Just three days after the royal wedding, the newly married Duke and Duchess of Sussex were determined to attend one very special event before jetting off on their honeymoon - the Prince of Wales' 70th birthday patronage celebration in the gardens of Buckingham Palace. Following Charles' invaluable support, particularly in the days leading up to the wedding, the couple wanted to join the future King in marking his life's work with those representing his patronages from all over the UK.
Meghan was elegant in the GOAT Flavia dress, a soft pink Philip Treacy hat and Tamara Mellon pumps.
The couple's first official appearance after their honeymoon was Trooping The Colour, the Queen's annual birthday parade. It's a glorious display of pomp and pageantry at its finest. It heralded the beginning of a new annual tradition for Meghan. The Duchess chose a soft pink Caroline Herrera number and Philip Treacy hat. When Archie is older he'll join his parents on the balcony.
Meghan wore a flowing Oscar de la Renta dress and Marks & Spencer hat for the wedding of Harry's cousin Celia McCorquodale and George Woodhouse at St Andrew and St Mary's Church in Stoke Rochford, Lincolnshire. During the engagement interview, Harry and Meghan spoke of the importance of getting to know Diana's family and by all accounts, they have been incredibly supportive. Diana's sister Jane was one of the first visitors to Frogmore Cottage following Archie's birth.
One of my favourite royal days last year came in June when the Duchess joined Her Majesty for a day of engagements in Chester. The pair travelled on the Royal Train the night before, the Queen's preferred mode of transport. They shared breakfast before arriving and both looked to be in excellent spirits; HM in gorgeous green and Meghan regal in a fabulous understated Givenchy dress with cape detail and a pair of earrings gifted by the Queen. At the time, royal author Ingrid Seward told People “This is happening at triple speed, She has jumped in straightaway.”
The itinerary offered a wonderful mix of engagements including a visit to Mersey Gateway Bridge. The Queen and the Duchess viewed the bridge before watching a performance by local school children called Bringing Communities Together: Halton’s river crossings over the ages. They also visited Storyhouse - a library, theatre and cinema. It is one of the country’s most successful cultural buildings, with one million customers in its first year. The engagement fitted in nicely with Meghan's former career as an actress.
During the visit, they participated in a moment of silence marking the one year anniversary of the Grenfell Fire. We didn't know then, but Meghan was quietly working on creating Together with the women of the Hubb community kitchen.
Nothing quite epitomises the royal summer season like a day at Royal Ascot. It conjures images of My Fair Lady, exquisite hats and timeless designs... To the delight of royal watchers, the newlyweds were in attendance arriving in style.
The Duchess selected a bespoke Givenchy white dress featuring an asymmetric midi hemline and white lace detailing. Once again, milliner Philip Treacy was on hand with the perfect accompanying hat.
It was a splendid afternoon, and we were treated to an array of shots of the couple mingling with family and friends.
In late June, Harry and Meghan accompanied the Queen for a reception at Buckingham Palace to present awards to the Queen's Young Leaders for 2018. It was a very fitting engagement for the couple and the early stages of their work on behalf of the Commonwealth. During a speech Harry said: "I am committed to supporting the legacy of The Queen's Young Leaders and the 1.4 billion Commonwealth youth. I guess you can say you're stuck with me. I, together with my wife Meghan, look forward to convening young people from around The Commonwealth to hear your ideas, work with you to build platforms for you to collaborate and form partnerships, and continue to meet with many of you as we travel around in our work on behalf of The Royal Family." The Duchess was in Prada for the evening.
Another summer staple for the royals is polo. Harry and Meghan were joined by Serena Williams and her husband Alexis Ohanian for a sunny Saturday afternoon at the Audi Polo. Meghan was summer chic in a Shoshanna gingham print dress, Madewell Panama hat and Sarah Flint Grear sandals.
Meghan cheered her prince on once again the following day.
It was a sartorial smash hit when Meghan arrived for the ‘Your Commonwealth’ Youth Challenge Reception at Marlborough House in a vibrant yellow Brandon Maxwell design.
The Duchess opted for olive green Ralph Lauren for the christening of Prince Louis at the Chapel Royal, St James's Palace in July. Months before the royal wedding, Meghan was baptised there.
Before travelling to Dublin for a two-day visit (we'll be covering the couple's overseas trips in a separate post), the Duke and Duchess of Sussex joined the Queen and members of the royal family for events marking the centenary of the Royal Air Force. Meghan wore a stylish 1950s inspired Dior dress and a Stephen Jones hat for the occasion.
The centrepiece of RAF100 was a magnificent flypast.
It was a very royal girls days out as the Duchesses enjoyed an afternoon of stellar tennis at Wimbledon.
It was a natural joint event for Kate and Meghan. They both adore the sport and attended the tournament before they were married. Kate's patron of the AELTC and Meghan's close friend Serena Williams was in the final. Meghan opted for a Ralph Lauren ensemble featuring a blue stripe shirt and crisp white trousers.
Harry and Meghan officially opened the Nelson Mandela Centenary Exhibition at Southbank Centre's Queen Elizabeth Hall on 17 July. The Duke and Duchess also met Nelson Mandela’s granddaughter Zamaswazi Dlamini-Mandela. Speaking about the couple, she said: "Today's event is hugely significant - not only because we are here to celebrate the life of a great man in history, but also because we are able to educate the next generation, that we must never repeat the mistakes of the past. The visit of Their Royal Highnesses Harry and Meghan is a great honour. I hope by being here today they can be huge advocates for the exhibition so that as many people as possible can learn about what my grandfather was about." Meghan wore a sleeveless trench dress by Canadian brand House of Nonie.
As hoped for Meghan joined Harry for a charity fundraising polo match in aid of Sentebale at the Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club. Meghan channeled 1950s elegance in the Carolina Herrera V-Neck Faux Wrap Midi Dress. The midnight navy denim piece features cap sleeves, a surplice neckline and a pleated midi length skirt with front pockets. The silhouette of the dress was very much reminiscent of Grace Kelly's style.
A kiss for her Prince!
On her 37th birthday, Duchess Meghan celebrated the day in Surrey with Prince Harry and attended the wedding of Charlie van Straubenzee and Daisy Jenks.
Prince Harry served as Best Man at the wedding of his childhood friend and joined his wife straight after the ceremony. Meghan chose the Club Monaco Shoanah dress (it's available in an updated colour scheme here) and a Philip Treacy hat.
Fresh from August break, the Duke and Duchess returned to duties for a special performance of Hamilton in support of Sentebale. Meghan is a huge fan of the musical, it was the third time she had seen it. In 2016, she joined her friend Priyanka Chopra in New York and in February 2018 she and Harry enjoyed a showing in London. Meghan selected a chic tuxedo dress by Judith & Charles for the night. Fundraising to support and extend the work of Sentebale has been a cornerstone of Harry and Meghan's work over the past year. Indeed, Harry attended the polo cup in Rome last week and is set to attend a fundraising concert on June 11th for his charity. As you may have heard, there's growing speculation the Sussexes plan to undertake a two-week tour to Southern Africa in October. I imagine launching Sentebale in new countries will be a key element of that itinerary.
As for this summer, the Duchess is on maternity leave, however there's a very good chance we'll see her at Trooping The Colour on 8 June. The Times reports she hopes to attend several "big moments" over the season.