Friday, 8 March 2019

"It Would Be Impossible For Me To Sit Back And Not Do Something": Duchess Meghan Champions Girls Education During IWD Panel

To mark International Women's Day, the Duchess of Sussex joined a panel discussion at King's College London, which brought together a special panel of female thought-leaders and activists to discuss a range of issues affecting women today.


The panel was hosted by the Queen's Commonwealth Trust. The organisation, supports and champions young leaders around the world who are serving their communities, providing solutions to problems, and hope, employment and self-employment opportunities for others. Its ethos is very much focused on working in partnership with a number of organisations to reach and connect with young people worldwide, and support those that are the most vulnerable. The Queen is patron and last year she appointed Harry president.


Very fittingly, it was announced today Meghan has become Vice-President of the Queen's Commonwealth Trust. In her new role, the Duchess will highlight the Trust's partnerships with young people across the Commonwealth, and in particular its work supporting women and girls.


Chairman Lord Christopher Geidt, the Queen's former private secretary (2007-2017), said:

“The Queen's Commonwealth Trust is thrilled to welcome The Duchess of Sussex as its Vice-President. The support and encouragement which Her Royal Highness will bring to the young leaders with whom we work promises to have a profound effect. We are enormously grateful to The Duke and Duchess of Sussex for this signal of commitment they are making to our work, helping The Queen's Commonwealth Trust to pursue its ambitions right across the Commonwealth and beyond.”

Lord Geidt greeted the Duchess with a kiss.


This year's International Women's Day theme is #BalanceforBetter. "The campaign theme provides a unified direction to guide and galvanize continuous collective action. Balance is not a women's issue, it's a business issue. The race is on for the gender-balanced boardroom, a gender-balanced government, gender-balanced media coverage, a gender-balance of employees, more gender-balance in wealth, gender-balanced sports coverage. Gender balance is essential for economies and communities to thrive."


More on the campaign which runs not just today, but throughout the year: "Collective action and shared responsibility for driving a gender-balanced world is key. International Women's Day is a global celebration of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women - while also marking a call to action for accelerating gender balance. The first International Women's Day occurred in 1911, supported by over one million people. Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. IWD is not country, group or organization specific. Gloria Steinem, world-renowned feminist, journalist and activist once explained: 'The story of women's struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organisation but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights.'"


More from the IWD website:

'The world has witnessed a significant change and attitudinal shift in both women's and society's thoughts about women's equality and emancipation. Many from a younger generation may feel that 'all the battles have been won for women' while many feminists from the 1970's know only too well the longevity and ingrained complexity of patriarchy. With more women in the boardroom, greater equality in legislative rights, and an increased critical mass of women's visibility as impressive role models in every aspect of life, one could think that women have gained true equality.
The unfortunate fact is that women are still not paid equally to that of their male counterparts, women still are not present in equal numbers in business or politics, and globally women's education, health and the violence against them is worse than that of men. However, great improvements have been made. We do have female astronauts and prime ministers, school girls are welcomed into university, women can work and have a family, women have real choices. And so each year the world inspires women and celebrates their achievements.
IWD is an official holiday in many countries including Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, China (for women only), Cuba, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Eritrea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Madagascar (for women only), Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Nepal (for women only), Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Zambia. The tradition sees men honouring their mothers, wives, girlfriends, colleagues, etc with flowers and small gifts. In some countries IWD has the equivalent status of Mother's Day where children give small presents to their mothers and grandmothers.'

I enjoyed this video, which poses the question: ''What do you hope gender equality looks like in ten years?"


Meghan joined a host of well-known and accomplished faces including Annie Lennox OBE, who is best known for her illustrious music career, but is also the founder of the Circle, an organisation supporting and empowering women’s lives around the world; Adwoa Aboah, founder of Gurls Talk, an open community where young girls can talk about the issues that matter to them; Julia Gillard, Former Prime Minister of Australia, Patron of CAMFED and Chair of the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership at King’s College London; Chrisann Jarrett, Founder of Let us Learn; and Angeline Murimirwa, Executive Director of the Campaign for Female Education (CAMFED) in Africa and co-founder of CAMA, a pan-African network of young female leaders. The panel was chaired by Anne McElvoy, Senior Editor of The Economist.


Meghan is already familiar with the organisations involved today, and had several private meetings and briefings with representatives from CAMFED last year, including Angeline Murimirwa who was on the panel today. Ahead of the event, the executive director spoke to Simon Perry:

“Meghan's a long-standing supporter for women’s rights, for equality and for equal opportunities, and it is really exciting that she is doing this along with other women who are in the space of education on International Women’s Day,” Murimirwa tells PEOPLE. I’m really excited that she’s carrying forward this passion here.
Murimirwa also applauds Meghan’s husband, Prince Harry, 34, who took up the campaign in Africa when he visited with CAMFED in Zambia last November. In Morocco last month, the royal couple visited a boarding house and school – both run by Education For All,this link opens in a new tab which works to get young girls into school.
“It is about dismantling barriers to girls’ education and education for children,” Murimirwa adds. “I respect that they focused on that – looking at what is that is stopping girls going into school in every context and tackling that head on.” CAMFED’s goal is to raise $265,000 to help reach 30,000 “invisible” girls – those who don’t show up on official records of any kind – and start the process of getting them into school. That is “my call to action,” she says.'

In front of an audience of students, opinion formers and young leaders, the group discussed the importance of International Women’s Day, and the spotlight it can bring to obstacles which still affect female empowerment across the world, including access to education and limitations within employment. They also focused on the positive opportunities that come when women are given wider access and equal opportunity.


Anne McElvoy introduced Meghan as "a royal not afraid to embrace full-on feminism".


When asked how her pregnancy is going, she replied: "Very well. It's funny, I'd actually been joking these past few weeks I'd seen this documentary on Netflix about feminism and one of the things they said during pregnancy was 'I feel the embryonic kicking of feminism'. I loved that. So boy or girl, whatever it is, we hope that that's the case."


McElvoy asked the participants how they will treat themselves today. Meghan replied: "I think the real treat in and of itself is being able to be here; that is such a gift on this day. And then separate from that there are the women in my life that I want to celebrate with and send some love to today. But also the men who are championing all of us as part of this journey. Then I’ll put my feet up because that’s a deserved treat, especially in this stage of pregnancy."


The Daily Mail reports it is thought the Duchess was referring to "Johanna Demetrakas's 2018 film Feminists – What Were They Thinking? in which comedian Lily Tomlin speaks of the day she felt the 'embryonic kicking of feminism', a term coined by her wife and collaborator Jane Wagner".


Meghan spoke at length about challenges facing women, the importance of men participating and gender equality.


The Telegraph reports:

“I think when we talk about gender stereotype shifting - what it means to be masculine, what it means to be feminine - you know I've said for a long time: you can be feminine and feminist,” she said. You can be masculine. And I think in terms of masculinity, you understand that your strength includes knowing your vulnerabilities and your sense of self and security. Your confidence comes in knowing that a woman by your side, not behind you, is actually something you shouldn't be threatened about but, opposed to that, you should feel really empowered in having that additional support that this is really about us working together.
That's what gender equality means for me and having men part of that conversation saying there's nothing threatening about a women coming up to the same level, it's our safety in numbers, this is our power and our strength as a team. And that's gender neutral if you really think about it. So I hope that men are part of the conversation. My husband certainly is."
Invited not to “hold back” on her opinions about what is still blocking progress for women, the Duchess said: “I think we've covered how important education is. That is one huge thing, a lack of access to education in my mind is the single largest hindrance to this equality that we are all seeking out. But to your point of saying things like, which I wouldn't condone, the idea that there's a headline saying 'feminism is a trendy word', that's not helpful either, right?
"We have a responsibility as well, that if you're part of social media and engaging in that way, we're not just giving people more things to chat about but actually something to do, and what's the action. Hashtags are not enough. You say great, make a donation, you could sponsor a girl, with the Queen's Commonwealth Trust there are so many of these organisations - Cama, Camfed - to be able to say 'this is a tangible thing that I can do that will enable this girl to stay in school for a year' That's something you can do and I think often-times when we talk about themes like this that are so large, people don't know where to begin. So give them something to do, this will cost you so little, but will make the largest impact. But that is how we start to effect that change."
Asked about the reaction of some to comments about equality, with headlines like “'it's all gone a bit trendy, it's gone a bit woke and not in a good way”, the Duchess said she chooses not to read her own press. “Much safer that way,” she said. “But equally that's my own personal preference because I think, positive or negative it can all sort of feel like noise to a certain extent these days.
"So as opposed to getting muddled with that, to focus on the real cause. So for me I think the idea of making the word feminism trendy, that doesn't make any sense to me personally, right? This is something that is going to be part of the conversation forever. And I think the more that we normalise it you see that, to the point of how men and boys should be part of the conversation, specifically in developing countries.” 

Speaking about girls education and the global impact of pulling young girls out of education , the Duchess said: "It would be impossible for me to sit back and not do something about it". Meghan added "Looking at my role, that I'm very, very privileged to have now with the QCT - just expands that platform to be able to go to 53 Commonwealth countries and do this level of work across the globe". Meghan continued: "So, yes I started at 11, but it still feels like the beginning".



Meghan also spoke about social media.


People reports:

“My personal decision is to not to feed into negativity and be more cause-driven, action-based,” she said. “For me it’s a tricky one, because I’m not part of any of that. I don’t look at it. Sorry, no. For me that is my personal preference. But I do read The Economist.“ (The panel discussion was moderated by Anne McElvoy, senior editor of The Economist.)
She added that she seeks out “journalism that’s really covering things that are going to make an impact, which we talked about backstage. We were talking about Tanzania and the article The Economist just did. Things like that, that are really talking about how the role of women is really shifting and changing. That’s key. Focus your energy there and not on the stuff that is perhaps muddling you.”
The royal mom-to-be, who was just named vice president of the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust, joined a distinguished group of activists to advocate for women’s empowerment and equality. “If things are wrong and there is a lack of justice and an inequality, someone needs to say something,” she told the audience. “And why can’t it be you?”

The Duchess also spoke about the important of destigmatizing menstruation. More from the Mirror:

'Meghan spoke about work in India she did a few years ago with a grassroots organisation trying to de-stigmatise menstruation. She said: "Giving them access to be able to get these products, but in the same construct having these women mobilised to set up microfinance to sell these pads and other things that are needed to other women in the community.
"So again it feels like it's one issue but it ends up solving so many. Because when you see how many girls are hindered and taken out of school simply because they're ashamed about going through that transition in life, or because no-one wants to talk to them about it because they don't have what they need and they're using old rags - literally. Which of course is propelling disease and so many other symptoms that come from this. At the end of the day, we are doing our part just to normalise the conversation. That's the first step.
"Because again this is 50 per cent of the population that's affected by something that can also end up creating the most beautiful thing in the world. So it's a strange one that it's ended up becoming so stigmatised. Remember it's also in our own communities that it's happening, and the only way we shift that is by talking about it which is why the work you do with Gurls Talk is so important."

More from the QCT: "A key theme of the panel was education and everyone’s right to learn. Angeline Murimirwa stated that “Education is the single most positive force in making change. It’s a fundamental right, and we have to work hard if we’re going to make change globally.” She went on to share how transformational change can be achieved in empowering girls and women specifically, stating that “we have an unprecedented opportunity to accelerate change, but it can’t be fought alone.” The panel went on to discuss what men and boys can do in the fight for gender equality. Adwoa Aboah stated that “we have to bring men and boys into our global community of feminists.” Annie Lennox, OBE, said “I’d like every man to be able to stand up and say ‘I am a global feminist.’


At the end of the video below, Annie Lennox describes Meghan as an "articulate, engaging and committed" young women.


You can watch the panel in its entirety below. It's about 70 minutes long.


People's Simon Perry revealed that after the panel discussion Meghan met a group of students during an impromptu walkabout. History student Aneesha Aslam said: "She asked us what we are doing for International Women’s Day and we said we were celebrating it with the women that we love."


It's been terrific to see the cohesive effort to mark the day among the royal households. Yesterday, the Duchess of Cornwall hosted a reception in honour of the Women of the World Festival, of which she is president. Julia Gillard, who joined Meghan on the panel, was in attendance.


The Countess of Wessex hosted a reception for Women Peacebuilders at Buckingham Palace today.


Sophie also penned an excellent piece for the Telegraph revealing why she's joining the fight to end silence around women in conflict:

'This International Women’s Day provides us with an opportunity to work towards filling that silence through celebrating the efforts made by many remarkable women, and men, who are working to address sexual violence in conflict and empower women’s voices in the peacebuilding process.
Against a backdrop of ugly headlines for women, revelations of sexual exploitation, and the abuse suffered by those in war zones, it is easy to overlook the pioneering work of change-makers. Brave women who stand for progress, even when their physical security and basic aspirations are under threat.
The UK is playing a pivotal role in putting more women and girls at the centre of conflict resolution, encouraging women’s participation in building peace and supporting survivors of sexual violence in conflict. Research shows that peace agreements are 35 per cent more likely to last at least 15 years if women are involved in negotiations. But UN Women and the Council on Foreign Relations analysis shows that, between 1990 and 2017, women made up only 2 per cent of mediators, 8 per cent of peace negotiators and 5 per cent of witnesses and signatories in all major peace processes. This has to change.
I am now taking an active role in championing the UK’s work on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) and the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative, also known as PSVI. The WPS Agenda was born nearly 20 years ago out of a civil society movement to tackle the impact of armed conflict on women and girls, and to promote the positive role women play in building peace and stability. In 2012, PSVI was launched by former foreign secretary, Lord Hague, and UNHCR Special Envoy, Angelina Jolie.'

I expect we'll continue to see Meghan marking International Women's Day annually. It's been a staple on her calendar for several years. I first became interested in blogging about Meghan when I saw the stirring speech she gave on International Women's Day 2015, in her role as UN women's advocate for political participation and leadership at the UN International Women's Conference. During the powerful speech she said: "UN Women, as you guys know, has defined the year 2030 as the expiration date for gender inequality. And here’s what’s staggering, the studies show that at the current rate, the elimination of gender inequality won’t be possible until 2095. That’s another eighty years from now. And when it comes to women’s political participation and leadership the percentage of female parliamentarians globally has only increased by 11% since 1995. 11 percent in 20 years? Come on. This has to change. Women make up more than half of the world’s population and potential, so it is neither just nor practical for their voices, for our voices, to go unheard at the highest levels of decision-making."


In 2017, Meghan penned an essay for Time in which she discussed the stigma surrounding menstruation in countries like India and Iran. Meghan travelled to Delhi with World Vision to meet girls and women directly impacted by the stigmatization of menstrual health and to learn how it hinders girls’ education. "During my time in the field, many girls shared that they feel embarrassed to go to school during their periods, ill equipped with rags instead of pads, unable to participate in sports, and without bathrooms available to care for themselves, they often opt to drop out of school entirely...this is a shame-filled reality they quietly endure." Meghan looked to options for the future too, describing a microfinance movement called Myna Mahila Foundation, where women manufacture sanitary pads to sell in communities. The effort not only provides these resources to girls, but also fosters open communication about menstruation.


Last year, Harry and Meghan travelled to Birmingham to learn more about projects supporting young women, an event which aimed to inspire the next generation of young women to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM).


Meghan chose a monochrome look featuring a mix of new and repeated pieces.


The Duchess selected the Reiss Azzura Swirl Printed dress for the event (with thanks to Laura). The $345 piece is described: "The black-and-white Azzura dress channels the mood of the 1960s with its block-colour swirl design and a simple shift silhouette. It's designed with pleated detailing at the cuff while the high neckline adds to its graphic aesthetic." I believe this is the first time Meghan has worn Reiss clothing for an official engagement. The British brand specialises in stylish workwear for both women and men. Their designs have been worn by the Duchess of Cambridge, Emma Watson and Robin Wright in House of Cards.


The dress is available in very limited sizing at Reiss, John Lewis and the Iconic.


Meghan added her Alexander McQueen black blazer to the look, which she first wore to the Endeavour Fund Awards last year. The grain de poudre wool blazer features padded shoulders and a tailored fit. It retails for £1,245 at Net-A-Porter.


Meghan carried her Stella McCartney clutch.


Meghan sported her favourite black Manolo Blahnik BB pumps.


Meghan accessorised with Jessica McCormack Signature Gypset Hoop earrings (with many thanks to Caroline). All pieces by the jeweller are handmade in London.

Meghan's Fashion notes the Duchess wore her Catbird Threadbare ring and Hamsa Ring.


With many thanks to Meghan's Fashion, Meghan's other ring is the Karen Walker Mini Heart ring.


And a gorgeous brooch with the Queen's Commonwealth Trust logo.


Happy International Women's Day! If you would like to sponsor a girl via the Queen's Commonwealth Trust please click here.


In other news, Meghan had a private meeting with Caroline Yates, the Chief Executive Officer of her patronage Mayhew. We'll see the Duke and Duchess on Monday for the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey; it will be televised on the BBC at 2.15 pm. The couple will also attend an event at Canada House to mark the day.

197 comments:

  1. Meghan looks beautiful. I think the shorter hemline helps to make for a young and fresh third trimester look.

    It is wonderful to see Meghan wear a high street brand from her new country.

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    1. Just thinking exactly the same thing, Anonymous@13:10. At first, I wasn't sure how I felt about the shorter hemlines on expectant mothers, but I think both Kate and Meghan look smashing when they wear hemlines above the knee during their pregnancies.

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    2. Can I take back my above complement about the dress length?

      I just noticed the photo of Meghan sitting with her legs crossed and the dress is too short. Meghan should have done the sit down test at home before the event. Perhaps, black tights could have saved the look of the too short skirt.

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    3. It is slightly too short, but it's refreshing to see a Royal not dressed dowdy. Black tights might have killed the look, but an extra inch would have helped

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    4. She simply shouldn’t cross her legs like that, especially when wearing a short dress, Meghan probably forgot about it.

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    5. Is it so shocking to see a pair of legs? She was at an event advocating FOR women's rights, and what we're talking about is how short her skirt SHOULD be to abide by the rules of propriety set exactly by the men who she's trying to restrict from affecting women's choices? Sorry if it seems like an ad hominem attack, it is in no way personal and I totally get the aethetic part of simply not liking a short dress, but I think that it is a dangerous path to tread upon.

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    6. Anon 18:57 I feel commenting that the so-called “duchess slant” would have worked better when sitting on a stage wearing a short skirt when 100’s of camaras are taking your picture is not patriarchy suppressing women but rather a common sense principle. I think Meghan looked gorgeous today but when (if) she looks at the photos she will say to herself, “damn, I should have thought of the camera angles.”

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    7. It’s not the rules set by the men, it’s a common sense and a certain dress code. Meghan has this position because of the Queen, she is representing her, she is working, she is on the stage, not at the beach. I would say the same about Harry if he was wearing shorts today. Meghan looks great and I do like her dress, but it’s simply too short.

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    8. I agree with those who feel this dress needs another inch of two in length. When she sat down and crossed her legs, you can see all the way up to her thigh. The dress is darling however. It just needs to be longer.

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  2. Fantastic news to go with a fantastic engagement today! I'm really not surprised that Meghan is speaking at this event today, she champions female empowerment and has passionately advocated for it even before she married Harry. I'm particularly thrilled with the news of her new role as VP of the Queen's Commonwealth Trust, I have no doubt that Meghan will be a valuable addition :)

    On a fashion note, I like the dress, not crazy about it tho. I may be in the minority here when I say that I wish she wore a dress coat with this or something just a tad bit longer than the dress. Just my 2 cents :)


    Love Avee in SA

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    1. I agree Avee. The dress was too short, in my opinion. Especially when she sat down and crossed her legs as one of the pictures above shows—it revealed a bit much to be professional. Great date dress, just not one I would wear in a professional settting as a member of a panel dealing with serious issues.

      And before people get upset because Kate wore short maternity clothes, too—I didn’t like that either. Or her other really short skirts on engagements. It’s flirty and not professional looking in my opinion.

      Meghan looks great from the waist up—lovely and professional at the same time.

      I haven’t commented on the content of her day since this is early in the post. I just didn’t want for Avee to feel like the only one who thought this outfit a bit too short. 😁

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    2. I agree TeaKay! I also don't love the short hem length on Kate or Meghan. SHort skirts look less professional, less comfortable, and more risky. With short hem lines you feel nervous that there could be a wardrobe malfunction at any moment(and there have been for many celebs and royalty). Thankfully, all we see in this particular pic of Meghan is a lot of leg, but if she shifted the wrong way just once...Yikes! That would be all she needs--a pic showing more than she would like all over the magazines.

      I speak in public on occasion and I am always conscious of where I am sitting vs where the audience is sitting and what the view is from the audience. For this reason, and for my own comfort, I generally choose to either wear pants or long skirts. That way I don't have to think about what I am wearing and people in the audience don't have to think about it either and can focus on what I am saying, rather than what I am wearing. Granted, I even my best day, I don't look nearly as fabulous as Kate or Meghan.

      There is a lot I do like about Meghan's look aside from the hem line. I love the neckline and the print on the dress.

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    3. Haha thanks for the back-up TeaKay! I agree with what you said about a short hemline in a professional setting, especially since I've seen how it can go horribly wrong. Anonymous 15:38 also reminded me of a good point when it comes to short hemlines in a professional setting, wearing something longer definately takes my mind off what I'm wearing or god forbid.. a possible wardrobe malfunction.

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    4. Zora from Prague8 March 2019 at 17:40

      +1 Avee

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  3. Love it! Pretty and polished! Love the dress on her and on the model, and her hair is gorgeous too. I can’t believe she is so active and attractive at 8 months, go Megan!!! And such a great event, too! ❤️✌️🌺

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  4. So glamour, so chic, so pretty. Beautiful woman and felicitations to Vice-President of the Queen's Commonwealth Trust.

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  5. She looks very chic, but this dress is too short. I am not a prude about showing leg, but in an engagement where you are going to be sitting down, this dress needed another two inches. You can see very up her thigh when she sits- not the most professional look.

    Otherwise- I love the black and white look.

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  6. It's a tad too short for my tastes, especially if she's going to be on stage and sitting with her legs crossed like that. If she were standing or not on stage, I wouldn't mind the length. But it's a little revealing in that one photo! But otherwise she looks amazing at this stage in her pregnancy.

    And I like her hair like this SO much better than slicked back!

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  7. Oh my....I like the dress but wish it had been a bit longer, or she was wearing black tights or she didn't sit with her legs crossed...I think she will cringe when she sees that shot of her sitting on the stage. She could still do shorter dresses if she chose fuller ones that would drape better when sitting.

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  8. The dress is very pretty, a fresh take on her favorite shades - black and white - but the short length doesn’t work for an event where she’s sitting on a raised panel. She definitely looks great in a standing pose, but might not have thought about whether the length was practical for the situation.

    Must be hard to a royal mummy to be, especially in a first pregnancy, trying to navigate style and practicality. In her first pregnancy, Kate occasionally wore some fairly short dress lengths, and I can remember once seeing her bend down to talk to some kids, and thinking “yikes, she might be showing off a little too much undercarriage in that pose.”

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  9. Royal πŸ‘‘ Watcher8 March 2019 at 13:51

    Very stylish today! I love the whole ensemble, and Meghan's legs still look amazing despite pregnancy. I would have liked the dress just a tad longer, when she leans back in her chair, it is A BIT short, but hey, that is a small issue. Well done, and I am happy to see Australia's first female prime minister Julia Gillard there as well.

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    1. I totally agree. Love the ensemble. Who hasn't accidentally had some leg showing even when they had a longer dress depending on how they arranged themselves. It could be an inch or two shorter or just sit with legs down to the side. You're not suppose to cross your legs with pregnant anyway. Solid black tights would have been much to heavy for this dress. I like the idea someone else had of a long coat in black.

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    2. What does being pregnant have to do with crossing your legs?

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    3. dng MEI, If I remember correctly, crossing your legs when pregnant is not good for circulation. I don't think anon 15:46 was addressing it as a fashion issue but rather as a precautionary health issue.

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    4. Medically speaking, women are advised to to cross their legs when sitting when pregnant because it restricts blood flow to the fetus.

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    5. It's not good for circulatione even without being pregnant.

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    6. Oh for Pete’s sake that is an old wives tale. Much like not lifting above your head. The fact is there has never been conclusive studies done one way or the other that show risks of these postures in an otherwise healthy pregnancy. I’ve been really disheartened by many of the comments throughout Meghan’s pregnancy that seem to be, I believe the phrase is, “concern trolling” her. She is a healthy and fit woman who we can assume is receiving excellent prenatal care. If a health care provider recommended a change due to a problem they’ve identified then Meghan would make it. And no one would be any the wiser as generally these conversations are private. It’s quite sad to me that people are so ready to discuss what she should and should not be doing from a physical standpoint while pregnant all while knowing nothing of her health and private medical conversations. This has come up repeatedly from her flying, to her shoe choice, to how the baby is presenting. I’m all for discussion her fashion choices but I really wish speculation on what she should and should not do physically as it relates to her pregnancy would end. It raises an uncomfortable level of body policing for me.

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    7. Not an old wives' tale. I explained this in a comment yesterday that was not approved. I hope any of you who are pregnant or plan to be research the danger of blood clots in pregnancy and how to avoid them.

      It is difficult to do studies on pregnant women that might risk the fetus. Other mammals are used but I have yet to see one that crosses its legs at the thigh. ;) I think the wisest course is often seen as erring on the side of caution.

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  10. Like the over all look. Pretty hair style. The dress though is too short for crossing your legs. One can see too much tigh in some of the pictures. Other than that great you are out and about.

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  11. I like this dress while she’s standing up, but it is entirely too short for her to be sitting with her legs crossed the way they are in the second photo.

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  12. Wish this were being live-streamed. It makes it easier to determine when reporters are quoting out of context, or not giving a clear sense of the tenor of the discussion.

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  13. The dress is too short. The picture of her seated shows just too much leg, I think she will be mortified if she looks at photos from this event. The dress is pretty but not being a maternity style, it doesn't fit right. Same for the jacket. Fashion-wise, not a good day in my opinion, but congratulations to her on this official appointment.

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  14. I love it... but the reason why you don’t see royals in very short dresses when you are expected to sit like this (in chairs with no table in front of you in front of an audience) is so too much leg is shown. Not that you can she completely up her skirt, but you can see way up her thigh. But that is something she will learn and it’s minor. That’s also why crossing the ankles can help instead of crossing legs, but I’m guilty of crossing my legs all the time.
    But on the fashion front, this is a slam dunk. While standing I love the shorter hemline and the pattern is chic and it looks very tied too.

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  15. Kudos to Meghan for her thoughtful words today & her new post as VP. She was really in her element today and radiant.
    I liked everything about the outfit until I saw pics of her sitting down (on a different site) - the dress became *really* short, which was over-emphasized by crossed legs - that reduced the professional quality of the look for me. Kate wore a similar print mini dress (polka dot I think) while pregnant and had similar "lotta leg" issues. Pregnancy dressing must be a challenge for all. - OP

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    1. Just like to update my comment, which I made before Charlotte updated this post - *Great* post, Charlotte! Thank you so much for all the information. Meghan's so informed & articulate - such an uplifting event & post! -op

      Delete
  16. Yes, she looks good, but dress is too short and she will be criticized for showing too much when sitting like that. Too bad, it’s a nice event.

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  17. I agree the dress is too short although black tights would have helped this look. But I dont think at this stage in pregnancy the short look works simply bc shes carrying low now and a longer hemline makes the proportions more balanced. I do love the print and the dress design and also her new appointed role. With that being said Kate wore some short maternity styles too where we unfortunately saw too much of her. I just am anticipating the racist abusive language on social media bc od this dress and cringing. Shes 8 months pregnant and still out and about working when she could be at home eating and resting. I appreciate her work ethic.

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  18. I don’t have issues with the outfit until she sits down and you can see so much leg when her legs are crossed. I know it’s just a leg, but we’re getting awfully close to seeing way too much when she’s sitting. Other than that, the outfit is nice.
    Regarding her new position as vice president, this is going to sound stupid, but I don’t quite understand the roles of patron vs president vs vice president of a trust. I was reading a little about the National Trust for Scotland and they have a blurb on their website about the president being more of an ambassador role, to support the trust and spread the word about what they are doing, but they don’t make the decisions, that’s up to the trustees and the Board. I wonder if Meghan and Harry have the same role as VP and President of the commonwealth trust. No decisions, but just lending their name and support to the various causes. Kind of like a patron. Which brings me back to my intitial confusion. Lol
    Regardless, nice title for Meghan and I’m all for feminist causes, so it will be interesting to see how this all works out.

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    Replies
    1. I can think of a few cases where HM is the patron and another royal is President. Or HM is president and another royal is VP. Which makes sense because HM’s royal is very much only in name and the other royal “does the work” - even though it is still very much ceremonial. But now throwing in a Patron, President and Vice-President is also confusing me a bit. Hopefully somebody can shed some more light.

      Delete
  19. I think Meghan identified issues very well, but I also hope we find out what some of the other women on the panel said today. I feel that Meghan'presence seems to take away equal attention from the other women that they all richly deserve. I thought the composition of the panel is simply outstanding.
    I imagine that Meghan knows all about hemlines and how they look when she is sitting, standing, etc. The observation "too short" is entirely expected. Probably some people are not comfortable seeing thigh at all, or some think it is inappropriate for this situation. I think Meghan looks comfortable, casual, confident, and extremely womanly, for what is more womanly or feminine than being with child?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can find out what the other women said by watching the full video on the Queen's Commonwealth Trust YouTube channel. I watched it yesterday and these women are truly inspiring.

      Delete
  20. She looks great but the dress is too short!I think she is going to be mortified looking at the pictures of herself sitting down.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Agreed, Oh Dear.!
      Her hair looks stylish and classy though....

      Delete
    2. I agree, Natalia!

      Delete
  21. "Happy International Women’s Day to women everywhere, and of course to all those who police their hemlines".

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    Replies
    1. Love this, thank you Lauri

      Delete
    2. Thanks Theresa J! I'd love to take credit for it but I saw it on another site, loved it and told the person who posted it that I was going to steal it and use it today because it's just appropriate.

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    3. No one is policing her hemline. This is, again, completely appropriate discussion of her style today, which is the primary purpose of the blog.

      Delete
    4. LOL! Fantastic! Yes, the hemline is too short while sitting with crossed legs. But that was the only issue. I loved it otherwise.

      And fantastic that she is now the VP of the Commonwealth Trust! Yippee!

      Delete
    5. If Harry showed up at a forum wearing short shorts I’d have something to say about that as well. To me, feminism and supporting women doesn’t go hand in hand with loving every single thing a person wears. And a criticism of clothing doesn’t mean we think any less of the person. But that’s a dead horse I’m frankly tired of beating, so I’ll stop.

      Delete
    6. Ha ha ha. So true. I agree. Innapropriate clothing is gender non-specific.

      Delete
  22. Andrea in London8 March 2019 at 15:15

    The dress would have been fine with some opaque black tights. Kate has worn shorter hemlines with opaques and ankle boots, and it's a younger, trendier look which would have gone well with the print and style of the dress, and with the whole ethos of the event. Unfortunately yet again going bare legged on a chilly London day doesn't do her any favours (even though she has amazing legs especially this far pregnant!), all made worse by the short skirt.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Does anyone know what's the documentary on Netflix Meghan was talking about? I would love to watch it!

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    Replies
    1. Found this in an article on time.com: „The 2018 documentary Markle referenced was Feminists: What Were They Thinking? Starring Laurie Anderson, Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, the film revisits the influential 1977 photography book Emergence by Cynthia MacAdams.“ - M. from Germany

      Delete
  24. I think Chris Ship‘s quote is incorrect. Just came across the quote on Omid Scobie‘s Twitter account: "If things are wrong and there is *a lack of justice and an inequality*, someone needs to say something - and why can't it be you?"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kensington Palace just quoted as follows:
      “If things are wrong and there is a lack of justice, and there is an inequality, then someone needs to say something“. So „lack of inequality“ is wring!

      Delete
  25. I suspect that Meghan knows exactly how her dress looks and is fine with it. Today is a statement day and she is making her statement. Looking forward to seeing the earrings as I assume they are picked with a purpose. I thought she looked incredibly cute and fresh, and I love another "cheaper" dress, like the inexpensive but beautiful one Kate wore with her green coat.

    In honor of the day, Honey cat is celebrating International Lady Cats Day here at home and gets to push around the boy cats, which she does anyway.

    Love that Sophie and Camilla had so much involvement in the day, too!

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    Replies
    1. Sophie really is the unsung hero of the royal family. Did you know she founded the Women's Network Forum in 2014? I didn't but am not surprised. The BRF is so lucky to have so many strong, passionate women!!

      Delete
    2. Sophie does get overlooked by the press, which is hunting young "model"-like royals. But it must feel great to Meghan to know that her passions are already alive in the RF. I suspect the Queen and Anne and Zara have the same views.

      I hope all press on Meghan includes what Camilla and Sophie are doing. Dynamic trio!

      Delete
  26. I like this look a lot- yes it’s a tad short, but it’s fresh and modern, and I’m sure she’s happy to show of her skinny legs BUT... what is with the giant shoes?? It’s always one of the first things I notice, and to me it just looks so strange! I understand about swelling and whatever all the articles about it have said- but it kind of ruins the line to me and I can’t understand how it’s comfortable to walk like that. Obviously it works for her, but I don’t get it!!!

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  27. I like the concept of this outfit -- dress with a blazer, but I wish she would embrace maternity clothes at this point. They would be fuller in the middle and it wouldn't look like she was stuffed into them. Not even from a visual perspective, but it doesn't look like she is comfortable. As for the dress being too short, I wonder if she thought she would be seated behind a table with skirting.

    I love the cause and she is (and has been) such a supporter of women's empowerment, that what she is wearing is really irrelevant!

    Hope from USA

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  28. International women's day and the conversation is about a short dress.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Big Sigh!!! What's so sad it that most of the short dress comments are coming from other women.

      Delete
    2. Well, I do think the short dress is overall appropriated but I think it doesn't suit the kind of event. The conversation is about what kind of dress suits a particular situation, not about a woman wearing a short dress. I would have thought the same about a men wearing shorts today at the panel. Would it have been appropriated? No.
      Meghan can wear how many short dresses she wants in her free time or during her events at the theatre - I'm thinking about the suit dress she was wearing for the Hamilton event, short dress for an appropriated event IMO.

      Delete

    3. Seems like for the day, trying to pigeonhole her into what is considered appropriate is not appropriate.

      Delete
    4. So today Meghan can wear anything she wants, but women aren't allowed to have an opinion about it? That doesn't make any sense.

      Delete
    5. To weigh in, I didn't think the dress was particularly short. I can see the point about being seated but if that's all people took away from this I'm a bit disappointed.

      What I think is fabulous about meghan is her message hasn't changed. She still talks about girls education and what a difference that will make to the planet and she's also very careful to include men. bluhare wouldn't be so concerned about that, but for her message to travel well publicly it's a nice touch. She's now VP to Harry's president of the organization and I'm looking forward to seeing what they do with it.

      Delete
    6. I agree bluhare that the take away from this engagement shouldn't be about the dress, but there wouldn't be any talk about the length of the dress if she had thought this through. You give Meghan a pass on whatever she wears because you believe in her message, even if clearly this is not a professional look, especially given her position within the organization. This would not be a look I would encourage any woman to wear when she was representing the organization on such a global level. The optics are not good and that is not a criticism of her, but something that she needs to be more aware of. She has shown that she has more professional looks, this was not one of them.

      Delete
    7. I think the conversation about “appropriateness” is at the root of this debate. And unfortunately appropriateness and respectability politics are acutely faced by women and especially women of color. The root of much of the media controversy over Meghan has been her supposed appropriateness for the royal family. And I for one feel whenever it’s debated if her hemlines are long enough or her hair is sleek enough, that is contributing to the narrative that she is somehow “not appropriate”. This is pervasive for women in society. In Meghan’s case the notion is she’s not appropriate for the royal family. But it can just easily be the challenges women face around this issue when they are a politician, or ceo, or teacher, or any other number of roles. And whether people want to admit it or not I’m sorry but the conversation is rooted in sexism and racism. “I don’t believe this person belongs in this role and it’s easier to point to her perceived fashion mishaps as the reason why, as opposed to examining my own biases about who I expect to be a duchess or president etc. to be”

      I agree with Bluehare. Today on all days her message is so important. And she communicated it beautifully. It isn’t about the inches of her hemline.

      I share this comment from another site that I also think is appropriate:

      “We really should think critically about where the idea of an appropriate hemline came from before dismissing that criticism as valid.

      Who dictates how much leg is appropriate and does the amount of leg showing keep her from doing her job?

      That’s what the discussion of feminism is about, reexamining our assessments of things and sort through where they came from and if it’s a valid concern.”

      I am of the opinion that the length of a woman’s hemline is never a valid concern. I really long for the day when women can be celebrated for their accomplishments and not criticized over trivial fashion details.

      I would also say Charlotte this is not directed at you. Your blogs are beautiful and I believe you strike a lovely balance of image and issues. I appreciate your description of the clothes without descending into measurements of hems and respectability. And it is a testament that you always provide a detailed synopsis of the issue or charity the royals are working on for that particular event. You are truly a prolific and talented author!

      Delete
    8. Where did you ever get that I give Meghan a pass on anything she wears? If you want to turn this into a dress debate, I pass. I don't comment on clothes much, or I try not to. I've said I've thought Kate's skirts were too short once or twice its true, but this one is longer than those and there's a lot more to talk about than her dress. And if we are going to turn this into a conversation about clothes, I'm out. On today of all days I'm seriously out. If this is how we look at women, through the prism of what they are wearing not what they say, then we need more than one day.

      Delete
    9. Thank Anon 19:09. A thousand yesses to everything you just said. Whenever Meghan is given a platform to speak, she does so incredibly thoughtfully and she doesn't shy away from subjects a vast majority of the population (apparently) find difficult or controversial.

      As I read the think pieces on Meghan by the UK tabloids (and some broadsheets), I'm often struck by how fussy and old-fashioned the pieces seem. The issues that Meghan and Harry are tackling are not the least bit controversial to younger generations (Of which I am not a member I should say. I am solidly Gen X.). Nor is Meghan's skirt length of any concern to them. They are well versed in the language of sexism and racism. And they seem to recognize when that language is being used as a dog whistle to shame, marginalize or discredit. I don't think anyone on this site mentions Meghan's skirt length with ill intent, but I do think Anon's call for all of us to think about why we find skirt length controversial is important.

      Delete
    10. bluehare, I think anon 19:09 agrees with you and is expanding on your original comment.

      Delete
    11. I Agree. I didn't say her skirt was a tad too short for any other reason except it would have looked better an inch longer while she sat. I do understand what you are talking about with the language that used to describe her because it was done to Michelle Obama and not just the 8 years her husband was in office, but the 2 years they spent campaigning. Unfortunately no matter how many positive hashtags that are created to point out the absurdity of racism or articles that are written to shame and highlight the negativity, I don't think this will ever end. Some people have been raised to believe they are superior to others based on skin color and/or religion and some are so insecure they have convinced themselves they need to put others down to feel good about themselves and the rest I am convinced, are either evil or mentally ill.

      Delete
    12. I so agree with you 110% bluhare
      I can just picture some of these people(lol)waiting for 'any' post about HRH the Duchess of Sussex to be posted so they can be the first to find ANYTHING or SAY NEGATIVE things about her. Short dress, big shoes, no nylons/tights, messy bun, fake belly, a celebrity/actress, crosses her legs wrong blah, blah, blah.
      People please give it a rest and let it go! So much for INTERNATIONAL WOMEN DAY. So sad, so sad, so sad.
      Charlotte: Thank you for always having such great pictures on this site and write ups. I appreciate all your hard work.

      Delete
    13. Thanks, fictionmama, but I was responding to 1751. I should have made that clear. My bad!

      Delete
    14. Anon 17.51

      I would gently remind you of the fact that bluhare did not give a pass on Meghan wearing too tight clothing in the past for example, even if her primary focus of her comments is what the royal does and not what she wears.

      I find the hypocrisy or double standards of people disheartening, Kate wore plenty of short dresses during her pregnancies and after, still I read comments she had good legs/she can pull it etc. The same courtesy is not given to Meghan, and I would like to find out why. If I remember correctly, she wore this type of dress once, a tuxedo one, since then, hardly any, or my memory is cheating on me. Could it be longer, it's up to personal taste, but I was too busy listening to her instead of measuring her skirt length. Food for thought!

      Delete
    15. Actually, I do remember Kate being criticized on numerous occasions while pregnant (and not while pregnant) for her too-short hemlines. Personally, I think anyone who is pregnant looks better with a slightly longer hemline and also looser fabric around the middle. I know that the trends in recent years are to really emphasize the belly but that's not a trend I would ever embrace.

      Delete
    16. Thank you, anett. If you will look at my original comment I made no value judgment about the dress. And i think all the comments stem from one photo where she's showing a lot of leg. I've watched a bit of the tape and i didnt notice it at all. But if I was going to notice fashion i would have totally carried on about the woman in the houndstooth jacket and trousers. She looks spectacular. She started an online platform for girls to talk about their feelings and how they cope. Meghan is in very good company up there.

      Delete
    17. She was criticized ofc Sarah by me too, but this is overwhelming here. People go mad about her whatever she does or wears. And once more her message is way more important, not that it is not taken apart or twisted word by word.

      Delete
  29. Sooo.... overall I like the look!! Totally cute and very refreshing!! But I do have to agree with some of the ladies just by the sitting part, the length is to short unless she sat with legs not crossed but traditional side ways... I don’t know! Also, is it just me or are her shoes fitted maybe half inch bigger? Is that normal to wear for third trimester?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. the bigger size of the shoe is to avoid blisters. A trick many celebrities use.

      Delete
    2. It seems that pair of nice patent leather flats would be more comfortable, not a high stiletto heel. I don't know how these royal women even stand in them, let alone walk around! Some of them even manage on cobblestones and other rough pavement! Why take that risk?

      Delete
    3. Oh, but how do they stay on and not have your foot slip out? I must know these tricks ☺️

      Delete
    4. It has been reported that Meghan had bunion surgery on her left foot, you can even see a scar in some photos, especially the ones taken in Fiji, I think. She still has a little bunion on her right foot, when you have a bunion you have to buy bigger shoes, so I think she buys shoes that fit her bunion better, so the right shoes fits properly but the left one not so much since her left foot, the one she had surgery on, is smaller.
      Not shaming here, there's nothing wrong having bunions, I have bunions so I know the struggle and I'm glad she underwent surgery. Hope this helps. :)

      Delete
  30. Overall, this is a good look for Meghan but is also an example of why there are “royal rules”. I don’t think there would be comments about the dress length if she were wearing hose or tights or if she wasn’t crossing her legs. While the rules seem outdated, they are still appropriate. Whether royal or not, showing that much leg is not professional.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Meghan didn't flash the entire audience. She showed a little too much thigh, but I've seen businesswomen in the United States wear short skirt suits and while they are standing up for presentations when they sit down you can see their leg.

      Here's ex-Yahoo CEO wearing a short dress, crossing her legs, and not wearing any hose. No one is reading to brand her with a scarlet A for this.
      https://gigaom.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/1/2013/09/marissamayerdisrupt-640x531.jpg

      Delete
    2. Ivy that dress is a lot longer than Meghan's. You can almost see Meg's behind when she's sitting down. Totally different.

      And no one is branding her as anything. We've simply said it should've been a little longer. Why must we go to extremes?

      Delete
    3. Rita in Florida8 March 2019 at 17:45

      Meredith I totally agree! Meghan looked lovely and I really like the overall look. And her updo is gorgeous!! When I first looked at the pictures this morning I wanted to scream DUCHESS SLANT DUCHESS SLANT - Come on Meg! Too much flesh when sitting. I believe that would have solved it.

      Delete
    4. Canadian Reader8 March 2019 at 18:34

      Look how the other women on the panel are dressed. Trouser suits or a longer dress. She is 37 years old, an actress and accomplished speaker. It isn't like she wouldn't know how this was going to look. I applaud her work, I applaud the day. Saying that the dress is not a professional look is hardly giving her a scarlet A (read The Scarlet Letter to know how totally off that remark was Ivy.)

      Delete
    5. I have read the Scarlet Letter. I find a lot of these comments shockingly Puritan, and that's why I used the analogy. This is 2019, not 1719. She wore an above-the-knee dress that certainly passed the "finger" rule and in ONE shot was showing a little too much leg, and it's like pass the smelling salts. And on International Women's Day too.

      Personally I wouldn't wear her outfit to work, simply because it's winter, I get cold easily, and short dresses during winter I find extremely drafty. Plus I'm a teacher and always bending down and what not around kids. But guess what? I'm not Meghan. I think the dress isn't to my taste but these comments border on slut-shaming.

      Delete
    6. What I have never really understood is the scandal of showing what one does not want shown -- legs and then those times when the wind blows a skirt up or, as Kate endured, a photographer taking photos of her topless. Yes, no one wants that for the world to see, but what is seen is not a shock. I can pretty much predict what Meghan's leg and the rest of her body look like. We all have those parts. I saw less of Meghan than I would see in a split skirt or shorts. Her leg looked like I thought it would. I thought she looked cute and natural.

      Delete
  31. I thought we might see her in white today, the traditional colour of suffragettes! Glad to see some white in her dress.

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    Replies
    1. I thought International was red and white is for the U.S. Everyone in my office has some sort of red on

      Delete
  32. Looks like Stella McCartney Black Shaggy Deer Faux Leather Crossbody Bag

    A few people think the earrings are
    JENNIFER MEYER mini Huggies 18-karat gold diamond earrings

    Her rings are from catbird and kismet according to meghansfashion.com and The new heart one may be Kismet by Milka Heart Ring according to @PerthsFashions

    And a queens commonwealth Brooch!

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  33. I think this could have been a lovely outfit, perfectly appropriate for the occasion while showcasing some personality. However, the dress and blazer clearly don't fit. I wish she had gotten the dress custom-made or gone with a maternity piece - the wrinkles alone are a giveaway this is too small. I really don't understand not embracing maternity clothes, and it honestly makes no sense to me that she did not think through her outfit more. She knew she'd be sitting for the majority of this appearance, so I have to assume she's getting bad advice or not paying attention to good advice (or just not thinking through each outfit at all). All those are mistakes.

    And for those criticizing us mentioning Meghan's outfit in the comments, this is literally a blog about her - her causes, work and yes, her fashion. What she wears is an intrinsic part of her job, and often has a major effect on the companies of the clothes she chooses. It is not wrong for us to focus on her fashion, and I hope she heeds better advice than she's currently getting on it.

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    Replies
    1. It is a cute outfit but I also thought the blazer looked too small and I thought it must be uncomfortable as the shoulder, back, arms of the blazer look tight. I thought the dress looked too small also at least in some areas but I really could not tell for sure with the blazer over it.

      Delete
    2. MizBev in Colorado8 March 2019 at 18:47

      I would bet that she would hate to hear that fashion is an intrinsic part of her job. She is about empowering women...but not just those that are dressed right. And why is it not possible that she makes her own 37 year old mind up about what she wears.

      Delete
    3. Thank you MizBev. People seem to be discounting the notion that Meghan, as a fully formed accomplished adult is making her own choices with regards to her fashion. And I would wager thought she looked great day and was perfectly aware of her hemline. And that it wasn’t some horrible faux pas that she was naively unaware of without the guidance of these mythical stylists and advisors.

      Obviously it’s not a problem. She has consistently received recognition from the Queen with respect to her engagements, patronage’s, and this recent commonwealth position.

      I don’t know why people are so unwilling to admit that a woman’s hemline just isn’t scandalous or a mistake.

      Delete
  34. The Duchess continues to impress me with her poise and determination! I think the dress and it’s length look modern, up-beat as well as professional! I believe those adjectives can all be used simultaneously! Professional as well as tres chic!! What a wonderful role for the Duchess - it falls directly in alignment with her strengths and beliefs!
    Thanks for posting, Charlotte! You continue to be my go-to for the quickest, most factual and well rounded updates on both Duchesses!

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  35. I like the dress although it is perhaps a tad short and definitely not ideal if you like to cross your legs. The jacket is a no simply because it does not fit at this stage in her pregnancy. Perhaps a flowing sweater would have been a better choice. Anyhow, given that she 8'ish months pregnant I'm just happy she is still carrying out royal duties. It cannot be easy at this stage.

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  36. An impressive panel, to be sure. I hope one day women can be seen as true equals, with equal pay and opportunities, access to education, and all the other things we don’t have. There are so many types of feminism, but I am a feminist, and proud, so any work Meghan and the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust can do to improve women’s lives can only be a good thing.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Why aren't there any royal men involved in the events for International Women's Day?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Zora from Prague8 March 2019 at 20:04

      I suppose they are letting the ladies shine. And I find it right. After all, Meghan spoke of Harry's support and I'm sure Charles, Edward and other husbands in the RF support their wives as well. And no one, I believe, can doubt the role the support of Prince Philip has played in the Queen's life.

      Delete
    2. Zora from Prague8 March 2019 at 20:15

      I really like the video in which Meghan says she started at 11 but today it still feels like a beginning - she comes across as very intelligent, down-to-earth, not self-promoting, articulate. Well done!

      Delete
    3. Royal men have their turn 364 days of the year.

      It is frankly exhausting and depressing to see so many critical comments about Meghan on a day that is about supporting women. This comments section used to be a place I enjoyed reading.

      Delete
  38. I don't understand this obsession with hosiery. I've made a point of looking at photos of European women, and no hosiery is embraced by them. Is it a British thing? Of course, the Queen is never without hose, but she is over 90 and grew up in a time when it was not done to appear without hosiery. It's totally fine for prettty well the whole world for women to go bare legged. Does everyone remember the brouhaha over Michelle Obama wearing a sleeveless dress to a State of the Union address. Someone found a picture of Jackie O. sleeveless at SOU address. I know sensibilities change more slowly than customs, so hopefully more people will eventually find it acceptable.

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    Replies
    1. I completely agree. There is nothing wrong with going bare legged. Both of my grandmothers, like many women of the WWII generation, believed that hose had to be worn with skirts, dresses, and pants. While I respected their opinions on this, I despised tights and hose growing up. They would never stay up, they made me perspire, they caused rashes on my legs, and the material was hard on my very sensitive skin in other ways. And, as someone with exceptionally fair skin, hose always looked strange on me. I got rid of them long ago and have never looked back.

      Delete
    2. Becca H in Colorado8 March 2019 at 21:29

      Omg, I agree. Hose was considered appropriate during a period of time, but that period is in the past and I don't understand why some think it's the saving grace of every dress.

      Delete
    3. Becca H, just remember that there are people commenting on this blog from lots of different countries. And just like the opinion on hosiery have changed over time, there is also geographical differences. Just because you (and me) don’t think hosiery is the saving grace of an outfit doesn’t mean that it isn’t common practice in other places. I know that when I was working in London I wore a lot more hosiery than I do now.

      Delete
  39. Thank you, Charlotte, again a great and very informative post! Happy International Women‘s Day to you!

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  40. Thank you, Charlotte. I think this may be in the top five of your best postings ever! At least in my estimation. 😊 What a wonderful message to all of us, on International Women's Day, to all women and men, that by working together we can support one-another to higher endeavors and to combat the pervasive stereotypes that abound with regard to gender. I enjoy so much the efforts of us, the devoted consumers of Charlotte's excellent work, in supporting eachother and Meghan. Once again, Meghan proves her strength of character, compassion, intellect and leadership. Bravo, Charlotte and Meghan! Bravo, Sophie!

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    Replies
    1. upstate diva USA8 March 2019 at 19:47

      Like you, I appreciate that Charlotte connected the royal women's participation in various events for IWD. Looking forward to seeing more of the event, as I admire many of the women on the panel in addition to the Duchess. Not entering into the debate over hemlines -- I am old enough that I think I have heard it all. I am focused on the big messages of the day and have enjoyed seeing how IWD is celebrated around the world!

      Delete
  41. A very strong, passionate, intelligent Duchess!

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  42. Thank you, Charlotte, for sharing this powerful and inspiring panel with us on International Women's Day. It lifts me to see all the efforts made to move women into their rightful place around the world. Thank you for showing Meghan's powerful speech from 2015. Her intelligence and passion are a great asset to the Royal Family and Commonwealth nations. She inspires many.

    I thought Meghan looked fresh and youthful today. I loved the dress/blazer combo. I am a huge Meghan fan, but I'm sorry to say that I think the length of her skirt and her crossed legs showing a bit too much thigh distracted from the impact of her words. It's unfortunate that too many people will not be able to see beyond that the the message of the day.

    Happy International Women's Day to all.

    R

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  43. Meghan's message was powerful and thought provoking. A definite reminder to me to make sure my 13 y/o knows and remembers that he may be stronger and faster, due to testosterone, than most 13 y/o girls but intellectually they are his equal or, in some cases, his superior. And he can make his own tea. She looked lovely but she's 8ish months pregnant and a dress that fit last week today may be a little snug because of the way the baby is positioned at the moment but then baby moves and dress is no longer snug. She deserves a lot of credit working at this stage and yes, she was sitting down for a while, but then up on her feet walking around, meeting and greeting people before she even came into the venue. When she sat the dress was a little too short but that in no way took away from her message. And let's face it, if it was an overweight man, who could not button his jacket and who's pants were all creased would anyone comment, no, not likely. Shows we still have a long way to go. And pantihose may not be comfortable at this point. Charlotte, your coverage was stellar. Meghan, Sophie and Camilla all did a great job getting the equality message across.

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    1. You are correct, if it was an overweigt man who looked rumpled etc there would have been few if any comments, but then there also would not have been a blog dedicated to his life and style. Afterall Charlotte did not start a blog about Harry’s life and style (no criticism Charlotte, I love Harry but probably would not have read it even if you wrote it) and Harry is probably better looking that your fictional example.
      Meghan’s (and Kate’s) engagements get a lot more publicity than any of the other royals and part of that has got to do with what they wear. And they utilize the interest in them to put the spotlight on lots of goods causes.
      William and Harry actually have to work twice as hard to get the same exposure for their causes.
      If it was a man there would be less/no comments on his outfit but there also would not be a blogpost with thousands of views giving exposure to his cause.

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    2. Trish. I agree!

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  44. Just curious, do most people have dress codes where they work?
    Speaking for myself only here, I work in an office where we have a dress code for everyone. I know the royals don’t have a dress code, but the notion of what is “appropriate” may stem from what many of us can or can’t wear to work. In my office, nobody can wear shorts, tank tops, flip flops, etc. That’s because it wasn’t deemed appropriate for the business we are in. And there are restrictions on skirt length. We don’t have rules about who can wear skirts, but there are length restrictions. Not to keep women subservient or quiet, but because it’s a professional environment and one’s undercarriage shouldn’t be shown. Male or female.
    Now, many people see this criticism of Meghan’s dress as policing a woman’s wardrobe, or policing a woman of color’s wardrobe. Some may be doing that, I’m not naive enough to think that some people aren’t. But for myself, that’s not the case. If she was having a date or whatever, go ahead. Wear that short skirt. But any time, in a workplace, if your outfit is in danger of showing off your underwear if you’re sitting a certain way, be mindful of how you sit at the very least. That’s all I’m saying. This in no way takes away from the message she’s trying to highlight. Equality. Equal chances for women, for everyone.

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    1. I agree people should not show their private areas at work. Luckily Meghan didn’t! So it’s sort of a moot point isn’t it. So I again the question comes up who is the decider here? Who decides how much leg is too much? I’m reminded of horrible images of the past and women and girls kneeling on floors to measure skirt length. I truly believe there is no way to answer these questions without inadvertently bringing us back to that time.

      Some background on me. I am an employment and civil rights lawyer. I have some experience with the application of dress codes. I will tell you that never once have I enountered a case where someone’s dress offended a client or customer. In my experience this is a largely imagined concern. Employees with significant appearance issues (underwear or pajamas) are best spoken to one on one. What DOES happen when dress codes are implemented is that they disproportionately target women and people of color for minuscule and meaningless violations. This is a fact born out in countless studies on the matter. For that reason I am generally anti dress code.

      I say this as someone who practices law in the courtroom where conservative dress is generally expected. Although that standard is in a period of rapid change at the moment. The most elite Wall Street firm in the world, Goldman Sachs, just did away with its dress code. And for years Silicon Valley has ignored apparel norms in the business world despite having its elite ceos as major players in tech, business, and finance (Mark Zuckerburg and Steve Jobs come to mind).

      I believe younger generations have begun to rapidly move away from these standards in favor of placing emphasis on accomplishment and innovation.

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    2. Thank you for your response, I really appreciate it. I agree, the Duchess didn’t show any undergarments. Also, the notion of kneeling on the floor to measure skirt length gives me horrible flashbacks of being sent to the principal’s office in school for dress code violations. I don’t think any of us want that for her.

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    3. Hmm I have worked with places with a dress code but I have found that they often vary by boss and management. For instance I worked for a man who was in many ways a wonderful boss. He was however a conservative Muslim man and he had a rule that women could not wear outfits with short sleeves, including very nice professional sheath dresses. This was okay ... until the day it was 100 degrees, the AC broke, and he was still insisting that we wear cardigans over our short sleeves. However he did not apply the same rule to men, who were walking around in T shirts and shorts. Ever since then I've had an instinctive reaction as dress codes because 99% of the time they seem targeted towards women.

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    4. Ivy Lin,
      Wow. That is unfortunate. I guess I’m lucky that I have never experienced something that skewed against women as far as clothing in the workplace. Other issues, yes, but not clothing.

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    5. I also have experienced bosses (this one was a female) who had a big thing about her female workers looking "feminine." She wore Christian Louboutin red-bottoms every day and expected her female staff to wear "heeled shoes." Since I'm a teacher you can imagine how hard it is to teach while walking around in stilettos. So eventually the female staff started wearing flats. But again, we noted that men were allowed to wear whatever they wanted, while the female principal would make pointed comments if the females' outfits were not to her liking.

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    6. Ivy Lin, I experienced the exact opposite. Even though we don’t have a very strict dresscode men are expected to wear long pants and closed shoes with socks - no ties required expect for special occasions.
      On the very hot days the men always complained that women could wear sleeveless sheath dresses and sandals while they were dying in longpants and socks.
      Interestingly enough we even amended the dresscode to allow formal shorts for women (I wasn’t a fan of that decision - shorts does not belong in the workplace) but not for men.

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  45. A great post to sink one's teeth into! Such great content. Thank you Charlotte.

    It's great to see all the royal women supporting women's issues- Camilla and Sophie wee both involved the last two days. I think Harry has talked supporting social and educational progress for women in Nepal a few years ago in Nepal, I believe. It may even have even been on IWD.

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  46. What a pride to follow the duchess, I loved everything in this day the fact that she is vice president of the CWT, what mark of trust of the queen, and this beautiful panel so nice to hear the duchess's wash in such important questions . On the side she was sexy modern and efficient and this hairstyle is one of my favorite

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  47. threatened by "...a woman standing beside you, not behind you." Those words of Meghan's riveted my attention. Was this a reference to traditional royal roles? I wonder if HM would have felt threatened if Phillip had stood beside her instead of three steps behind her? A bit of an "elephant in the room" topic. The history of gender bias of the monarchy was not discussed, as far as I know. I think roles and respect for a role, not for the particular gender is involved in some situations.
    Another topic avoided, I believe: I did not notice that the role of women in various religions--a deeply entrenched role, was discussed. Perhaps I missed it. I think that the engrained attitude of women being secondary to men, represented by the traditions of some religions, holds back the evolution of women at least as much as education of women--including some fundamentalist Christian faiths, as well as some Middle East and Eastern religions. A large percentage of women are living as second class citizens due to religious tenets.

    I think it is highly possible that Meghan would have gladly discussed these unmentionables if she had been given a really free rein, as supposedly she had been given. That remark that I felt might be an oblique reference to the monarchy hinted at this. However, she did stick to the themes she has emphacised in the past.

    I imagine if the role religion plays was not emphacised it was related to the attempt not to offend many of the Commonwealth countries that would be implicated. Education of women and improved attitudes toward menstruation will not help as long as some 30% of the world's population believe that women's secondary place was decreed by God.

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    1. I think any time religion is brought up it’s going to be a “tread very lightly” situation.

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    2. I often find myself wanting to up-arrow or like a comment here, like this one. I, too, was struck by Meghan's words about a woman standing beside a man, not walking behind him. Harry and Meghan often walk side by side. This is criticised by many of the negative trolls, but I believe it is one small, brave way they work to shift the status quo -- even within the Royal family.

      Your point on how patriarchal religions keep women in subjugated positions is so important, but probably too controversial a topic for this panel.

      Thank you for this wonderful comment.

      R

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    3. The comment about walking behind a man is so true. It’s something Meghan does get bashed about a lot. My grandmother told me half-jokingly when I was young that my grandfather believed that women should walk behind a man. All my life I’ve heard a woman’s place is to keep house, cool, clean, and raise the kids. I don’t believe any of that garbage.

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    4. Full disclosure—I am a Christian, a woman, a wife, a mother, a former school teacher and now a full time homemaker and homeschooler. As a religious person, I don’t care for the implication that honoring Biblical roles somehow devalues a man or a woman. Yes, there have been cultures and people who have abused this concept, but that is man’s twisting what God has said. Throughtout Scripture, it is clear that women and men have equal value in the sight of God. Having different roles does not mean unequal in worth or value. There are many jobs to be done, and no one job is of greater worth than another. The notion that Scripture teaches the inferiority of woman is far from true.

      In the end, this is what I find troubling about days and topics like this. Men and women are of equal worth and value, but we are different—and that is wonderful and beautiful. It feels so often to me like women feel the need to put men down and put traditional roles down in order to celebrate the uniqueness that is being a woman—and too often we push to ignore and erase that uniqueness instead of really celebrating it.

      I totally agree that girls should be educated and no girl should be shunned and isolated because of natural processes in life, but in all of the grasping for equality and opportunity, the role of helper and encourager and nurturer seems to be being downplayed and in some cases even disdained. (And I know this from personal experience, not just the barbs traded by people on blogs). When I look at the increase in violence in general, in gang activity, and family breakdowns happening all around, I can’t help to think that the more we try to erase those beautiful differences and roles, the more broken our world becomes.

      So maybe on this day that we celebrate women, we should see beyond paychecks and percentages of genders in boardrooms to celebrate that God made women to be who we are!

      I am glad for people like Meghan, Camilla, and Sophie who highlight the difficulties that women face around the world. Sophie’s article had some harrowing and heartbreaking stories in it. I am not naive enough to think that women are not treated horribly in many places, and light should be shined on that, and it should change, but laying the blame on God for the abuses of His Word isn’t the answer, and people should not seek to justify their abuse by invoking His name, either.

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    5. Zora from Prague8 March 2019 at 21:56

      Thank you, TeaKay. I couldn't agree more! I also believe we were created equal... and different.... to help and support each other. To be real partners, to love our uniqueness and admire our differences.

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    6. TeaKay,
      Thanks for your response. I said the notion that a woman has to stay home and cook and clean, etc is garbage because in many instances, a woman is being told that’s her place and she can’t strive for anything else. If a woman decides she wants to stay home and keep house and raise kids because that’s what she genuinely wants to do and she feels is best for her family and situation, then more power to her. Same as men. If they want to stay home and tend house while the wife/husband/partner works, more power to them as well. That’s speaking in a non-religious manner. I believe people should have their own freedom of choice in how their lives play out and what they can do with their own bodies.
      I think when religion is brought in to the discussion, it can go sideways because it is a very delicate situation to not be offensive to someone’s beliefs and religion if they have any. Especially if you’re telling them their religion is oppressing them somehow, because you’re then calling into question what could very well be the center of their life and their culture. The lines between what some people see as basic human rights and some as religious beliefs can be confusing, depending on who you’re talking to.

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    7. As a Mennonite Christian; I appreciate your comment TeaKay. I know that God’s Word has been misused to justify very wrong treatment of women and children. This has not been the case for near all of us though and sometimes I feel like only the horrible stories are heard. I am a late 40’s single woman and have never been treated like a second class citizen in my community.
      I do applaud what the Royal ladies are doing.
      There is too many women who are downtrodden. Thanks Charlotte for another informative post.

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    8. TeaKay: I think everyone should be very careful layering ones religious believes onto the roles of humans. While you believe in a Christian god and one of the Christian interpretations of the bible I find it troubling if your interpretation should somehow be the standard for other people than yourself. There are millions of Christians who don’t believe that God sought out different roles for men and women. And there are billions more who believe that men and women should have the freedom to choose their role apart from the believes of others.
      And frankly I feel a bit disturbed when Christians start writing about their religion on a blog that has nothing to do with it. I am saying that as a Christian. I strongly believe that religion or the lack of religion is a private matter that should not interfere with societies rules.
      @Charlotte- I didn’t look into your comment policy so maybe you have terms for this but as a regular reader I will admit that comments like that make me feel a bit uneasy (as a feminist and for other reasons).

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    9. 100% agree anon 18:07

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    10. Thank you Anon 9 March 18:07 and 10 March 16:03. I have addressed this concern to Charlotte before as occassionally I see persons placing their own religious views on these comments which have made me rather uncomfortable. The rules for the blog include politics but not religion, ( note at the bottom here) but I do know that Charlotte said that she would moderate it, and I trust that she can make that decision. As a fellow Christian, I have to say, I feel exactly the same way. I'm also a local politician. But, despite those two "interests" so to say, I come here to observe/comment on occassionally, the activities of the DoS and not read about someone's interpretation of God's word. I might appreciate evangelism elsewhere on an appropriate site - same as I also know not to "toot my own political horn" on this page. Those are my "personal rules."

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    11. I have debated whether to respond to the criticisms or just let it alone. I am not really interested in defending myself or beginning any kind of religous debate, and people should decide for themselves what they believe, but there are a few things I would like to point out:

      1-I did not just randomly insert a relgious comment. The post to which I commented criticized traditional gender roles and relgions which supported them, and named several faiths by name. I found the characterization unfair, and I find the general disdain often expressed for traditional gender roles unfair. That seems a valid discussion given the topic of the day. Roles are not equivalent to the worth and value of an individual, and roles of service are of great value.

      2–knowing that not everyone would care to hear my religious perspective, I included a full disclosure in the first sentence so those who did not wish to hear my perspective could move on. That is hardly forcing my position on others—it’s providing a different perspective that people can take or leave.

      3-I intentionally did not comment on the other religions specifically named in the orginal post since they were not my experience and I did not feel I had any right or sufficient knowledge to express views on those that were named in a negative light by the original poster.

      4–it seems to me that telling people that they have no right to share the foundation for their reasoning and conclusions in life is unfair and is inconsistent with pretty much all of the other comments posted which are based on personal philosophies. It makes me sad that people are “allowed” by other posters to criticize religion and religious views, but that an explanation of religious positions are not “allowed” by some posters. Something about that doesn’t sit well with me.

      Charlotte—you do a wonderful job moderating, and I am not trying to fan flames in any way. If you deem this comment innappropriate, please do not post it. I won’t continue to respond since I do not wish to hijack this post with a side debate. Thank you.

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  48. Emmaline in the U.S.8 March 2019 at 20:04

    What a joy to hear the DoS talk candidly about an initiative this in intertwined with such personal connections. She is a wonderful role model for women all across the world to see how education and opportunity can change your life in an instant. The fashion here is not even on my mind today. I wholeheartedly welcome this new chapter for her and can't wait to see how she will support the QCT in the future as Vice President. Go, Meg! Charlotte, thank you for sharing such great information today. Happy IWD, everyone.

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  49. Great post Charlotte! Meghan knows exactly what the reaction would be with her dress. Women see other women through the eyes of Men. Showing legs, sexual. If she was wearing a shorts (pants) suit too casual. Sense Eve women have covered up because of shame. Young women and girls (her target audience), dress this way. I’ve interviewed young women who came to interviews with short skirts, pants, mile long rainbow colored nails, 7” heels with no hose, and face jewelry. They had passed the company tests with the highest results. I was appalled, but these young girls were smart, educated, and trying to start there professional careers. Yes we want interviewees to have a black or navy blue suit, mid length, regular hair color. Charlotte and Meghan’s point is we have to look beyond. Focus on the words, energy, cause, helping. I know this blog focuses on style but style without substance is wasted. Charlotte has incorporated both, but I think she wants to educate and celebrate the substance. The D and DOS focus is on youth and empowering them to come to the party however you look, dress, speak, identify, the haves and the have nots. God bless you Charlotte , you are changing the world also.

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    1. This is a beautiful comment Andrea. I too have been surprised by some changes in the workplace. (A conservative workplace) around shorter skirts and flamboyant hair/nail colors and facial piercings.

      However I am proof you can teach an old dog new tricks as many of the young woman I have recently worked with have been smart, passionate, dynamic and and shockingly good at their jobs. The world is changing. And despite some scary changes so many things are changing for the Better and more inclusive and diverse society!

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    2. Agree with you completely, especially your last remark. Charlotte has had to bear a lot, without the palace behind her. :)

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    3. I'm 62 & Remembering the days of mini-skirts and hot pants. I hope everyone gets over Meghan's not very shocking hemline today. The Duchesses are criticized for every little thing and it's even tiring for me!

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  50. Thanks so much, Charlotte, for including the info about Fearless Girl. It is such an important story for all to know. Also, absolutely brilliant to include the Countess of Wessex’s speech. Very important to note that SHE (yes, they let her do it!) opened the London Stock Exchange today. She wore red and white in honor of International Women’s Day.
    https://www.hellomagazine.com/fashion/royal-style/2019030870652/sophie-wessex-fashion-red-skirt-valentino/

    Applause to all the Royal women for making the day about others and not themselves. *This* is how we get ahead.

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    1. Yeah Sophie and Camilla have worked a lot in women’s areas. I’m glad Charlotte included them in this post.

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  51. If anybody asked me before her wedding what I thought Meghan’s style would look like I would have described today’s look. I think the dress and blazer was perfect for the event and suits her perfectly.

    Having said that, I myself have fell into the trap of wearing a short skirt (not too short mind you) without realising that I would be seated in the front row on stage and spend the whole evening clenching my tighs to avoid flashing the audience - my legs are too short to do a proper “duchess slant”. The next day it felt like I ran a marathon.
    The world did not end, just because some of the audience saw more of my legs than I would prefer, after all you will see more of my legs when I am on the beach or even in a hot summer’s day, but it was not the image I wanted to project and I never made that mistake again.

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  52. I'm far from an expert, but she no longer looks like she's having twins. Anyone with more experience have a thought about this?

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    1. Hi Allison. I am a mother of twins myself. I don't think she is having twins. A twin pregnancy is treated as high risk, especially for premature birth. In my opinion there would have been more restrictions on things like international travel in the last trimester if twins were expected.

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    2. Thanks for your answer. :)

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    3. I never thought she was having twins, especially when the announcement clearly stated baby and not babies. I know that with the excitement around Meghan's pregnancy, many people have wanted her to have twins and that desire has fed the flame for comments about a multiple birth. The desire and excitement to see the new baby soon has also fueled speculation that she's going about to give birth imminently. That, along with the judging of her bump size, is creating entirely too much speculation. I wish that comments about the size of her baby bump would stop. They are not helpful or productive, and the size of the bump does not tell you when the baby will be born, because every woman carries differently. She will give birth when the baby is ready to be born. All of us have to be patient. We would not want or wish for the baby to come prematurely. There is a reason human pregnancy is 40 weeks long. She said that she is due in late April or early May and often first babies are late as well.

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  53. Pam from Boston8 March 2019 at 21:26

    I think the dress's length is fine when Meghan is standing but on a pregnant body in a sitting position, a dress not cut for a pregnant body, will ride up the legs, so perhaps she did not realize how high up her legs it would be once she sat down. (Did that make any sense? lol). Having said that, I don't think there's anything wrong with it. She still didn't show too much and what is too much anyway? As long as people couldn't see her bum or her crotch, then I think it's fine.

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  54. Cranky Old Lady8 March 2019 at 21:46

    It was so great to read about, and hear, about the work Camilla, Sophie, and Meghan are doing to highlight struggles so many women face in our daily lives. Truly uplifting. Meghan is growing into her new leadership roles with such grace and presence - it's a delight to listen to her. I'm also excited to hear more about the work Sophie is doing and to learn more about her work. And mentioning the roles men can play in the overall effort toward equality warmed my heart - I truly believe the sort of partnership Meghan emphasized is so important.
    For me, the clothing is secondary to the important messages being shared. For this reason, while not a fashionable solution, I think the dress maybe could have been shortened into a tunic and then Meghan could have worn it with pregnancy slacks or pants.

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  55. Becca H in Colorado8 March 2019 at 21:47

    Fantastic panel and discussion for such an important day. I really like what Meghan said about giving people *action* to take, not just something to rally behind, like a hashtag. Good for her for being appointed the new VP! And I like that she got another chance to point out how she STILL doesn't read her own press.

    Discussing what is or isn't appropriate when it comes to aspects of clothing is a bit of a moot point, isn't it, given that those very standards of appropriateness were developed at a different time period (specifically, a time when women were expected to be more covered up)? I think everyone can agree that showing up a complete slob or baring one's no-no zones in public are inappropriate. Beyond that, isn't everything just opinion?

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    1. I agree 100% with Becca H in Colorado.

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    2. I agree 100% with Becca H in Colorado.

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  56. Charlotte, a very powerful post. The panel discussions were so thought provoking and I think that was the intent of the day. The Duchess of Sussex’s style today looked similar to an ensemble the Duchess of Cambridge wore, except her dress was more floaty and polka dots. The Duchess of Sussex, being pregnant, filled up any extra material in her dress; therefore, when she sat, the dress was probably shorter than she even expected it to be. However, the bigger issue is supporting the cause of EQUALITY and JUSTICE and for those causes, I remain committed.

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  57. Lots of wise comments here. I’ve had a few unintended iffy fashion moments at work and I’m thankful no one took photos, hired a handwriting or body language ’expert’ to analyze every snort, guffaw, chicken scratch signature and made me into a prude or a jezebel. Of if they did, I was blissfully unaware.

    Of course it’s much tougher when you are under the media microscope that focuses on the minutiae, rather than the substance. I took a look back at some old RF photos and there were far shorter hemline, better cleavage shots and serious manspreading going on. And what does that say, when the Victorians obsessed over covering up piano legs and have no qualms about exposing eye popping cleavage? Not much as that was the cultural norm then (pre-media royal protocol policing?). But what holds true then and now, controversies -especially sexualized ones- stir the pot. Boring and perfection do not. Which is why I am talking about the (gasp) hemline with the rest of you. So let’s make a mountain with the moles?

    Here’s my mountain. It’s also really about control and power. Who controls how we think, judge, make decision about ourselves and of others. Fashion can be fun, artistic, expressive, lucrative, weaponized, and used to control. So this comes back full circle to empowerment. Not just about female empowerment, even though this was a big topic at today’s event, but about empowerment of all people. I think we as a world still has a long way to go when it comes to power sharing and power balance and recognizing who has control and who doesn't. And also understanding how much we are being controlled and influenced both explicitly and implicitly in our every daily lives.

    -Martine

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    1. +1 - very well stated, Martine! Thank you!

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  58. Yes, Anonymous @20:17. I, too, enjoyed the speech given by the Countess of Wessex.

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  59. Wonderful event and wonderful cause!

    As usual, the outfit is disappointing. The dress is too short, the jacket is too tight and the legs are too bare.

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  60. What a wonderful talk i love the duchess of sussex dress Yes i think the shorther dress gives the justice her speech or talk i enjoyed. The talk

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  61. Yes, Becca@ 21:47. Thanks for reminding me😊 CONGRATS to the Duchess of Sussex on her VP appointment.πŸ‘πŸ½πŸ‘πŸ½πŸ‘πŸ½

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  62. she looks stunning and i loved hearing her talk her words were spot on and im glad she doesn't read twitter!!! that is probably how she stays sane with all the bitter haters on there.

    i cant wait to see her beautiful baby

    thanks Charlotte

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  63. Charlotte can I ask that you add a full body shot at the bottom of these blogs? I find myself getting to the fashion section and then having to scroll up quite a bit to take a look at her pieces in its full effect. Maybe a "top" button that moves along with the page so ppl can click and move back to the top? I think between long blogs and numerous comments this could be helpful

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  64. So cool. I’ve been looking forward to this engagement and it didn’t disappoint. Meghan does great on these panels. And what a neat mix of other women as well. As for the fashion bit, I wouldn’t feel comfortable wearing this myself, but that doesn’t mean I think that it’s an inappropriate outfit. I don’t share Meghan’s style preference usually but I loved that she has stayed true to it during her pregnancy. It’s been fun to watch! I had to laugh to myself when I saw the outfit details. So many have been clamoring for her to rewear more clothes and choose British brands, yet those two boxes are ticked and there is still complaining and stating personal opinion/bias as fact. Glad she doesn’t read anything written about her, it would eat her alive.

    Mara UK

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  65. Meghan did such a fantastic job in this q&a format and I think as she moves forward, her ability to comfortably engage in these type of events and to speak in front of many will be a huge asset to the Royal Family. I loved the fresh look of her outfit today and yes, maybe a bit short, but she’s not the first or last to make this mistake.

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  66. What a great engagement and cause! I profoundly admire women who commit themselves to empower other women. It's a valuable and long lasting legacy.
    Meghan is beautiful, her words are wonderful. Beautiful dress and legs, too.
    So much beautiful that, I agree, it is all too distracting. The fact that many of us noticed it and we keep talking here, it confirms it...
    Who are her advisers? They should check before, all the criteria (camera angles, position, movements, weather conditions, etc...).
    She is working and representing the Queen, so I think she should dress professionally without giving any distraction from the cause and speech.
    Yes, we are all free independent women and can wear what/how/where we want. But we are also aware that it is important to manage focus and appropriateness.

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    1. Silvia from Tuscany10 March 2019 at 10:58

      I agree, she's beautiful and does beautifully, but it's not herself she represents. So being professonal and apprpriate is of main importance, and in this case, in my opinion, she's not.

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    2. Silvia from Tuscany10 March 2019 at 10:58

      I agree, she's beautiful and does beautifully, but it's not herself she represents. So being professonal and apprpriate is of main importance, and in this case, in my opinion, she's not.

      Delete
  67. Happy IWD to all. Very comprehensive post. Education is truly a key factor for gender equality and the push for gender equality is not a war against men. The more men onboard the faster we will get there. Like she mentioned I think the stereotype upbringing of men has great hindrance on gender equality. I have heard some disheartening conclusions of some men about working women it sometimes faustrates me. I have seen meetings with decisions made disregarding the women in the room as though they are there to fulfill social obligations.
    However, I have seen women resiliently put up their contributions until they are heard when speaking and seen when present and most of the times, understanding men are involved. With results women gain more access to leadership that they desire and are qualified for. Trying and failing does not mean one is incapable because she is a woman. Most inventions took multiple trials. Ask questions, learn from mistakes and it will only reduce the possible misses available in your thought process.
    So I also applaud men all over the world who welcome women contributions especially in STEM.
    Thanks to all seven speakers. Lovely of Duchess Meghan to have done the walkabout.

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  68. I cannot believe that the length of her skirt is taking such a big part in the comment section. I think we should better be thinking WHY this is considered as not appropriate and WHY we think it is a bad thing to show a bit more flesh. I do not see how this makes her less professional. If we all keep sticking to the old conservatuve rules, nothing is going to change ever. I absolutely adore Meghan to not bend to these stupid rules and trying to make a difference.

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    1. Wow, you’d think the way people are talking about her clothing that this is a fashion blog...

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    2. The word that kept coming to mind as I read through this post is “modesty”. I looked up the meaning of the word and learned it comes from the Latin word “modestus” which means “keeping within measure”. I also read that standards of modesty are culturally and contextually dependent and vary widely (think of how Meghan dressed in Morocco; think of it being appropriate to wear swimsuits at the pool).

      At this event, when the PURPOSE of Meghan’s appearance is to discuss a range of issues affecting women today while representing the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust, I believe she missed the mark with the height of her hemline.

      I enjoy reading about Meghan’s causes AND looking at her fashion choices. I’m also all in when it comes to expressing individuality and not always adhering to fashion “rules”.

      However, there is value in putting our fashion styles through the filter or lens of virtue. There is a fine line between expressing individuality and expressing entitlement. I’m not accusing Meghan of being entitled. But entitlement can lead to not taking culture or context in to consideration. It can appear as, “I can wear what I want; if you’re distracted by it that’s your problem”, and thus diminishing the message you’re trying to send. Look at what the other women on this panel wore. They were all “keeping within measure”.

      My own opinion is that in this situation “keeping within measure” would have been better served for Meghan by a lower hemline (especially when sitting). I like Meghan’s style, but I was startled to be able to see half-way up her thigh IN THIS CONTEXT. In this situation her message is being diluted because of her fashion choice. It’s not the height of her hem per se, it’s being able to see what we as her audience really should not be seeing during a professional panel.

      I think there are times when our message is so important, that we take measures for our dress to not detract. We might even, in the spirit of kindness, dress a bit more modestly, to not take any risk of drawing attention to anything other than our message. We dress in such a way that ALL our energy goes to the event, purpose, message, and people in front of us, instead of having to fiddle with and adjust our clothes or body.

      That said, I don’t think I’m a prude. I love to dress differently in different situations… showing a bit of leg is fun in the right situation. ☺

      I hope I’ve not offended anyone by this comment. I appreciate the ability to have conversation about things like this in a forum that Charlotte takes a lot of effort to provide.




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    3. It is in part a fashion blog. And while the emphasis on International Women's Day is at the heart of this post, Meghan's handling of her appearance is also an appropriate subject of comment. She provided a visual distraction from what she and the others were saying, witness all the comments about it here. The other members of the panel were dressed modestly and in business like clothing. There are pictures in which some of them glanced at Meghan's bare thighs, looking a bit bemused. I am surprised by the pictures, since this is not Meghan's usual style.
      What she said was wonderful, her new position is excellent for her, but her appearance distracted us from all of that.

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  69. First, thank you for including a video of the panel discussion, Charlotte. I thought the composition of the panel was stellar, especially the two young women at the end on the right. Meghan was very deft in handling the question of race which the moderator tried to draw her into. I thought her focus was a little too much on Meghan, who also deftly managed to help give all the panel equal time. In fact, I thought the moderator was a little passive-aggressive toward Meghan. At one point, Meghan made a point of telling her that she read The Economist. I thought Meghan handled everything brilliantly, proving that she is well prepared, thinks well on her feet, makes sure emphasis on placed on where it should be, and very passionate about the causes she supports, and is very gracious in the way she responded to the moderator.

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    1. What was that moderator thinking??that was a terrible effort solely geared to getting a line from Meghan that might make the headlines.... I’m embarrassed for her and for The panel having to listen to it when each in their own way have made it their life’s work to ensure girls are seen as more that brood mares and caretakers for men. Opening line ‘how’s your bump?’ Closing line ‘fabulous shoes?’ Meghan- if you or your staff do make an exception for Charlotte.... well done for giving those looks and for shutting down the ridiculousness and making a point worth making instead.
      Erininnyc

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    2. It must be very difficult to be a royal on a panel like this, knowing that even the most mundane thing you say will make it in to the newspapers, while the other panelists will be ignored. Unless they say something completely outrageous and then you as royal will probably be blamed for it.
      Meghan handled it very well.

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    3. Meghan always includes at least a few sound-bite-worthy remarks for the headlines. As an actress and member of a television series she is experienced in fielding interview questions and steering the conversation in the direction of her focus. There was no need for the moderator to make personal remarks. At best, I will assume the tacky remarks were an attempt to lighten the mood, lend toward informality, and possibly "humanise" a royal. AT worst, I would say there was a competitive element to the host's remarks. Meghan was invited not only because of her interest in the subject..there are many who are dedicated to the effort; she was also primarily chosen because her name meant instant attention to the event. I suppose some focus on Meghan was to be expected, although perhaps not taking full advantage of the impressive cred of the other panelists.
      I am counting on the reports of other commenters as to content, as I have not seen the video.

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    4. Unbelievable after Meghan's amazing poise, incredible speech about how girls education has such a positive ripple effect benefiting society, that anyone would take the time to mention her dress! You can't win...

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  70. I personally wouldn’t wear this, wouldn’t feel comfortable. But it is in no way inappropriate. I love how so many complain that she doesn’t wear enough British brands or recycles. She’s done both this time. Some will always be happy to find something to complain about no matter what she does. Meghan does great on these panels. Love hearing her passion. She’s very articulate and intelligent. Such a neat mix of women on this panel too.

    Lora-Jane

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  71. I agree with you about the panel discussion. These women were compelling and astute.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe Anne McElvoy, Sr. Ed. of the Economist, was the moderator and Meghan reportedly has been reading the Economist long before she met Harry. The interplay might have been a nod to Anne McElvoy.

    I think the moderator was trying to get Meghan to respond or defend herself to some of the nasty stuff on social media and the news, but smart Meghan avoided that minefield and refocused on the event’s issues.

    While this was a panel discussion and not an interview, it must be hard to control oneself to give up that role of a journalist, not to ask more pointed questions, when you have the duchess on stage in a less controlled, unscripted setting. I think the two respect one another and if it was a tussle, it was a friendly one. Certainly Meghan was up to the challenge.

    -Martine

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  72. Tammy from California10 March 2019 at 04:12

    This is probably one of my favorite appearances she has ever done. And for one little thing: she didn't do what turns me off with so many women's movements: exclude men. She made it very clear she was about men and women. Sometimes to me, it feels like some women's movements are anti-men; it's just a reverse type of discrimination. She said it in a great way- equality for EVERYONE, not just the people who have been discriminated against or oppressed. I like it.

    I REALLY liked this. It was my favorite next to the food kitchen. I have become increasingly less a Meghan fan and this made me take a step back and rethink my feelings. Way to go Meghan, great job.

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  73. I see a lot of commentators bemoan the fact that in the year 2019 we still expect women to be covered to a certain extent (in a work scenario) but they completely ignore the fact that the expectation for men to be covered up in the workplace is even higher.
    The point being that in the workplace your clothes (or lack of them) should not be the story.

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    1. While I understand there are certain ‘uniform’ people wear due to their profession, RF members have worn similar hemline. Meghan follows the dress code. I argue if any of the women on the panel wore similar hemline, no one would be debating this.

      There is contradiction at play here. These royals, particular the young ones, are scrutinized from head to toe. People love the RFs for many reasons. Fashion is one and the press gives them that. The trillion dollar clothing industry loves any display of fashion, includes Main Street brands as they copy trends for the mass.

      So how realistic is it to say don’t dress to be noticed?

      In the case of Meghan, there are more no-no’s. No one shoulder dress, no dark nail polish, no,shorter hemline, no high heels, no expensive brands, etc. I suspect if we put the fashion police and would be royal protocol experts in one room to come out with THE handbook for the royal uniform, the royal men will wear suits/uniform and the women will have no clavicle (except for ball gowns) and knees. But that will statisfy no one, not even these so call experts as they would be out of a job as critics.

      -Martine

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  74. I did notice that all the women on the panel were extremely covered up. Meghan was well-covered except for the length of her hemline. I am more astonished that people are capable of being so distracted, incensed, or critical, that it prevented them from listening to her. I suppose Meghan should pay attention to such things, but I think the problem is also partly in the beholder. Meghan lost an oppportunity to impress the hemline watchers with her intelligence and quick=thinking. Why does a hemline cause such distress? I also noticed that all the women wore black. Wonder if they coordinated.

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  75. I found this a REALLY interesting post. The women's panel was packed with real leaders of the women's movement from all over the world and from varied backgrounds. I think this is a place the Duchess would like to see herself shine on a regular basis and believes she can become one of these people. The video was interesting and instructive and it was great to get a bit more "in depth" with the issues. As someone else commented, I did think there were a few attempts to catch the Duchess out on social media issues surrounding her, Prince Harry and the Cambridges, but she showed she can be very adroit and this ability will stand her in good stead now and in the future. I also thought the Duchess looked very much the part of a professional in her dress for this event - except, as other have mentioned - for her hemline. In my view it was just too short, especially given her condition, for a truly professional image in that kind of meeting. It took away from the message she was trying to deliver - which is really too bad. As much as I hate to say it, the Duchess is followed as much for her fashion choices as for her outstanding social and community work. I think she is still working on her style for life as a royal and it seems clear to me that she has been making better choices lately, especially during the Morocco trip and for this panel discussion. Regardless, though, of all the fashion commentary, she did outstanding work during this event. Keep on keeping on!

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  76. Charlotte thank you for your blogpost, a great summary of the events. I have a lot of respect for Meghan as she has been a supporter of female empowerment & equality for a long time. It’s wonderful to see her continue this important work in her new role. Being able to watch the entire panel & all the guests was great! There are some incredible initiatives occurring.

    Congratulations to Duchess Meghan, on The Queen appointing her Vice President of The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust. Harry & Meghan are a fantastic team & I look forward to learning more about & supporting their work.

    Dena

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  77. I absolutely love the Duchess's dress length and would be very surprised if it weren't a very carefully considered, deliberate choice. With that dress, she is saying: No matter how much skin I show, I am not just an object. I am not 'asking for it.' I am a human being who deserves respect, to be heard, and so do all women and girls everywhere, no matter how we choose to dress. πŸŽ‰

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