'With pride of place at the front of a table, the framed image shows Prince Harry and Meghan standing posing together. While Harry is dressed in a smart blue suit, his wife is wearing a pale fitted dress, with her hair down and straight. It is not clear when the image was taken, but it is likely to have been an official portrait taken by photographer Alexi Lubomirski as part of their engagement photoshoot in early December.'
Hopefully we'll see a high-res version of the image shortly!
When will we see Harry and Meghan next?
It is thought the couple will return from their honeymoon in time for Trooping The Colour, the Queen's Birthday Parade. It takes place on Saturday, 9 June this year. We can expect to see the couple travelling in a horse-drawn carriage procession before joining members of the family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace. It's one of the few occasions on the royal calendar where so many immediate and extended family members assemble.
It's always a splendid day filled with pomp and pageantry.
First Solo Events & Meghan's Project
Speaking to Elle about the months ahead, royal commentator Omid Scobie said "Meghan is keen to start working as soon as they return from honeymoon. Meghan’s first solo engagements will see her visiting a number of small charities and grass roots organizations across the UK as she continues to decide what her first patronage will be. We know that she’s a keen feminist, it’s written in her official bio on the official Royal Family website—a first!—and she’s interested in issues that affect youth in the UK, such as gang culture. It will be exciting to see how she uses this very influential platform she now stands on." Where will her focus lie? Meghan will likely focus on issues concerning “young women and teenage girls. She is familiarizing herself with the landscape in this country,” says Lorraine Heggessey, chief executive officer of the Royal Foundation.
The Times reports:
'It is understood that the Duchess plans to spend the next six months discovering how to be an effective member of the royal family. She will tour the country and meet charities. It will be six months of listening. She is going to proceed with humility.
It is not going to be quiet, though. It is going to be a very busy office. She has worked every day of her life. She is used to a demanding schedule.
There's also plans underway to unveil a special project Meghan has been working on for months. Omid Scobie continued:
"Meghan has said she’s keen to hit the ground running and I think we’ll see that as soon as they return from their honeymoon. She has quietly been working on potential projects, and sources say we’ll be seeing one of those come to life very soon. Meghan will spend the rest of the year taking on a number of solo engagements, visiting small charities across the UK before announcing a first patronage."
People writes: “She’s not going to want to be a quiet princess and simply open hospitals or cut ribbons,” Adds Meghan’s longtime friend and makeup artist Daniel Martin: “There is a lot of work ahead of her, and it takes a really strong person to fill those shoes. This is now a huge platform for Meghan to really get into the activism that she wants to do. She’s really stoked about taking on the role and trying to make change happen.”
The Queen's Special Adviser to Guide Meghan
Meghan will be guided in her first months as a royal by the Queen's assistant secretary Samantha Cohen. Although she is resigning from her current position, she has agreed to stay on as interim private secretary for Edward Lane Fox, Prince Harry's departing private secretary. The Times reports the Duchess has had several meetings with Ms Cohen, who briefed her on the Commonwealth and workings of the monarchy. The Mail on Sunday noted the move has been seen as a "personal gift" from the Queen to Meghan.
More from The Times:
'Samantha Cohen, the Queen’s assistant private secretary, gave notice of her resignation after the Queen’s private secretary, Lord Geidt, was ousted last year. Ms Cohen’s decision to stay on reflects the warmer relations between Buckingham and Kensington palaces than between Kensington Palace and the Prince of Wales’s household at Clarence House. It also has the blessing of the Queen and Prince of Wales.
Both Prince William and Prince Harry are said to be fond of Ms Cohen. Lord Geidt, 56, who was well regarded by the Queen, left Buckingham Palace after disagreements with Clarence House. One source said: “He ran out of road with the younger generation,” a remark taken as referring to Prince Charles rather than William and Harry. He was succeeded by his deputy, Edward Young.'
Omid Socbie told Elle the couple have multiple overseas trips planned: “With Harry appointed by the Queen as Commonwealth Youth Leader and Meghan’s poignant inclusion of all 53 Commonwealth countries in the design of her veil, much of their joint work will focus on issues that span the entire Commonwealth Nation," Scobie said. “This, of course, means they will undertake a lot of travel over the next year. Kensington Palace says the next six months for Harry and Meghan will be ‘very busy’ so it’s no doubt going to be a challenging, but also very rewarding, time for the couple.”
Interestingly, we won't have to wait long at all to see two of these trips in action. Over the next couple of months, the couple are planning to visit Dublin for two-days, followed by their first official visit to The Netherlands. The Telegraph adds: "A trip to the Netherlands, would likely see the couple meet King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima and their family, as well as visit key sights and charities reflecting causes including conservation, mental health and the Dutch Invictus Games team." We expect confirmation regarding both visits in the coming weeks. Of course, Meghan and Maxima will have much to discuss; the Duchess worked at the US Embassy in Beunos Aires, where Maxima was born.
Harry and Meghan's first large overseas tour will take place in October. They will travel to Sydney for the Invictus games before visiting New Zealand, Tonga and Fiji. Rebecca English reports "Their visits to Australia and New Zealand are particularly important as both are countries where Harry’s grandmother, the Queen, is still head of state. Both Fiji and Tonga, in the South Pacific, are also members of the Commonwealth and the prince has long wanted to visit them.'
British Summer Social Season
The British summer social season is jam-packed with events, several of which offer some of the best opportunities to see the royals "off duty". The first of these is polo season! Last week the Palace confirmed Harry and William will play in a number of matches throughout the summer. Last year, a stylish Meghan cheered her Prince on and I think it's safe to say we'll see her doing the same on at least a couple of occasions in the coming months. Dates to keep an eye on include the Gloucestershire Festival of Polo on 9-10 June.
Royal Ascot runs from the 19-23 June this year. The Queen loves Ascot, and we always see a large turnout from the royal family at the racecourse. It would be very interesting to see Meghan's sartorial choices for the event. Below, Harry attending in 2016.
Wimbledon (2-15 July), the annual highlight on the tennis calendar always promises a fortnight of unforgettable court action. Meghan attended a couple of matches in 2016 and given her close friendship with Serena Williams, it's possible we'll see her in the Royal Box this summer.
One of Harry's closest friends since prep school, Charlie van Straubenzee spoke at the royal wedding. He shared a joke or two about Harry's "ginger locks" and received great applause for his "naughty" words. In August, Harry will have the chance to return the favour. The Evening Standard reports "Prince Harry will head to Surrey in August to be best man at fund manager Charlie van Straubenzee’s wedding to film-maker Daisy Jenks." Below, Charlie (in the middle) arriving for wedding with Prince George's godfather the Duke of Westminster.
Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank will marry at Windsor on 12 October, Harry and Meghan will depart shortly after that for Sydney. The Autumn/Winter schedule is always a busy one for the royals. We tend to see an abundance of glamorous dinners, gala evenings, festive events, and premieres during this period. We could very well see Harry and Meghan attending the Royal Variety Performance. We'll also see Meghan in Whitehall her first Remembrance Sunday event, and I expect, the Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall. November will also bring celebrations marking the 70th birthday of The Prince of Wales. I imagine the Duke and Duchess will end the year with Christmas at Sandringham.
It's going to be a fascinating year!