Sunday, 14 July 2019

Duchess Meghan in Jason Wu for Star-Studded Lion King Premiere

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex walked the yellow carpet for the star-studded premiere of The Lion King in London this evening.

The appearance is one of several the Duchess is making during her maternity leave. Since Archie was born, we've seen Meghan at Trooping the Colour, Red Sox vs Yankees, Archie's christening, and two Wimbledon appearances in support of Serena Williams. Tonight's event marked a very special milestone for the Sussexes - their first movie premiere since their wedding.

The Lion King is a true favourite of Prince Harry. He has admitted to watching the Disney classic over twenty times. In December 2016, the Prince took his then-girlfriend Meghan to watch The Lion King on the West end for a pre-Christmas outing. No doubt it will be a firm favourite in the Sussex household as Archie grows up; his cousin Prince George is said to adore it too.

The premiere is in support of a worthy cause particularly close to Harry's heart. Buckingham Palace said: "The premiere is being held in support of the conservation and communities work of His Royal Highness through the Royal Foundation. The Duke of Sussex has taken a deep personal interest in frontline conservation projects that work to protect Africa's natural heritage and support both wildlife and local communities. On leaving the Army in 2015, His Royal Highness spent three months working on number of such projects in Namibia, Tanzania, South Africa and Botswana. The Duke of Sussex is President of African Parks and Patron of Rhino Conservation Botswana. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will undertake an official visit to South Africa this autumn at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The Duke of Sussex will visit Angola and Malawi at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and undertake a working visit to Botswana whilst in the region."

In celebration of the film’s release, the Walt Disney Company announced Protect the Pride, a global conservation campaign working with many conservation partners to raise awareness and support efforts to protect and recover the dwindling lion population across Africa. Since The Lion King was first released in theatres 25 years ago, half of Africa’s lions have disappeared. Lions face rising threats, such as poaching, loss of prey and destruction of habitat, however, research shows the lion population can recover.

The Royal Foundation said they are "excited" to support and be involved in the Protect the Pride campaign, alongside partners including the Wildlife Conservation Network’s Lion Recovery Fund to find solutions that benefit people, communities and wildlife across Africa. The Palace added: "Through the work of the Duke of Sussex, the Royal Foundation is committed to advancing community conservation efforts across Africa and around the world, working with communities to ensure a sustainable future for the planet." Although, Harry and Meghan will be launching their own Foundation later this year, they still have commitments tied up in the Royal Foundation and it will be a process to make the transfer of Harry's projects over.

The Duke and Duchess greeted members of the crowd.

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There was quite the reaction when they went over to chat to well-wishers.

As hoped for, Meghan met Beyoncé, greeting the superstar and her husband Jay Z. Rebecca English said Beyoncé "seemed genuinely emotional" about meeting Meghan and couldn't stop smiling.

Beyonce greeted the Duchess by smiling and saying "My Princess".

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More from the Mail Online:

‘We love you guys.’ Meghan then turned to introduce her husband, dressed in a dashing tuxe, who greeted Beyonce with a kiss on each cheek and Jay-Z with a handshake. ‘You’ve been rather busy,’ said Harry to Beyonce.
‘Congratulations on the birth of your baby,’ Jay-Z said to the prince, and nodded towards Meghan. ‘Wow that’s pretty intense.’ “And how are the twins? asked the prince, in reference to her children, Rumi and Sir, born in 2017. ‘They are not here. They don’t come on every trip,’ replied Beyonce. ‘We left them at home. They would loved to have been here.’ 
'The best advice I can give you, always find come time for yourself,’ said Jay-Z.' 

A video from the meeting.

At the BRIT Awards, Beyoncé and Jay Z offered a very public show of support to Meghan. Beyoncé later wrote on Instagram: "In honor of Black History Month, we bow down to one of our Melanated Monas. Congrats on your pregnancy! We wish you so much joy."

The Duke and Duchess were delighted to chat with Elton John, the singer was a friend of Princess Diana and performed at Harry and Meghan's wedding last year. He said to Meghan: "I'm admiring your shoes."

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The pair shared a hug and he whispered something into her ear. I imagine it was words of support for the Duchess. The reaction Harry and Meghan get wherever they go is overwhelmingly positive; the crowds are always huge and there's a real air of excitement when they arrive.

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The couple met Evie and Valentina who presented them with flowers, a Simba toy and a book for Archie. They told the Mail Meghan was "delighted" with the gifts.

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A photo of members of the cast and production team.

The extended video below includes footage of Harry and Meghan's meeting with Pharrell. At one point the artist said to Meghan " So happy for your union. Love is amazing. It's significant. We cheer you guys on". Meghan replied: "Thank you. They don't make it easy".

A very fun video on the royal visit.

The Duchess looked elegant in Little Black Dress by Jason Wu (with thanks to Christine).

The mesh-paneled, flared dress features a round neck, long sleeves, a fitted waist, a flared style, mid-calf length and a back button fastening. It's available in limited sizes at Farfetch.

The Duchess wore the eye-catching Aquazzura Portrait of a Lady pumps.

Meghan carried her Gucci Broadway clutch.

UPDATE: Lorraine Schwartz confirms Meghan's detachable earrings are hers. 

It was a splendid evening and a treat to see so much great interaction between Harry, Meghan and all those they met.

Are you looking forward to seeing the new Lion King?

Saturday, 13 July 2019

It's a Duchess Duo for Wimbledon Women's Final

It was a Double Duchess appearance for the Wimbledon women's final between Serena Williams and Simona Halep.

The Duchess arriving.

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It marks Meghan's second appearance at the championships this year. She cheered on close friend Serena Williams on 4th July and returned today to see her compete for another singles title. The pair have been very close friends for years. Speaking about their friendship last week, Serena said: "She couldn’t be a better friend to me. Low moments, high moments, she’s always there, and that’s all I want to be to her."

Kate and Meghan were joined by Pippa Matthews, Kate's sister, in the Royal Box on Centre Court.

Serena Williams entered today's match knowing it could be a history-making day for her career. A win would have seen the American tennis star secure her 24th Grand Slam singles title, tying with Margaret Court, the only other player to have reached that number. Williams was also competing for her eighth Wimbledon singles title. On the other side of the court, Romanian player Simona Halep was ready to fight for her first singles title at the iconic tournament. After her French Open win in 2017, Halep has been striving for her next major victory. Ahead of the match she said: "I feel mentally strong. We will see what happens." Ahead of the final, Simona said she would love it if patron Kate attended the final.

Serena and Simona got straight into a fast paced game.

Last year, Kate and Meghan attended the women's final together for the first time. Kate had given birth to Louis less than three months previously, and it was just weeks after Harry and Meghan's wedding.

This year, Meghan is mom to two-month-old Archie. It's amazing how much can change in a year.

Enjoying the action in the first set.

An overview of Centre Court.

We saw some excellent shots of the trio chatting.

This is a great one of Meghan and Pippa. Meghan attended the evening reception of Pippa's wedding, and last year Pippa and her husband James Matthews attended the Sussexes' Windsor wedding.

Kate and Meghan talking during the match.

From the off, Halep took command of the game and displayed incredible tennis ability. She won in straight sets to secure her first Wimbledon title.

More from Wimbledon:

'History wastes no time listening to those who speak of what is likely to happen. History heeds only those who make it happen – and in the women’s final at Wimbledon 2019, Simona Halep wrote her own name large. The No.7 seed, whose name appeared on no one’s list of likely winners before The Championships began, became the first Romanian ever to win a Wimbledon title.
She stunned Serena Williams, the Centre Court crowd and almost everyone on Planet Tennis to triumph 6-2, 6-2 in just 55 minutes, with a display so resourceful, so near-flawless that there could be no answer.
Two-and-a-half long years after Williams secured her 23rd Grand Slam title at the 2017 Australian Open, this toweringly remarkable woman found she must wait still longer for the elusive 24th crown to equal Margaret Court’s all-time record.
Twelve months ago Angelique Kerber defied her here; few could envisage Halep stonewalling Williams again on the same court – yet she did. In this battle of the former world No.1s, history was written, and history was denied; and the whole was utterly thrilling.'

Applause from Kate, Meghan and Pippa.

Undoubtedly, Meghan was disappointed for Serena...

A really lovely moment when Kate put her arm around Meghan. The pair watched Serena lose in the final last year and I'm sure it was difficult for Meghan as they are so close. Perhaps the duchesses will be on hand to watch her claim the title next year?

An overview before Simona and Serena left the court.

On Sussex Royal Instagram they wrote: "Today, The Duchess of Sussex accompanied The Duchess of Cambridge, Patron of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club (AELTC) to the Ladies’ Singles Final. Congratulations to everyone who participated and helped make this such an iconic sporting event."

People reports:

'Williams said that having Meghan’s support and friendship “is great,” telling reporters during her post-match press conference: “She’s such a great friend and a great person as well. And always positive, no matter what.”
The tennis star continued, “It’s so good to have people like that, just to know,” adding that Meghan, 37, is “such a fan of the sport.”
“She too is happy for Simona,” Williams said of Meghan, who she first met in 2010. “She saw that she played unbelievably, and that’s just the kind of person that she is.”

It was 'Wimbledon White' with a vibrant splash of blue for the Duchess today.

Meghan wore the very pretty Hugo Boss Vesplisa Printed Georgette Skirt. The £350 piece is described as: "Printed with an abstract blue and black pattern, the white Vesplisa skirt by Boss is a graphic take on this season’s key midi style. Sitting high at the waist, this georgette design falls through crisply lined pleats to a swishing midi hem."

Meghan's Fashion suggests the Duchess wore the crisp white Givenchy shirt from the Endeavour Awards.

Meghan carried a Stella McCartney handbag.

The Duchess wore her Le Specs Black Tort Bandwagon sunglasses.

And her Jennifer Meyer turquoise earrings. The $395 earrings are described: "Jennifer Meyer's pieces are the perfect way to celebrate life events or mark important milestones. Handcrafted from polished 18-karat gold, these dainty earrings have a sleek rectangular shape that's inlaid with brilliant turquoise stones." They are available at Net-A-Porter.

For more information on what Kate and Pippa wore, click here to visit Duchess Kate.

We'll see Harry and Meghan for The Lion King premiere tomorrow.

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

A Surprise Meghan & Archie Appearance for Family Polo Day Out

It was a surprise appearance for the Duchess of Sussex and Baby Archie as the pair cheered on Harry and William for the Khun Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha Memorial Polo Trophy at Billingbear Polo Club to cheer on William and Harry in the King Power Royal Charity Polo Day.

Archie's polo debut comes just days after his christening. Speaking of the christening, People reports
'"It was just very, very low-key," says a Windsor source. "You wouldn't have even known it was going on. It was all very well thought through."' Eight-week-old Archie looked very quiet and relaxed at his christening, and very much the same today. At one point he appeared to be sleeping as Meghan held him.

When they arrived, Meghan was seen chatting to Harry's longtime close friend, stockbroker and Sentebale ambassador Adam Bidwell.

A closer look at Archie.

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With the exception of the Sentebale Polo Cup, William and Harry have markedly reduced their polo participation this summer. It was previously reported this was due to "family commitments" over the summer. Polo is very much a highlight of the royal summer calendar, and I do hope to see them continue to play in some capacity for quite a few years to come. It was quite the royal turnout with Kate, George, Charlotte and Louis also there.

George watching the match get underway with Meghan and Archie.

Cousin Louis also made his polo debut today :)

Louis waving at Archie in his mum's sunglasses :)

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Today's match raised over £1 million for causes close to the princes' hearts. These organisations include African Parks, the English Schools Swimming Association, Fields in Trust, Henry van Straubenzee Memorial Fund, the Household Cavalry Operational Casualties Fund, the Invictus Games Foundation, Irish Guards Appeal, Map Action, Mountain Rescue England and Wales, the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust, Rhino Conservation Botswana, the Royal Marsden, RFU Injured Players Foundation, the Passage and the Welsh Rugby Charitable Trust. William's team were victorious in the end.

The memorial cup honours Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha - aThai billionaire businessman and the founder, owner and chairman of King Power Duty Free. He was also the owner of Premier League football club Leicester City from 2010. He was awarded an honorary doctorate as a Doctor of Laws by the University of Leicester in 2016. Throughout his time in Leciester, he was described as a man "whose acts of generosity knew no limits". The Mirror reported: "Supporters were treated to free breakfasts, food, scarves, clappers, flags, free away travel and even free beer. he did anything he could to help enhance their experience. He celebrated his 60th birthday...and marked it by giving away 60 free season tickets to dedicated fans and throwing a party for young hospital patients at Leicester Royal Infirmary, whom he is also believed to have donated £1m to - that on top of another £1m donation to Leicester University’s medical department and a £2m injection towards a new children’s hospital. Srivaddhanaprabha quite simply changed Leicester for the better." Very sadly, he lost his life in a helicopter crash at Leicester City Football Club’s King Power Stadium.

Afterwards, Harry popped over to check on Meghan and Archie.

A short video from the match.

The Duchess wore the khaki green Rossetta V Neck Linen Midi Dress by Lisa Marie Fernandez (with many thanks to Caroline Parr). 

The dress is described: "Lisa Marie Fernandez specialises in romantic resortwear staples, such as this khaki-green linen Rosetta dress. Crafted in the USA, the relaxed-fitting shape features a V-neckline and short sleeves, then is defined at the waist with an oversized tie."

Caroline also identified Meghan's sunglasses as a Stella McCartney pair.

It was a terrific surprise and it looks they all had a great day. 


On another style note, Meghan's Fashion reports the Line coat Meghan for the engagement announcement is reduced from £390 to £198 in several colours on the Outnet UK's website.

Hello! reports we'll see Meghan at The Lion King premiere Sunday.