and feels confident in. I can't imagine any of the commenters here would enjoy being under the same scrutiny. Strong women support and champion each other. I don't see this as just a fashion blog which is why I follow it. Charlotte always does such a great job of focusing on the event and the personal interactions. Yes, fashion is part of it but there are many other fashion blogs about Meghan and Kate that deal specifically with clothes. I don't come here for that. I'm so proud of both duchesses and the warmth and grace they exude. Diana would be so proud to see the amazing women her sons married. Maybe we need to be more interested in looking like her on the inside not the outside. Now I'm back to my rule of not reading comments again. Lovely job, Charlotte, my compliments as a long standing, if silent, follower!
      -Sandy S.

      Delete
    4. Becca H in Colorado1 February 2019 at 21:03

      There have been many comments like this, both on this blog and Duchess Kate, but they ARE blogs about the visits AND the fashion. As I've said before, fashion is a part of life and is fun to talk about. It doesn't detract from the amazing work Meghan is doing. And just because some comments are solely about the fashion doesn't mean they don't care about Meghan's work or see her simply as a clotheshorse.

      Delete
    5. I am with Debra on this one! In the last couple of years, this became a standard, because of the lack of substance of a royal visit, we left with fashion. However, this is not the case any longer. Lots of people will still comment on fashion, but the momentum of each engagement has become more than evident.

      I loved the group of youngsters, Harry and the lady conversation, the "snow queen" momentum, what a backdrop, Harry and his private time with that grieving boy, the group singing gave me goosebumps, the banana message wowwww. This is serious royal work!!!! I loved reading through your post Charlotte! Thank you!

      Her fashion today, that dress, give it to me right now, with those boots, she looked sensational! I love the way she has different hairstyles every time. What a fantastic and memorable day!

      Delete
    6. Debra and Sandy S., I completely understand where both of you are coming from. For myself, in the world of royal blogs, it is difficult to be someone who has no interest in fashion, cosmetics, jewelry, shoes, hair styles, or appearances. I wish I could be more like most people, and possess an interest in those things. If I were, I would fit in better and be accepted more by peers, but I also wouldn't be myself. I know that many find it relaxing and fun to talk about fashion and personal style, and that blogs such as this one are a breathing space to get away from the grind and stresses of daily life. I certainly respect that. As a minister and mental health advocate, it has always bothered me that as a society, we put so much emphasis on appearances and the exterior of others. As a result, there is an abundance of judgment and criticism about how someone looks and what he or she should do differently to look better or thinner or younger. I wish we would spend more time listening to one another, offering words that affirm and encourage, and focusing on what's inside instead of judging or criticizing what is on the outside. As a child, I experienced some severe trauma for over a decade that has had a long-term impact on my life and the way I perceive the world. It continues to have an impact, but one thing that dark abuse-filled period taught me was the importance of being yourself. I tried for years to be what others wanted me to be, in the hopes that the abuse would stop. In school, I tried to be like my peers, hoping that the bullying would stop. I heard continuous messages like these: "You are not good enough. You are not beautiful. You are not thin enough. You are worthless." My peers in school would tell me that I didn't wear the right clothes; that I should dye my red hair another color because red hair is ugly; that I looked like a ghost all of the time because my skin was so pale; that I should wear makeup to cover up my freckles and rosacea. The insults and bullying became so bad that I ate lunch in the restroom every day, to avoid having to face the bullies in the cafeteria. What I would have given to have someone write the words "you are loved" on a banana or anything, and be able to read that in those terrible hours. What I would have given to hear someone offer words of affirmation and care instead of constant criticism and judgment. Meghan's gesture today touched me deeply, and I hope the women who read those words can find some measure of hope and affirmation.

      The reason I don't comment much is because I prefer to talk about the substance of the work and engagements done by the royals, and I feel awkward commenting at all when I know so many of you find respite and fun in discussing their fashion, while I personally have no desire to and find no fun or enjoyment in it at all. Often it is easier for me to not comment.

      I'm glad that so many of you are able to have a sense of community here and that you can take a break and enjoy Kate and Meghan's fashion. I hope it will always be both community and a respite for you.

      Delete
    7. Personally I find your comment a bit unfair as many of the fashion only comments were written before Charlotte finished the post to include a more in-depth look at today’s visits. At the point where these comments were made, there was only fashion to discuss. Secondly, many look at Royal watching as a fun escape from a possibily tough day, what’s wrong with that? And lastly, you didn’t have anything to say about today’s visit other then to judge others comments that measure up to your standards. That’s rather dispiriting as well.

      Delete
    8. @Sarah NC. Thank you for sharing your story and showing how Meghan's kind thoughts might inspire even one woman. I always think that people who are open to it can "feel" the intent with which such a message was sent. One in desperation might well be open to it indeed. How wonderful that you have made it your life's work to help others. Thank you.

      Delete
    9. The last sentence should read “don’t measure up to your standard “.

      Delete
    10. Well I think this is a moment where we could exercise that #Kindness & #Respect, recently discussed, with each other! Charlotte began her first blog & then the 2nd one about the life & style of...... I believe (& Charlotte can correct me) that is still the case. So perhaps we can just appreciate one another's differences & celebrate the freedom to chat about & discuss either one or the other or both. Whichever speaks to us most. No judging another for their interests! Individuality & Kindness make the world go round! We can all be an example of the #Grace we admire & witness in both Meghan & Harry. Views purely my own. :)

      Delete
    11. Sarah, I think it as very brave of you to write and I think you did because we can trust Meghan to be sincere. I'm sorry you had such a hard childhood. My childhood was not much fun either, and I was so touched by the banana messages that I can hardly write about it. What I find so wonderful is that many more people will be touched by the messages. Meghan is as clever as she is kind and knows this is the perfect photo op for Instagram and Twitter. As such, how many more people will take up the pen and send encouraging notes to their children or spouses or friends? It's also a way to get lasting coverage for One25.

      I share some of your fashion feelings about one object in particular -- tiaras! I don't like tiaras at all and don't understand why people like to see them. )

      What I find a bit upsetting personally is judging whether an outfit is suitable for a particular engagement. I LOVE this dress today because the images are so pretty by themselves -- and it looks like it would be fun to wear. I also think the children would be enchanted by it. There are always many choices of what to wear and I never think anything is unsuitable.

      I comment about Meghan's clothes because she seems to find joy in them, but by the time I read the full post, I don't care if she's wearing a sheet! I hope you continue to comment on M&H's activities.

      Delete
    12. I read these blogs for the fashion and enjoy reading about the country and the causes. For pure discussion on the visits I think maybe the BRF posts themselves might be a good spot to discuss or comment, or perhaps magazines that maybe cover Meghan and Harry more from that angle, the BBC or others. I am happy to read peoples comments on the visits and hope those who do not like the fashion only comments just pass on by them:):) I think it works pretty well on this blog and the Kate blog in terms of people being able to comment and focus on what interests them.

      Delete
    13. Sarah from NC, I am very sorry and sad for the abuse and bullying that you endured in your youth. I do wonder where the adults were, your parents, your teachers, your pastor, who never picked up on this and came to your aid or gave you suport. I'm certain these experiences impact on how effective you are as a minster and mental health advocate.

      I get that you are not into fashion jewellery, makeup, hair styles etc. Compared to the problems of the world they are frivolous and shallow. But there is another side. I think it was breast cancer that first started the "Look good. Feel good" campaign. When a woman had lost a breast, lost her hair, and had grey skin, she felt better when someone wrapped her head in a pretty scarf and applied some makeup to improve her colour. Meghan's good friend Jessica Mulroney, along with her sisters and some friends, started a charity to give homeless women a bag with toiletres, cosmetics and a few pretty things.

      You are certainy correct in believing that inner character is far more important than external appearances. But there is also merit to looking good and feeling good. Thank you for being the strong and special person that you obviously are.

      Delete
    14. Amen to that Lauri, thank you.

      Delete
    15. I visit the blog mainly for the fashion. I love learning the provenance and hearing the descriptions of the outfits--and reading the differing opinions on the success (or failure!) of the "look." Sometimes Charlotte injects her opinion, too. Call me shallow if you wish, but I do have a strong social conscience. I'm a 73 year old grandmother who volunteers at a soup kitchen, who smocks little gowns as part of a project called Wee Care for the parents of children who are stillborn or who die soon after birth, who serves on the bereavement committee at my church, providing meals and support for families who have lost a loved one. My husband and I recently participated in helping to build a Habitat for Humanity house in our community. I am interested in the charities that Meghan and Harry (and the other royals) support, and I think Charlotte does a very good job of covering the charities, the events--and the fashion. However, if Charlotte and my fellow bloggers start ignoring the fashion, I will not be visiting this blog.

      Delete
    16. I think there is room for everyone here, dont you? Sometimes I'm really in the mood to be lighthearted and play. Other times I'm stressed out and want to escape online. And when there are things to write about I want to do that.

      What I think.is great is that we have the opportunity to do it all. I have a scrolling key and I use it liberally as I'm not that.into the fashion either (but I LOVED the dress and boots). Meghan and harry are what Charles and diana could have been and I am here for it!

      Delete
    17. Tammy from California2 February 2019 at 17:34

      Anonymous 20:02: I agree with you.

      Delete
    18. Sarah NC, I was also a plump redhead with freckles and glasses, who endured a certain amount of playground bullying, including badgering because I was a bad athlete but a good student. My home life was active rather than abusive, but I had a problem sibling. In that era adults felt perfectly justified in criticizing perceived failings in children. That included appearance as well as behavior. Fortunately, as a teenager I found affectionate friends who quietly fostered my confidence. I also had books that portrayed strong women, mostly provided by my rather strict mother. I can remember warmth from some of my older relatives, including my father. Anything positive was so meaningful to me, and still is.

      Obviously, you had the inner strength to become a marvelously contributing adult. My adulthood has also been productive, and generally happy. I was riveted by your story, similar to mine but obviously much more painful. I appreciate your honesty and your contributions to our world!

      I do have a visual mind, and I love fashion. But Meghan's approach to her new life intrigues me, because she is carrying her established concerns, principles, and approach to problems into her future role, and doing it creatively. The dress is a bit surprising, the vintage coat is, too, in a different way. The banana messages are neat and perhaps will make a difference for someone. I admire Harry's way of talking privately with a grieving youngster. All in all, it was a day of courage in braving the weather, and wisdom in making trauma and injustice visible. Meghan and Harry are forging a fascinating role.

      Delete
    19. @Sarah from NC - thank you for sharing about such a difficult time in your life. I'm sending you a virtual hug from New England. As Meghan said, you are special. You are loved. You are strong. You are brave.

      Delete
  37. Thanks so much, Charlotte for your in-depth post. These two are very inspiring. It has motivated me to not only pray for some of the individuals mentioned but to look for those in need in my own community. There are so many people hurting all around us who need the love of Jesus in emotional & practical ways. Charlotte, you really have a wonderful way of writing these articles which keep the focus on what's important. I am truly inspired & motivated to do more through their example.

    It's also so nice to see a married couple in love & so sweet with each other. We need more examples of married folks living out a healthy relationship.

    Keep warm everyone! Winter is upon us!

    ReplyDelete
  38. Becca H in Colorado1 February 2019 at 20:44

    These are the engagements that leave me so impressed and touched. There are so many things I want to say! Away days are truly H&M's signature and are quickly becoming my favorite.

    Harry and Meghan are both so incredible, especially at connecting with each and every person. I believe Meghan's comments to the young girls at Empire Fighting Chance speak volumes about the approach she's taking in her own life with her new role and the challenges that have presented themselves.

    The banana idea was great! The perfect extra touch to really make it personal and that much more meaningful.

    Harry taking the time to speak with that boy alone....how touching is that? I love how much they both care. The people they encounter always have the best things to say about them, and I think that shows the true colors, the true hearts of gold that both Harry and Meghan have. I think these are the messages we should all be paying attention to.

    Ok, now fashion. I am obsessed with those green boots!! At first, I'd thought Meghan was all in black with that pop of color, which was gorgeous, in my opinion. But THEN she took off the coat -- that dress! Definitely one of my favorites, so far. It's up there with the bird gown she wore on tour. I love when she experiments with fun prints like this.

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    1. I love those boots! Unfortunately, with my back injury I have to pass. I hope they come out with a version in a lower heel.

      Delete
    2. Agree with you completely, Becca H. Meaningful visits, personal and creative conversations with the attendees - especially the children - and a gorgeous outfit to top it off. Yay!

      Delete
  39. I love reading about the little details of Meghan's visits, such as writing empowering messages on the bananas or making banana bread to take when visiting the family in Dubbo. She comes across as a very warm, kind and down-to-earth person. Despite being in such a privileged position, she (like Harry) radiates genuine empathy and compassion for others.

    Vee from Australia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, Vee. It would be so hard to fake those kinds of actions and compassion for others. She and Harry are a real deal.

      Delete
  40. Well what a visit I have loved from start to finish with a preference for the 2nd and 3rd engagement these two are so empathic and generous. It is a real pleasure to see them in engagement there are always good anecdotes.
    Even if the message of bananas will not change the lives of these women it can always be hot in the heart. Regarding the fashion she was beautiful I loved this look and that of yesterday and the boots are beautiful.
    I'm glad she makes her own choices so Meghan continues to touch your pregnancy belly and to feel good in your clothes whether they are maternity or not. Thank you Charlotte I hope that Meghan will have as patronages one of the associations they have visited

    ReplyDelete
  41. Quirky comes to mind as I looked at the dress. Light, floaty, fun.

    The coat is one I wouldn’t mind having. I’m an avid thrift store shopper partly because in my younger days, it was a financial necccesity and now I love the thrill of the hunt. Finding a steal of well made, unique pieces is a terrific time waster.

    The snow made it look festive. Good on the crowd for braving the cold. The kids are adorable. The organization to help sex workers makes me want to rip my hair out knowing that women are put at so much risk in order to earn money, not to mention the level of PTSD they must deal with. These women have courage. So good to see Meghan and Harry behind them.

    -Martine

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Martine, I don't think finding an amazing piece at a rock bottom price is a time waster at all!

      And I agree about vintage. I got an amazing azzedine alaia jacket for a steal one time!

      Delete
  42. The dress is too busy for me, but it looks good on her. I don't like the boots; green isn't really my color. And the light, floaty style of dress doesn't really go with the boots. I understand that the contrast is intentional, but it seems mismatched to me. The coat is very nice.

    ReplyDelete
  43. I think Meghan may have gotten her idea to write positive messages on those bananas from an elementary school cafeteria manager in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

    Here is an article about it:
    https://wtkr.com/2018/10/26/virginia-beach-school-cafeteria-manager-writes-inspirational-messages-on-bananas-to-students/amp/?__twitter_impression=true

    ReplyDelete
  44. Thank you Charlotte for spending hours putting together such informative posts. I love seeing Harry and Meghan interact with the crowds together. They make a great team and genuinely engage. My favorite highlights were them greeting the nursery children outside, speaking with “Ballerina Ocean”, writing sweet messages on bananas, Harry taking one one one time with the boy that lost a parent, Harry looking at a photo of Diana meeting a crowd 25 years prior and running back for flowers before leaving. You can tell that both of them want to engage in whatever ways they can. I was really glad they shined a spotlight on the charity for sex workers. I think they can work on topics that might seem too controversial for more senior ranking royals, but very important causes to champion. As far as fashion,I didn’t realize that large prints could be so polarizing. But I enjoyed learning that it was inspired by an installation while ODLR was still alive. Loved Meghan’s hair, dress, and boots. I would wear a discounted version of this look in the winter. I love a midi or maxi length with the suede boots. It has a relaxed, approachable, boho feel to it. Meghan looks comfy, warm and glowing. Really enjoyed all aspects of this day. I’m sure they left the town of Bristol glowing too. Lovely way to start the weekend.
    Allison P.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Yes to the dress and boots. They caught my eye immediately. The weather over there is cloudy and drab and she just lights the place up with her dress and her personality. Both of them are privileged but they come across as caring and really wanting to help others.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Gorgeous all around. Wonderful events, engaging and interesting. They’re both so warm and lovely. Beautiful dress and boots. I think the suede accessories really made the chiffon dress more cold weather appropriate. I love a bold/quirky print. So cute and really appropriate for events involving kids. In my opinion.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Zora from Prague1 February 2019 at 21:59

    Thank you for the post, Charlotte. This day out was great and your last 3 sentences say it all. Well done, Harry and Meghan!

    ReplyDelete
  48. Caroline in Montana1 February 2019 at 22:13

    I know im in the minorty but this dress is not so good on her. the large print is just um no and it seems like it is just a xxl instead of maternity, seems to hang poorly on her frame. I also am not a fan of her hair today. on the other hand I love the jacket and the boots:) and the clutch! harry is looking more stylish, meghan to thank for that im sure!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was just thinking Meghan must have a hand in styling Harry :) He’s looking super spiffy here!

      Delete
  49. upstate diva USA1 February 2019 at 22:18

    Charlotte, thanks for all your work to give us the FULL flavor of the day. Just as with the Mayhew, etc., I think the visit highlights organizations that are lesser known outside of local communities and issues that many people need help with. I think the idea that Meghan is interested in support for higher education (esp.) for women (as in the ACU) AND in helping underemployed women get back in the job market AND supporting long-term encouragement and services for sex workers -- is a major theme that I see connecting. Meghan took the time to get in relationship to the women in the Hubb Kitchen, but she is not going to be able to do that sustained high touch with everyone, but she can bring a heightened awareness to what we all need to do for our fellow humans in whatever ways we can contribute. I also loved Harry's care for the young man who lost a parent and his comments about the tough relationships/broken trust that many of the women face. They are a great team.
    And BTW I loved the dress and boots today -- (and Harry's shoes!) Through their work, spirit -- and fashion, they gave me many smiles today.

    And again, Charlotte, you are the best!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ditto , Thank you for all the details to this day of events!

      Delete
  50. A few thoughts before finding time to read all the comments.
    Again, a bit of whimsey to brighten the final weeks of her pregnancy. Unicorns indeed!
    I am happy she found a coat she can button up against the cold.
    One25 is an inspiring effort that demonstrates what just one person with a goal can initiate. This embargoed event was the highlight of the day, in my opinion.

    I wonder how many of those bananas will end up on E-bay? ;) If so, at least the recipients first saw the message and hopefully were heartened. If they got a little cash from the sale--I can imagine Meghan saying, "Well done!" Another idea would be to have prepared messages to place in each bag--hopefully, all the bags received a Meghan banana. This could have been done ahead of time- perhaps on the train. The women could keep the message while still enjoying their banana. One woman remarked that she thought some would want to save the fruit as a keepsake. I am pretty sure the children at school lunch saw the banana as food with the message itself being valued as an extra treat rather the fruit being viewed as a souvenir. I have visited the homes of some children who desperately need to know someone cares. These woman know that from their experiences at One 25.

    A lot of security and staff around.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Thank you so much for covering the organizations and issues of Harry and Meghan's events. It seems to me that they really try to make meaningful connections with the people that they meet. I think this day in Bristol saw Meghan and Harry make particularly personal connections, and their kindness and empathy were really brought to light through their visits to the theatre and the boxing club. Meghan bringing the idea of the banana messages that she said she originally saw at a school where she was volunteering was really touching. Their determination not to disappoint the people who planned for their visit and came to see them really demonstrates their determination to engage with people. I loved the whimsicality of Meghan's dress, and I do seriously envy her great vintage coat- what a find! So stylish, and just right for a pregnant woman! Seems Meghan is on a bit of a chiffon kick for the moment. I had to smile when I saw the picture of Meghan and Harry sitting together- Meghan in a chiffon dress, and Harry in three layers-a shirt, a sweater, and an overcoat! Baby Sussex must be a veritable furnace! And, poor Harry seems to be getting balder by the minute!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That coat is a great find! Yup, I think little Baby Sussex is making her not feel the cold! Amazing... & I feel for poor Harry, too :(

      Delete
  52. Tammy from California1 February 2019 at 22:29

    The dress and the boots...dreamy. The coat looks like it has a little built-in scarf looking piece to it and if that is true: dreamy too!!

    She has looked really swollen in her face and torso at the last few outings. I feel like that baby is coming sooner than April.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can’t believe she is due in April...seems like an age away!

      Delete
    2. I too noticed her face looks swollen, but some women retain a lot of water during pregnancy and that may be one reason Meghan looks bigger than you would think if the baby’s due in April. My sister experienced extreme water retention when pregnant, she looked very puffy. When she gave birth it went away so quickly she said it was like she was a balloon that someone stuck a pin into.

      Delete
  53. Charlotte, thank you so much for the work you do to teach us about the charities being visited by H & M. That is what I come to this blog for. I tired long ago of everyone's opinion on every piece of clothing worn, whether they approve or not, etc. Harry and Meghan are wonderfully warm people who care deeply and want to make as much impact as they can to make life better for as many as they can. This is what deserves our attention and the spotlight. I enjoy seeing what Meghan wears, but not enough to write it. Thank you again, Charlotte, for your invaluable contribution to Harry and Meghan's work.

    R

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  54. What a great day! Her clothes were almost secondary to the goals of the engagements (almost). I am more and more impressed with the Duke and Duchess, they really know how to engage with those they are meeting. Also to have completed the engagement despite the weather. Outfit assessment: the dress isn’t my style, but she looked amazing, the boots and coat were fantastic and she really is glowing, I love seeing the two of them together cuz you can almost see how they are with each other when in private.

    ReplyDelete
  55. I completely agree with your last paragraph, Charlotte. Forget the clothes, this day made such an impact on people- from those they met during the walkabout, to those at One25, and certainly at Fighting Chance.

    My childhood hero was Princess Diana because even though I was still quite young when she died, the work she did and the warmth, empathy, and compassion she had for others made such an impression on me. I get the same impression from Harry and Meghan.

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    1. You said it, Jennifer. Beyond impressed.

      Delete
    2. I definitely see it too. There is something very similar between Meghan and Diana. How wonderful to have someone in the RF like that again!

      Delete
    3. Jennifer, you said what I wanted to say but so much better I really felt what happened was ground breaking and illustrated why Harry married Meghan. She brings something different, possibly because she's American, possibly her own experiences growing up as a WOC. Whatever it is, I welcome it. If just one woman at that project feels for a moment less alone, more valued then that is amazing. I was in tears reading about how they both really showed huge empathy and compassion today.

      Delete
  56. I am so glad the Duchess of Sussex and the Duke are using their time and energy to help the most vulnerable in society. I got caught up in the “substance”; that’s what you called it, Charlotte. What the world needs now is people who sincerely love people even as they love themselves. As a much second or third thought, I’m not much for floral or animal print. My personal preference. I would purchase the boots and I liked the coat, particularly the wrap around the collar. Thank you, Charlotte for amazing work.

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  57. It's so hard to look good at this point in pregnancy but I love how she pulls off this dress. She looks so much better in prints or colors than all black. Her all black outfits while elegant just don't seem to do it for me. I wish her coat had been a bright color. And, I'm mixed about the boots but she owns the look so go girl! Besides the fashion, Megan and Harry seem so genuine and willing to give to people (so do William/Kate and quite a few others). But, I think they have raised the standard for royal interaction and prove on a daily basis what it's like to make a difference. Kudos to both of them. I wish the media could focus more on their positive impacts as opposed to all of the negativity.

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    Replies
    1. I completely agree! They're already making a difference and I also wish the media would focus on the positive.

      Delete
  58. Holy cow - depth and substance is right Charlotte!! I enjoyed reading the entire post. I love these 2 together and they really wear their emotion on their sleeve. And these patronages are superb - the One25 event was truly impressive. These 2 have the right stuff at the right time.

    On the style front, I honestly did not like anything about it with the exception of the coat. To me, this lighter weight dress doesn't lend itself to boots and if she insisted on boots they should have been black. The print on the dress is cartoonish with too much cleavage. Her makeup and hair looked terrific!! She is a gorgeous one!!

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    1. Oh yes, Rita - you echoed my thoughts exactly!

      Delete
  59. Three cheers for Harry and Meghan! They are the best - determined, unflappable, good natured, so friendly, and so adorable too of course! I llove that dress! The colors, the lightness, the sheer skirt which keeps it from overwhelming her small frame, and those boots! LOVE the green and that perfect winter heel, not too chunky or too thin. She is a radiant mother to be, and Harry is going to be the worlds greatest dad. Love these two!

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  60. Unfortunately, we’re starting to see the negative consequences of the#hellotokindness campaign. The real issue being freedom of speech. Neutral comments about not liking her dress and fashion choices being met with patronizing responses pointing out that she is entitled to have her own style or worse pointing the shallowness of talking about fashion instead of the causes! Someone even had to defend their personal opinion regarding the whole messages on bananas thing! The Guardian had a piece on this campaign and frankly the comments section had a very enlightened discussion about freedom of speech. Seems most readers on this blog are borderline idolizing two people they’ve never met and getting so defensive when anyone dares voicing a slight criticism.
    Freedom of opinion and speech should never be undermined. Censorship was and never will be an acceptable answer or alternative. The real issue being accepting other people’s opinions and acknowledging that while we don’t have to agree we are all entitled to our own opinions and have the right to express them.
    That being said, the real problem with the DOS fashion choices is that she never “dresses accordingly” and her outfits are too expensive and mostly ill fitted. And that’s my opinion!
    Flore

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    1. You make some excellent points Anon but one thing I never see discussed when the topic of rights and freedoms comes up is a discussion on the accompanying responsibilities. Much is said about our right to freedom of speech but where does our responsibility come in? Our responsibility to use our words with care, our responsibility to think beyond ourselves, our responsibility to listen not just to the words we want to hear but those that make us uncomfortable as well.

      I have noticed time and again that attitudes will swing from one extreme to the other as people find their center. We might be seeing some negative consequences at the beginning of the #hellotokindness campaign but I believe that in time most people will find their center, that they will take something from this campaign and apply to their day to day interactions.

      Delete
    2. πŸ™Œ!!!! Censorship in the name of kindness or political correctness is the most dangerous thing to democracy. All of know what happens in certain countries when you say an unkind comment about the government.

      Delete
    3. Hello to kindness does not mean we can't disagree. With freedom comes responsibility, and in this case its watching our words. Hopefully people can disagree without threats and insults. That's what it is about.

      And, frankly, you don't have freedom to say whatever you want here. Comments are moderated.

      And I'm getting a real sense of deja vu here.

      Delete
    4. Yeah, I haven’t read The Guardian piece but I have seen a lot of interesting comments elsewhere. There are certainly mixed emotions about the campaign.

      Delete
    5. Tammy from California2 February 2019 at 17:36

      Flore, I liked your post. You're right, having to defend yourself against banana messages: sad.

      Delete
    6. So, what you're talking about is not "freedom of speech", it's "freedom from having your opinion challenged". You can still leave your opinion, no one is stopping you (unless it violates the guidelines established for commenters by this blog). However, once you hit publish, then you're leaving yourself open for others to reply. That's how it works. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but that doesn't mean people aren't allowed to disagree with you.You have a choice of whether or not to reply to the person who disagrees.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous you absolutely do have the freedom of speech in your own home to call Meghan or anyone else any name in the book and to use any racial slur you want. However this is a moderated blog and so this is a straw man argument. Charlotte decides on the tone of these blogs and in general she maintains a level of civility and thoughtfulness that IMO is unrivaled in any of the royal blogs. If you want to call Meghan racial slurs you can go to teh Daily Mail for that.

      Delete
    8. + infinity, RaRupe74. Thank you.

      Also, freedom of speech (at least here in the US) is about the _government_ not restricting your speech. It's not about an employer not firing someone who makes racist comments, or being allowed to comment on blogs or online platforms without debate, or getting booted from twitter, etc. (And even in the case of the government, there are still restrictions, e.g. yelling 'fire' in a movie theater.)

      Delete
    9. Thank you in the kitchen. Freedom of speech is not being arrested for speaking out against the govt not the ability to say anything you want with no repercussions.

      Delete
    10. Whoa wait, who wants to call Meghan by racist names?? Or was a comment deleted that I didn’t see?

      Delete
    11. Excellent points all! I agree with portions of each of your comments. I may be stirring the pot here, with this comment, but this discussion reminded me of a Bible verse. The Apostle Paul was talking about the difference between living under the Law or living under grace, as the people to whom he was speaking had been arguing about what was required of them in their new faith. He said, “All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up." From another translation, ""I have the right to do anything," you say--but not everything is beneficial. "I have the right to do anything"--but not everything is constructive." And another, "Someone may say, "I'm allowed to do anything," but not everything is helpful. I'm allowed to do anything, but not everything encourages growth." So, on Charlotte's blog, you have the right to say anything, unless it crosses Charlotte's line of what is acceptable and what is not. Criticizing someone's clothing choice, or saying you don't care for their hairstyle, is not necessarily criticizing the person, or tantamount to using a racial slur against them (Ivy Lin). I haven't seen anyone here going to that extreme. If we didn't like Meghan or Kate, we probably wouldn't waste our time reading the blog or commenting. My sister started following Kate's page several years ago and got me hooked, and then we both came over to Meghan's page to check out the "New" girl. I used to just skip the commentary and look at the clothes, but after a while started reading, and found it very interesting. Sometimes, because of time constraints, I just scroll down to the clothes, but usually end up reading some of the content. I think listening to other ideas without taking offense, and allowing people to have opinions that differ from your own, is a matter of maturity and civility. You can disagree with another's opinion, without attacking the person. I think for the most part, that's what the commenters do here. I try to keep an open mind when I read a comment with which I disagree. Once you see that there are people commenting with whom you most always disagree, just skip over their comments. That's easy enough. No need to attack the person's character.

      Delete
    12. I don't think the writers of the US Constitution had the internet or assault rifles in mind when they wrote the First and Second Amendments.
      As my husband was fond of quoting, "My rights end where your nose begins."

      Delete
    13. “That being said, the real problem with the DOS fashion choices is that she never “dresses accordingly” and her outfits are too expensive and mostly ill fitted. And that’s my opinion!“

      Wow, is that a real problem? And yes, it’s your opinion and we don’t have to agree with you.

      Delete
  61. Excellent post, Charlotte! Thank you for compiling all of this great information. A heartfelt & inspirational day! There are so many wonderful charities & incredible volunteers. Such a lovely boost to everyone involved to have this special attention brought to them by the Sussexes.

    Harry & Meghan are a fantastic team! It’s interesting to see how they combine their individual interests to have an impactful day together. The pictures & videos capture so many moving moments. Tonight there could be 1 message on a banana or a kind phrase remembered that could be the start of a positive change in a young person’s life. And that is more important than any outfit either Meghan or Harry wore today or any day.

    Dena

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  62. I think Meghan looks lovely! I just don't understand the people who aren't happy with anything Meghan's worn during her pregnancy. They're not happy with snug & fitted which is by the way what all pregnant women wear these days but then when she wears a flowy dress which works perfectly for pregnancy then they say it also doesn't fit. How can it be a bad fit, it isn't fitted.

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    1. I see a lot of misunderstanding about what it means when people comment on the fit of the dress. The way a dress fit is not referring to its size or how tight it is. Fit is about whether the waiste is where it should be, is the darts, does it pull at the seams, does it creep up when you walk, things like that.
      You are right this dress is not a tight fitting dress at all and there is nothing wrong with that. The problem for example that the dress has a waiste, which she had to pull above her bump. So when people say the waiste does not fit, they don’t mean it is too tight, they mean it should have been designed to fit above the bump.
      You can have a very tight dress, with perfect fit or a flowy boho dress and still have fit issues. Having said that, looser clothes are a bit more forgiving when it comes to fit issues.

      Delete
    2. Excellent points, Anon 15:39!

      Delete
  63. What a wonderful, positive day. Thank you for sharing this with us.

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  64. I was really moved learning about the work of One25. It sounds like a great potential patronage for Meghan!

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    1. @Penny - I was thinking that as well at first. However then I wondered if she will just use opportunities like today to shine a light on organizations like One25 rather than choose them as an official patronage. I feel like we didn't see her visiting her first 4 charities (except the National Theater meeting?) publicly prior to them being announced as "official," so my hunch is that any places we see her visiting publicly won't end up being an official patronage. Although I'd be happy if my hunch is wrong!

      But, the CEO of One25 did say yesterday that their phone started ringing off the hook the minute the first pictures/report of the visit were published. And a couple of the smaller clothing/jewelry companies Meghan as worn have also commented on how Meghan helped them grow. The company of the fitness tracker ring that Harry wears said that Harry wearing it was equivalent to 8 mil in international publicity! So anyway, this is just a long way of saying that I think all of the organizations that Meghan visits will benefit immensely from increased publicity and donations even if they are not selected as an official patronage.

      Delete
  65. How well did the Royal couple do! These engagements were full of importance and substance, making an impact. That is what is important. An added bonus the Duchess looked lovely. Prince Harry, I am a huge fan, he is so natural. His mum would be so proud of the man he has become.

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  66. I am almost in tears right now.
    Both from the causes that the Duke and Duchess visited and from their manner of being. I happy that they focus on things that may often be forgotten or neglected in society.
    And to Charlotte, a huge thank you for the fullness of the post and how much information you find and share with us!

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  67. Proud of these two πŸ‘πŸ»

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  68. Just a little bit about Meghan’s fashion: I find her choices really interesting & she seems to suit nearly everything she wears. I personally wouldn’t choose a lot of the styles she chooses. But she dresses with flair & looks comfortable & that’s the main thing.

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  69. What a fantastic post, Charlotte. Thank you for all of the time you spent creating it. It was incredibly informative and highlighted a wonderful day. I absolutely love how much of this post was focused on the content rather than the clothing. (Although, I do so enjoy the clothing portion)

    Meghan looks so calm and happy. She really is there to just learn and help-out. I just love how she always puts her own special spin on things and really just seems to dive in. Prince Harry knew what he was doing when he picked her, she seems to live for these moments. They make such a great team and will do amazing things in the future, I'm sure!

    Not a fan of her shoes, personally, but I love everything else she is wearing. I will say, I do see how the boots were a good choice for the weather.

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  70. I'm glad my comment sparked debate and made people think. Sarah I send you huge love for your brave post and opening up. My grandson has red hair and has been bullied for it so I empathise. You are an amazing woman, I salute you.
    Lauri, I accept that some of the comments focusing on fashion were made before the rest of the report up but your comment that I didn't mention anything else about the visit is not correct, if you read what I put I mentioned Harry spending time with a bereaved boy among other things.
    I accept people want to focus on just the clothes and that is fine for them personally I find that dispiriting and I said so. If that came across as judgemental it wasn't meant to, it was more a plea for the focus to include the reasons for the visit because I think this visit was ground breaking in some ways and the danger is by focusing on the fashion we dilute focus on the work.
    I do think the media focus too much on what the duchesses are wearing and the cost etc, it's a way they've found of pitting them against each other which is wrong and dangerous I know Charlotte who does this amazing blog has recently taken part in discussions about the vileness on social media towards both ladies.
    I thin they're both doing a great job, and to me they always look fab.
    Sending peace and love to all.

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  71. Nicole from France2 February 2019 at 15:02

    Charlotte, both your blogs are getting’ more and more interesting , mor and more documented , written with such style and command of language , I recently recommended them to an English friend who wanted to know more about the Royals actions , and I feel so happy to be able to follow’ you and all the contributors !
    I am more and’ more thrilled by Meghan and Harry’s way of behaving with people they meet, they body language says that they are not just visiting, but ready to get settled and exchange and learn . Especially Harry , who leans’ against any wall when he stops walking and starts talking with people around him . Also the way they look at all the persons they meet , it seems quite new for the BRF to behave so , most probably because the RF members have not been educated to do so , and it works well for H and M because they are very natural . W and C will not do that because it is not their character and would’ not look natural to do so , also they will be king and queen and are more conformist (which is not a critic in my mind , they just are that way and others’ are different !). Meanwhile, I can’t help to feel H and M give more substance to their visits , a bit more down to earth ...? Once again , not a critic for other royals, on the contrary , it seems good for each to personalize their action according to their personality , and , to make it short, we do not really know the amount work they do behind the scene !
    Regarding Meghan’s clothes .... I really can’t see the point of saying she should have maternity wear , isn’t she entitled to feel confortable in her own way ? What is the fuss about not fitting properly or not giving justice to the design’ of the dress, and so on ? She is not a doll, she is a living person , she moves, walks, bends to children .... she has no preconceptions about clothes, and is probably not the kind of person to just melt into tradition , why should she ? She already proved she could dress as properly as the other royal women for celebrations , why not trust her for any occasion ? Of course I can understand one does not like the dress or the coat, but it is her way to dress so , and that’s all . No she does not belong to the British high society . No she does not follow its ageing dress code . Yes she wears boots with a chiffon dress like models on the catways .... yes she wears a summery dress in full winter , but have a look in the shops and you will see that that kind of clothes is sold at the moment , that’s the way young European women dress now .... I am happy for her to be strong enough to go her way in that matter .
    And , last ..... I can’t wait to see baby Sussex , I wish it is a girl with her mum’s complexion and lovely nose, and her dad’s red hair and blue eyes . And their enthusiasm and charism .

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  72. Her hair, coat, and jewelry look fantastic! Dress print confusing! Boots and clutch, mismatched to the outfit! Banana writing, just odd and not a genuine compliment p!

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  73. Charlotte I am so happy you are getting the acknowledgment you deserve from other media outlets. I remember early on when you were frustrated and was thinking about taking a step back. I asked you to hang in there and you have. Your pieces are well written, researched, and timely. Your blog reminds me of another blog that was fun, funny, Tiggly. LOL!! Thank you for your fairness, objectivity, positivity, and patience. Stay Brave

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    Replies
    1. Here! Here!
      Charlotte, you are the best. I sooo enjoyed this.

      Delete
    2. Yes! Did everyone see Charlotte quoted in an article on elle.com? It was about the atmosphere online these days.

      Delete
    3. Regarding the Elle article. Thanks bluhare for the heads-up. I think it was mentioned earlier but from a source I don't frequent.

      I went along with most of the opinions quoted from the four female bloggers and I am pleased to see that Charlotte was one of them. However, I got the impression from the article that the role of the media, especially the tabloid forums, was secondary to the role/responsibility of individual online commenters--that the media were only following the lead of these commenters and took up the conflict-inducing reporting only in response. I feel that the media, which both Elle and Hello represent, were the instigators, not the followers in this controversy. I think those media outlets, though not necessarily being the original source of the divisive comments, were nevertheless the beneficiaries of the conflict by writing stories about the click-inducing subject and thus helping to perpetuate it. Sort of..."we don't agree or support this but here is what is being said..." kind of articles. I think that, rather than just shaming blog and social media commenters or-- in Hello's example, calling for peace and understanding amongst commenters, it might be a better choice to follow Prince William's example by appealing to the owners and those who benefit from the increased circulation such conflict generates. He has expressed disappointment in the reception and commitment of these leaders in combating online bullying. That may be the reason for the grass roots approach--the communication leaders are simply not taking responsibility.

      I think we should all hit pause before enter/publish. I usually spend a fair amount of time re-reading and editing my comments. If I only have time to dash off a quick response, I usually don't comment. The times I have quickly retorted are the comments I regret. Unfortunately--by then it is "out-there." The internet forums are geared toward just this type of response..instant and without due consideration. It tries to mimic the spontaneity of face to face exchanges without allowing for the differences--especially regarding impact. I think the immediate gratification element of online communication is as influential as the lure of the cloak of supposed anonymity and needs to be considered in attempts to reform internet communication.

      The fact does remain that a lot more people will read an Express or Daily Mail story than will read my comment on a royal blog. Hello's project is a grass roots type of effort. I think this current situation demands leadership from the top of the media chain. Either hire enough staff to supervise comment sections or eliminate them but do without the benefit of their draw. As for the political biases and slant of stories and articles--that is endemic and here to stay. However, as readers we must do our part to keep them fair and factual in their reporting.

      Delete
  74. Very much enjoyed reading all the comments this Saturday with my morning coffee. I really appreciate all the insightful comments both of praise and criticism. What a pleasant community on MAM blog, Charlotte. Thank you for your blog.

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  75. This Kate-vs-Meghan situation may boil down to a culture clash. I was interested in Kate because it was fascinating to see what her life was like when she married Will (a glimpse into the royal life), she was touted as a commoner (albeit a wealthy one), and she represented a change. She grew up privileged and had a happy family and wanted to have her own happy family. (I know there is a "does Kate work enough" situation too, but I don't get involved because she's not "my" RF as an American.) Meghan grew up differently and made her own way, in which philanthropy is vital to her well-being. She is different from the typical English aristocracy and in a way represents the "immigrant" situation that is dividing the world. Should we keep our usual complexion or allow "foreigners" in? Kate represents the status quo, and Meghan represents opportunities for people who are darker or dress differently.

    I am not saying at all that Kate and Meghan actually took on these opposing roles -- just that they represent flag bearers for the unrest occurring today. Kate's friends appear to be very homogeneous and Meghan's friends vary in color and sex orientation and occupation and age. (They certainly have different sisters! One is the product of an advantageous upbringing and the other of severe dysfunctionality.) I'm truly not criticizing Kate -- she appears to be very sweet and I don't believe she has done anything unpleasant toward Meghan. I don't believe the tears after the dress fitting story; if it happened, perhaps Kate was emotional about her little girl growing up, etc. and it had nothing to do with MM. I don't believe MM has been unkind, either. I'm glad the situation is out in the open. The Washington Post did a little story on it today.

    I personally relate more to MM, and she had me when she told about how she had to get in and out of her car through the trunk. It reminds me of my life and it is a great story. Nothing to be ashamed of, certainly.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, Allison 19:19-. I made a similar point at the end of my February 1 @19:47 comment on DKB. After outlining the complexity of feelings toward the BRF amongst the citizens, I concluded that Meghan and Catherine have become symbols representing the differing, often emotionally-laden ideals. However, I went on to point out that the danger is in losing the individual --by association with what the person has been made to represent. Kate by no means was raised as an aristocrat or even an upper class Brit. Meghan was a child of a bi-racial couple but they were at least middle class with upper middle class income. Both sets of parents worked hard for their comforts. Meghan was no more a child of the ghetto nor of immigrants than Catherine was a child of extreme privilege. Yet, apparently, that is who each is identified with by some.

      The arguments and comparisons have taken on a classist vibe. It is no longer about who each has become as a woman.
      What did the Post have to say?








      When individuals are compared as stereotypes instead of as individuals one ceases to see the similarities-only the differences. It lends to the conflict.

      What did the Post have to say?

      Delete
    2. The Post says very little; just a short report. They could have done better. But it least it's mentioned. And I agree that the debate has gone much past who each woman is -- they seem to be merely symbols.

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/call-for-end-to-social-media-abuse-of-duchesses-meghan-kate/2019/01/29/69d8496c-23b8-11e9-b5b4-1d18dfb7b084_story.html?noredirect=on

      Delete
    3. At Anon 16:54, both you and Allison made good points. I’m not so sure Meghan’s divorces parents made upper middle class incomes or were that well off as people made them out to be. LA is a very expensive place to live then and now. If you look at union wage scale for the entertainment industry, it’s not high like you think. I suspect the lotto win was the bigger short-lived $ booster.

      https://www.businessinsider.com/television-industry-careers-salaries-2017-3#and-these-are-the-jobs-that-pay-more-than-50k-6

      If you talk to career industry people, they’ll tell you the well documented, hyped up, ritzy glitzy set with the money is the exception, not the rule.

      While the British class system has been in place far longer than the American one, with growing wealth inequality, other nations are catching up. I would argue the oligarchy class is the new royal class and it knows no national boundaries. They can be princelings from Russia, Saudi Arabia, US, India, Nigeria, etc. In England, there are quite a few genuine aristocratic names on the most wealthy list. These families are far wealthier than the Queen. And the aristocratic set owns a significant chunk of land in the UK. - Martine

      Delete
    4. @Allison in US, I agree with your comment 100% because this is something I have noticed in the coverage as well. In addition I would like to add in that this not only represents a cultural clash but also a political divide. People seem to be projecting their political alignments on these two women (which is extremely worrying). Kate values familial life and traditions - and there is nothing wrong with that btw, whereas Meghan (whose political views are known from previous interviews) is seen as the person who is demanding, working too much, seen as a rebel who continues to break traditions and protocol (which don't even exist) and does not belong due to who she is - a POC and a non UK citizen (American). To sum it up - its the tories vs. the liberals (Kate vs. Meghan). I have also noticed that the majority of outlets that cover the royals are known to be aligned more to the right in terms of political reporting so the sudden anti-Meghan narrative I have seen represents to me a very anti-liberal stance. This is a very unfortunate situation because what these outlets have done is project the nation's political situation onto these two women simply because they are two different personalities with different values - and this has allowed RRs to politicize these two women because of this. The fact that the outlets are more right wing oriented has allowed them to essentially other Meghan and tell us who belongs and why (this btw is not Kate's fault, they are using her too even if she's shown in a positive light in these stories). T

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    5. @anon 2:24
      The British Monarchy is supposed to be above politics, though there’s a grey line and the Brexit crisis is forcing that line as the RF looks to the greater good of the country. I believe Kate and Meghan are unified in supporting positive family values and traditions, gender, racial and economic equality, national security, along with better access to education, healthcare and housing. I would pose while some people think of traditions as static, they aren’t. Traditions do evolve alongside societal changes.

      The British tabloids are predominantly right wingers and aren’t shy about where they stand and neither are their readers. Mainly though, the tabloids are about making money anyway they can. Ginning up a ‘royal feud’ between these women by making it personal while portraying one as the family oriented, traditional ‘English Rose’ and the other as a brash, workaholic, rebel out of Compton is the best selling narrative.

      In truth, neither is a true and fair portrait of either women. These tabloids have objectified these two women for profit.
      -Martine

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    6. Thanks, Allison. The commonalities between Catherine and Meghan seem more intrinsic and deeply-rooted than their differences--which often seem superficially rooted to me: clothing, hairstyle, mannerisms,hobbies.... To start with--both are women. That's a biggie. They share family and are married to brothers who are committed to international causes.They started out as commoners making their way in the BRF. They have causes beyond themselves to which they are committed. They are Moms and they both appear to reach out to children other than their own. I am sure they both care deeply about the country in which they live.

      That's a few examples off the top of my head of how Meghan and Catherine are alike beyond the stereotypes and hype.

      Delete
    7. I think that this might be outside the scope of the blog but the Brexit situation is worsening discourse. I've seen British friends get into real heated arguments the past few months over Brexit with words like "get the hell out this is England" (to an Irish guy who has spent most of his life in England) between people who used to be friends. So Kate has become "England" and Meghan has become "foreigner." It saddens me to see this but it reminds me of much of the Kate vs. Meghan debates online.

      Delete
    8. Meghan herself has said the her father's lottery win funded her college education. I agree with what annon. stated - a lighting worker on a Fox sitcom "Married with Children" in the 1980s was making a living blue college wage, and if you throw in two expires and four children, the Markles were hardly middle class earners. She has said that they lived in east LA which is a very run down section of LA, so housing was probably less expensive.

      Delete
  76. I have tried to reply to Nicole from France's post about 5 times, but the system doesn't seem to accept my reply. I'll try to post a new comment. I want Nicole to know that I very much appreciate her lovely post, and that I agree with her whole-heartedly.

    R

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    1. Nicole from France3 February 2019 at 14:54

      Thank you Anon 3 feb 00.05 glad I expressed myself correctly, the language barrier does not help when trying to say things precisely .... some of my words might not be the right ones ahahaha anyway, I am always happy to enjoy both blogs, and while my own way of doing things is more on Meghan’s side, I do appreciate Catherine and will certainly never’ compare and oppose them regarding’ their work , they do it in different ways , but they both do good ! I wish we had such persons’ in France ......

      Delete
  77. What is that big bird on Meghan’s dress? It looks exactly like a blue jay, but its topknot is missing.

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  78. I saw this comment on another site and found it so relevant not only for the "banana situation" but really for most nice things anyone tries to do.

    "Is it dead yet? Have we destroyed the spontaneous kind gesture by analyzing it into meaningless, or even better malicious self-conceit? AHHH! IT MOVED! KILL IT! KILL IT! Spray it with symbolism! Crush it for not being relevant to every individual! Stab it for not solving anything!

    Failing that, let’s call her fat and criticize her clothes. Heaven forbid we help make anything better – it’s just too risky."

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    Replies
    1. I understand where you’re going with this line of thinking, I think. But on the flip side, and I’m not applying this to bananagate, but life in general, can’t we learn sometimes from situations where well-meaning people sometimes inadvertently do something that’s supposed to be nice but ends up being offensive to some? Yes, sometimes people rejoice in tearing people down, but we can’t start to think that any and all criticism or opposing thought is meant to be evil-intentioned.

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    2. Hi Anon23, isn't someone always offended by something? Society has become very thin-skinned but imho, thin-skinned about the wrong things. If we are going to be offended then lets be offended by poverty, by domestic violence, by the fact that many of these sex workers were groomed at a young age to believe that this was all they were worth. Let's be offended the discrimination, by sexism, by mass killings, by the fact that chocolate isn't good for you! Let's be offended by those that cause hurt, by those that crush another's soul, by those that cause suffering but let's never be offended by the kindness of another.

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    3. I specifically said I wasn’t applying this to the banana situation. I was speaking in generalities.

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    4. Also, I’m trying to say view it as a learning opportunity in life. In general. So we can turn general kindness into something that may be better received by the person we’re trying to direct that kindness towards.

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    5. Pretty sure Piers Morgan and Liz Jones turned this gesture into ‘bananagate’ so they can troll Meghan. Without Meghan and the bananas, where were their columns covering sex workers’ plight?

      Charity can be a great unifier and a community builder. Most people want to help and do good and charity is a great vehicle to do so. However, charities fill in where governmental safety net and policies failed signals a deeper national problem. That there is a need for so many charities or philanthropies means something is systemically wrong with society and that should offend everyone because it means the system is leaving many people behind. If people really ‘care’, they need to also advocate for better social policies and repair the safety net. That means tangible things like a progressive tax structure, ending tax haven and loopholes for tax dodgers, transparent and efficient government instead of CYA politicians who put their personal wealth, ambitions and party first before country and people. A fair and just society would ensure there is money for basic infrastructure such as better schools, housing, health care and legal services, job training for jobs that pay family wages. This is where the rubber meets the road if you want real change. Not ‘bananagate’.

      These columnists actually have an enviable soapbox for advocacy to change the way society and government work so that people don’t need to rely on charities. Instead these self-righteous media personalities prefer to use their platform to go after the Kate and Meghan of this world because it’s easy to do and keeps them well paid and in the spotlight. - Martine

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    6. I'll have to disagree with you on one point, Lauri 15:40. Chocolate is good for you, if the right kind is chosen. Something about Serotonin. ;)

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  79. I enjoy reading about the causes though I admit my entree to royal watching was the Duchess of Cambridge's style and rubbernecking as to how the whole "fairytale" thing would play out in real life in our modern times. It has certainly been interesting!

    I really enjoyed the tidbit about the inspiration for this dress. If anyone has time while visiting NYC a pop up to The Cloisters should not be missed.

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  80. There may be some even more subtle issues concerning Kate and Meghan. Kate and her family suffered though the unkind tabloid stories and has emerged "regal." (She thought she was just marrying Will and making a family, but that's too easy for the press.) Meghan had a really interesting life that she cultivated and found Harry years later than Kate found Will. Meghan is already "herself," and I imagine that irritates a lot of people who want to be the ones to bestow approval on her.

    I have not seen much about Kate vs Sophie or Zara or Bea vs Eugenie. There were ugly stories about Camilla, but there may always be.

    One of my favorite criticisms is that Harry is "beguiled" by Meghan. We know what that means -- he has been bewitched and doesn't see her for what she is (the usual list of awful attributes). I guess Will is just fond of Kate? The woman is giving Harry a constant family. We know that Will is very attracted to Kate's family. These duchesses are giving their husbands a constant dependable family, which they lacked growing up. Thank heavens Meghan is so mature.

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  81. I absolutely love Meghan's dress. How stunning. And I absolutely LOVE that she wrote positive notes on the bananas for lunches. This woman keeps surprising in the best of ways!

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    1. Yes,I agree!!!

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    2. Funny how some people got offended by positive messages on bananas, lol.

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  82. I’m just going to comment on her fashion choices. I like the flowy dress and green boots.
    As for comments on her fashion choices as being too tight or ill-fitting, I think it’s because she has decided early on she is not going to wear regular maternity clothes. A lot or most of the clothes she’s worn since the pregnancy announcement are clothes she can wear after the baby is born. Maybe she’s thinking, “why buy maternity clothes , I may not have another child”. I did not wear a lot of maternity clothes when I was pregnant like Meghan for this reason. It’s a way to economize. But in her case it’s debatable if she is really economizing.
    GCA

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  83. I don't think Meghan's bananas were supposed to were supposed to do anything other than send a positive heart-felt thought. The schoolteacher who started it does it for students. My take is that parents could do it for their children and each other, like adding a stickie note. Someone mentioned that Meghan should have used notes. My feeling is that the notes might have been taken before the women received them.

    I suggest that Piers marry Samantha so they can pool spend their time besting each other in criticism of MM.

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