Saturday, 20 October 2018

Let the Games Begin: "We Have Been So Happy to Share Our Personal Joy"

The forecourt of the Sydney Opera House played host to the moving and inspiring Invictus Sydney Opening Ceremony.


Before the ceremony, Harry and Meghan were guests at a pre-awards reception at Bennelong restaurant.


Despite a thunderstorm delaying the event by over an hour, it did nothing to deter spirits as competitors, volunteers and supporters arrived full of enthusiasm and excitement. Invictus is Harry's brainchild, and both he and Meghan were undoubtedly relieved conditions improved, allowing the evening's itinerary to go ahead as scheduled. Harry told Premier of New South Wales Gladys Berejiklian: "I was a bit worried. Thankfully it looks like the sky is clearing now."



'Political figures, Invictus ambassadors and even royalty had gathered to meet the couple. Jordan’s Princess Dina Mired and Prince Mired bin Ra’ad were among guests who had broken into small groups to meet the Sussexes during their short visit. 
Invictus friends and family ambassador Leesa Kwok, 32, gifted the duchess a small knitted yellow flower when they met. "This is so beautiful," she remarked. Kwok, whose husband Jamie Tanner is competing for Australia in the wheelchair rugby and tennis events, told Meghan how 8,500 of the hand-knitted were made especially for the games by a group of elderly war widows from Aged Care (where she works with as an RSL LifeCare Manager). "Meghan was really touched by the story and said the flower was really pretty," said Kwok. "I had actually met them both last year in Toronto and gave one of the flowers and he asked ‘Can I have another one for my gran?’ so it was lovely to share a third one with his wife. "The flowers are made as a show of support to the friends, family and close supporters - it’s something for them to wear and show their pride. 
"Meghan was interested to hear the backstory. She has this amazing ability to connect and make you feel like you’re the only person in the room. "We also spoke about the impact that Invictus Games has had not just on the lives of those competing but the friends and families who stick by during difficult times. "When I was telling Meghan she stopped and said, ‘Hold on, I want my husband to hear this too’. They’re both so lovely, so caring."

The Duke and Duchess mingling with guests.


The word 'Invictus' is Latin for ‘unconquered’ and embodies the fighting spirit of wounded, injured and ill servicemen and women. They have been tested and challenged, but they have not been overcome. They have proven that by embracing each other and the support of family and friends, they can reclaim their future. They are Invictus. Most of us will never know the horrors of combat. Horrors so great that many servicemen and women suffer life-changing injuries, both visible and invisible, while serving their countries, while serving us. How do these men and women find the motivation to move on and not be defined by their injuries? How can we challenge perceptions and send a positive message about life beyond disability to an international audience? Prince Harry not only asked but answered these questions.


During a trip to the Warrior Games in the United States in 2013, the Duke of Sussex saw the positive impact sport could have on the recovery and rehabilitation of wounded, injured and ill servicemen and women. He vowed to take the idea and launch a similar event in the UK. The Invictus Games Foundation was established, and in 2014 London hosted the inaugural Invictus Games, at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, with more than 400 competitors from 13 nations.The second Invictus Games took place in May 2016 in Orlando, Florida, and built on the excitement of the London Games with more than 500 competitors from 15 nations. The Games then moved to Toronto in September 2017. The games have been an astounding success, and Harry's determination and dedication has been nothing short of inspirational. They are a testament to his belief in those who served.


The Sydney Games will see 500 competitors from 18 nations compete in 11 medal sports and participate in golf and wheelchair tennis. The Games will recognise and thank families and friends for their role and the challenges they share in supporting our wounded warriors. Sydney will host more than 1000 accompanying family and friends who’ll be in the stands cheering.


Traditional Aboriginal performances and welcome ceremonies took place, including a presentation of a traditional message stick to Invictus trustee Dave Henson.


After a thank you to all the amazing volunteers that will be helping out during the Games - the Invictus Games flag was carried in by representatives of the four host nations since 2014.


The Invictus flag.


Prime Minister Scott Morrison hailed the Duke and Duchess: "How good is Prince Harry? And we love you too, Meghan."


The appearance takes me back to the Invictus opening ceremony in Toronto last year. Engagement speculation was rife at the time with rumours of a possible joint engagement for the couple swirling. To the delight of many, Meghan was in the crowd cheering on her prince. It was an enormously exciting time.


Just over a year later, Meghan has returned to the Invictus Games, and is by Harry's side as his wife and expecting their first child. When we look back on all the milestones, from the engagement and wedding to the impressive role Meghan has carved out for herself within the Royal family, the past twelve months have been amazing to see.


From a private rehearsal with Meghan to a crowd of thousands in the space of a couple of hours.


It's a very special day for the Sydney Opera House. Not only is the iconic performing arts centre hosting the opening ceremony, it's celebrating its 45th birthday. Her Majesty officially opened the venue on this day in 1973, saying: "The human spirit must sometimes take wings or sails, and create something that is not just utilitarian or commonplace." It seems fitting for the Monarch's grandson to be there to mark the anniversary, launching another year of the hugely successful games. It underscores the continuity of the Royal family and the importance of fostering relationships with Commonwealth countries.


Harry began his speech with a reference to the anniversary:

'Hello Sydney. Hello Australia. And hello Invictus. On this day in 1973, my grandmother, the Queen stood in front of this Opera House and declared it open. Forty-five years later, to the day, it is my honour to be standing in front of this iconic symbol of Australia’s place in the modern world at the start of the fourth Invictus Games.'

Over the past eighteen months we've discussed Harry's dedication to Invictus. The Prince delivered one of the most impressive royal speeches I've heard to date. Not only is he following in the footsteps of senior Royal members by forging a legacy for his work with veterans, he's developed into a confident statesman representing the Queen and Britain abroad with aplomb. "Many of you will have heard me explain the genesis of these Games before. From my life-changing flight back from the battlefields of Afghanistan, to the example of America’s Warrior Games, Invictus was inspired by the experiences I had alongside our servicemen and women from many nations."


Harry continued:

'These Games were created for our men and women in uniform; designed around their talents and their needs; and built not just for them, but also for the friends and families that have supported their recoveries and had their lives changed forever. Over the last four years though, the Invictus Games have become about much more than the thousands of competitors who have taken part. Invictus has become about the example of service and dedication our competitors have provided to the world. Our Invictus family has turned these games into a symbol of strength, honour and optimism for a new generation. 
In a few weeks time we will honour the memory of the generation that fought the First World War - including the sacrifices of the ANZACS whose ethos and heroic actions helped forge the character of this great country. So much has rightly been made of my grandmother’s generation who endured the horrors of the Second World War and then rebuilt a world order around freedom and tolerance. The legendary bravery and resilience of the Aussie digger - to this day - commands respect and admiration. And the efforts of your soldiers to defend this nation and support your allies in theatres from the Kokoda Trail, Vietnam and Korea, to Iraq and Afghanistan, have been outstanding. 
The values that define this country’s services - courage, endurance, mateship, sacrifice - are an example to all. But if we’re being honest, we know that in many nations, the place of our men and women in uniform became too often undervalued in the decades after the Second World War. The sacrifice and character of our troops never changed, but society’s recognition of them too often wavered. But that has changed. A new generation - the Invictus generation - is defining what it means to serve. And we are all taking notice. The Invictus generation has chosen to serve their countries in conflicts that are complex and dangerous and far too often this dedication goes unrecognised. 
They have reminded us all what selfless duty really looks like. With the help of medical science, the Invictus generation has not only survived injuries that in past conflicts would have been fatal, but has also chosen to fight back from the darkest of places to be here tonight. They have shown us the true meaning of resilience. When they have been open about their hidden emotional and mental wounds, the Invictus generation has shown us that in today’s world being tough means being honest about how we feel - both inside and out. 
When they have taken to the tracks, fields and pools in London, Orlando, and Toronto, the Invictus generation has exemplified sportsmanship, bravery and world class athleticism. They have shown us all that the most difficult challenges can be overcome. When the families and friends of our competitors have lifted them up, overseen their recoveries, and cheered them across the finish lines, the Invictus generation has redefined what shared sacrifice means. They have reminded us all of our duties to each other - to support our mates, to serve our communities, and to respect those closest to us and those whose stories we will never know. And when all of us have watched the Games on TV or in the stands, we too have become part of the Invictus generation. 
We have learned to reject pessimism and cynicism. We have allowed ourselves to be inspired. And we have shared in moments of hope, joy, and triumph that have served as an antidote to the narrative of division and despair we too often allow to define our era. So when all of you compete over the next week, remember that you do so, not just for yourselves; not just for your families; not just for your nations. You are competing with different flags on your chest, but you are competing together for one Invictus generation. 
You are the unconquered generation. You are the optimistic generation. You are the new generation of service and you are the role models to us all. And you are going to put on one hell of a show over the next week.'

Harry closed closed a personal note, sharing his gratitude for the rapturous welcome he and Meghan have received in Australia: "Now before I close, I want to say something directly to our hosts, the people of Australia. First of all, thank you for the welcome you have given Meghan and I over the last few days. I have been so proud to be able to introduce my wife to you and we have been so happy to be able to celebrate the personal joy of our newest addition with you all."


An overview.


Daphne Dunne in the audience :)


Fusing ancient and modernist influences, and situated on a site sacred to the Gadigal people for thousands of years, the sculptural elegance of the Sydney Opera House has made it one of the symbols of twentieth century architecture - a building that, to quote US architect Frank Gehry, "changed the image of an entire country". The perfect venue for the ceremony.




Meghan was elegant in British brands for the evening.


The Duchess selected a Gillian Anderson (Yes, The X Files's Dana Scully) for up-and-coming, home-grown brand Winser London. The £395 Wool Swing Coat is designed with a soft construction in a double-faced specialist handcrafted wool fabric. When worn open the coat lays straight with a lovely swing detail in the back. Gillian added her signature pink piping details at the back of the neck loop and inside the pocket opening. The coat is dark navy with an indigo hue.


The Gillian Anderson collection advertised on Fenwick Bond Street.


Kim Winser OBE set up Winser London in 2013, with a highly-respected career in fashion retail spanning leading roles at Marks & Spencer, Pringle of Scotland, Aquascutum, and as adviser to Natalie Massenet at Net-a-Porter. Winser London identified an important gap in the market early on in the trend for truly luxurious quality women’s clothes at sensible prices. Clothes that are modern, stylish and cleverly cut to flatter for women of all ages and different figures. Cut from exclusively designed, high-quality fabrics and knitted from luxurious yarns that will last, in carefully chosen colours that stand the test of time and are easy to co-ordinate. Fans of the brand include Emma Watson and Annie Lennox.


It turns out the brand has royal connections too. Founder Kim supports various charities including working with Prince Charles and the Prince's Trust. Kim was asked to sit on the Good Work Commission for the government alongside selected other FT100 business people. She works with students at Central Saint Martin's and Heriot-Watt University, and is a regular contributor to Forbes. Kim was awarded a doctorate by Heriot-Watt University in 2002 for her work in the British textile industry, and an Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Her Majesty the Queen for her services to the British fashion and retail industry in 2006. Despite Kim's business success, her mother's words have kept her grounded and utterly down-to-earth: "My mother advised me to always 'just be myself'. Those few words have stayed with me and have kept me on a solid path throughout my career – and my own advice to myself has been 'to give more than I take in life'. I hope we will always deliver this to our customers through Winser London too."


It appears Meghan wore her Stella McCartney Blue Cape Dress. The stretch cady cape sleeved dress in midnight tone features a high neckline and concealed zip at back. It has been sold out for some time. Meghan first wore the piece for the Queen's Birthday Party at Royal Albert Hall in April.


The Duchess is wearing her Stuart Weitzman Legend pumps in haze beige.


The talented Elizabeth from Meghan's Fashion believes Meghan's dazzling earrings are the Birks Cushion Cut Sapphire and Double Diamond Halo Drop earrings.


And her Birks Flex Wrap bracelet in white gold.


Meghan completed the look with her navy Dior clutch and Ecksand stacking rings including the Emerald Secret Heart Stackable Ring.

It's been another fascinating day with no moment wasted for the Sussexes. Click here to read our post on Harry and Meghan's first engagement this morning, unveiling an Anzac Memorial. Afterwards, they travelled by boat to Cockatoo Island for the Invictus Games Sydney 2018 Jaguar Land Rover Driving Challenge.


Tomorrow's Schedule - Sunday, 21 October:

  • Harry and Meghan will watch some elements of the Invictus Games cycling and sailing.
  • They will attend a lunchtime reception hosted by the Prime Minister, with Invictus Games competitors and representatives from the community in the city’s central parkland, the Domain.
This tour just keeps getting better and better!

83 comments:

  1. wow! you're so quick with the posts Charlotte! Did you also make the trip to Australia? Because I don't know how you are managing the brilliantly quick posts from several time zones away!

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    1. Very chic,yes,and don't forget the Focus is on the Games!

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  3. Always impressed with your speed and depth of information, Charlotte!

    So I suppose that Birks earrings are going to be to Meghan what Kiki McDonoughs are to Kate? I do quite like these.

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  4. First impressions:
    Dress is very pretty and it's great she fits a dress from way back in April still! 😍
    Loveeeee the earrings!! 😍😍😍
    Love her hair😍
    Love her makeup! 😍

    But seriously I know Meghan loves her neutrals, but if I see another navy or black dress I think my eyes are going to bleed πŸ™ŠπŸ™ŠπŸ™ŠπŸ™ŠπŸ™Š (this is a joke).
    I just feel that at this point I'm not interested in anymore dark coloured dresses and am less likely to support those brands you know? Kate does cop a bit of backlash when she wears similar items of the ones she already owns (ie different coloured dresses or slightly tweaked designs like the one she wore to eugenies wedding), but at least they look different!
    To my untrained eye, At this point I can't really recall the differences in the ones she's worn except the white one and maybe the beach one. Ditto with her Dubbo outfit and the outfit she wore for the land rover car thing today. I just feel like she's on the world stage for this very first tour, pop on some other neutrals! Others that come to mind are greys, dusty pinks, ivory, beige shades, stone. It's spring here!! Plleeeeeeaaaaase 😭

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    1. Exactly this. She’s doing a lovely job and looks beautiful but it’s boring. It isn’t to detract from the work she’s doing or anything but the fact is that what she wears attracts people to the causes shes supporting. Some people only follow for the charitable work and that’s ok. But her neutrals are getting boring to follow. And I’d say the same about Kate. This isn’t a one duchess vs another thing.

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    2. @Chrystal - I wonder if this is being done intentionally though because then the focus can be on the work/charity/other people/event, instead of only about what she is wearing. I wonder if she is thinking that she'll have plenty of occasions (like state dinners, the trooping, etc.) where she will get to be more colorful and creative with dress. But, for these types of 'bread and butter' Royal events, she doesn't want the focus to be on her clothing and maybe feels that if she wears the same "boring" neutrals or dark colors and mostly affordable price tags, then eventually people will stop focusing on the clothing. It does seem to be working for this trip, IMO, because so many of the articles I've read have focused on the banana bread, the drought/rain, the school girls' comments, Daphne Dunne, the many baby gifts received, etc. There really hasn't been much on just the clothing.

      I think she probably wants her coverage of events to be more like Sophie (does anyone ever talk about Sophie's outfits?) instead of Kate's (where the main focus by most media outlets is about her clothing/hair/jewelry). I'm probably wrong and Meghan just loves navy blue, lol, but it was just my thoughts about the dark and neutral colors...I think it's intentional.

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    3. I personally love neutrals. As a fan of Meghan’s before Harry, she mentioned numerous times that she also loves neutrals, so it’s nice that she can still be true to herself & still look gorgeous! Meghan has done so many incredible things & touched so many lives since becoming a member of the BRF, only 5 months ago. Wearing a navy or black dress is nothing compared to her compassion, work ethic & inspiration.

      Harry’s speech tonight was awesome! I really hope that those who didn’t get a chance to watch it, will take the time to listen to his heartfelt message. ‘... being tough means being honest about how we feel both inside and out’. It’s also wonderful to see how much having Meghan by his side means so much to Harry. I hope these games will be wonderful for all who are participating & supporting these inspiring service people!

      Dena

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    4. I agree completely with you @inthekitchen. I think she really wants all the focus to be on the people and causes and events during this tour.
      One thing that sticks out for me is that against all the black and navy, her face is always radiant and absolutely beautiful.

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    5. Queen of the Sun20 October 2018 at 15:41

      The problem is that argument doesn’t work in reality. The point of bread and butter events is to bring attention to events/organizations/work being done. And that gets done by the interest the royal brings with them. Compare the difference in media coverage when William does a tour on his own to when Kate joins him. Part of the reason is because “The duke wore a blue suit” doesn’t bring much interest. Meghan is quickly on her way to “The duchess wore a navy dress.”
      It also cause a problem for newspapers, they can only post so many photos of her that to the general public look exactly the same, especially on the front page. That doesn’t mean they will now use a picture of the organization’s work instead, it means they will not use a picture at all.
      I am not saying Meghan needs to be a living catwalk, but the essence of her job requires distinguishable outfits.

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    6. Zora from Prague20 October 2018 at 16:05

      Good points, inthekitchen. If the people get more focused on what they are doing instead of what she's wearing, it's a positive thing IMO. Of course the Duchesses' clothes will always be interesting/exciting but for a lot of people their personalities and activities deserve just as much attention as their outfits.

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    7. That could be true, but being a tour it would be nice for her to still mix it up. It's having the opposite effect on me and I'm getting bored watching her lol. And I'm feeling less and less likely to support the local designers she's wearing just because it's so boring- I'm just not keen on purchasing a navy or black dress right now πŸ™ŠπŸ˜¬. I don't understand how thousands of pounds are being spent on dresses that all blend into one another. Like o said above, Kate has been criticised for the same thing and yet her dresses do look different.
      Yes meghan looks chic, but I mean, there is a reason why the queen even wears brighter colours. She could just mix it up a little without making the engagements focus entirely on her clothing. It also does not go with the season at all at the moment, and sadly I feel Meghan has a habit of wearing clothes in colours/ materials that don't make sense for the weather (prince Louis's christening comes to mind). As I've commented below, I live in Sydney and it was a hot humid but wet day yesterday. It was 31 degrees Celsius! I went out to my cousins last night in shorts and a singlet and thongs- yes not fashionable at all but that's how warm it was. I can't fathom how hot she must have been especially wearing a jacket in the Land Rover challenge, being from London and all.
      She's a stunning woman of course but I'm just growing weary...

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    8. Chrystal, I know we all want to see more glitz and glam, especially where colors are concerned, but I think Inthekitchen is right. It's obvious Meghan really does love neutral colors (we've been seeing this ever since she first started undertaking royal engagements), but I do think she's trying really hard to make the tour about the tour, not about her sartorial choices. And while I wouldn't really call a royal tour "bread and butter" engagements, I do think it's a royal staple and Meghan is eager to keep the emphasis on the work, especially as it's her first official tour.

      Of course, I could be entirely wrong, but that's the feeling I get.

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    9. I could see that!

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    10. It's not the end of the world if she doesn't wear the rainbow. She probably doesn't like to wear a ton of bright colors and we shouldn't expect it. What should be expected is hard work and that's something she's definitely done. Plus I know from experience pregnancy messes with your temperature sometimes. And Meghan is dealing with a new pregnancy and jet lag.

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    11. inthekitchen, I agree with you. I suspect Meghan knows she's in the spotlight right now and it wouldn't surprise me at all that the choice of clothing is deliberate. She's wearing a really nice,crisp professional wardrobe (for the most part), and she looks lovely in it. I've really liked what she's worn so far, and it hasn't detracted from anything as far as I can tell. That megawatt smile speaks for itself!

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  5. Charlotte, love waking to your post

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  6. I'm so bored by all the black and neutrals. It's springtime in Sydney. Live a little.

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    1. Me too Christine! I've been hoping for some COLOR - please. While all these ensembles are very chic, albeit some way too voluminous on her frame, IMO they are just boring for a royal tour. She's not a business woman, she's a Duchess representing the Queen and country.

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    2. What if she isn't drawn to bright colors or busy prints? Maybe she might not feel comfortable wearing them all the time. Her style is her style and honestly her clothing is the most superficial part of it all. In the end it's the actual work that matters and they are both doing fantastic. Her job isn't to dress to please us and if people expect that they will be disappointed.

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    3. New country, new husband, new career, new baby soon-all in one year! Meghan isn’t living “a little” she’s living a LOT! She might have pushed new “coloful, more crowdpleasing wardrobe” down the list for now.

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    4. I can certainly understand Meghan may not be a "pastels person" (although she did wear light colors alot immediately post-wedding) Since the engagement, besides the peach/pink/cream/white post-wedding colors, we've seen her in burgundy, various shades of green (including a green, white and black print), browns, black, royal blue, a white and light-medium blue print, shades of grey...so I am puzzled so many of her tour dresses so far are navy blue. I don't get it and am not sure it has the effect of taking the focus off of her (if that's the intent.) While the Games have an inherent meaning and value, much of the reason for the rest of the tour (ANY royal tour) is to be "crowd-pleasing" isn't it? She has looked very pretty but it's been an awful lot of navy dresses!

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  7. I’m sure that the Duchess of Sussex will look lovely today. What a wonderful inspiring adventure (Invictus Games) the Duke of Sussex (his idea) has given to “wounded warriors”. Absolutely, my focus will be on the games and supporting from afar the accomplishments of these courageous men and women. Thank you, Charlotte for being “spot on” with this tour.

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  8. I know it's her personal taste, but I wonder if this colour scheme is also intentional on her part in that as an actress she knows how to work a crowd... Imagine after all these neutrals she enters the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva for the State Dinner in a vivid red gown with rubies. Or a bright flowery outfit for the reception at the NZ Governor General. We'd be sure to remember it!

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    1. I honestly don't think she's being that calculated about it. I think Meghan enjoys neutrals and also wants to keep the focus on the tour, the work, the reason they're there.

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  9. I never really liked the caped dress and I don't know why she's wearing it again. She could have worn any of her past dresses from this trip with the coverup. I suppose it's chilly and so she's layering. The earrings are very very nice and I'll have to focus on those. Just seems like a strange choice. Even just the caped dress looks out of place to me. And tomorrow sounds like a sporty day. Well. I forgive her and look forward to better days. :)

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    1. I would assume she is wearing it again because she likes it and might not have known how chilly she would get in Australia's spring.

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  10. Only had time to scroll through the pics from the 3 events from today, but Wow!!! 1) I am just enthralled with Meghan! She is just knocking it out of the park with each & every ensemble from head to toe, hair to accessories! 2) She is absolutely Glowing!! It's the most beautiful aspect of every appearance! Her natural beauty inside & out & professionalism are just amazing! It's as if she was born to be doing this!! I can not think of Harry having fallen in love with anyone more perfect to love him & be loved by him & to be a true helpmate & Teammate! 3) I have to about pinch myself to remember that it was only at last year's Invictus Games that they made their first official appearance as a couple... not even engaged! Now here they are 1 year later married & expecting their first child! They are a Joy!!

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    1. Well said, Becca!! She is doing a phenomenal job. When she said she was doing to hit the ground running, she really meant it and has lived up to that promise - only 5 short months in! Even before the wedding when she was meeting with the Grenfell survivors and putting the pieces into place for Together. I love that she also clearly is so well-prepared for her engagements. To me that shows her dedication to her job as a royal and the respect and care she has for others that she is going to learn as much as she can before she gets there.

      I've loved hearing the comments from the people they have met with so far on this tour - about how she connects with them and inspires - and is inspired by - them. And, she's done all of this with her toxic Markle family coming for her with the megaphone given to them by horrible tabloids, and stupid article after article about how she's breaking royal protocols. She is just so impressive!

      And, your comment about her being the perfect partner for Harry - yes!! He is just bursting with pride and admiration and love for her and isn't afraid to let it show :) He seems to really know how lucky he is and what an asset she is/will be to both his personal and professional lives. I can't wait to see what they do in the future and I can't WAIT to hear what her patronages will be. And...so see him as a dad? OMG, he's going to be hilarious and awesome. Gah, I love these two!! Sorry, I'm losing it a little here, lol.

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    2. I love your comments, Becca USA, and totally agree with you. I think Meghan looks gorgeous, even without the color we'd all like to see, not least of all because she's so naturally beautiful. AND also because she and Harry both adore each other, so it shines through.

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    3. Thanks ladies, it's so nice to share such joy with kindred spirits. ITK, I love everything you said! You express yourself so well & I completely agree! :)

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  11. Did the Duke of Sussex use cue cards or speak from memory?

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    1. He read from a screen. As did the other speakers.

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  12. Since I love navy and black for work wear, I am bound to like Meghan’s color schemes. She dresses like many wealthy professional women. It is a cool and rainy early spring in Sydney, almost identical weather to the cool and rainy autumn here in Washington, DC. She’s pregnant and her body might be going haywire. It appears from the photo of Harry rehearsing that much of the event is outdoors? So she is suitably and warmly dressed for the event, judging from other dignitaries in the photo ( the women in cheerful prints appear to be her mother’s age, at least).
    Clothes like Meghan’s don’t photograph “exciting!”, because it’s hard to see the drape and fabric in ambient light. I’d probably be coveting them, in person. Sophisticated and blending in is her default mode. It’s her first year in the job, folks. I’d love to see her in something glittery and dark red one evening, or more white and ivory. All in her own time.

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    1. But this is what i am so puzzled about greybird. It wasn't cool here (in Sydney) at all yesterday, it was 31 degrees Celsius. Currently at 3am, my phone is still registering 18 degrees Celsius... for someone from London surely she didn't have to wear such a warm dress 🀷🏽‍♀️

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  13. I watched all of the opening ceremony for the Invictus Games. A powerful ceremony; very moving. The Duke of Sussex gave a speech and did a very good job. Thank you, Charlotte. I’m looking forward to seeing some of the competitions.

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  14. I teared up just listening I Harry’s speech. Thank you so much for always giving such good information on the events and causes. I still can not get over how you are doing so much from such a different time zone!

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  15. Queen of the Sun20 October 2018 at 15:43

    I am confused...is she wearing a coat over a caped dress?

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  16. Seeing the photo of Harry rehearsing his speech before Meghan and then the actual speech, really showed how great it is that he has a wife by his side---a team. Also, Gillian--has she gone gray or is that just colored? She looks great w/ her hair!

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  17. It is amazing to see what a huge a difference a year can make! I remember feeling so excited when Meghan appeared at the Invictus Games as his girlfriend - and I feel the same excitement knowing there is now a little one on the way! I'm so proud of Harry & his dedication to the Invictus Games I know its making an astounding impact on service men & women as well as their families. I agree with you Charlotte this tour keeps getting better! Thank you again for keeping us up to speed with all the details!

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  18. I have fallen in love with this couple and all because the work they do and the way they make people feel. This world needs as many people as possible to feel good and these two seemed to be doing their fair share to help with that. ❤

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  19. She is beautiful, wonderful look and I love her hair and earrings.
    Thank you Charlotte for all the updates hope you get some rest too

    Silvia

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  20. You can really tell that Harry has very special feelings for Invictus. Meghan’s earrings are nice.

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  21. First, Charlotte, a minor proofreading note -- early on, when you mention that "Her Majesty officially opened the venue on this day in 1973..." you then added, by mistake, "It seems fitting for the Monarch's son to be there..." Obviously, Harry is her grandson, not her son. Probably too minor an edit to worry about, but I did want to alert you to it. (Sorry, I do this professionally, so *every* typo or mistake jumps out at me whether I want them to or not! You can delete this paragraph if you want since it's just an editing comment.)

    As for the event, I am SO proud of Price Harry for getting Invictus started! My mother's beloved older brother died young as a result of untreated (unrecognized, in fact) mental health issues from WWII that caused him to become an alcoholic, which killed him at 53, so I appreciate just how important it is for the militaries of all our countries to recognize the dangers of mental health issues. And of course Invictus isn't just a physical games event, as you point out; it's a way for the military folks and their families to heal and regain their internal strength. It's just a wonderful event, and clearly the way it's growing shows that I am FAR from alone in thinking that!

    Both of them looked wonderful, of course. Meghan looked so proud of her husband, and Harry looked so proud of her AND all the military who are participating! It's just an event that brings happiness and pride to everyone involved! I was glad to see Meghan wear her lovely cape dress again, with a coat for warmth; she may be always cold while she's pregnant, since our inner thermometers tend to go haywire, either feeling too hot or too cold. (My feet are still constantly cold to this day, and I'm turning 65 next month!) She looked beautiful, but it was the pride shining from both her eyes and Harry's that I noted!

    This was a crazy day for them, wasn't it? I'm glad Meghan had a brief chance to rest while Harry climbed the Harbour Bridge; I'm sure she needed it. I think, as others have already commented, that she's deliberately dressing in muted colors to try to place the emphasis on the people and events they're visiting, not on the Sussexes' personalities. It makes sense since their attendance always helps enormously in drawing attention to the various causes they support. Her freckles are certainly popping out in the Australian sun, too! She looks absolutely adorable as well as beautiful -- and Harry seems to be dressing a little bit better since he got married. e really had nowhere to go but up, to be honest! It's funny how Harry is improving noticeably so quickly, while his brother still wears those ghastly beat-up brown shoes even with a good suit. Oh well, royals are allowed their quirks just like the rest of us, aren't they?

    Charlotte, your coverage of the tour is FANTASTIC. I haven't found ANY other site that covers the various events with more than about 1/10th of the information you provide. You really should be commended for doing such a fabulous job -- I wouldn't be surprised if you're as tired as Meghan is right now! Don't forget, you need to take a nap occasionally, too!

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  22. Wwow i love th prince harry spoech and i love the duchess of sussex wearing

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  23. The "Duchess" is so incredibly photogenic. I do not believe I have ever seen her in an off photo. Her grace and sophisticated body language come forward in each individual photo. Just a personal thought, it has been announced that Meghan has passed her three month ultrasound (scan in the UK, I assume). I think many made the assumption based on that announcement that she was just ending her first trimester. It is just my opinion but I truly believe she may be at the end of her fourth month based on fashion observation. I think an early to mid April will see the arrival of Baby Sussex. I love her color pallet of neutrals as my personal closet speaks to that as well. I do think we may see some interesting choices upon their arrival in Fiji and Tonga considering they would not be classified as metropolitan cities.

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    1. @USA Granny - I agree about the stage of pregnancy (and how photogenic she is, natch ;) My guess is that the 12 week scan happened when Doria was visiting for the Together book launch (about 4 weeks ago). So that would make her more like 16 weeks. This also jibes with what a local said during the Admiralty House reception about having chatted with Meghan - that Meghan was 4 months pregnant.

      Pure speculation of course, but someone on twitter was wondering if the 3 stacked rings she wore yesterday were an indication of an April birth. She was wearing a green stone (peridot?) for Meghan's birth stone, blue (sapphire) for Harry's birth stone, and the third ring was (speculating) a diamond, which is April's birth stone.

      Here's the tweet and picture: https://twitter.com/DuchyofSuccess/status/1053686089028943873

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    2. USA Granny...I was just looking at the calendar as well. Granted she and Harry couldn't announce until after Eugenie's wedding right? Inthekitchen, I hadn't read what the local said at the reception but I like your thought that Doria was also there to share that milestone with Meghan.

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  24. What a fabulous tour so far. The Invictus games are an inspiration to all, and Harry has done a fantastic job of highlighting the relevance & importance of these games. I'm glad he now has Meghan by his side to promote & support this event. She is the most perfect person to be Harry's soulmate. I can't say enough good things about her style - elegant, always spot-on in color, fit, & appropriateness. Some find fault with her neutral tones, but I find that this is a person who knows what looks great on her, she knows what she likes, and sticks to it. I'd much rather have that than her wearing a hodgepodge of pastel colors and styles. I never tire of elegance and class. Having style means knowing what you like & knowing what looks great while wearing, & Meghan hits a home run every single time. She simply wouldn't look good wearing pinks, lilacs, lime greens, busy/fussy patterns, or bright reds. She's not a pastel person. That's not who she is. I love that she stays true to herself, wears what she likes & feels comfortable wearing. She has style alright - & it's splendid! Thanks for a wonderful post.

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  25. It's like she took the sensible packing advice given to normal folks - neutrals, things that can be swapped, one good jacket for cold or rain, a few pairs of basic shoes - and then bought everything with a Duchess sized budget. I wonder how many bags she brought? If she tried to fit everything into just two checked bags and one carryon I'm going to have to pull out my Captain Picard face palm meme.

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  26. What a wonderful post! Everything is just so inspiring and emotional and well done---it really doesn't matter what Meghan is wearing. She is always beautiful and it is important to keep the us on the games and the participants and their families. It just seems like it would be uncomfortable to have a caped dress plus a coat, but I agree with Greybird K that she probably looks terrific in person. I also thought she might feel like covering up so that her pregnancy is not "public" at this event.

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  27. I have so many thoughts, it's hard to remember them all (and not write a novel ; )

    Harry's work with the Invictus Games continues to be so inspiring, powerful, and moving. What an amazing thing he has created -- such a wonderful, supportive environment, mindset, and group of events. It just injects a huge note of positivity and optimism into the world. And I love seeing how confident he has become.

    Meghan is classic and in her element. It's not flashy, but I don't think it's meant to be. She has plenty of time for that in the years ahead. For her first tour (and for most of the work she does, I think), she wants the focus to be on her work. I can't fault her for that. She still looks chic in almost everything she wears. And remember the sunny yellow dress she wore a few weeks back? I'm sure we'll get more pops of color as time goes on. I think she's focusing on establishing her role and letting everyone know she means business in this first year as a Duchess.

    I absolutely love the architecture of the Sydney Opera house -- as an opera singer, myself, it thrills me that the site was chosen for the opening ceremonies.

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    1. Totally agree with you .

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    2. You sing opera? How wonderful! What is your vocal range? It would be so fun to have a performance by all of Charlotte's readers, performing all their special talents!

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    3. Emily and Laura, my range is about G below middle C to E# above high C -- so basically, first soprano/coloratura haha. I agree, it would be fun to get to know everyone's talents here on the blog!

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  28. I don’t think she needs to wear bright colours, but understand that when you’re in tour and doing multiple engagements consequently you need variety between your picks. The problem is the lack of variety.

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  29. So happy to see this amazing coverage.
    Also, very happy to see Duchess Meghan wearing her Stella McCartney blue crape dress very smart looking.

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  30. Susan In Florida20 October 2018 at 19:44

    Had to read this three times, because of tears . Prince Harry made one of the best speeches of his life . It just gets me that it has only been a year for our DoS , Meghan. This cause is dear to my heart. ❤️ I can’t put more into works. Thank you Charlotte for doing all this hard work.

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    1. That speech was really incredible, wasn't it. I feel like he just keeps getting better and better, more and more confident with each year's Invictus. I thought last year's speech was great, but this one topped it. I love how he continues to normalize and personalize taking care of one's mental health. I loved this line: "...in today's world being tough means being honest about how we feel - both inside and out..."

      These games give such inspiration and motivation to the veterans and their families and I hope they continue indefinitely! I would love for one of Meghan's causes to become the families of veterans or fallen soldiers (or maybe just concentrate on either the spouse/partner or the children, to be even more focused).

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  31. I like the cape dress. If there was an indoor reception, Meghan looked lovely in it, and the coat made it warm enough for the outdoor opening. Her outfits were very appropriate all day, except the wedges would have been better for the car event. Meghan got to sit down during a lot of the day’s events, but they were long. Tomorrow’s look more active but maybe shorter. I am, like others, hoping for some brighter colors or lighter neutrals, and no more tight waistlines. The trip to Tonga and Fiji should be an opportunity to lighten up.

    The Birks earrings are very beautiful. There are sapphires in Diana’s collection that could have been made into earrings for Meghan, however, as a pair were for Kate. Perhaps these were a wedding gift to Meghan.

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    1. I second your thoughts. I like that swing coat and her Stella cape dress is a classic.

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  32. The Duchess looks very elegant. Her makeup for the evening event looks perfect, not to much just enough. Love her earrings.

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  33. Dear Charlotte, I rarely comment, but I must thank you for your incredible coverage! You are going above and beyond, giving us so much history and background, allowing us to be not only spectators, but somehow participants in these wonderful events. What a meaningful day this has been, honoring the sacrifice of war heroes from one generation in the morning, and another in the evening. Thank you so much for printing much of Harry's inspiring speech. His message was directed beyond the military men and women he is so devoted to and their family and friends, but to a world torn between division and the unity the Invictus family and generation models for us.

    Harry has become a mature statesman, while retaining the fun-loving inner kid people love so much, and Meghan is the perfect partner for him on the world stage. People are drawn to her beauty, her warmth, her compassion, her joy. She is totally professional. And she has an amazing inner strength to so gracefully adjust to the overwhelming changes to her life over the last year. I love her and am awed by her.

    I think she always looks beautiful and appropriate, though I, too, would love to see a bit of color. Maybe in the future.

    Thank you again, Charlotte, for giving us so much.

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  34. I love a swing coat. Hope we see Meghan in more swing coats, and see her walking in them. A well-designed swing coat is so elegant and charming when in motion! For those waiting for a repeat, and British designers, here you are! And for those who express disappointment each time Meghan appears in yet another garment in her quintessential color palette, I hope she surprises you when she goes to Fiji and Tonga. I think Meghan has dressed beautifully and not made her fashion the topic over the event. I have to chuckle at the cleverness of Meghan's choice for Bondi. Multi neutrals, and stripes, and when everyone else is flourescent, you can find the duchess, who was a guest and not a participant.

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  35. Am I the only one that thinks Harry’s tie needed a good steam job? I can’t beleive his aids or Meaghan let him wear it like that! πŸ˜‚
    Jax/Canada

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  36. Had to write again! I decided it is OK for Meghan to wear navy and black for the rest of her life---she and Harry are just so full of love and caring and enthusiasm that I can handle the lack of color. Thankfully, her bag and ring games are still great. Harry is just so besotted with her---it is thrilling to watch, and I think their actions have loosened up their cousins and Will/Kate) to show more PDA. Harry is so protective of their baby---he's going to be a joy to watch.

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    1. Allison in US,I totally agree!!

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    2. Lol, Allison in US, great (and funny) comment! I agree that I'd be fine seeing her in a dark navy blue sack dress forever more...as long as she continues to be as engaging, inspiring, hard working, knowledgeable, and compassionate as she's been these past 5 days. This is the duchess I've been waiting for (#ObiWan).

      And Harry? He's going to be a straight up mess when the baby comes. Can't wait :)

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    3. I picture Harry, Meghan, and Doria sitting in a triangle staring at baby Sussex in a crib in the middle---and staring while baby Sussex outgrows the crib and uses a child's bed and then a regular bed. Or Harry having his hands pried off of baby Sussex so he/she can learn to walk.

      Harry will be a mess. hope Doria moves to the UK and spends her time calming him down whether by yoga mediation, or Gregorian chants. I also think baby is due earlier than April/May and that was put out there to keep people from bugging Meghan around her due date.

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    4. In the Kitchen---your theory about the three ring stones sounds exactly right! Very clever of you. And I also want to formally apologize to everyone who thought she was pregnant---I apologize for doubting you!!

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  37. What a ceremony! I was stressed because of the weather and waiting for Harry's speech. This one was beautiful and moving I could hear him talking for hours. So happy that he mentioned future baby sussex and I loved the photo so much before the ceremony I love them both. Regarding the outfit personally it did not bother me that she was black she was not the center of attention and it's very good. I prefer that we talk about her actions rather than her outfits De toutr way she is beautiful that she can wear what she wants.

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  38. Just watched the Invictus opening and it was wonderful- the songs, the speeches, the entertainment, the female MC was outstanding. I'm really enjoying watching Harry grow in stature and his speech really put into context the influence of the Games. I thought he looked very nicely dressed, and glad to not see a blue suit. Honestly, I think the Wales boys bought up all the blue suits and will wear them for the next half century! I don't think they inherited their father's style gene, let alone their mother's. I think his obvious love and care for Meghan brings a warmth that envelopes him and the people he meets. Of the two, I think Harry has a very good chance of developing into a mother hen. I am particularly enjoying the comments on this post. Nora Crane and Anonymous @20:00, you express my own thoughts too. Charlotte, you are amazing, and I've said this before, you seem to draw such a convivial bunch of people to the site.

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  39. I hope this tweet will not be seen as a critical, I'm just asking your opinion. I read on twitter that Jessica Mulroney is working on a collaboration with Birks, and Meghan is wearing Birks a lot. Is that true? Is that okay for a royal?
    I hope my comment will not be deleted, since I'm just curious and confused.

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    1. I see where your concerns are coming from, but I think her friend being associated with the brand doesn't necessarily mean Meghan herself is promoting it. Although, we also have to keep in mind that all brands send out a tweet or something else when she wears their clothing/accessories so we can't be too sure that she is getting some financial compensation for her wearing their products. Also I think we are all quick to assume that Jessica is her stylist, from what I have read she only helped her put together her wardrobe for when she moved to London and when she went to her trip on Ireland. She advises but isn't necessarily a full time stylist for her like Kate has one. She's not on the payroll. But yes I don't think it is allowed for a royal to be in collaboration with certain brands/products for promotion. Maybe I am biased, but I don't think that promotion is their strategy, most likely its that Jessica has made connections throughout her professional career and uses those for her clients/friends when required. But if there is a marketing/promotion thing going on, then I would be disappointed.

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    2. Queen of the Sun21 October 2018 at 18:50

      I think it was a mistake to start with her friend as her stylist. While we don’t know how much input Jessica still have, the narrative sticks. And while Jessica might never have suggested one pair of earrings it is perception that counts. The fact that Jessica has a link to Birks and Meghan openly prefers Birks might come back and bite her.

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    3. Honestly, I think she just likes the pieces like Kate likes her Kiki McDonough jewellery and if that's the case then I don't really mind. She also re-wears a lot of the Adina and Shaun Leane jewellery so I think it is just mostly Meghan's personal taste really.

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  40. Greetings Everyone,
    Charlotte - my thanks for your depth of work, a pure joy to see. Exceptional in every way. I would ask if you could publish my comment as it comes from the heart. I made the mistake of looking through the British Papers and the vile, nasty, bullying, racist comments are pouring out like a leaking septic tank. My heart and soul cannot take this. I filed a complaint with the newspapers concerned, freedom of speech is one thing but bullying and hate is another - Meghan and Harry are being judged to a higher standard where "the colour of their skin and the content of their character" apparently does matter. I am ashamed that this is plastered on the pages of the British Papers - what are we coming to?

    I am signing off now however I will keep your wonderful site "alive" and check in on you all.

    I wish you all -

    "a candle to light your way in the darkness,

    a hand to hold when you need it the most,

    a basket full of happiness and all the love

    that your heart can hold."

    See you in the Sunrise... WILD ROSE

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  41. First time commenter here :) Thank you so much for all you do here Charlotte! Meghan and Harry are an inspiration. I work with disabled veterans in the US, and to have someone as high profile as the Duke make their cause part of his life’s work is heartwarming. Just reading his speech brought a tear to my eye. I hope the Games will come to the US again soon!

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  42. Annette New Zealand21 October 2018 at 04:05

    They seem to be getting a wonderful response in Australia but I am a bit worried about the unrelenting pressure on them both. They are so busy and need more time to rest as the schedule must be getting to them and she especially will be very tired. I remember flying direct to Britain with my husband when I was her age and starting a driving tour around Ireland immediately. About the third day we were so tired that we kept falling asleep every time we sat down. Our bodies needed to adjust to jetlag and just started shutting down. The Queen used to always take a day or two off when she visited New Zealand in past years. When Kate and William arrived here on their first joint tour with George, they had the rest of the weekend at a quiet resort near Wellington before starting the tour proper. Meghan probably could do with a nap every day. She must look after herself.

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  43. Meghan looks as chic as ever she really suits capes and her makeup is beautiful. I'm so proud of Harry for starting the imvictus games. Diana must be watching down on him today with a smile. Thanks for your hard work Charlotte

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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 :)