Wednesday, 2 October 2019

Harry and Meghan Pledge To Spend "Entire Lives" Building A Better World

For their final day in South Africa, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex began with a visit to the Tembisa Township near Johannesburg to meet inspiring young people.


Last night, a brief interview with the Duchess recorded after her engagement with ActionAid was released. During the informal chat, the Duchess who was reunited with Harry after several days apart said "I miss him so much". When asked about taking Archie on tour, she replied: "On my goodness, well, we’re doing well. I think the schedule - they have been very kind to me, because everything is based around Archie’s feed times. So it’s a full plate, but we’re making it work. It’s worth it." The Duchess also said she takes her role within the royal family "incredibly seriously".


More from Town & Country:

"Being able to be in Africa and South Africa—it’s my first time being in this country—has been really powerful," she said. "And Harry has continued on in a couple [of] other countries—we are reuniting today, which I can’t wait for, I miss him so much!—but I think for us it has been a really special trip, because you get to see when you’re focusing on the causes that are really important to us, you can see that the impact is good, and it feels meaningful."
In the brief interview the Duchess also elaborated on her thoughts on women’s empowerment and gender based violence, which she has discussed several times during her 10 days in South Africa. She said: "It’s been very important to me for a long time to focus on women’s and girls’ rights, and especially their empowerment. So to be able to see this from afar, and then now see the work that’s being done on the ground—I think what’s really key is to focus on the work that needs to be done, but also how much incredible work is being done, and to be able to be here and help support those people who are really actively working to champion the rights of women and girls."

An arrival video.


Harry and Meghan were welcomed by Melody Campbell from the British High Commission and YES CEO Tashmia Ismail-Saville.


The Duke and Duchess saw the incredible work of Yes4Youth, a business-led collaboration with government to create one million employment opportunities for young people. The non-profit believes often times getting a "first chance" can be the only stumbling block on the road to starting a career. They focus on disadvantaged people between 18 and 35 by providing work experience for a year. At the end of the programme, they have a CV, a reference letter and the experience to take on their next challenge. The initiative was launched last year by President Cyril Ramaphosa.


I recently read youth unemployment is at an all time high of over 56% in South Africa. Organisations like Yes4Youth are vital in an uphill battle to turn the tide. Harry and Meghan discussed the challenges and barriers for young men and women entering the workforce.


Town & Country reports:

“We have a massive youth employment problem in South Africa,” Tashmia Ismail-Saville tells T&C. “Legacies of apartheid have meant that communities like this have always been on the back end of education and healthcare so these development outcomes are lower. You have in a township six out ten people unemployed...Places like this are here to bring learning, knowledge, technologies into the community...give younger people who are in the community an idea of career pathways that they can build.”
Ismail-Saville added about the royal visit: “This kind of visit gives such momentum to our movement...It’s fantastic that they come to South Africa and visit this type of space, which is not always comfortable to do.”

They spent time chatting with Mish - a local Masterchef winner who now runs his own catering business. Harry and Meghan sampled several of his delicious dishes.


They also saw the work of Blossom Care Solutions. They are empowering and supporting women by training them to manufacture their own biodegradable sanitary pads 40% cheaper than the average market price. Statistics show that almost 60% of South African girls between 13-19 do not have regular access to sanitary products and as a result miss up to 25% of the school year.


Their works is very similar to the Myna Mahila Foundation which Meghan visited in India.


During a speech, reflecting on the past ten days, Harry said: "It’s moments like today and meeting all of you, that inspires us. Whether supporting young entrepreneurs, empowering women and girls, or challenging the issue of gender-based violence; whether it’s been planting trees, clearing landmines, or protecting the most beautiful creatures and places on the planet, these experiences have affirmed our love of Africa, and the issues that are so important to us."


Footage of both Harry and Meghan's speeches.


Harry's full speech:

' I’ve got to be honest, it’s a bit of a whirlwind to cover five countries in nine days, but what a place and what a community to finish on here in Tembisa. There is no doubt in my mind that you here at the YES hub are the future leaders and pillars of your communities - for many, you already are. You are the change-makers. You are helping to grow your country’s prosperity by lifting those around you and offering a better future.
This continent is going through a period of change. Africa needs to create 20 million jobs by 2035, and while youth unemployment is a global challenge, it’s particularly a problem here where nearly 57% of young people are unemployed.
Starting adult life in this way can start a cycle of poverty that can be difficult to escape, but you guys are producing solutions, and for that, we commend you.
For this reason, I’m incredibly proud to share that the UK is going to provide £8 million for a “Skills for Prosperity” programme working with the South African Government and other partners. 
This programme is going to maximise African ingenuity with UK support to fill the gap between the skills that employers urgently need, and the training offered to employees.
In my role as The Queen’s Commonwealth Youth Ambassador, I am so incredibly fortunate to meet young people who are determined to make a real difference and make their mark on the world through action. Meeting people like you makes me realise that the world is in good hands.
We’re going to see your President this afternoon as well and we will tell him all we have seen and heard. It is so great to see the South Africa - UK relationship so strong. I have often talked about Africa as my second home, and I’ve often been asked why I love it so much. Well, over these last 9 days I have been trying to put my feelings and experiences into words, which is not easy!
I wanted to try and answer a more specific question for myself - what is the essence of Africa? Why is it that so many visitors feel Africa gets under our skin and into our soul?
Last night I returned from my third visit to the 4th poorest country in the world - Malawi. Despite extreme hardship and ongoing challenges on so many levels, people are generous, they are strong, humble and incredibly optimistic.
I know that there are daily struggles that most of us couldn’t begin to imagine. Yet I have seen strength, resilience, a sense of hope and empathy that I can only aspire to replicate. Ever since I came to this continent as a young boy, trying to cope with something I can never possibly describe, Africa has held me in an embrace that I will never forget, and I feel incredibly fortunate for that.
And every time I come here; I know that I’m not alone. I always feel - wherever I am on this continent - that the community around me provides a life that is enriching, and is rooted in the simplest things - connection, connections with others and the natural environment.
And as I raise my own son, I want to make sure that what I’ve learned here – the value of the natural world, the value of community and friendship – is something that I can pass on to him.
Next year we launch our new foundation and it’s moments like today and meeting all of you, that inspires us. Whether supporting young entrepreneurs, empowering women and girls, or challenging the issue of gender-based violence…Whether it’s been planting trees, clearing landmines, or protecting the most beautiful creatures and places on this planet - these experiences have affirmed our love of Africa, and the issues that are so important to us.
We will firmly stand up for what we believe. We are fortunate enough to have a position that gives us amazing opportunities, and we will do everything that we can to play our part in building a better world. We will always seek to challenge injustice and to speak out for those who may feel unheard. So no matter your background, your nationality, your age or gender, your sexuality, your physical ability, no matter your circumstance or colour of your skin – we believe in you, and we intend to spend our entire lives making sure you have the opportunity to succeed and change the world.'

In terrific news, the Prince announced an £8 millions skills grant from UK Aid to help tackle youth unemployment. After his speech, Harry introduced his wife and joked she wouldn't be using notes.


During Meghan's speech she discussed the inspiring work of Blossom. "There's not much I can add to that, outside saying that on our last day here in South Africa, thank you all so much. As my husband said so eloquently, you all really have been such an inspiration for us and being here today, from every level of what we’ve seen, there is such a holistic approach to how you have energised and mobilised each other to be part of a bigger change. On a personal note, seeing the work that’s being done at Blossom is incredible. I have worked with an organisation very similar, several years ago in India called Myna Mahila and being able to see that you’re creating a product that is needed within the community you’re be able to become the provider for everything about the economy and what you need - as opposed to getting it externally, you are feeding yourselves through that work and on top of which being able to enable these women to have the power to own the company is amazing."


Meghan praised the "talent, ingenuity and promise" of the township, adding "the potential here is astronomical". She continued "I think for you women, I’m so proud of you and the business you’re creating, and also being able to now control your own purse strings, because when you have that level of independence, my goodness you can do anything. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to meet with all of you, to be able to feel inspired and for welcoming us so warmly, strongly, beautifully to your country. We’ve loved it."



Meghan chose a cream midi-length shirtdress with a belted waist for the engagement. Emily Nash reports: "Meghan’s dress today was the Tencel Shirt Dress from ethical Cape Town label Hannah Lavery. The limited edition design was created from leftover fabric to minimize fabric waste. It’s currently available in stores and will be online soon."


The designer shared her excitement on Instagram: "The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle wore our Tencel Shirt Dress today in Johannesburg and we are so honoured to be one of the local designers she has chosen to wear during her trip to South Africa!"


The Duchess wore her Stuart Weitzman Legend pumps in haze beige.


The Duchess accessorised with a pair of $22 red Madewell Stone & Tassel earrings (with thanks to Heaven).


A closer look at Meghan wearing the pretty earrings.


Meghan also wore a beaded bracelet which was given to her during her private visit to the Teddy Bear Clinic yesterday, where she met victims of domestic and sexual violence.


From there, Harry and Meghan travelled to meet Mrs Graca Machal, widow of the late Nelson Mandela. I'll be covering that next.

55 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. I love them too. There going through a lot i hope people would focus on what they do instead of being mean and cruel. Love that little Prince Archie.

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  2. oh i love the couple speech very inspring and uplifting message

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  3. Love seeing them together. They have similar passions which makes for a great relationship. I hope they can keep these positve people forefront in their minds and lives and keep the criticizes at arms length. They are helping so many and doing an incredible job.

    Meghan looks fabulous too. That style she has been wearing is so flattering. She is my style inspiration 😀

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  4. This is a fantastic tour! Great cases and causes, good job from the duke and duchess.

    I have to say meanwhile, I am a little bit unimpressed by the fashion choices of the duchess. I mean she looks lovely at every event, the choices are appropriate and fit her, it is just the lack of diversity here: the same shirt/trench-dresses over and over again. I guess she finds them very comfortable or so 😊

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    1. They're probably comfortable for nursing, but I too, find them dull. And I thought she was supposed to wear her capsule collection....? Why so few African designers? I would love to see both her and Kate up their exposure of tour country's designers....

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    2. Anon at 13:44 and 15:26. Completely agree.

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    3. It’s funny because I should be underwhelmed too but I think she has worn some really nice outfits. The outfits have been rather repetitive but I like that she dressed more casual than what we are used to with Camilla or Kate.
      There just haven’t been any occasion to bring out the more elegant stuff I think. Charles and Camilla as well as Wiliam and Kate do have more engagements with a focus on their status (state dinners and such). The Sussexes tour has a different focus and I think the tour fit their (desired) image perfectly. More local designer would have been great though and her capsule collection would have also been appropriate at many events.
      C.

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    4. Caroline in Montana2 October 2019 at 16:25

      +1 for both comments!

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    5. Shirt dresses are the best for nursing. She's only 4 months postpartum, comfort is key.

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  5. I just wanted to say how impressive this tour has been. It feels different to other Royal tours in the past...more in depth, down-to-earth and at a grassroots level. Almost reminiscent of Diana. Harry and Meghan make a dynamic team & they both complement each other’s qualities. They have a natural way with people & wear their emotions on their sleeves. They show a deep empathy for others & also the animals /environment around them. I have been touched by the way they have highlighted the unique beauty & strength of the people they have met during this trip. They have no airs and graces & I look forward to seeing what they accomplish in the future. Well done to the Sussexes for making a positive impact & shining a light on these amazing people & organisations. And also, a massive thank you to Charlotte, for your fantastic coverage as always.

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    1. Well said, Kiwi Gal! I agree with everything you've written.

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  6. I'm getting a bit tired of this button-up dresses. It seems like she's in a rut.

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    1. I think her fashion choices need to be viewed through the lens of a breastfeeding mother. Button ups are the easiest way to provide for your little one without having to completely undress each time. Plus, the repetition puts the focus less on fashion and more on the work being done.

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    2. The other senior royals have a uniform. Kate and her ladylike shathcoat dresses, Camilla and her coat dresses; and the Queen, bless her, in her infinite variations of the same hat, coat and dress. Plus what Anon. at 14;49 said, amen.

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    3. Agree,

      When you're nursing and engorged button ups provide easy access for feeding. For me personally, I loved wearing them because I still felt put together, but could nurse easily. Love the sweet bracelet and how the earrings pop against the white.

      Mireille

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    4. If you are getting tired of it then dont look at her. Her purpose is to help people not be s fashion model. Her outfit choices are most certainly intentional. If she wears similar things, the focus gets off her clothes and on the things that matter. I think we all here on this blog need to take EXTRA CARE not to pass criticism here. She has gotten a life's worth of criticism in just one year. Let's saturate this blog with positivity to drown out all the nasty messages.

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    5. There have been a lot of references to button up dresses being best for breastfeeding. Do we know that Meghan is doing that? Whether she is or isn't, is really none of our business, and likely should not be up for discussion. I don't think that she is. Meghan was away for several days, without the baby, to see Serena play tennis and she was away again for Misha Nonoo's wedding. Yes, you can pump, but usually for one or two missed feedings...not one or two days. Also Ellen DeGeneres commented on her show, that she met the family and got to hold and feed Archie. So if Ellen was doing this, we at least know that some of his feedings were bottle fed. Again, I hesitate to even bring this up, but all these comments about breastfeeding are pure speculation. Whether a mother breastfeeds or not, is her choice. Both the breast and the bottle can nourish a baby to good health.

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    6. @Laura: that is a great comment. I just want to add two things-
      (1) yes you could pump more and freeze it. So it would have been possible to bottle feed Archie breastmilk for a longer period of Meghan‘s absence.
      (2) not every buttoned too/dress is actually nursing friendly. I actually believe a lot of those posters claiming this again and again never breastfed because otherwise they would know better.
      C.

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    7. Anne-Sophie de Paris3 October 2019 at 20:15

      Isabella 2sept 18h49!
      Que je vous reçois 5/5.Je respecte entiÚrement les commentaires de chacun de nous mais je suis fatiguée d'entendre parler chaque fois des tenues de Meghan. Elle n'est pas allée en Afrique pour faire un défilé de mode.Meghan est une bosseuse qui travaille sans relùche avec un nouveau -né qui du reste,est trÚs éveillé et grandi à merveille .
      Parlez des diverses actions de Meghan son implication, son interaction avec les différentes associations.
      Bref...!
      Meghan a fait en 16mois ce que d'autres tĂȘtes couronnĂ©es n'ont fait en plusieurs annĂ©es.
      C'est lassant ces gérémiades continues.
      Allez voir les royal's dont leur rĂŽle consiste Ă  porter de belles tenues, d'avoir un bouquet Ă  la main, le sourire aux lĂšvres.
      Vous avez donc le choix. Les tabloïds font déjà beaucoup de mal on ne va pas en rajouter.
      Charlotte ,
      Je vous remercie pour ce merveilleux travail que vous avez effectué .Je vous souhaite longue vie.
      Je cite souvent votre site pour son modÚle de récit objectif et professionnel.
      J'attends avec intĂ©rĂȘt le compte rendu du voyage de Kate en espĂ©rant qu'il soit aussi riche que celui de Meghan.
      Un grand merci Ă  vous.

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  7. Is there any word on a nanny for Archie? I was wondering who is watching him during Meghan is away? I believe they have one...?

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    1. The tour information said they are accompanied by a nanny and hairdresser paid from their personal funds.

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  8. Based on where they visited and the issues they covered I think her manner of dress was to not bring attention to her and what she wore and to highlight the issues. I think she nailed it.

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  9. So good to see them together. Both look great.

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  10. The white shirtwaist is a beautiful dress on her. Graca Machal is a stunning woman. I don't like the trenchcoat dress style at all, but today's number works better on her than the too tight and short Banana Republic version. I's a deeper shade and provides better contrast. HRH the Duchess of Sussex is a beautiful, loving woman, and the scorn heaped upon her is despicable.

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  11. Really just a perfect appearance in every way! Love the dress and the earrings (hope Meghan will continue these touches of color once she's home),but of course the substance is the real deal. Wonderful is all I can say.

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  12. Harry's speech was truly from the heart. What a formidable team the Sussexes are.

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  13. How amazing! Such role models, so comforting to know they care from deep inside. I hope this will open the world’s eyes on the challenges of African youth, women and communities in general and more of those who can afford it will support these causes. We would all be better for that.

    Liv.

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  14. Courtney Providence Village2 October 2019 at 16:32

    I love how her speeches are unwritten in front of her. It seems from the heart. Such a beautifully eloquent speaker. Such grace with her words.

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  15. I can't recall that any royal was questioned by a reporter why they do something on a tour especially at a tour like this. This is what it tastes like. Rhiannon Mills is the one asking the question. Hope it can stay:
    https://twitter.com/meghanysl/status/1179136977175744512

    It shows the demand and how insatiable the media is.

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    1. That was great, wasn't it? Harry's shining moment!

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  16. I didn't have time to read the full post yet, but did watch the first video. Harry is downright dismissive and rude to the reporter asking him questions! He must be fed up with the lot of them! I wonder if she is from the Daily Mail, lol? I don't blame him. He should have thrown dirt at them. They're like a pack of hungry vultures.

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  17. A nice look for Harry too! Love the suede boots and what looks like a chambray jacket. The outfits for both together are a polished "work" look where fashion is not fighting for attention with the causes they're supporting, which is what they are all about.

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  18. I had wondered why Harry chose to discuss the lawsuit on the day before the end of the tour, but I realize that he is angry, as most of us are, that Meghan had to make the tour a success to win back favor. As he said, she is the same woman --- the only thing that changes are the comments from some media.

    I love Meghan's earrings on this tour!

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    1. Allison, I've enjoyed Meghan's earrings as well, perhaps more so than her lovely dresses. My favs are the Pichulik 'Labyrinth' Earrings. Great fun on the variety of earrings.

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  19. If she's going to wear shirt dresses (not my favorite for her body type, but not my dress so neither here nor there) she just cannot roll up her sleeves like that. It looks messy. She does it with button down shirts too. It doesn't look elegant and brings down an otherwise nice look. I have found her dress choices this tour a bit boring. She had quite a few opportunities to wear her Smart Works Capsule Collection and she didn't.

    She does look like she is passionate about the causes she has visited/highlighted on this tour, which of course, is ultimately more important than her clothes.

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  20. I loved the trench coat on the Duchess the colour is lovely. Graca looked stunning, her dress suited her perfectly, the colour very pretty.

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  21. Is it just me or are all of Meghan's dresses the same on this tour? Button down front with a belt.

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  22. Maria from Austria2 October 2019 at 18:25

    The dress is the limited edition Tencel Shirt Dress by ethical Cape Town label Hannah Lavery.

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  23. Maria from Austria2 October 2019 at 19:28

    Any chance we can identify the white dress with flowers of the other lady, pl? It's so pretty.

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    1. that dress is very pretty

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    2. I'd like to know also. It's the only dress on this tour I would wear.

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  24. Meghan and Harry are doing great work, as you have so well reported in this blog. Thanks Charlotte, for all your hard work!

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  25. Another beautiful shirt dress! She looks so beautiful, focused and relaxed. It is absolutely amazing what she can handle with a baby and this impressive schedule. I loved their speech. What an impressive statement and dedication. Wasn’t it South Africa and the Britania where her Majesty the Queen made her statement about her life long service to the Crown and the British people?

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  26. Clearly, Meghan has chosen the shirt dress as the staple of her wardrobe for this tour. I think the reason for this has already been suggested: it is sensible for a nursing mother, and, since this was very much a charity and issues tour, repeats both in style and garment keeps focus on the reasons for the tour. I'm sure most of us expected her to wear some SA designers, and she has, but I don't think we should expect her to be a walking bill board for designers when fashion was not the reason for Meghan being there. She has worn quite a few SA accessories, and I think she gave a nod to the arts community. Meghan said her schedule revolved around Archie's feeding times, so the little guy is also responsible for her wardrobe choices. It appears Meghan never wears shirt sleeves not rolled up, and it seems to be just her choice of how she likes to wear them. It's an informal look, and it's also obvious she loves a button-down white shirt. Kate, on the other hand, probably would never dream of wearing a shirt sleeve other than fully extended and buttoned. Personally, I never do up the top two buttons of a shirt, and my British friend never wears her shirts with the top buttons undone. I've always thought it was a North American/British thing. I think Meghan has looked lovely, approachable, and respectful of the people she is meeting in all her clothing choices. I also believe her wardrobe for this tour was chosen for practical reasons and also is an indication of her sensitivity to the situations of the tour. I wouldn't take this as an indication that she has listened to her critics in the press and social media about her expensive wardrobe. What a patronizing conclusion. To my mind, she is a woman who will do what is approrpriate, as she has done from the day she appeared in public with Harry. I don't know where the idea that she would wear pieces from the Smart Works collection on this tour came from, but I don't think it was from Meghan. Besides, she had already worn the half of the collection. Maybe she used the tote!

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    1. Since this seems to be mostly in response to my comment, I think it would have been a nice touch to wear another piece from her Smart Works collection.

      Also, clearly she wears her sleeves like that, but it looks messy and brings down what would have been an elegant, put together, nursing friendly look. Wearing a white button down with the sleeves rolled up and a pair of jeans so perfectly acceptable for a casual look. In a professional setting, it looks messy.

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    2. Senorita Dee,

      This is your opinion you are entitled too, but please don't state it as a fact for everyone.

      Lynda

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  27. Well done Charlotte. I cannot say it too much.
    Wishing the Sussexes safe journey home. They have represented truly; going about their tour with so much love, joy and dedication. It was very sweet of Ber to wear the bracelet, but that's her - considerate.
    A big thank you to all reporters and individual accounts on the reports helping to highlight the objectives of this tour.
    I read the post on Sussexroyal.uk on the lawsuit. It broke my heart (i couldn't read it in one go) even though I was not surprised but we just want to ignore the bully as much as possible. I hope they win the suit.
    Thank you South Africa and above all, thank God for all things so good.

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  28. Really, friends, why do you care so much what H&M are wearing? So many of you said you loved Harry’s letter. It’s this stuff (along with other stuff) that he is referencing. Comments about the clothes — good or bad — are another form of bullying. Please stop with the judgements. Keep the focus on their works, not what they are wearing. This is what they want.

    Charlotte, kindly consider omitting the clothing info. It would show you really are trying to help H&M.
    Thank you.
    Good day.

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  29. she looks lovely and so does harry

    thanks for your wonderful coverage

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  30. I care less about fashion,individuals making the world a better place is my heartbeat. thanks to the Sussex family and Charlotte. OMOWUMI,NIGERIA

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  31. She looks gorgeous! Shirt dresses really really work for her! And the earrings are great- they look awesome with her hair down, and the added pop of color is perfect. Favorite outfit of the tour!

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  32. Meghan, you have done a fantastic job!!! You look great, and your work is impressive!!!

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  33. Great work and vision, Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Stay inspired!!! Don’t let the “haters” stop you. Thank you, Charlotte.

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