Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Meghan Praises "Positivity, Inclusivity & Diversity" During Monwabisi Beach Visit

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex began day two in South Africa by visiting Monwabisi beach to see the work of Waves For Change in action.


Each month, Harry and Meghan highlight a selection of charitable organisations on their Instagram account Sussex Royal. From mental health advocates and organisations, to conservation and environmental causes and Forces For Change, they have successfully brought grassroots and under the radar efforts to millions. In August, they did just that for Waves For Change when they featured them. At the time, a representative said: "We feel incredibly honoured that Sussex Royal has chosen us as a featured charity for August. Our heart-felt thanks to everyone following and donating to our work. The reaction has been unbelievable! Thank you! As a mental health charity we know we are stronger together. Never more have we felt that than today. Your support means so much."


Why was Waves For Change founded? More from the organisation: "Waves For Change (W4C) was founded by Ashoka Fellow Tim Conibear, who spent time in South Africa after graduating from university in the UK. An avid surfer, Tim spent every free moment he had surfing. In 2009 he started a small surfing club in Masiphumelele Township. The club centred around voluntary weekend surfing sessions, which soon grew when local community members – Apish Tshetsha and Bongani Ndlovu – volunteered to lead and expand the club. Apish and Bongani recognised that surfing was a great way to engage young people, who soon started sharing their stories and challenges. In an effort to provide more social support, the trio reached out to local social services only to realise that local services were heavily under-resourced. A gap was identified."


The mission statement continues: "Daily exposure to violence and stress means many South Africans suffer from acute emotional and psychological stress. In the absence of emotional support, the stress often manifests in anti-social and high-risk behaviour, placing many young South Africans at-risk. Early surfing sessions showed that participants noted improved feelings of belonging, strength, trust and confidence – key pillars of wellbeing. This was reflected in their behaviour as noted by teachers and parents. The trio crew, teamed up with mental health professionals and development experts to develop, what today is, an award winning Surf Therapy programme. W4C operates in some of the most at-risk communities in South Africa and Africa."


Changing lives, one wave at a time.


The positive effects are clear to see in the statistics. Over 90% of children participating said they felt happier and more confident.


A local primary school principal added: “A bonus for me of this project is the change in the attitude of the parents -parents are now positively asking their children ‘what are you doing?’ ‘when do you go to the beach?’; they are understanding their children better and that is a contributing factor to children’s change of mind set.”


People reports:

“We are very lucky to bring the kids into the natural environment into the ocean and the beach, which really gives their minds and bodies a break from the communities they are living in where they are constantly exposed to stress and trauma and challenges like poverty and violence,” Ash Heese, training and partnerships manager, tells PEOPLE. “And the beach is almost an opposite space. An opportunity to step away from all of that.”
She praises the couple as “two people who are such positive mental health champions supporting our program and mental health in general. It is so important that people like the Sussexes are promoting healthy mental wellbeing. Even just the fact that they are talking about it’s huge and valuable.”

The Duchess enjoyed spending time with the group. An early contender for photo of the day.


A fantastic photo with the group from Waves For Change.


Harry and Meghan get moving with the surfers.



The pair joined a Power Hand activity, a mental health exercise which promotes positive thinking.

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A video from the session.


Omid Scobie reports they both said they end their days with reflection and meditation.

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Victoria Murphy reports:

“We were invited to share strengths because it’s part of the activity and identifying your strengths, you feel more positive,” Ash Heese, 37, who works as a training and partnerships manager at Waves for Change told T&C afterwards.
About Meghan, she said, “She looked a little bit hesitant so one of our coaches shared that her participation and her energy and her dancing was one of her strengths. “She laughed and said no she doesn’t think so, but parenting is a new strength that she and Harry are learning and developing,” Heese explained. "She said he’s the best dad, and he said she’s the best mum.”
Heese also described Harry and Meghan as “very engaging,” adding, “They were keen to engage with the coaches on their level, no sense of talking down or being patronizing towards them. They seemed genuinely interested in our coaches and our coaches are the heart of our program.” “It’s wonderful to have such positive mental health champions showcasing our work, showcasing the importance of positive youth development,” she said.

Time for hugs.

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Royal fans on the beach.

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Harry and Meghan saw the work of The Lunchbox Fund next. Ahead of Archie's birth, the couple chose four charities for well-wishers to support to mark the occasion. It was particularly important to them in their roles as President and Vice President of the Queen's Commonwealth Trust to choose a charity supporting children in the Commonwealth. Like all of us who have learned about their work, the couple were reportedly blown away by the efforts of the organisation.

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The Lunch Box Fund supports vulnerable children in South Africa to get the education they need to escape a life of poverty by providing a nutritious daily meal to schoolchildren who would otherwise go hungry. The fundraising effort, #GlobalSussexBabyShower, saw over $31,000 raised, providing 152,000 meals to impoverished children.


More from The Lunchbox Fund "The first five years of a child’s life are critical for their physical, social, emotional and cognitive development. The ‘essential package’ of integrated ECD services in South African policy covers the five pillars of: Social Services, Maternal and Child Health Interventions, Support for Primary Care Givers, Stimulation for Early Learning, and Nutrition Support. The Lunchbox Fund seeks to address two of these five pillars – Nutrition Support and Stimulation for Early Learning – through spearheading nutrition provision in ECDC and playgroups offering quality educare across the country. Investing resources to support and promote optimal child development from a young age yields compound dividends into adulthood, and contributes to a country’s truly sustainable development." The Lunchbox Fund patron is Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Harry and Meghan will meet him and his wife tomorrow.

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The couple met Dr Thomas Maes, leader of the Commonwealth Litter Programme launched at the London Commonwealth Summit in 2018, in support of the Commonwealth Blue Charter. The programme is working to tackle waste in six Commonwealth countries.

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There's a 50 minute video below covering all aspects of the visit.


As the couple departed, they spoke to Sky News reporter Rhiannon Mills about their visit. It marked their first interview since Archie's birth. When asked about the most pressing issue when addressing the stigma of mental health, Meghan said: "It's just getting people to talk about it, and talk to each other right. You see that no matter where you are in the world. If you're in a small community or a township, if you're in a big city, everyone is dealing with a different version of the same thing. Globally, I think there's a bit of a consciousness crisis and so the fact we are able to be here together and see on the ground so much good work that's being done just because people are willing to talk to each other about it, and someone's willing to listen is huge. And that can apply to being here. It certainly can apply to London, LA, it doesn't matter where you are, we're all sort of trying to power through and find some optimism".


Harry and Meghan also spoke with CNN's Max Foster. The Duchess said: "I think what's so amazing about being here today is you can see there's so much good happening in the world. There's so much positivity and all this inclusivity and diversity".


People reports:

'Asked what it was like being back in Africa — and the first time in South Africa for Meghan, Harry replied: “Yesterday was great and to start in Nyanga was amazing. I think everyone across the world now has probably heard about what’s been happening more recently – that kind of stuff happens all the time, every year, but it really peaked in the last month or so we’ve done our best to keep track of what’s been going on.”
“This Africa tour was always going to be fantastic, been looking forward to Cape Town — her first visit — I love this place,” he continued. “And again meeting the people, the energy, the fun, again the positivity, the optimism and the hope in the face of such incredible adversity. There are young people and older people, men and women trying to change what effectively has become the norm.”

As Harry headed off for a solo engagement, a kiss goodbye was in order :)




Meghan opted for a relaxed casual look featuring several repeats.


The Duchess wore her $118 Madewell Denim Jacket in pinter wash. Meghan's had the piece for several years and was last photographed wearing it on the set of Suits in 2017. It's available on the Madewell website and Nordstrom.


More from the product description:

'Made with top-of-the-line denim, this perfect-fitting jean jacket will never ever go out of style (take our word for it). Layer this best seller under a blazer for extra warmth, or button it all the way up for a fitted look. We partner with the Better Cotton Initiative to improve cotton farming globally.'

It appears Meghan wore her Mother Denim Looker Skinny Jeans in black. The $196 style is described as "a classic skinny jean in a form fitting silhouette with super stretch fabric."


Meghan also sported a white linen shirt. Meghan's Fashion suggests it's her J Crew Perfect Shirt.


Meghan wore her Brother Vellies flats in tan leather.


The Duchess carried the $78 Canvas Medium Transport Tote by Madewell in British Surplus (with thanks to Heaven).


Meghan accessories with her Le Specs Bandwagon sunglasses.


And the Jennifer Meyer turquoise earrings she wore yesterday.


This afternoon, the Duke and Duchess will visit the Bo Kaap area to mark Heritage Day, a celebration of great diversity, belief and traditions that make up the rainbow nation of South Africa. They will visit Auwal Mosque, the oldest mosque in the country where they will meet representatives of various faiths and discuss the strength of interfaith dialogue in Cape Town. Afterwards, local residents will host the royals for tea.

47 comments:

  1. Royal đź‘‘ Watcher24 September 2019 at 11:04

    Vary casual: Almost reminiscent of Kate's early days wearing those jeggings and the cork swoons that we used to debate over forever and ever!! Denim jacket.. hmmm. Maybe it suits the environment, I am not sure. I am not sold but I have not yet decided against either, what do you all think? Maybe Meghan is trying to play it down a bit, be on people's level? They both look happy and engaged, which I love.

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    1. I like it a lot. Kate‘s early years are still my favourite fashion wise and many royals across Europe dress very relaxed/outdoorsy for similar engagements. It’s a great outfit for the occasion and actually my favourite look of the tour so far. This outfit is also very flattering and compliments her physical features in the best way.
      C.

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  2. I do not care for the jacket either. I am glad to see these posts but they are quite long now. I just scroll to see the pictures.

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    1. Well watch the news then. Great posts Charlotte you do a wonderful job with great research. They both look happy and very one around them is smiling so I think it’s a great success.

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    2. I appreciate the descriptive well researched posts too Charlotte thank you

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  3. I like this casual look ! they all look so warm and comfortable i especially adore highlighting this association i am convinced that the sea physical exercise and meditation contribute to a higher morale

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  4. Yes! I feel like Meghan is back in track. I don't want to say she was "wrong" or so - but recently her and Harry's actions didn't resonate with me as much as they used to. But since The Smart Set, I feel like Meghan came back to what she does best and who she really is. If that makes sense. It started when she wore the Smart Set pieces for the launch of the collection and I thought - yes, my goodness, she means it, she believes it, and yes please, no more bespoke Givenchy please. I love that she is wearing an outfit put together from older pieces, and I also love that the pieces are more affordable. She looks so good, I don't even mind the denim jacket as I think the outfit is just perfect for the occasion. Harry is dressed casually as well. And even wearing casual clothes, repeated clothes, she looks very elegant and regal. It is a huge YES from me!
    Ella

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    1. So no more bespoke Robinson Valentine for Camilla or bespoke Alexander McQueen for Kate too? Let's not pretend that Meghan is the only royal woman who wears bespoke designer clothes but she does seem to be the who get's criticized the most for it. As for who she really is, Meghan wore designer dresses long before Harry came on the scene so it appears that she's a woman, who like most, loves to wear glamorous dresses and ripped jeans.

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    2. Lauri, I don't follow Camilla's fashion so I can't tell anythung about her. When it comes to Kate, I don't like when she wears designer dresses too. I like repeats, British (or local) and more affordable clothes on both Kate and Meghan (which I even hesitate to write like this because I don't want to imply they should be the same or do the same things). I am happy to see Meghan's clothes' choices post-maternity leave, be it J.Crew, Smart Set, repeated Mackage coat, repeated denim jacket...I just prefer this to the elaborate, extremely expensive bespoke pieces, for MOST occasions (not for all occasions, I enjoy seeing some of those too). I am very aware of the fact that there are some occasions that demand haute couture for all of the royal ladies and on those I enjoy seeing it :)
      Ella

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    3. And you are sure that this is who she really is? Interesting. I think people are really starting to project here and forcing their desirable personality traits on Meghan. Together cookbook, British Vogue and Smart Set are all similar projects and passions she's done in the past - they are true to her. The Together Cookbook and British Vogue were all about celebrating strong women in society, she's remained true to herself this entire time, the only thing that's changed is media discourse and people's perceptions through the tabloid narrative cycle. Sad to see. I'm sure we'll soon be seeing news pieces soon on fast fashion and cheap labour that these companies use to produce "affordable" clothing, that will be their next hit piece against her.

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  5. What was she supposed to wear? She looks great AND it fits the event. Maybe next time she'll wear pearls

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  6. I think the outfit is perfect for being by the ocean and near the sand. I love the jean jacket with the black and white - it’s in style and it works for what she is doing today.

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  7. I don't know if somebody mention it, but Meghan is not wearing her engagement ring. Do somebody know why? Thanks

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    1. Most likely for the same reason she isn't going to wear a tiara on this tour and didn't on the last one. The optics would be bad to wear ostentatious or expensive items while traveling to poor areas.

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    2. Thanks! I also thought that the reason was that.

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    3. Caroline in Montana24 September 2019 at 15:16

      Im still confused by this. but when she flies home its ok to put her engagement ring back on and the optics suddenly wont be bad as there are no poor areas in the UK??

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    4. As a South African myself, an engagement ring (however big) is hardly poor optics in my country. South Africa is not an impoverished country and all married ladies wear their engagement rings with pride! Certainly no optics or security problem!!!! Some readers are misinformed if they think we live in holes in the ground

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    5. As a South African, I feel compelled to set the record straight regarding engagement rings being ostentatious in poor areas, or bad optics! South Africa is by no means an impoverished country, and married/engaged ladies wear their diamond rings with pride! Wearing them is definitely neither a security risk nor in bad taste - we all wear them every day of our lives

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    6. As a South African, I feel compelled to set the record straight regarding engagement rings being ostentatious in poor areas, or bad optics! South Africa is by no means an impoverished country, and married/engaged ladies wear their diamond rings with pride! Wearing them is definitely neither a security risk nor in bad taste - we all wear them every day of our lives

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    7. I hope we don't get sidetracked with why no engagement ring and this is day 2 of the no engagement ring....seriously? I'm going to do my best not to get stuck in having conversations about minutia and focus on the causes they are highlighting

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    8. Perhaps she had some swelling on the flight and it didn't feel comfortable to wear her rings.

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  8. Meghan looks great no matter what she wears but this look is so casual! I liked yesterday's outfits so much better and seem to fit the occasion. And I love the purse. Just bought it for myself as I was looking for something just like that!

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  9. Anne-Sophie de Paris24 September 2019 at 12:59

    Bravo Charlotte,
    Dès que j'ai une seconde je m'empresse de consulter votre site qui est plein de renseignements rafraîchissants et motivants.
    Charlotte,
    Je ne retrouve plus du tout les messages que le poste!
    Est ce une erreur de ma part lors de l'envoi?
    Merci de votre réponse.
    Anne Sophie

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    1. Anne-Sophie, your message is showing along with a few more than 20. Allison in US

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  10. I don't mind the denim jacket, but I find the pants a tad too long and too wide along the calves. I do like the overall look though - for some reason I tend to prefer her casual looks to her polished ones.

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  11. I like all these pieces individually but don't like them put together in one outfit if that makes sense. Meghan in particular did one of my pet peeves: matching brown shoes with black pants. The shoes are adorable but I hate the brown/black mismatch. Also think the jean jacket is nice but a bit too casual with the white shirt and black trousers. I actually love Harry's green shirt outfit more! But I love the energy they're showing in this tour. Great tour and great job Charlotte keeping up with them!

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    1. I agree about not loving the pieces together. Something about the dark wash jeans and the light wash jacket is throwing me off.

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    2. Caroline in Montana24 September 2019 at 15:17

      Ivy I so agree with you. also why is she not wearing a belt? feel like that just makes the look less put together. Harrys fashion has been on top in the tour so far for me!

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    3. Oops! I wear brown shoes with black pants quite a bit :) For me, it's because I like the tan/camel and black combo. The more I read people's comments about fashion I am constantly fascinated by our various fashion "rules". For instance, my mother always coordinated her shoes, purse and belt and her jewelry always came in sets and it took me years to break away from seeing that as the only way to dress (thank god).

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    4. Decades ago (I hate to say how many) I went to a "finishing school" sort of class as a young teenager, where the instructor told us solemnly that our shoes and purses must always match exactly, if a belt was worn it too should match the shoes and purse, and, oh, a lot of little "rules" like when to wear what color, how to mix and match pieces. I have let all of these "rules" go as time has passed. Sometimes I think it's fine to match and other times, why not wear whatever you like?

      I think Meghan looks fine in this outfit. The different colors I think are pulled together by the denim fabric and casual vibe.

      On another note, I LOVE all those braids on several of the women. Lucky people, being able to have beautifully thick hair to do that.

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  12. I don't mind the tan shoes, but I do agree that Harry looks more "put together" than Meghan on this occasion. I'm interested in the brand of his shirt and pants with the matching belt. Can anyone ID them?

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  13. I think this is the most relaxed and absolutely engaged Meghan has been at an engagement. She looks totally in her element with the children!

    As far as her clothing, I think what she is wearing totally fits the event. I could take or leave the jacket, but don’t hate it. I think she and Harry would have looked more coordinated if she would have left it off and wore the white shirt all on its own.

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    1. It's spring in South Africa, maybe she was cold?

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  14. She radiates joy and compassion, and she glows with health. They appear to have a wonderful connection and genuine interest with everyone they meet. I want those shoes! She's dressed casually and appropriately for sitting on a beach and other outdoor activities. I love her dancing.

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  15. I think it’s very interesting that they chose to speak directly to both an American and British news outlet. I think it’s a great strategy to control the narrative around the tour. I thought Harry made an excellent distinction between mental health and mental illness. Great engagements so far!

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  16. Love everything about this outfit. It fit beautifully with the activities.

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  17. Thank you Charlotte for this fully informative post.
    I am seeing a change here in Meghan and Harry dynamic. They just are like really flowing together, really in love. But I am seeing more restreint especially from Meghan. She makes sure not to steal the spotlight. So that it will mainly be about the causes that are fighting for and not about what she is wearing. It is really intentional.
    It is interesting to see that there is more coverage from a certain press of H&M Rome escape than for this tour as it goes on. The same happened for the smart collection lunch. Many failed to highlight Meghan was wearing her own collection. As if they are trying to erase everything that does not fit their narrative.
    As for Meghan, she just found the right public tone.
    I am sure that they are also holding behind the scene events that we will be aware of when they launch their foundation.
    Well done M&H!

    Nono

    PS: sorry for any mistake. English is a second language for me.

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    1. I think your remarks are beautifully said.

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    2. There is something I consistently fail to understand about comments made about Meghan regarding "stealing the spotlight" in any press or comment threads about her whether it's here or elsewhere. It's a constant meme.

      The spotlight is automatically on her by definition of her title, her role and the purpose of this tour (or any other she undertakes) with or without Harry. When he is with her he shares that spotlighted event, too.

      No world press would be out in such numbers to highlight (say) Bill and Melinda Gates were they to pay a visit to the charities and NPOs H&M are highlighting with this tour. H&M are in the spotlight because of who they are and the family to which they belong. Very fortunately, in hope of creating real change they see fit to bring others into the spotlight so that the superb work they do gets the attention (and the funding) they so richly deserve.

      I wonder whether the whole "stealing the spotlight" thing originates in the rather oppressive patriarchal notion that women are valued only when their role is silent, beautiful and supportive to a male. In some very negative press about Meghan someone counted the number of times she said "I" in a speech. Should she have used the royal "we"? Was that another phoney protocol she has (willfully & stubbornly according to her most vociferous and not always accurate critics) broken?

      From the press I have seen about her, it seems to me that prejudice toward women in general is amplified in her case because Meghan is a biracial American, was an actress, and is an intelligent, articulate and outspoken person. That, it seems, is much too much diversity for some.... In spite of the fact that it is now the 21st century.

      I for one, am grateful for her work and the platform from which she is able to do it. Bravo, Duchess!

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    3. Thank you Philly - well stated.

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  18. Anne-Sophie de Paris24 September 2019 at 15:33

    Je pense que Meghan fait tout pour ne pas voler la vedette à Harry. C'est Harry qui présente sa femme aussi Sud-africain et non l'inverse. Elle marche donc sur des oeufs ! Quant au mélange des différents choix d'habits,rassurez vie.Meghan est un précurseur de la mode.une fois qu'elle porte ,elle est suivie.N'ayez donc crainte. Du reste ,elle n'a jamais été dans le classicisme" sage ".

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  19. I love this outfit! Honestly, for a sitting on the beach/outdoorsy day it is not too casual. No use in dressing up when sand is going to get into everything. It seems like I'm in the minority about this, but that's ok. It's casual but still smart to me with the huaraches and button down. And I know Ivy Lin won't agree but I think black and tan looks great together ;)

    Lee-Anna

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  20. What a wonderful day ...Prince Harry &Duchess Meghan looks like they are having a lot of fun.. can't wait to see Baby Archie real soon ...

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  21. Great post. Very informative. Enjoyed it all. Thanks, Charlotte.

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  22. What s nice day! And what thorough coverage, Charlotte! Yes, she is changing her clothes to fit the activity but I hope folks aren't focusing on what she is wearing & missing the main point of how they are bringing awareness to issues and seeking to change things for the better. There are SO much bigger things than clothes. Their interaction with people is fabulous! What a crowd of well-wishers! Great start to the tour!

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  23. the duchess looks happy and she element an they looks perfect together

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