The Duke and Duchess arriving.
Presented by the Royal Armouries, the one-off concert was an evening of music and reflection in aid of three charities all working to support military veterans facing mental health challenges, Help for Heroes, Combat Stress and Heads Together – the Royal Foundation's campaign and mental health initiative. As the fourth patron of the Royal Foundation, we can expect to see the Duchess involved in the campaign and other initiatives. Indeed, royal reporter Emily Andrews revealed it is thought we will hear about the area Meghan plans to focus on within the foundation in the near future. Whilst there's been no official word yet, it is believed to be support for young women.
A statement released ahead of the gala read: "At the end of the First World War many thousands of men returned home suffering from shell-shock. With minimal understanding of the condition, many did not benefit from the type of support which is increasingly available today. Although circumstances have changed significantly over the last 100 years, we are ever more aware of the number of veterans who continue to need support because they suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety or depression."
As the national museum of arms and armour, the Royal Armouries tells the stories of the men and women who have been involved in, and affected by, combat throughout history.
"Tragically, the First World War did not turn out to be ‘the war to end war’ but then, as now, by marking the centenary of the end of the last 100 days of hostilities with this commemorative concert, we can hope and pray for a better future. Part of that better future is helping those who have been affected by war and conflict."
The Duke and Duchess were welcomed by Lord Dannatt and his wife. The Mail reports: "He was personally responsible for Harry’s first tour of Afghanistan when he was in the military and he and his wife, Lady Dannatt, attended his and Meghan's wedding."
The Duchess chatted with Lady Dannatt before the event.
The first half included two performances by Lesley Garrett: 'He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven' – a poem by WB Yeats published in 1899, and the opening lines from 'For the Fallen', written by Laurence Binyon in 1914 and adapted by Sir Karl Jenkins for 100 Days to Peace. The event brought together Samuel Bordoli's 'The Great Silence', written in memory of choristers killed in the First World War, with the charity Remembered, featuring their 2018 Armistice installation 'There But Not There'.
During the intermission, Harry and Meghan met some of the evening's performers during a reception in the President's Room, as well as representatives from the three charities, and trustees and sponsors.
For the second half, Sir Karl conducted his internationally acclaimed 'The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace', performed by the Royal Choral Society and the Philharmonia Orchestra. Originally commissioned to mark the turn of the millennium to create a legacy of peace and hope for the future, this was the only performance of 'The Armed Man' in England in 2018 to be conducted by Sir Karl himself. The music was performed against a backdrop of Hefin Owen’s film of 'The Armed Man'.
More from the Royal Choral Society:
'You will be familiar with the stanzas of Binyon’s iconic poem that are recited on Remembrance Sunday:
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
Imagine those words sung by a choir of 150 with full orchestra, including blasting trumpets and timpani interwoven with The Last Post. Powerful stuff that will tug on the heartstrings. But it’s the verse beforehand that will get you:
They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe.
I can’t imagine waving off a father, husband, brother or son to a war from which they will never return, but our military families do that to this day. 888,246 British and Commonwealth servicemen were killed in WW1; a number that’s hard to contemplate. And many of those who returned were suffering from shellshock and did not benefit from the type of support which is increasingly available today.'
The Royal Armouries shared poignant images from the final year of WW1.
Men of the 11th Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, in a captured German communications trench near Havrincourt during the First Battle of Cambrai, 20 November 1917.
A nice wrap up video from the evening.
Many of you were hoping to see the Duchess inject a pop of vibrant colour into her wardrobe, and she did just that in a blue Jason Wu dress from the Pre Spring 2019 Collection. The sleeveless design garnered quite a few comments when arrival shots, taken from the side, began to emerge. The front of the dress features ruffle detailing prompting suggestions Baby Sussex is on the way. Photos from the front showed the design much more clearly. I do love the colour and the silhouette, however, the placement of the pleats is unflattering from certain angles.
The 'deep sea blue' hue is favoured in the designer's collection. Below the similar Gathered Bodice Stretch Crepe Sheath Dress.
More from The Telegraph:
'The duchess moved away from the coolly sophisticated tailoring she has chosen for her most recent two appearences and opted instead for the kind of executive-chic shift dress which populates the wardrobes of lawyers, businesswomen and politicians who mix comfortably in the 0.1%.
Meghan’s azure dress, which had a wave detailled front panel, was by Jason Wu, the New York-based Canadian-Taiwanese designer who created Obama’s inauguration gowns and many other looks during her time as First Lady. It’s not the first time that the duchess has worn Wu’s designs since beginning royal duties- she chose his navy trench dress for the first Royal Foundation Forum.
Known for his sleek, fitted designs and modern use of colour, Wu’s aesthetic chimes with the minimalist feel of the duchess’s Royal wardrobe. He also represents her appreciation of young talent and diversity as well as an emphasis on her US and Canadian ties.'
Meghan has the most amazing shoe collection. Tonight she sported the gorgeous Aquazzura 'Portrait of a Lady' pumps in admiral blue. They are available at FarFetch (with thanks to Heaven).
The Duchess carried her bespoke Dior clutch.
And Birks Snowflake Snowstorm Diamond Earrings. The $12,000 pair are described: "Inspired by the icy beauty of Canadian winters, these 2.15ct diamond earrings are crafted in 18kt white gold."
A closer look at Meghan's hairstyle.
What do you think of tonight's engagement and Meghan's look?