Thursday, 24 September 2020

Meghan Shares Message of Support for Archie Williams

 In a thoughtful message, the Duchess of Sussex recorded a short video in support of America's Got Talent finalist Archie Williams after his harrowing story touched hearts all over the country. Archie was wrongfully imprisoned for 36 years, and throughout unimaginable difficulty, singing gave him hope and offered a lifeline in the darkest days.

The Duchess said: "I just wanted to let you know that we have been so moved by your story and we have been cheering you on every week - and it's not just because we are partial to the name."

Meghan added: "So a very special message to you that I'll probably be saying all of my life, but on this night it is specifically for you. Archie, we are proud of you, and we are rooting for you, and we can't wait to see what you do. We are in your corner. Have a good night!"

More from CNN:

'The singer moved judges during his audition when he told them he had spent 36 years in prison for a rape he did not commit. He said he had watched "America's Got Talent" while incarcerated and hoped to audition for the show one day.

After Williams spent more than a decade in Louisiana State Penitentiary, a maximum security prison with a violent reputation, the Innocence Project took up his case.

The legal nonprofit worked with Williams over the next 24 years and repeatedly requested DNA testing and fingerprint comparisons that could prove his innocence. Finally, in March 2019, he was cleared of the crime after his fingerprints were submitted into a powerful fingerprint ID system.'

An emotional rendition of 'Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me' by Archie.

People reports:

'Meghan and Prince Harry have been “watching the series and loved him from the moment they first saw him,” a source tells PEOPLE.

When asked by host Terry Crews how he persevered, he said, “Freedom is of the mind. I went to prison, but I never let my mind go to prison. When you’re faced with dark times, what I would do was pray and sing. This is how I got peace.”'

You'll notice we saw another peek inside Harry and Meghan's beautiful Montecito home.

We can see a Diptyque Tuberose Candle (with thanks to the Royal Home Style team). The scented candle is the brand's best selling fragrance. It's made using a blend of vegetable and paraffin waxes and poured in a hand-blown glass vessel. It's available in various sizes at Net-A-Porter and Harrods.

We also saw several books including Women: The National Geographic Image Collection. You may remember Harry took over the National Geographic's feed last September to share inspiring photos to encourage people to save our forests.

Annie Leibovitz's A Photographer's Life.

The Black Godfather by Clarence Avant tells the incredible tale of the music executive. The book inspired a Netflix documentary of the same name.

And Wood and Iron by Macarena Abascal. "Industrial style has become one of the most influential interior design trends of recent years. Following the second industrial revolution, strong developments in industry resulted in a change in the concept of furniture design in the same way as it transformed society. Its nostalgic aesthetic and the sincerity and crudeness of its materials and functionality made it popular in working-class neighbourhoods in the United States, giving birth to the loft living concept. The advent of new materials and the possibilities for bulk manufacturing gave rise to pieces that have today become icons of modern design. This book is intended as a source of inspiration and guidance for those making their foray into the world of industrial style, presenting the most influential names in the genre, anonymous pieces salvaged from junk shops and carefully selected interior design projects."

The Duchess chose a shirt by Victoria Beckham for her appearance on Time 100 earlier this week. For last night's video message, it was another style by the designer in camel (with many thanks to Meghan's Fashion).  The piece features a pointed collar, a concealed front button placket, long sleeves, button cuffs and a straight hem. It's available in limited sizes at FarFetch. Meghan also wore black leather trousers.

Meghan accessorised with her gold Cartier Tank watch. It is believed the piece was originally Princess Diana's.

Embed from Getty Images

We saw Meghan's Monica Vinader Linear Chain Bracelet again.

And possibly her Cartier Love bangle.

It was a great look for Meghan and a very sweet gesture. Afterwards, Archie said he was "so surprised" and "it touched my heart".

Wednesday, 23 September 2020

The Sussexes Speak of Building "Communities Of Compassion" for Time 100 Special

In a special appearance for the unveiling of Time's annual list of 100 most influential and inspiring people of the year, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex shared an uplifting message of congratulations to the winners in additions to an important message for viewers on ABC. The participation of the couple tonight follows their inclusion on 2018's Time 100 list "in recognition of their global growing influence". As alumni of the prestigious list, the Sussexes shared a video filmed in their garden in Montecito (you'll notice Pula walking by).

Meghan touched on the importance of good communities and how "seeing our world through the lens of community is so important because we need to redraw the lines of how we engage with each other - both online and off. Good neighbours look out for each other, protect each other and keep each other safe. Good neighbours also ensure that we are informed with facts and not fiction about our communities and the issues that affect us". Harry spoke about the power and influence of the online world and the damage platforms can do: "When one person buys into negativity online, the effects are felt exponentially. It’s time to not only reflect, but act." Harry added: "Some of the world’s greatest issues are being inflamed by the online space, you realize you need to do something. Tonight reminds us of how important it is to watch out for each other, to care for each other, and to inspire each other."

The Duchess shared her hopes we'll all build "communities of compassion". The video featured a memorable photo from Meghan's visit to a school in Dagenham in March. On the day, the Duchess stood on stage to address seven hundred students and there was a very memorable moment when she made a specific request: "Before I continue I’m going to go off the cuff here, because I do think what’s really key is there is one brave young man in this room who wants to come and say what he thinks the importance of International Women’s Day is." 16-year-old Aker Okoye was among a number of boys who raised their hands before Meghan chose him. Needless to say he was very pleased. He greeted the Duchess, followed by cheers from his classmates. His first words before explaining his thoughts on the importance of equality? "She's really beautiful innit."

Coinciding with National Voter Day the couple spoke on the upcoming election. "We are six weeks out from election day, and today is National Voter Registration Day. Every four years, we’re told, ‘This is the most important election of our lifetime.' But this one is." Referencing the impact of those on the list, Meghan added: "Let’s honour those who gave us courage this year. Like the scientists, researchers, and medical professionals who are leading the fight against COVID-19. Or the countless voices who are speaking out with passion and purpose against injustice and inequality, and to those silently marching in solidarity, in peaceful protest, to stand for what is just and what is right." It comes as Gloria Steinem revealed her friendship with Meghan began when the Duchess visited her and they "cold called" voters. Ms Steinem described the Duchess as "smart and authentic".

"When we vote our values are put into action, and our voices are heard." - The Duchess of Sussex.

Prince Harry added "this election" he will not be able to vote in the US and said: "Many of you may not know I haven't been able to vote in the UK my entire life. As we approach this November, it’s vital that we reject hate speech, misinformation, and online negativity. What we consume, what we are exposed to, and what we engage with online, has a real effect on all of us. Tonight reminds us of how important it is to watch out for each other; to care. We are incredibly proud to join you in this historic moment in time."

This year's Time 100 list includes an array of "pioneers, artists, leaders, icons and titans who have had the most impact this year".

Black Lives Matters Founders Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi were included on the list. 

Sybrina Fulton wrote:

'I first heard about the Black Lives Matter movement the year my son Trayvon was killed. It wasn’t on a national level yet. It was just something that people were saying in our circles. To know that Patrisse Cullors and Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi were out there organizing this movement—I felt supported and encouraged.

There are only three of them, but they are everywhere. They are getting people to think: What if you had a 17-year-old son in a hoodie, and no weapon, just a candy and a drink, and now he’s dead on the ground? What if your daughter was sleeping in her own bed and the police knocked down the door and killed her? How would you feel? That is what “Black Lives Matter” asks.

The moment that I was going through my own tragedy, the same things were happening with Eric Garner, Mike Brown, Tamir Rice, Jordan Davis, Dontre Hamilton and Oscar Grant. I’m in a circle with all of their families, and we continue to lift one another up. And it continues to happen—to George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and more.

But this year feels different. Since the video came out of the brutal killing of George Floyd, people are actually witnessing what African Americans have been going through most of our lives. Once you see it, you can’t unsee it. Once you feel the pain in your chest, you can’t unfeel that pain. I’m glad to see there are more young people getting involved, more nationalities, more races—the protests are now a rainbow of people from all walks of life, in different countries, joining and saying, “Black lives do matter.”

This is about human lives. We want people to support us, stand with us, write a letter, speak to your local officials, join a rally. Do something. Make sure people are hearing your voice saying, “Black lives matter.” We can’t give up. Patrisse, Alicia and Opal won’t.'

The Duchess selected a casual look featuring separates and familiar shoes and accessories. The eagle-eyed What Meghan Wore suggests Meghan wore a silk shirt by Victoria Beckham. The piece is described: "Notice the sharply pointed collar and rich mahogany-brown hue that makes you just want to complete the look with flares and platforms. That's so 70s, indeed. Featuring a pointed collar and a concealed front button placket."

Meghan accessorised with her Cartier Love Bracelet.

As Time honours those who have used their influence for positive change this year, we lost a legend who spent her life fighting for exactly that. In a tribute to the inimitable Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Duchess shared the following statement "With an incomparable and indelible legacy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg will forever be known as a woman of brilliance, a Justice of courage, and a human of deep conviction. She has been a true inspiration to me since I was a girl. Honour her, remember her, act for her."