Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Meghan Delivers Powerful Speech on Education in Fiji

Fresh from last night's dazzling State Dinner, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex carried out several engagements in Suva.


This morning, Prince Harry Harry paid his respects at the National War Memorial, which commemorates both Fijian and British troops. Links between the British Military and Fiji continue to this day, with 1350 active Fijian servicemen and women. Harry met veterans from the Republic of Fiji Military Forces and the Royal British Legion Fiji.


From there, the Duke and Duchess travelled to the University of the South Pacific campus in Suva.


They observed a cultural performance on the effects of climate change, before meeting students studying subjects from agriculture to women’s development. The event was streamed to a number of the university's campuses throughout the Pacific region.


With thanks to Christin for posting this screenshot.


The Duke and Duchess caught up with Elisha Azeemah Bano, one of The Queens Young Leaders, who founded the Act It Network.


The Duke and Duchess joined the Queen earlier this year for the Queen's Young Leaders Awards.


The University welcomed Her Majesty in March 1970, when she visited Laucala Campus to present the Royal Charter.


Kensington Palace said the Duchess planned to say a few words. We did not expect a beautifully delivered speech. Meghan took to the stage to announce two new grants awarded to the University, allowing them run workshops to empower female staff and to support students during their education. They will be provided by Her Majesty's patronage, the Association of Commonwealth Countries. In a personal speech Meghan drew on her own experiences acknowledging the joys and challenges of her own journey at Northwestern in Chicago where she graduated in 2003 with a double major in theater and international studies."I am fully aware of the challenges of being able to afford this level of schooling for many people around the world - myself included. It was through scholarships, financial aid programmes and work-study where my earnings from a job on campus went directly towards my tuition - that I was able to attend university,' she said. And, without question, it was worth every effort. Everyone should be afforded the opportunity to receive the education they want, but more importantly the education they have the right to receive. And for women and girls in developing countries, this is vital."



Meghan's full speech from the Mail Online:

'Bula! It is a great privilege to be with all of you today. As a university graduate, I know the personal feeling of pride and excitement that comes with attending university. From the moment you receive your acceptance letter, to the exams you spend countless late nights studying for, the lifelong friendships you make with your fellow alumni, and the moment you receive your diploma. 
The journey of higher education is an incredible, impactful and pivotal one. I am also fully aware of the challenges of being able to afford this level of schooling for many people around the world – myself included. It was through scholarships, financial aid programmes and work-study where my earnings from a job on campus went directly towards my tuition - that I was able to attend university. 
And, without question, it was worth every effort. Everyone should be afforded the opportunity to receive the education they want, but more importantly the education they have the right to receive. And for women and girls in developing countries, this is vital. Providing them with access to education is the key to economic and social development. Because when girls are given the right tools to succeed, they can create incredible futures, not only for themselves but also for those around them.
While progress has been made in many areas across the Commonwealth, there is always scope to offer more opportunities to the next generation of young adults, and specifically to young women. The Association of Commonwealth Universities, which has Her Majesty The Queen is Patron of, supports universities to promote equality in their own institutions. I am pleased to announce today that two new grants will be awarded to Fiji National University and the University of the South Pacific, allowing each of them to run workshops which empower their female staff. 
This means that female faculty members are able to encourage others to follow in their footsteps and enter higher-education, and that more womenbecome part of the decision-making process in academic institutions. Grants like this ensure that women are provided with the training and skills to operate effectively in their roles, and those with leadership potential are given the opportunity to be heard and recognised at the most senior level. 
It is wonderful to join you here today and we look forward to learning more about your academic endeavours, and the work you plan to do as future leaders and as change-makers! My husband Harry and I, wish you all the very best of luck as you continue your studies and work. Your efforts now will help to make a positive future for each of you and your communities at large - congratulations to you all!'

A lighthearted moment from Harry afterwards when the MC forgot to introduce him. "No way I could follow my wife after that".



The couple received gifts before leaving.


From the university, Harry and Meghan separated to do solo engagements. Meghan attended a morning tea at the British High Commissioner’s Residence to showcase women's organisations which operate throughout Fiji.


In particular, Meghan heard more about a UN Women's project, 'Markets for Change', which promotes women's empowerment in marketplaces throughout the Pacific.


Hannah Furness reports:

'She was attending a morning tea at the residence of the British High Commissioner where she met a room full of women who have broken out of their traditional roles. They included a female pilot for Fijian Airways and a number of women serving in the police and military.
At a culinary demonstration she watched as cookery trainer Alisi Delai showed her how to make lote, which involved scraping the coconut flesh and using a hot stone to extract the juice. “That brings out the smoky flavour,” Ms Delai told her. Ms Delai said afterwards: “I was showing her how to make lote. This is something we Fijians have for breakfast instead of porridge, or as a dessert. It is made from smoked breadfruit - the breadfruit that we used was picked from the High Commissioner’s garden yesterday afternoon.
“We have some banana and papaya, and then it is finished with infused coconut, which has had the hot stone added to the grated coconut to release the flavour. She wanted to mix all the ingredients together, to participate in making the lote. She also enjoyed me demonstrating how we sit with the coconut scraper. She found it very interesting, how we use our traditional methods of cooking, and how in Fiji we are very alive with our culture in terms of local cuisine. We like to show the local cuisine by using the local produce.”
The duchess also met a woman whose village was destroyed by Cyclone Winston in 2016, and has since earned a living by making baskets and beach bags which are sold through a not-for-profit organisation, Rise From The Reef. Temalesi Vere, 44, who is married with five children, said three people were killed and 98% of the homes were destroyed when the cyclone hit her stretch of the coast in Ra province. “I told her that the handicraft helped our family, and helped us to earn money,” said Ms Vere, who is a local coordinator for the organisation. “She really appreciated what we are doing here.”

Meghan speaking with a lady about working with Rise from the Rife.


From there, Meghan visited Suva Market to meet some of the female vendors who have become empowered through the project.


Unfortunately the visit had to be cut short due to crowd management and security issues. A Palace aide told The Telegraph: "Kensington Palace indicated the decision to leave early was down to security concerns. She was scheduled to spend 15 minutes at the market, but had to leave after around eight minutes. A palace aide said: "It was hot, humid and uncomfortably busy and there were far larger crowds than expected. She met everyone she was meant to meet and left. "There would have been a lot of people who would have been keen to meet her but she did meet those who had hoped to. On advice she was taken out due to crowd management issue." The lady in front of Meghan is the head of the Sussex security team.


Meanwhile, Harry travelled to Colo-i-Suva Forest. Colo-i-Suva is an indigenous forest site housing many flora and fauna native to Fiji, and species including the Fiji Tree Frog. It is also Fiji's dedication to The Queen's Commonwealth Canopy.


The Duchess chose the colourful Figue Frederica floral-print silk crepe de chine maxi dress. I suspected we would see more colour and this choice was perfect for Fiji and their programme for the day. Created by seasoned designer Stephanie von Watzdorf, Figue captures a relaxed bohemian spirit that’s inspired by her passion for travel. The brand celebrates craftsmanship by working with communities of artisans around the world to make its impeccably detailed pieces.


The £1,250 dress is one of the brand's best-selling styles and is part of the Frida Kahlo-inspired collection. Made from floral-print silk crepe de chine, it has pretty blouson sleeves and a playful pompom-embellished obi-belt to temper the fluid cut. The skirt is tiered with soft ruffles. It's available at Net-A-Porter, Moda Operandi, Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman.


The Duchess wore her £80 Castaner Carina canvas wedge espadrilles. The pair is made from durable black canvas and set on a jute wedge heel with ties at the ankle. They are available at Net-A-Porter.


Meghan accessorised with her Shaun Leane Gold Serpents Bracelet.


And her Temptation Pearl Stud earrings by New Zealand based designer Karen Walker. They are described as: "A miniature dyed freshwater pearl sits in the centre of flat barb."

Meghan carried a clutch made by a group of women in Fiji. The handwoven piece is actually a document bag.


A look at Meghan's floral updo.


Tomorrow, Thursday 24 October, the royal tour heads to Tonga:

  • On the morning of Thursday 25th October, The Duke and Duchess will travel to the city of Nadi in Western Fiji, where they will attend a special event at Nadi Airport. After an official welcome ceremony, The Duke and Duchess will unveil a new statue commemorating Sergeant Talaiasi Labalaba, a British-Fijian soldier who lost his life in the 1972 Battle of Mirbat. The event will be attended by the President of Fiji, and senior representatives from government and the Armed Forces.
  • From Nadi Airport, The Duke and Duchess will take a chartered flight to Tonga, where they will be met at Fua'amotu Airport by Her Royal Highness The Princess Angelika Latufuipeka.
  • That evening, The Duke and Duchess will visit Consular House in central Nuku'alofa for a private audience with His Majesty King Tupou VI and Queen Nanasipauʻu, to be followed by an official reception and dinner, and traditional Tongan entertainment.

And that's a wrap for today :)

106 comments:

  1. Wow, this is a punch of color right to the face! And such a fun and flirty style, too. I don't like it with those ribbon wedges, but I totally give her credit for recycling her shoes on this trip. It looks like she's wearing a flower in her hair, which I love. This dress reminds me of pre-Harry Meghan Markle style! I can just see her wearing this on one of her old trips to the beach.

    Oh, and Harry's island shirt!!

    It looks like Fiji is our most fun stop, yet.

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    1. Punch of color to the face! You made me laugh

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  2. Pretty. I loved the Delfina dress on Figue's website, I would love to see Meghan in that one too.

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  3. OMG, I love it! Both she and Harry look adorable. And, I love the flowers in her hair!!

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  4. Colour! And Pink! I absolutely love love love it. I also love Harry in blue. I love the vibrant island look for both of them and they are both glowing.

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    1. Pink and Blue. That should get the twins contingent buzzing.

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  5. This would be a no for me. Love the colour and wish that she wears more of it. However, I feel that the dress wears her more than she wears it.

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    1. I see what you mean, Nic. It does kind of swallow her up! Looks like a nice pregnancy dress...I can barely see her bump here.

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    2. Agreed. I would much rather see her in something that feels closer to her personal style. I love the minimalist black and navy dresses!

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    3. I'm starting to believe the "dress wears her" must be something she likes because it happens ALL the time! This color looks really good on her, so much better than the blues, black and white without print or embellishment she has favored on this trip. I do like it, it's a very pretty dress.

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    4. Courtney from NC24 October 2018 at 01:03

      I agree. Love the foray into more color but this dress wears her and those shoes don't work with this dress.

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    5. There's a definite trend to these loose and flowing dresses. I see it especially here in Tokyo where that's culturally more common than the fitted look. It's right on point with the zeit geist in that respect.

      I'm a huge fan of how the bottom flows while walking as I love dresses that move; however, the bodice isn't what I would have designed. That said, as maternity wear at a very tricky stage of pregnancy goes it's not anything I would choose to complain about.

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    6. Kelly from Texas24 October 2018 at 03:12

      I totally agree, This dress looks two sizes too big. She is so beautiful either way, and it is hard to compare after last night’s show-stopper gown!

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    7. The style is to be loose. Not everything has to be firm fitting to be fancy or nice. I love this on her and for this occasion. Beautiful!

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    8. I agree on all of these comments on the dress. The color is gorgeous but it simply overwhelms her.

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  6. Oh my goodness!! Love this dress and look soooo much! And she definitely looks pregnant- so cute!!!

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  7. Her bag is cool, too! It looks like masi (tapa cloth) design.

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  8. I absolutely hate this dress. Meghan sure is pretty in pink though. But the dress is a hot mess. Sorry Meghan.

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    1. I love it! Lol. To each her own.

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  9. Thrilled shes wearing color to appease those who have pleaded with her to do so.

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  10. Go Meghan! In pink AND giving a speech! I can't wait to see the back of her updo. Charlotte, you get all my kudos for fantastic posts here on and the HRH Duchess Kate blog today.

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  11. This is a cute dress. Very Fiji if that makes sense. And it looks like after a bunch of dark form-fitting dresses she's really embracing the trimester 2 maternity styles. But the thing I most envy about her outfit is that bag. It's seriously cute and quirky and something I'd totally buy. It's simply adorable and I want it. Now.

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    1. Agreed! It is very "Fiji", where colour (and demureness in appropriate situations) abound. I love the country and have been there (holidaying with family) over half a dozen times. The bag looks like tapas cloth, or Masi - very commonly seen, used and sold in Fiji. I have several from trips there - baskets and small bags - often bought inexpensively at Island markets (less than $10). It's so funny that it is thought of as cute and quirky in the fashion world! But lovely.

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  12. Great speech by Meghan. I’m glad she acknowledged how hard it can be to find the funds for university tuition. Education is so important & it is worth it.

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  13. Deanne from Canada24 October 2018 at 00:01

    Ill bet $$ she is covered in a natural bug spray. (Lemon, Eucalyptus etc). Remember when Kate wore the “wrong dress” in the Solomon Islands in 2012? Hopefully Meghan will wear a local design as well. But from the correct islands...

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    1. I recently travelled to Mexico while pregnant and the doctor was actually pretty adamant that I had to use DEET or something with an active ingredient like that. I asked about some essential oil blends that I have made before but the medical advice I received due to the Zika threat was to go very very strong with the repelling ingredient. And wear loose clothing as much as possible as the buggies can still find your skin if the clothing is tight. And as a psa so as not spread misinformation, DEET is safe and encouraged during pregnancy esp if traveling to areas with a risk of mosquito borne illnesses.

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    2. Thanks Anon 02:30

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    3. Queen of the Sun24 October 2018 at 15:44

      As somebody who travel to malaria areas often I have to concur with anonymous 2:30. We use natural oils and remedies outside the risk areas because it deals well with the discomfort of mosquitoes, but when it comes to risky areas you stick to something with DEET.

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  14. This is such a happy dress! I bet it feels great to wear. And I love the bag; thanks for the information on it, Kiwi Gal. Harry has actually looked very spiffy on most days, and he is really cute here. What a happy day for them.

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  15. This is pretty! I like the clutch too. Mulberry cloth?
    Harry's shirt is perfect, too ;)

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  16. I can't wait to listen to Meghan's speech. Her speeches are generally lively, to the point and well communicated to the audience. I looked for it on other sites and and you tube. Even the news she gave a speech is posted on this blog first.

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    1. DailyMail has it in full length

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    2. Me too! I love hearing her speak, she's so eloquent!
      This dress tho... I'm going to need more time. What a pivot from the neutrals, eh?:)

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    3. Thank you Anon 00:57
      I found it some time much later last night on daily mail. The script version of the speech looks long; she made every sentence count making it look like a short speech. She announced a grant for the leadership of the university's women. As usual her speech was natural and well connected to her own self as well as the audience. It was a well spoken and encouraging speech.

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  17. Oh, This outfit is a winner too! My goodness, she can wear any colour and look wonderful! Also love the flowers in her hair.

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  18. Long sleeves, long loose dresses - She's staying covered up to prevent mosquito bites. I have to give her credit, if it were me I probably wouldn't have gone on the trip. But perhaps she's far enough along in the pregnancy that the Zika virus wouldn't affect the development of the baby. That's completely a surmise - I have absolutely no knowledge of how the virus affects a baby in the womb.

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    1. Nice to see a colorful print but it's just too much dress. I've never been one for lots of ruffles but this dress, with Meghan's slight frame, just seems to swallow her up.

      I checked the CDC site and they said 5% chance of infection for 2nd trimester babies (down from 8% for the 1st). I honestly don't know if I'd have chanced it. Scary stuff - small brain, eye and/or hearing problems, even limited use of arms and legs. We can only pray that Meghan and baby will come through just fine which they most likely will as I'm sure she's taking all precautions. Looking forward to a few more colorful island outfits!

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    2. I think the risk goes down each trimester, but it's still can cause defects at any stage which is scary.

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    3. Lindsay FWIW I also read that it is a risk at every stage, but I also read that the risk is not high were she is visiting at this time.

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  19. What a beautiful and colorful dress! Perfect for the occasion and the season in Fiji.
    Meghan normally looks good in fitted clothing, but given that she's pregnant, that's not practical. This dress strikes the right note and looks comfortable, too. Love Harry's shirt!

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  20. I think the dress anywhere else in the world wouldn’t “fit” in. But here and for this occasion, she totally blends in with the locals and I think it is what the locals would want-her to fit in with their culture, what stands out the most is her overall wardrobe, it seems to me as if an amateur has helped her instead of a pro...I think she hasn’t quite balanced what would be appropriate and her personal style. While I love her personal style and colors, I think some of her outfits could be planned better-for example, they have worn lots of linen type garments, which wrinkle and are lovely and all natural but don’t photo well, she really needs to explore some fabrics that wear well and she should have had more bespoke pieces planned for this trip... I am not at all saying she needs to copy Kate or anyone, keep her unusual style bias cuts etc... but go bespoke for important appointments. Harry looks festive and so happy!! Wish they had given him something besides suede shoes to wear, he really needed something lighter on his feet!!! Love them both and hope she keeps wearing pink!!

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    1. I agree Indigoisle. It would be a difficult and possibly awkward task to replace Jessica Mulroney because they are friends, but I think Meghan needs a properly trained stylist, not someone who basically is self-taught. There was no excuse for the wrinkles in the Zimmerman dress. Instead of 'she looks appropriate for the occasion' we need to hear 'Meghan knocked it out of the ball park!' more often.

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  21. I'd be so scared going to Zika prone areas. I don't know how the Duchess is doing it. But it looks like she's wearing light, loose, long clothes & being safe.

    Love the outfit colors on them both. & I need that envelope clutch! Plus Harry's shirt. I think I could rock it.

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    1. I'm getting tired of these comments, even though they come from a good place. On behalf of those of us who live where Zika is present (and judging by the amount of strollers in my city, it's not deterring birth), it's not the big scare that it's being made out to be in these comments. One takes precautions. One listens to doctors.

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  22. Well, if you can't say something nice say nothing at all. And that is what I will do.

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    1. As long as we agree that constructive observations, when said kindly, still count as nice :)

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  23. I don't know if this is on topic but Meghan talked about how she financed her way through university, which was very nice to hear because of all the noise from the Markles about how "the Daddy" paid for her school and is waiting to be paid back.

    It's interesting that both Kate and Meghan wore this blue for their big events, and both wore a maroon with white dress last week.

    This dress is completely appropriate for the wonderful people who are so excited about seeing her. And she looks so cute in it. We better enjoy these days because it may be a return to black and navy in the UK, although I would lie to see those pearls worn once. And maybe pregnancy style will be more fun.

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    1. Allison, just to answer your query - not to start a conversation or debate. Meghan's dad paid for her private schooling as a child. Sadly he does expect to be "paid back" by expecting his 3 children to 'take care' of him (physically & monetarily) in his old age. By scholarships and hard work Meghan put herself through college.

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    2. I also liked that she said about how she paid for her schooling. its a reality for many of us.

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    3. I totally believe Meghan. I enjoyed her way of giving a little kick to Samantha!

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  24. She looks beautiful and love the flower in her hair, not my favorite dress but it does look comfy and is great for the setting.

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  25. I love the color and print of this dress! It really suits Meghan. Also the dress looked very pretty in motion. So glad we are seeing a departure form the neutrals!

    Lisa in NJ

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  26. Penny, I agree; have to appreciate her wish to honor her hosts with tropical color and style.

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  27. That's a surprise pop of pink! I hope everyone can remember to be kind to refrain from criticizing if they don't like the style. She received so many criticisms for not wearing color and here she is wearing a color. Be happy about that. I think they look adorable in their Island clothing. You can really see she is pregnant and glowing!

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  28. What a beautiful lovely dress hmm i think the duchess pick these dreas she been comfortable And i love the duke shirt the are color reallly suit him i think they cut the tour in market because too much crowds

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  29. Okay, I was yearning for color, and got blue, now pink. But this dress is just a huge miss for me. It swamps her and is just so unflattering. This is but one photo so perhaps in person and in action it might look better.

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  30. I like the top part of the dress and the print colors are pretty on Meghan. All the flounces and ruffles on the bottom part are a bit much for my taste and seem to overwhelm her petite frame a bit, regardless of her stage of pregnancy. Whoever said (in response to an earlier blog post) Meghan was "color-coding" by country/region appears to have been right. Lots of navy and black for Australia, brighter colors for Fiji. I don't really understand the rationale for that, but I also don't understand Kate's "symbolic dressing" either. Maybe it's different in other parts of the world but I'm not more likely to have a positive impression of a visitor from abroad if she wears any of the red/white/blue colors of the US flag vs say, wearing yellow, green or purple and I can't imagine gov't officials would either.

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    1. I think it’s less the color and more the designer, supporting someone from that country/someone local. In absence of that being a viable option, I think the color is a nod of respect/acknowledgement. Like we do at Christmas or Halloween or July 4th.

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    2. For the average citizen I would think a VIP visitor wearing a local designer
      is fun. However, there are sometimes reactions from the designers not chosen. The boost the chosen designer gets is no laughing matter. I should think it would be more diplomatic to steer clear from showing favoritism. They were careful to visit both the majority and minority party leaders.
      I don't think a pair of earrings or a bag would be a problem. Certainly the use of a country's colors and symbols is acceptable...the fern in New Zealand. It is a way of connecting and forming good will. It is the basis for wearing one's team colors. My son-in-law wears the colors of his favorite hockey team on game days. He wore a team shirt to prayer meeting. :)
      I doubt people would think "Wow! She's wearing our symbol. She must be a good person." They may think, "She is like me. I can relate." It is a feeling level, not a thinking level of connecting.



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  31. WOO HOO finally a floral AND a bold colour! The only thing I would have changed are the black wedges and clutch with nude wedge and smaller nude clutch. The clutch seems to be locally made so maybe it’s a nod to the host country. Love the dress! Wish I can afford it!

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  32. Courtney Providence Village24 October 2018 at 02:47

    Not a fan. It’s a bit too big for her IMO. The brown flats she wore yesterday (?) would’ve looked better to me.

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  33. What a beautiful dress! So lovely to see her in this floral print and more of a delicate summer dress. Can I just say, I love the pom poms!

    I will echo that I'm very worried about her being there with the Zika concerns. All the loose garments in the world cant prevent a bite. I hope they are slathering her with some kind of safe bug spray or lotion. It worries. me. It can cause horrible effects on the baby.

    I'm actually terribly allergic to mosquito bites. I've had infections and terrible reactions in the past. There are baby safe sprays. I've used California Baby's bug spray which is all natural and does work well. At my home, we run a bug zapper at night all summer, do natural limonene foggers in the yard, and I try to avoid going out if it's bad, loose clothing, spray, etc. Even with all of that, I still get bitten and did this summer even during the day. There is however a lot you can do.

    Mosquitos during the day love flying low in grass. It's good the grass is trimmed short and it's quite smart she's got the wedges on to keep her out of it.

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  34. Royal 👑 Watcher24 October 2018 at 03:02

    Love 💕 love 💕 love this! ❤️

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  35. Oh dear... looks like she is wearing bloomers and a night shirt. Yea for the color though!

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    1. Yes, Georgia royalist - housecoat all the way!

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  36. I love, love, love this dress! I love the color and the way it moves when she walks and the flowers in her hair. I am not quite so fond of the clutch and shoes with this dress. Oh well! Everyone's different.

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    1. +1

      Now, I have to listen to that speech!

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  37. I think it's a great island dress, and it looked beautiful with the flowers! Plus, the floral hairdo was really nice.

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  38. Very few things are more elegant than a beautifully done French roll. Meghan's hair was so beautifully dressed today. Love the tropical flowers in her hair. She looked just beautiful in her pink dress, too. The floral print and ruffles so unexpected, and I think she is looking very sensuous in very youthful and girlish way, if that makes sense. She always surprises.

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  39. Reading about the security issues in the market just drives home how the BRF is always dealing with all those scary issues on any of their tours....Ughh No thank You.

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  40. I am sorry but I really hate this dress. I agree the colour is nice for the event but the dress just doesn't work for me

    her face is beautiful as always she would nice in a paper bag lol

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  41. Great speech - and a lovely speaking voice!

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  42. Duchess fan from downunder24 October 2018 at 05:44

    I love this dress! If the price tag was a little less, it would be in transit to my wardrobe as we speak.

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  43. Royal 👑 Watcher24 October 2018 at 05:58

    Is Meghan's security officer also pregnant? I am so glad that it seems that Harry and Meghan have tonight as an evening off. I hope they can rest up for the next leg of their trip tomorrow! I can see more and more that Meghan is going to be a force to be reckoned with in the future. She is amazing, and a role model for women thus far.

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  44. Silvia from Tuscany24 October 2018 at 06:20

    I love the pink on her! The dress looks very fijian and her updo perfect for a pacific island. She looks as usual very involved with people and their lives. Her speech is interesting and it deals with the important subject of education. Charlotte you're doing a great job. I don't miss a post and I find each interesting, well written, full of fun and informative. Thank you!

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  45. Great speech, Meghan! Great dress for this occasion.

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  46. Sarah in Wiltshire24 October 2018 at 07:29

    Thank you Charlotte for yet another wonderfully detailed and timely post - I sincerely hope you are getting enough sleep but we all appreciate your hard work!

    My first thought was a big no on the dress but on rereading the full post it is growing on me. It was very appropriate for the setting and how wonderful to see Meghan in some bright colours, I hope this continues in the rest of the tour.

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  47. Anna from Germany24 October 2018 at 08:34

    What a powerful speech-she is born for this job!Really impressing!At first I did not like her dress so much but after more pictures arrived and after seeing several videos,it really has grown on me and I think it was a good choice for todays events.Flows real nice.Regarding the belly discussion I just wann to add,that I am between 15 and 16 weeks along and my belly is twice as big as Meghan‘s although we both are the same age,have the same figure and it is our first pregnancy.So I personally do not think that she is much further along or is pregnant with twins-but time will tell and the most important thing is that she is well and comfortable.

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  48. Both Harry and Meghan look aware, comfortable and adaptable to the culture of the host island.

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  49. Meghan's speech has been the highlight of the tour so far for me. She shows both intellect and awareness about the plight of women and girls around the world. Bravo Meghan!

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    1. Agree! I love how calm and confident and kind she is!

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  50. Charlotte - Many thanks for your super multitasking skill delivered in the same consistent quality. You had been actively posting the Dutch State visit with news of DOC / Kate and related history to yesterday's event on DKB. It is good to find Meghan's speech here. I like and be inspired by her speeches.

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  51. Nicole from France24 October 2018 at 11:02

    Not a gratuit fan of this dress , but it is really adapted to the situation , so ..... I wish she would have had this updo for the State dinner, that would have made her look even better (if possible ahahahaha) with her extraordinary dress !
    She is definitely a very good speaker, natural and good voice, no strong accent (English not beeing my mother tongue, I always appreciate people who do not speak too fast and have a rather « flat »prononciation ) , and she definitely says realistic things ! And as a former’ actress, she knows how to make a speech lively !

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  52. Well, at least she wore color. This dress is a huge fail for me. Visually, it is just too much going on, and it overwhelms her. The dress wears her, instead of the other way around. I find this to be true for her when she wears prints. Her clothing is so either spot on (white arrival dress in Fiji, her gown, engagement announcement dress, etc) or a total miss... (this dress).

    Beautiful speech, however, and wonderful to see her supporting female education.

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  53. I really like this dress and really really like this updo. I think this is a great blend of Meghan's preference for a loosely styled hair-do but also looking polished. This tour's hairdresser needs to be on deck all the time back home.

    Still not wild about the zika threat, but glad to see she is wearing long loose clothing. I will say, when we were in Africa earlier this year, we used a very powerful bug repellent (on top of anti malarials, of course) and didn't get a single bite. It can be very effective (though I personally have NO clue about safety for use in pregnancy).

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  54. This trip has been such a treat. I was looking forward to hearing Meghan speak & I admit I was not disappointed at all. Not only was Meghan's story so relatable in terms of university bur it was so articulately done. I also love the pop of color she wore today with the flowers in her hair - she looked at her pacific island princess!

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    1. This not a criticism of Kate at all. I just so appreciate Meghan talking about the fact she went to uni and think about the role model qualities of that and hope Kate can too.

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  55. I'm mixed on this dress . . . . I love the color and print (I am seriously bored with her black, white, and navy) and the top half of the dress. I don't like the triple ruffle bottom -- one would have been almost one too many. The flower in her hair is beautiful!

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  56. caroline in montana24 October 2018 at 16:52

    Total miss for me. the shape/ruffles were unflattering and the little balls in the front hanging down?? also not a fan of the wedge. her hair looked great and I hope she is ok after the crazy market scene. that has to be a bit nerve racking:/ Love the clutch and the updo!

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  57. What an incredible speech. I'm so impressed by how effortlessly Meghan weaves her personal experiences into her work.

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  58. Charlotte, thank you for this lovely community.
    Readers, I hope you watch Meghan’s speech.
    Charlotte gave us the video link. I’m impressed with her speech by its level of professionalism.
    First, she addressed the very real need to educate women. She referenced her own wonderful university experience as well as the pragmatic aspect of how she paid for it. And Meghan, not Harry, announced the new funding for university women. This was another lovely recognition of how the royal family embraces Meghan’s unique professionalism. In addition, Meghan has a beautifully resonant voice and professional delivery. She doesn’t have nervous hand movements. For all of this, no wonder Harry said he didn’t want to have to follow his wife. Bravo!
    RG

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  59. I'm really disappointed by how some royal reporters handled the engagement that was cut short yesterday. I'm sure the last thing Meghan or the team wanted to do is disappoint anyone, but I'm also sure the security team had a legit reason. I've been annoyed by Emily Andrews in particular for a long time (ie, her need to publicly point out when she scooped a story or made a small prediction that came true) but now I'm just done with her.

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    1. Thank you for this. Meghan and Harry have gone above and beyond. A royal being moved for security is not a common occurrence and I would bet is taken quite seriously. I don’t understand Emily Andrews issue with it. I have no doubt in their private meetings with security staff that the experts emphasize that they need to listen to them and quickly do as their told. I don’t think this is something the royals mess around with. I’m also surprised Harry didn’t race out of the rainforest to abscond with meghan himself if she was at all threatened. He’s clearly so enamored and protective of her. :)

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    2. It wasn't just Emily. They had a job to do and it was interrupted. It was hot, humid, and reporters get cranky with jet lag, too. I do think it was rather whiny and unprofessional to publicly report their feelings.
      I'll never forget the attack on Princess Anne. It was horrible. Her body guard was shot several times. Harry has seemed on edge, wringing and twisting his hands and rarely smiling. When he has smiled, it hasn't been the broad grin he used to show. I wondered if there had been security issues the public is unaware of and Harry is worried. I think a person's priorities change when there is a child to consider.
      Also, security is keeping an heir to the throne safe as well when Megan is protected. There s that.

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    3. Susan In Florida25 October 2018 at 03:43

      really ! It’s as if the Press never covered someone who had a security detail . When they are told to move, no questions are asked by the person being guarded and no questions should be asked by the press. .

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  60. Very cute colorful dress,matching with the jovial ambiance of the island-Perfect clutch!Very beautiful hairstyle and a wonderful speech!

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  61. It appears Samantha is criticizing Meghan about the content of her speech. So much for Samantha feeling sorry there had been a "misunderstanding". I doubt many believed that line from her.

    I am sure Meghan had a scholarship, worked and may have received some financial assistance from her parents. I doubt Samantha has her story straight. When is she going away?

    Meghan looks beautiful and it is nice to see her in a different color and in a print appropriate for the event.

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  62. I thought that her father paid for most of her schooling because of his lottery win? Who knows what to believe.

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  63. I'd bet we will see the colors in Tonga as well since dark clothes are recommended against in the Zika affected areas. The fact that the clutch was meant to be a documents case leads me to wonder if Meghan was carrying the notes for their speeches in there? I know they have assistants for that, but my experience has been always to have them on my person to avoid any last minute glitches! Lovely day full of wonderful moments, most especially the speech.

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  64. For a visit to the islands, this dress is a colourful, flirty bit of fun! The lightweight, cool fabric would have been a necessity in the heat and humidity! Loved the fragipani's in her hair and what a great speech! Meghan has stage presence, no doubt. She's intelligent, eloquent and sincere.

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  65. Re: Meghan's comments in her speech regarding her education. I would infer from her comments that her father paid for her elementary and high school education which we know was all private, first rate, and expensive. Perhaps she decided she wanted more independence at university. She says that she paid for her tuition through scholarships, aid programs, and on-campus work. Her university was private and among the top ranked in the U.S. and internationally, so also an expensive education. That's not to say her parents didn't help her out from time to time with extra expenses, or air-fare home, money for birthdays, etc. as all parents do.

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  66. Susan In Florida25 October 2018 at 03:00

    Anon :27. I respectfully say we can infer nothing. She may have had scholarships to her elementary and high schools as well. I was a scholarship student for all of my education, although I went to a much smaller and less expensive college. The bigger universities often have more scholarships available. She also may have had a taken a student loan.

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  67. Charlotte, I listened to the speech by the Duchess of Sussex and she did a fantastic job. The Duke of Sussex had a speech but it was not fully recorded; however, what I did hear was informative re climate change effects on the Island. Thank you for posting the video.

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Welcome to Mad About Meghan! We do so look forward to reading your thoughts. Constructive, fair debate is always encouraged. Hateful, derogatory terms and insults are not welcome here. This space focuses on Harry and Meghan, not any other member of the Royal family. It's not the place to discuss politics either. Thank you for reading, we look forward to your comments :)