Thursday, 13 June 2019

Plans for an Autumn Tour, the Duchess in Vogue & All the Latest

Good evening! Today we're chatting about several news reports of interest, the rumours about Meghan's plans to edit an upcoming issue of Vogue, Archie's christening, fashion updates, and much more.

An Autumn Africa Tour... There's been talk of an autumn tour for the Sussexes circulating for months. With their roles as Commonwealth ambassadors developing, a tour of several African countries has long been on the cards for the couple. Certainly, Harry's current work schedule more than suggests preparations are very much underway. The Duke joined a host of stars and supporters at a fundraising concert for Sentebale on Tuesday night, amid reports he and Meghan are incredibly eager to expand the work of the charity. Harry founded the charity in 2006 with Prince Seesio of Lesotho, to support children affected by HIV in Lesotho and Botswana. It's been suggested they hope to offer services in Malawi and other countries - a move which will undoubtedly form a key part of the tour.

Chris Ship reports:

'The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are planning a big tour to Africa later this year which will connect the couple with some of Harry’s greatest passions as well as those of his late mother.
Harry and Meghan plan to visit Malawi to expand the reach of his charity Sentebale into that country. The couple will also visit Angola to highlight the continuing problems from land mines – an issue about which his mother cared passionately. The tour will also include a visit to South Africa.
It was in Angola shortly before her death that Princess Diana walked through an active land mine area. She was famously pictured wearing a visor and detonated a mine in front of a number international reporters.'

The visit is at the request of the Foreign Office and is expected to encompass areas close to their hearts including young people, conservation and education. I expect Botswana is very much on the list and potentially Mozambique. The Commonwealth member state endured Cyclone Kenneth in April, the strongest and most destructive natural disaster the country has ever experienced. It occurred just weeks after Cyclone Idai which claimed the lives of a 1,000 people. Harry and Meghan referenced the catastrophic events in their Instagram post marking the 70th anniversary of the Commonwealth.

It is not known whether Archie will travel with his parents for the trip, expected to take place in October. If so, it's possible we will see the couple choose a base for the trip, or perhaps Meghan will stay with Archie on days which require extensive travelling. The Times reports it will be roughly a fortnight long. We should have official confirmation and the dates from Buckingham Palace within the coming weeks.

The Duchess in Vogue... Over the past year, a number of you have discussed the possibility of Meghan appearing in Vogue. Recent reports suggests that wish will be granted, with plans for the Duchess of Sussex to edit the coveted September issue very much underway. Meghan will reportedly pen a personal essay on causes close to her heart, including women's empowerment, and bring a selection of female change-makers on board to share their own pieces. A photoshoot is expected to take place at Frogmore Cottage this month. Princess Diana and the Duchess of Cambridge both famously appeared in the iconic publication. The Sun notes the Duchess does not want to appear on the cover; Perhaps a collage of influential women instead?

Editor Edward Enninful chose Rhianna to grace the cover of his first September issue last year.

The issue included a photoshoot at the Royal Lodge with Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie.

The September issue is available in early August, and it's possible a sneak peek will be shared on Sussex Royal late next month.

Archie's Christening... In a piece for Elle magazine, Carolyn Durand suggests Archie will be christened shortly before the Queen leaves for Balmoral in late July. The date makes sense, as it's an excellent opportunity to get the family together before everyone breaks up for summer holidays.

More from Carolyn's piece:

'The Sussexes have been entertaining close friends and family. They’ve had a regular stream of friends, according to a source, all wanting to wish them well. Harry is “over the moon” and has been looking forward to fatherhood for so long. Everyone in the family is excited for their happiness.
 Meghan is expected to take a three to four month-long maternity leave, but will make “intermittent appearances,” according to a Royal source. We may get our first glimpse of Archie in about six weeks for his christening before the The Queen leaves for Balmoral at the end of July. Otherwise, the Queen historically returns from Balmoral in late October.
While focused on Archie during her maternity leave, Meghan is incredibly “passionate about her humanitarian work,” a friend shared. Meghan will be quietly preparing for the couple's fall trip to Africa where well wishers are looking forward to Archie’s public debut, much like Prince George did with William and Kate in Australia and New Zealand.'

A Nanny For Archie... Omid Scobie reports the Duke and Duchess have hired a nanny for Baby Archie.

'Sources confirm to that the couple recently took on the extra pair of hands ahead of Harry’s busy summer schedule and Meghan planning a return to royal duties this fall.
While the couple are hoping to keep personal details of the new staff member private, BAZAAR understands that the British-born female nanny is not permanently based at Frogmore Cottage or working weekends.
The additional support will come in particularly handy for the Sussexes when they tour Africa this October. Sources say it’s increasingly likely that Archie Mountbatten-Windsor will be joining them for the trip.'

Fashion Updates... In style updates, fans of J Crew will be pleased to know Meghan's J Crew Sadie Ankle boots are reduced by 30% with code GETAWAY (with thanks to Lyra). The boots are also reduced by 60% in navy/red plaid at Nordstrom.

And Meghan's J Crew Toothpick Jeans are also reduced by 30% with code GETAWAY.

Meghan's Reformation Pineapple Dress is available in sizes XS-XL on the website.

The Karen Walker Northern Lights sunglasses Meghan wore the dress with are available at Saks Fifth Avenue.

Happy Father's Day, Prince Harry... In celebration of Prince Harry's first Father's Day on Sunday, supporters of the couple are fundraising for the Queen's Commonwealth Trust and Scotty's Little Soldiers. The charity, which supports bereaved military families, was one of Harry and Meghan's chosen organisations for donations in honour of their wedding. Over £3,500 has been donated thus far. It's another terrific effort in aid of incredibly worthy causes. If you would like to donate to the QCT please click here, and here for Scotty's.

Speaking of Father's Day, I wonder if we might see a new photo to mark the occasion on Sunday?


  1. I have to hand it to Meghan's fans. They have absolutely mobilised and got a lot of people to donate. Someone told me she thought the total donations were close to $100K. Amazing.

  2. I am excited about the idea of the tour, but I think I will wait for confirmation as so many royal reporters have been proven untrustworthy in the past.

  3. So exciting! So many things coming down the pipeline! I will be disappointed if Duchess Meg isn't on the Vogue cover though, so I hope that part isn't quite true. ~Yami

  4. Becca H in Colorado13 June 2019 at 22:36

    With all the rumors that have swirled about Africa over the last few months, I'm not surprised to see them undertaking a long tour. I don't think they'd actually move there, so an extended tour sounds right. These 2 week trips seem to be their style, and it's certainly exciting for all of us!

    Can't wait for Archie's christening and I'm sure we'll see some kind of photo on Father's Day. I love hearing how excited Harry is about finally being a dad.

    While I'd love to see Meghan on the cover of Vogue, I'm not surprised to hear that she doesn't intend to. Imagine the backlash that would incite, as the comments about her continue to be vile. It's such a shame.

  5. I’m really curious to see what they do about Archie and their tour of Africa. In October he will only be 5 months old and too young to get all the necessary vaccinations, not to mention that vaccinations for typhoid, malaria and yellow fever aren’t the safest even for grown-ups. On the other hand I can’t imagine they would leave him at home with just a nanny for 2 weeks, particularly for a breastfeeding mom it seems unlikely.
    And Meghan’s mom is in the USA so can’t watch him like Carole did with George.

    1. Hi Anna, I imagine that Doria would love to pop over to the UK for a couple weeks and have her precious grandson all to herself :) As a grandmother I can say that I loved any one-on-one time I could get with my grandchildren.

    2. Royal 👑 Watcher14 June 2019 at 01:35

      Those are some very valid considerations, Anna. It will be interesting to see how they go about these hurdles.
      As far as the Vogue interview/photoshoot goes, I think it would be prudent not to go on the cover, and take the road set out by Beatrice and Eugenie, I thought that was actually smart. Meghan can still get her point across, without appearing hungry for fame and exposure, as would be the backlash, thank you Becca H.

    3. You can’t get vaccinations for malaria. You take pills for it. And vaccinations are safe!

    4. I am also struggling with the practicalities of either taking Archie with or leaving him behind. Neither option seems viable with a 5 month old baby.
      The only option I can see as a possibility is that Meghan and Archie only join for the South African part of the tour - no vaccinations needed and they can stay in one place. And Meghan maybe flying to Lesotho or Botswana for a day to join Harry.
      But it doesn’t seems to fit Meghan’s personality to stay at home while the husband does the work.

      But lets face it, the Sussexes keep surprising me with their decisions. I did not think they would plan a royal tour early in her pregnancy and they did. I was sure she would no go to places with a Zika risk while pregnant, and she did.
      So if they want to come to Africa I am sure they will find a way to make it work.

  6. Thanks for such wonderful updates, Charlotte! I've read several of these stories on other sites but don't really put much stock in them until I read it here.

    I'm so excited about all this news but I think I'm the most excited about Archie's christening. When H&M presented Archie to the press we didn't get a really good look at his face and I'm dying to see him. With Harry and Meghan as his parents you just know that he's got to be adorable, oh those chubby cheeks!!

    I really like that Meghan is guest editing the September issue of British Vogue. It will be interesting to read what issue she decides to write about and who the other women are that will be contributing as well. Our Duchess has very much inspired me with her out-of-the-box way of highlighting causes and helping others.

  7. Thank you Charlotte for the interesting post. My thoughts regarding the African tour is that they will base in Cape Town - no vaccinations needed and trip from there either solely or together. I expect part of this trip will be sort out a permanent base in Cape Town from which the Commownwealth work can be carried out. Logistically Cape Town is the best option. Shorter flights to most places than out of the UK and Cape Town is a modern city and as far as Africa goes one of the safest cities. There is family history there as well. Diana’s brother lived there for a number of years prior to inheriting the title. I would imagine they would do blocks of a couple of months out there at a time.

    1. That is basically what I am thinking too. Except I think they would be based in Johannesburg or Pretoria, rather than Cape Town.
      Just as convenient but it cuts 2 hours of any flight to our northern neigbours, which makes a significant difference if you are making multiple trips.

  8. anything new on Archie's parents is fine with me

  9. I am so excited about the Vogue issue -- too early to order it? :) I'm looking froward to seeing the selection of women. My guess is that she will choose from among her friends as well as friend whom we don't know about and then, I hope, woman who are doing wonderful things in the world on their own. I agree that being on the cover would be undesirable -- it's like saying that she is the greatest female change-maker in the world. There are some women in politics who have greater effects on the world, so perhaps a collage on the cover would be the solution, as mentioned. I hope she gets to chose a large variety of women from all areas of life, like 30 or 50. It's a great alternative to having an issue that is based just on her fashion or looks.

    I cannot imagine them leaving Archie for 10 days even if Doria came to the UK. But I agree that the three of them won't venture in the more dangerous areas, whether it involves mines or diseases.

    And a daytime nanny sounds like a great solution. I wouldn't think Meghan would want someone living with them.

    And I'm ready for the christening!

    1. I also wouldn’t want a live-in nanny and I remember the Cambridges not wanting one either, but taking into account that the royal’s jobs include a lot of evening events and tours, they will probably find a live-in nanny to be the best solution. They will need someone to tour with them if they take Archie along or stay with him if they are not able to take him along. A live-in nanny provides the most stability for Archie.

  10. It seems the Foreign Office is starting to make a habit of asking the Sussexes to visit places with health risks- Zika, and now yellow fever in some African countries. I'm sure they will seek the best medical advice and not risk Archie's health. I think infants get most of the required shots by 6 months (someone check me on this) so is it possible that the trip may not be taken until late autumn, like November? Technically, winter doesn't start until way into December. It's possible that Harry might do the whole trip, but Meghan might just join him for parts of it, and thus Archie could stay at home. Remember when the palace said the baby is due in spring, and everyone seemed to assume that Archie would be born in March because it is the first month of spring? Look forward to seeing Meghan's editorial turn in British Vogue. It's possible that she may take this opportunity to shine a spotlight on change-makers who aren't necessarily celebrities, or internationally known. It will be interesting to see who will feature on the cover. I think the decision for Meghan not to be on the cover is a good one, although certain members of the British press will still find something to criticize about it.

    1. Good points, Anonymous 15:22. To follow up on your last sentence, recently I have been analysing the criticism as well as the articles purporting rifts and rivalries between the duchesses. When critically examined there's usually nothing substantive in them. Rumour. Innuendo. Selective language to skew perception. Here's one example: Headlines using the words "showing off" (nobody likes a show-off, right?) when the term "wearing" would more accurately and neutrally describe the situation.

      Or irrational suggestions that a post on sussexroyal on the same day as a Cambridge event is Meghan trying to upstage Catherine. That sort of thing is worthy of pre-pubescent and adolescent mean girls, nothing more. The royals all carry out multiple engagements many of which fall on the same day.

      On careful examination too many of the accusations fail the test of logic as well as truth. It reminds me of the incident at a recent NBA basketball game when the Bey-HIVE fans went wild and issued death threats against a woman who leaned across Beyonce to speak to Jay Z. All false news. Turns out she was the wife of a part owner of the team and the couple's hostess. She was leaning in to better hear Jay Z over the noise and taking an order for his drink.

      There will always be criticism. Likely much of it false, designed to generate clicks, nothing more. I think it behooves us all to be vigilant against these sorts of these sorts of landmines.

    2. Now you're talking, Philly. Keep thinking that way.

    3. Philly I love your comments if they were likes I would have done so a thousand times lovely observation

  11. Dear Charlotte
    Thank you for this delicious post!
    Bluhare: I agree that Meghan’s fans are amazing,
    just like Meghan and Harry!
    I love the pic of Princesses Beatrice and Eugénie.
    RoyalWatcher, I agree that was a smart move.

  12. Wow, what a bunch of interesting tidbits!
    I am looking forward to seeing that issue of Vogue, but I must admit that I am glad she won't be doing the cover photoshoot. After all, agreeing to be a covergirl for vogue just a year after joining the royal family would suggest a desire for fame or glory. Kate waited five years before she agreed to a vogue cover shoot, and it would seem odd for Meghan to jump at the opportunity to be on the cover.
    Now that I hear that she will not be the covergirl, I am a lot more comfortable with the idea! It will definitely help her get the proper message across!
    Thanks, Charlotte, for this informative post.

    1. Here too we might need to remember that Catherine's timeline (who met William in her 20s, dated 9 years before marriage and waited 5 before agreeing to do a Vogue shoot) can't and shouldn't be applied to Meghan. (Try starting a family at 46!!!) With all due respect, a phrase such as "jump at the opportunity" is quite different from "use the opportunity." When considered dispassionately, Meghan has consistently used opportunities to further the brands and the causes of others. It started in childhood with a letter and developed into worthy, high-profile, humanitarian causes long before she met Harry.

      Ironic that much of the early criticism of Catherine was for her seemingly infinite ability to wait and the seeming reluctance for her to DO anything. Even the Queen wanted her to "get a job." Now that Meghan has hit the ground with boots on as promised it's much too much for some. Wow! A book, a tour, a baby all in one year. So fast! So American! So Hollywood! So self-aggrandizing or whatever.

      Really? We need to constantly ask ourselves whether our point of view is valid or a factor of our cultural conditioning.

      Though they are not alone in this, the Brits throw a great deal of shade on the Yanks and other "colonials" (especially wealthy and self-made ones). Is it right or fair? Or is it cultural conditioning which closes the ranks to outsiders?

    2. Philly, I wish I had written what you wrote. You're so right that Meghan has been driving her train for many years; she didn't start when she met Harry. I suppose the only people who hate fast change, whether in the UK or elsewhere, are those who are so comfortable in their current position that change is threatening. People in poverty would like some fast change!

      My preference for her not to be on the cover is to clarify that her sponsorship is about other women. Just like the cookbook didn't need her on the cover, Vogue won't either. I personally would love an all-Meghan issue, but I can see why she has other goals. :)

    3. Very well said Philly. For my part I wish Meghan would choose to be on the cover. Indeed as an avowed feminist she should. The last thing she should worry about is upsetting people. A man wouldn’t think that way. And, why should she have to be in appeasement mode? Why does she have to go slow? Because Kate did? Why can’t each of the duchesses work at the’pace each are comfortable with? Personally I applaud Meghan’s work ethic.

    4. Becca H in Colorado16 June 2019 at 17:01

      So well said, Philly. I am so sick of this backlash against Meghan for every single thing she does or does not do AND the comparisons against Kate. The British people (and the other trolls across the globe) have been very disappointing.

    5. Again Philly very good incite change or doing things differently can affect people who are accustomed to things being one way

  13. I wonder if a mini-tour like they did with Morocco would be wisest? I kind of think their Australia/New Zealand tour was too much. Meghan got so tired and had to cut back on engagements. With Archie I imagine the fatigue is like x100, and a brief tour or series of tours would be best. I actually wonder why the Royals seem to love these big, extravagant weeks-long tours. Why don't they space them out the way families do with vacations?

    1. I totally agree, long tours made sense when it took severel days to travel to places like Australia. But with modern travel I think 7-10 day tours a couple of times a year makes more sense.

  14. Looking forward to the christening of gorgeous Master Archie!! Would be wishful thinking to hope the Markle's keep their mouths shut and let the day be about Archie, and his parents. One of the best things one can do as a loving and healthy parent is to protect your child from toxic people.

  15. OK, now I'm getting tired of seeing Harry having fun without Meghan. :) I hope the nanny works out -- they can't use daycare or call a sitter or use a relative, so there's not much left for them.

    I saw Victoria Beckham at a wedding wearing a dress out of her chain, or really, jewelry, material that Meghan used. It looked very nice except I'm not a fan of wrapped-up necks.

  16. When I read this post I immediately subscribed to Vogue. $10 for the year! I really don't want to miss Meghan's issue.

  17. too bad she doesn't want to be on the cover she would be a gorgeous cover girl like Kate


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